How Gossip Girl and 90210 deal with real issues of the day — like blogging and drinking
90210: DRINKING PROBLEMAnnie (Shenae Grimes) is a black hole for Dr. Peppers. She's at the new 'n' improved Peach Pit waiting for an official date with Ethan (Dustin Milligan). But four Peppers drunk, still no Ethan. Wait … there's Ty (Adam Gregory), who's all "Uh, you dissed me for a date with a soft drink? Where your black brother works?" Translation: You're kind of a freak. No smart girl in Beverly Hills drinks four of those calorific villains. At least get Diet! As for Ethan, he flakes on Annie via text message.
How Gossip Girl Compares: Serena (Blake Lively) is a black hole for dirty martinis. Her trademark is to rub her pursed lips all over the rim of the glass. This makes Dan (Penn Badgley) realize that he doesn't know Serena at all.
KEEP READING: Chuck's narrowing his eyes again ...
GOSSIP GIRL: DRAMATIC FACIAL FEATURESWhen Chuck (Ed Westwick) is plotting his coups, boy, does he narrow his eyes. They become two slivers of pure retinal evil. Yes, his side-part, swept-bang look combined with his tightened-lip pursing helps get the scheming point across, but Chuck is most able to put Dan in his miserable place (um, tied around a pillar at Yale in just boxers?) with one shot of those narrowed eyes.
How 90210 Compares: The flared nostrils of Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord). You see her expansive sniffer best when she is upset about her Daddy having an affair. At first, we were convinced that she was "just" a Jessie Spano doppelgänger — until her nose formed the shape of a sea anemone on cue (Elizabeth Berkley's nostrils aren't that agile).
KEEP READING: xoxo, Gossip Girl
90210: BLOGGINGSilver (Jessica Stroup) is always sneaking away to blog. It's her way. Everyone expects it of her. So when Naomi's household hits the proverbial fan, she begs Silver not to blog about her family problems. To which Silver responds with the slamming of her locker door. But in the end, despite Naomi previously broadcasting the news of Silver's effed-up home life to all of West Beverly High, Silver pulls Naomi aside and says, "I didn't blog about you." To which Naomi responds with a feeble thank-you — and a little bit of an emotional flared-nostril.
How Gossip Girl Compares: A blogger named Gossip Girl, who sends mass text messages of breaking news — with photos as evidence of said gossip. The best was when a gaggle of young tweens surrounded Dan in Central Park, spewing all sorts of advice on what he should do about getting back with Serena (the headband-clad youngsters get their information via Gossip Girl's blog, natch). Dan and Serena wave them off, but not before calling them "little Gossip Girls."
KEEP READING: Nate's a hooker!
GOSSIP GIRL: MALE PROSTITUTIONThese days, it's not OMG-enough to fall prey to a cougar, as Nate (Chace Crawford) does with Catherine (Madchen Amick). Nope. In an effort to regain the pride of cougars all over, Catherine figures she'll pay him for his inexperienced-teen lovin'. Yes, she bails him out of a household financial predicament with her beaucoup bucks, but in return, he appears at her every beck, every call — AND HE'D BETTER NOT SCREEN HER CALLS. In fact, girls his own age — like Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) — best vaporize, because nothing gets in the way of a cougar's pretty-boy hooker.
How 90210 Compares: Ty invites Annie up to his room at the Roosevelt Hotel, and Annie braces herself with breathing exercises for whatever kind of deflowering might happen. Instead of Ty, she finds her severely bobbed nemesis Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes) in just a bathrobe. She offers to go get Ty, whom she says is in the shower (what Annie doesn't realize is that the running water was just theatrics).
KEEP READING: Annie's homebaked Forgive Me cookies
90210: BEGGING FORGIVENESSBetween her boy war of Ethan vs. Ty, Annie chooses poorly at first (Ethan and Naomi are so back on), so she mauls Ty down in the hallway, wondering if he's bought tickets to the Sea Wolf concert this weekend. Ty, remembering that this is the same girl that turned down his Vampire Weekend offer the day before, gives Annie a you're-out-of-your-mind look. Suddenly, Annie pulls out a tin box of homemade "Forgive Me" cookies, and begs Ty to take them (by shoving them into his pecs).
