"Gossip Girl" Recap #1.01 Pilot
"You know you love me" is the slogan of the glossy new CW soap "Gossip Girl" and I have to admit, I do, I really do. The well-cast, well-written and well-executed series is one of this season's top guilty pleasures.
Based on the series of bestseller books about Upper East Side prep-school brats and their extracurricular shenanigans, the drama is executive produced by Josh Schwartz, the creator of "The O.C."
Kristen Bell of the network's now-defunct "Veronica Mars" narrates the series as an invisible blogger who keeps the spoiled gang up to date with all the antics of their photogenic peers.
It all begins with the return of a notorious party girl Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) from an inexplicable and self-imposed exile at a boarding school that appears to have resulted in a noticeable change in her now low-key behavior.
Serena's alleged "best friend" and certified bitch Blair Waldorf isn't too happy about that, as it interferes with her plans of losing her virginity to her boyfriend, the ultracute Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford).
When Serena clashes with her mom (played by Melrose Place's Kelly Rutherford) we learn Serena came back to Manhattan to be there for her brother Erik, who had attempted suicide.
Middle-class and refreshingly down-to-Earth outsider Dan Humphrey is clearly smitten by the adorable Serena, but is too afraid to even communicate with her. His sister Jenny however bonds with van der Woodsens and invites Serena to Blair's "Kiss on the Lips" party.
Blair however makes it clear to Serena she is not welcome. Although the girls finally come to a forced understanding, when the sex-obsessed and egotistical party animal Chuck Bass tries to rape her, Serena makes a decision to go out with Dan instead.
Meanwhile, Nate reveals to a livid Blair the truth about his passion for Serena. His father however changes his plans to break up with Blair because of business relations with her parents.
Drawn to the posh clubs the rich kids frequent, Jenny goes to the party, but ends up being the next victim of that sleaze-bag Chuck. Serena and Dan come to her rescue and as they head home, they realize this may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
In a "where have I see him before" moment I realized Matthew Settle who plays Dan and Jenny's father was Jonathan, Calista Flockhart's snotty boyfriend in early episodes of "Brothers & Sisters."
Finally, just like those crazy kids in Newport, the Upper East Siders have a great taste in music. The "Gossip Girl" soundtrack includes the work of Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Air and Timbaland.