By: Shari Weiss
If we’re talkin’ earthquakes, dream sequences and shopping trips on the Champs-Élysées, it can mean only one thing: It’s time to look at the highs and lows that unfolded on this week’s 90210, GOSSIP GIRL & ONE TREE HILL.
ONE TREE HILL “Asleep at Heaven’s Gate”
Highlight: In the season 7 finale, Haley started off on the slow path back to happiness following a deep depression. In the premiere, we saw a wife and mother who had made strides in regaining her loveable personality. Bethany Joy Galeotti was positively glowing (perhaps for more than one reason), portraying Haley in a way that exuded confidence, contentment and lightheartedness. She also tickled our funny bone more than once, and made us nostalgic for her best friendship with MIA Lucas.
Lowlight: ONE TREE HILL may have transitioned a few years from a show about teens to a series about adults, but it seems they’ve forgotten that their audience is made up of people who range in age. It’s for that reason the premiere was extremely uncomfortable at times, with gratuitous dirty talk, sexual situations and prolonged partial nudity. We’re far from prudes, but it was too much for one episode and screamed too much like an attempt to keep up with so-called “sexy shows” like GOSSIP GIRL and 90210.
90210 “Senior Year, Baby”
Highlight: Lannie. Not Liam, whose season finale brawl with Jasper went essentially unresolved. And not Annie, whose season-long hit-and-run storyline was relatively glossed over. But Lannie. Steadily building since the show’s first season, the pair finally had their first kiss. What made it even better: the unexpected twist that Annie had avoided him all summer – which means we didn’t miss any chances to live vicariously through their blossoming romance – and Annie’s realization that they can’t move forward with their relationship due to Naomi. Yes, that’s actually a good thing: Annie doesn’t want to make the same mistakes of the past, which indicates that Lannie may ultimately have a stronger foundation.
Lowlight: Thanks to about 88238103428 interviews in the last week, Ryan Eggold got us significantly pumped for season 3. He teased, among other things, that Ryan would have a son, his parenting would be comedic at times, and he’d provide a helping hand to – of all people – Naomi. But the premiere came and went with just a couple of Ryan scenes, none of which delivered the promised goods. Save for a phone call to an unseen Jen about their situation, the episode did nothing to move his storyline forward. Makes the choice to have Eggold as the official “let’s hype the new season” cast member a bit peculiar.
GOSSIP GIRL “Belles de Jour”
Highlight: Common sense – and, okay, a flurry of news articles – indicated that there was no way Chuck’s gunshot wound would prove fatal. But where was he for most of the episode? The anticipation built nicely as Lily, Nate and Serena all confirmed they had no idea of his whereabouts, and all Blair knew was that she “hurt in [her] whole body” from their breakup. When the end of the episode finally arrived, so did a relatively-healthy Chuck… and flashbacks of some of the series’ most memorable scenes. More, please.
Lowlight: As the economy continues to stall, the last thing we want to do is turn on the TV and see things we can’t afford right now (or, um, ever). Sure, part of GOSSIP GIRL’s fun is admiring the designer clothes and fancy restaurants that we all aspire to one day own and eat at. But did they really have to go all the way to Paris to show us even more out-of-our-league luxury items? The blatant product-placement (Chanel, anyone?) and obsession over clothing was a bit more to take than usual – especially if you couldn’t care less about being a fashionista.
Shari Weiss is known as the TeenDramaWhore, a self-proclaimed expert on the teen soap opera genre. Her passion for teen dramas has been burning strong for 15 years, and she’s pretty sure her nine-year-old self would’ve fainted during the dozens of interviews with teen drama producers, directors and actors that she’s since completed. A former People, Seventeen and Soap Opera Weekly intern, she now busts bad dish for GossipCop.com. Follow her on Twitter: @sizzlemaker