How Gossip Girl Compares: When Blair (Leighton Meester) schemes her way through her mother's show at New York Fashion Week — Serena's on the runway wearing Jenny Humphrey's design, not a Waldorf (thanks, Blair!) — and her scheming eventually proves moot, Blair attempts an apology with Serena. Instead, with advice from a socialite in tow, Serena says she's tired of "holding herself back" just so she doesn't "outshine" Blair. In Blair's words, "Excuse me?"
KEEP READING: Skinny Little J suggest popsicles for din-din
GOSSIP GIRL: EATING DISORDERLittle J, played by Taylor Momsen, is the thinnest character on the show, as reported aplenty by gossips of Gossip Girl. Funnily enough, when the Humphreys are huddled together one evening wondering what to do about supper, Jenny suggests: "How 'bout popsicles?" That's suspicious …
How 90210 Compares: Us Weekly and the like have posited that every young girl on the show is alarmingly thin. Nobody eats; everybody just smokes. In fact, Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl has voiced that he prefers his full-figured female co-mates and dispenses "eat a double-cheeseburger" advice to 90210's sticks. So, it's amusing when Naomi suggests that she's had dinner at Nobu. That's obviously just code for “Finally, I used the last hole on my belt! Yes!"
KEEP READING: A black kid from Kansas?
90210: RACE RELATIONSThe show asks that you trust that Dixon is a black kid from Kansas. And of that 6 percent African-American population, he would be adopted by the Wilson family and moved to Beverly Hills to befriend all of the white friends he was destined to all along. And he's got a job, very unlike his white cronies. But because it is 2008, he gets himself a girlfriend out of Silver. Interracial relationship! So edgy!
How Gossip Girl Compares: There might be a black girl here and an Asian girl there, but usually in the form of a nonspeaking "follower" role. Aside from Blair's Eastern-European housekeeper, the most ethnically ambiguous girl in the cast is Vanessa — and of course, she's the one that has it "tough." She's tasked with the "outcast" role, unable to attend fancy-pants prep school because she's busy providing for herself in a cafe that dispenses coffee from a one-button machine.
KEEP READING: New York Fashion Week featuring ... Serena!
GOSSIP GIRL: THE (DISTORTED) REAL WORLDSerena is regularly featured on the front page of Women’s Wear Daily, which in real life is usually reserved for, oh I don’t know, someone like Charlize Theron? If she’s not holding hands with her socialite girlfriend (in a platonic, non-Lohan way; Gossip hasn’t gone there … yet), she’s pictured with her mother (Kelly Rutherford), who’s captioned as “unidentified female.” Oh, and Dan’s pithy writing’s been published in The New Yorker. Please!
How 90210 Compares: Debbie Wilson (Lori Loughlin), a big-deal photographer shooting high-fashion stuff (in high heels no less)? No no no, she's married to Uncle Jesse!
KEEP READING: Counselor Kelly Taylor needs her own counseling
90210: AUTHORITY FIGURESAnnie’s pops, Harry (Rob Estes), is the principal of West Beverly High but, my, is he naïve about teen angst! It’s as if he’s never heard of teenagers kissin’ in a tree or teenagers in compromising positions in the school parking lot (refer to Episode 1). He kinda freaks when he runs into his daughter making out with a taller Zac Efron type and wants to talk birds ‘n’ the bees with her … at age 16. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to trust that Kelly (Jennie Garth) can counsel kids when she’s all frazzled about Dylan McKay. STILL.
How Gossip Girl Compares: The Dean of Yale is enraptured with Serena. No, not because of her low-cut silk top, but because she told him an amusing experience of being in a fashion show for fun. He writes her a handwritten letter to join him at a cocktail fete at his place, and frequently speed-dials Serena’s cell. Riiiight.
KEEP READING: No sex from the Lord!
GOSSIP GIRL: DENYING SEXLord Marcus is determined to keep things PG with Blair. But she doesn’t get it! And thanks to libido frustration, she mistakes Chuck for the Lord in a city-wide blackout — heavy petting ensues — and when they’re caught in the act, Blair says, “I thought it was you! It was dark!” But the Lord (who’s been a little tied up in more ways than one with his stepmother the Duchess) faults himself, because he shouldn’t have denied Blair the deed.
How 90210 Compares: Silver and Dixon hit first base while atop a lounge chair at the Roosevelt Hotel. But when Dixon has a “Doh!” moment for giving up his safety condom to his sister, Silver sasses to him: “What makes you think we were gonna have sex?”Aw, snap.
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