Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Valley Girls" - Gossip Girl, episode 2.24

The bulk of "Valley Girls" is intended to be a lead-in for next fall's supposed spin-off focusing on Lily's teenage years in California. That series' fate currently hangs in the balance as the CW prepares its fall schedule, so there's at least a chance that this episode might wind up being merely a very expensive footnote in GG mythology.

I had a hard time imagining Brittany Snow as the younger version of Kelly Rutherford's Lily; Snow seemed a little too smart and knowing for a girl so desperately craving Daddy's attention and ready to get expelled from prep school to get it. The premise of the '80s segment is that Lily's mother CiCi (eventually Serena's grandmother) is so self-absorbed and her record executive dad (Andrew McCarthy) absent so the only guidance available to the future Mrs. Bass is her older sister Carol (Krysten Ritter, who has been winning Todd's praise in his Breaking Bad recaps). Carol has been living the life of a struggling actress in L.A. with a circle of friends who look like the basis for a John Hughes movie. We don't know what caused Carol's estrangement from the family but I'd put my money on her being a sort of Serena-lite, uninterested in the strictures of high society when she could be having a good time. Things culminates in a brawl at a ritzy party which feels like a scene from a Bret Easton Ellis book and Lily and Carol deciding to live together. The sequence is all setup; Ritter (who doesn't look a thing like Snow) is appealing as the apparently doomed sister but Snow is miscast and nothing about the men made me want to tune in next week. Don't be surprised if this is the last we see of '80s Lily.

Back in 2009, Serena's arrest at the end of last week's episode has caused a multi-generational rift. Lily is ready to drop the charges but Serena isn't prepared to make nice with her mother and calls CiCi for help instead. The issues dragged up by Serena's arrest are thoroughly predictable, with Lily blaming her mother for decades of interference and emotional unavailability. The eventual peacemaker is Dan, who bails out Serena in time for the prom and doubles as her date. Here's to future stepsiblings falling in love.

It's all a prelude for next week's finale, where Blair's college plans will be decided. Her breakup with Nate after they're crowned prom royalty has been coming for some time, and now it's on Chuck to take advantage of the opportunity he was offered all the way back in the season premiere. I'd imagine nothing will be resolved in any real sense, but I am looking forward to seeing our GGers bump up against the wider world that college offers in season 3.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

TV on the Internet, Episode 8: Star Trekkin' with J.J. Abrams

Our eighth episode takes a brief trip to the local theater to see how TV impresario J.J. Abrams fares with his second feature-length directorial effort, the new Star Trek movie. We're also going to talk about what makes a good cliffhanger and rant a bit about those who rant about product placement. Thanks for all your comments and criticism. They're helping us make the show better. If you like us, please review us on iTunes. We WILL take out the Official Lost Podcast! We WILL!

We're available on iTunes, or you can check us out at Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle or the TV on the Internet libsyn page.

And if you like the show, consider a donation by clicking on the PayPal link over at the right. Remember, you'll get your name on the air and could get to choose some show for us to review!

Look after the jump for complete details.

TV on the Internet, Episode 8: Star Trekkin' with J.J. Abrams

Here's a direct link to the episode.

Time codes follow. There are MAJOR SPOILERS for a variety of shows, so you may want to skip over a segment if you haven't watched the shows discussed therein.


00:00.00-00:01.54: Introductions and music from The American Analog Set
00:01.55-00:10.55: The week's headlines.
00:11.56-00:24.18: Libby and Todd discuss the career of J.J. Abrams, creator of Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe and director of the new Star Trek movie.
00:24.19-00:40.35: Todd and Libby talk about what makes a good cliffhanger and what doesn't.
00:40.36-01:04.30: Discussing the week in television. (Includes spoilers for House, Fringe, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Better Off Ted, Dollhouse, The Office, Rescue Me, Breaking Bad, Party Down and Scrubs.)
01:04.31-01:06.56: Todd rants about why he doesn't care about product placement.
01:06.57-01:13.14: The classic TV on DVD pick, the wrap-up, more from The American Analog Set and an outtake.

Headline Links:

Mad Men Resumes Production, Will Return in August (Hitfix.com)
24 Star Kiefer Sutherland Charged in NYC Nightclub Altercation (The Dallas Morning News)
ABC Picks Up Flash Forward (Variety)
Mindy Kaling Getting Her Own Show: Hurray! (Entertainment Weekly)
HBO Orders Full Season of David Simon's Treme (The Times Picayune)
Tribune Acquires Curb, Entourage (Mediapost)

This Week's Music:

Set FreeThe American Analog Set
"Born On The Cusp" (mp3)
from "Set Free"
(Arts & Crafts)

Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Clips are from Mad Men (episode: "Meditations in an Emergency," script by Matthew Weiner and Kater Gordon) Star Trek (film, script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, from the series created by Gene Roddenberry), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (episode: "Becoming, Part 2," script by Joss Whedon), House (episode: "Under My Skin," script by Pam Davis and Lawrence Kaplow), Better Off Ted (episode: "Get Happy," script by Michael Teverbaugh), Scrubs (episode: "My Finale," script by Bill Lawrence), 30 Rock (episode: "The Ones," script by Jack Burditt) and Dallas (episode: "Who Done It," script by Loraine Despres).


(We'll post 'em as you make 'em.)

A Podcast Recommendation:

Who doesn't love free music? Check out the free MP3 podcast from LA's own KCRW.