I kept putting this show off because it just didn't do a thing for me within the first ten minutes of the first episode. None of the actors seemed to have the WOW factor to keep me glued. Here we are almost a year later and the show has arrived on DVD. Me being the bargain shopper that I am, I decided to finally pick this up on DVD solely based on the fact that it was under seventeen dollars. Considering there's only eighteen episodes making each episode a little less than one dollar (Total Bargain). Needless to say, I was bored last night and needed something to watch and this flipped the bill perfectly. I finally gave this show a chance and it was worth it.
Yes, the acting is bad and even on some levels hideous by some of the actors - amateurish acting at its best. Even veteran actors like Matthew Settle and Kelly Rutherford don't really deliver the goods either. It's true what they say - You have to work with what you're given and these actors aren't given the best lines. Nor do I believe that the director of each episodes pushes to get the best of them. But under the cheap exterior of a soap opera with actors in their twenties playing teens, lies a decent show.
The lead actress Blake Lively looks like she is in her thirties during the first few seconds of the show on her train ride into Grand Central Station and pretty much in every episode as well. It bothers me that she doesn't look seventeen, but I can handle it.
The show reminds me a lot of Cruel Intentions for some strange reason. If Manchester Prep School was made into a show, this would be that show.
I feel helpless because the show is almost done with its second season and I am only on episode three of season one.
The show revolves around Serena, the so-called IT GIRL who has disappeared for boarding school only a few months in only to make a surprise return into the city. Her old posse are all in shock when she returns and after much negative influence from Blair is axed from their inner circle. Though the narrator, Kristen Bell, keeps harping on the fact that it revolves around the lives of the rich and privileged in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - this couldn't be the furthest thing from the truth. I adore that the show is shot in Manhattan, but it's rarely on the UES. Many of the scenes are shot around Midtown and under. The Palace Hotel where Serena stays during the first season is in the fifties on Madison Ave. And the UES is not even all that. Everyone that lives in Manhattan knows how untrendy the UES is. It's just a playground for married couples who have children and want to pay overprice fees to send them to private schools instead of public schools.
Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) is just a bad actress. So is the young sister (Jenny Humphrey) played by Taylor Momsen. She is beyond atrocious in the acting department. If speaking like a valley girl means acting than I must have that act down pat. But, Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) was born to play his role. Everything about his overall presence fits the part of the snotty angry rich kid that causes nothing but trouble. He wreaks havoc perfectly.
Overall there is promise for this show. It's packed with beautiful people (for the most part) and the basic premise is an interesting spin. It's like watching celebrities live their lives after they read their own gossip that swirls the headlines and the fury ensues.
Though this show is much like most teen soaps, lacking real talent and most of its stars just don't have the x-factor - its still deliciously devilish fun in the vein of Melrose Place. Kristen Bell narrates this show annoyingly yet fittingly with that darn teen condescending voice of hers. If you need something on TV to keep you entertained since Sex and the City went south after season three, this is the show for you. You know you love it XOXO! Hahaha