The Casting Couch

The Casting Couch

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pilot Review: Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick
Penn Badgley, Taylor Momsen, Matthew Settle, and Kelly Rutherford

Concept: The private school social scene of a group of New York's most priviledged teenagers, as narrated by the school's own "Gossip Girl" who keeps everyone in school in the know via her gossip blog. The pilot follows the re-entrance of infamous mean girl Serena after a brief hiatus in boarding school (following a hook-up with her bff's bf, of course).

Review: HATRED. Its not that its bad, but there's just something about this pilot that rubs me completely the wrong way. As for it being the most talked about new series...I just don't get it. The characters are simply not likeable and completely unrelateable and some of the main plot points and storylines are stripped straight from The OC. Now, I loved The OC, and I had high hopes for USC Alumni Josh Schwartz, but if this is any indication of what he's got, then throw him back because I don't want it.

Penn Badgley. I'm starting with him because I loved him. He was the only thing I really liked about this series at all. He's a very likeable actor, charming, endearing and personable with a sense of wit. The only thing is...his character kind of sucks. He's just too cute to be believable as a goofy outcast, plus we've seen it all before. Seth Cohen, anyone?

Blake Lively. Eh, okay. The actors weren't really terrible in this series...its the series itself that sucks so much. She's pretty cute, but she's too sweet to be believable as some kind of super-bitch only a few months before the pilot enters into the story.

Leighton Meester. You're supposed to hate her, I think, and I pretty much did. Nothing too spectacular about her that stands out in my mind though.

Chace Crawford. Who? He's supposed to be one of the main characters, but he got lost in the story for me. He's very cute, but I'm gonna need to see more from him if he's going to carry out the series. He might have a real actor in there somewhere.

Ed Westwick. Hatred yet again. His character is oh-so-cliche and one-dimensional, think of a combo of all the bad qualities of characters in Cruel Intentions without any of the likeable ones. Not to mention, I didn't think he was cute...just obnoxious and slimy. Its easy to create a villian, its harder to make person who's bad...and he had no really human qualities it seemed.

Taylor Momsen. She was so adorable, I really liked her a lot and was happy to see her back in entertainment all grown up (she was the adorable little girl in The Grinch). She was perfectly cast in this role (young, innocent, with a touch of spunk) and really held her own for being the youngest cast member.

Other Cast Mentions:
Connor Paolo. Cute, likeable. I wanted to see more of him than most of the other guys, that's for sure.
Matthew Settle. I liked his acting, I just didn't feel he was cast well. I mean, there's hot-dad, then there's too-young-and-hot-to-be-a-dad. It wasn't just that of course, he didn't seem to fit the role overall. Plus, when you combine him with Kelly Rutherford and Florencia Lozano (the other parents), it felt very OC again.

**PS**If you were wondering who the infamous "Gossip Girl" is who narrates the series, I'll tell you. Its none other than the CW's own KRISTEN BELL from Veronica Mars!

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