Empty, Shallow, Fake, Just Plain Bad

The legally available pilot should have been saved for on air veiwing, my guess is the people who caught the pilot online wont be tuning in for the next episode and I will be one of those people. As much as I love love love the shows meant for the tween teen and young adult crowd this felt like a rip off. A wannabe Gilmore Girls/Gossip Girl/The Hills, with a Lauren Conrad guest spot slated for later in the season, thrown in just for good measure. I'm sure it will suck in a good amount of people but I dont think it will be in the age range the network is looking for. The pilot left me wanting more and not in a good way: more back story up front, better acting and chemistry from the cast, less of the drooling friend who I thought was gay until the ending ect ect ect...Give me more substance and I promise I'll love it. I might tune in for more but only online at my convenience and if the story doesnt pick up I'll tune out

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Sep 10, 2008 12:54PM EDT

Though I will admit I didn't particularity like the first episode of the show, but, as far as I saw, the pilot had a fair amount of substance. Granted the acting wasn't brilliant, but it was decent enough to be tolerable, and though the characters may have not given off the appearance of complexity, by the end of the episode it was made pretty clear that the "dark waters" beneath their surfaces would later prove themselves to run deep. There was also a clear resemblance made between Sage (Ashley Newbrough) and Megan's sister, Lily (Kristina Apgar), that I'm pretty certain is not just a lack of dynamic character writing, but rather a set-up for Megan indirectly working through her issues with her sister through her interactions with Sage.
As far as this being just another wannabe Gossip Girl/The Hills (I leave out Gilmore Girls because I don't even understand how that was grouped in, unless it was put in based off of generalizations) I really just don't see that. This show is obviously focusing pretty hard on the idea of "the broken family". The writers made a point to bring up several times that the two "snobby girls" had lost their parents, the tutor wasn't close with her dad (neither was the neighbor), that the girls could only really depend on each other because no one else was willing to really be there for them, and that Megan and her sister care about each other but have a lot of problems they need to work out, not just with each other but with themselves as well.
Now, with all these compliments, now here comes the reason I don't really consider it anything more than mediocre; it's too predictable. From the first episode I already know how the rest of the show is going to go. Though it does focus on a very serious and relate-able issue, it appears as if it's been written in the traditional style that they teach you in film school, or that you see done in most television shows of this matter. Problem with that is; it cheapens it, it turns into sappy and cheesy - which a lot of people like, or at least don't mind, but it's not for me.
It may not be great, but it's defiantly not empty, shallow, and fake.
Maybe those words would be better suited for Gossip Girl or The Hills. I mean at least it isn't just a prime time teenage soap opera with slightly better acting.

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Sep 10, 2008 1:08PM EDT

I agree with you, my main upset is the writing, just feels a bit empty in terms of writing is what I mean to convey. Maybe if the cast had more chemistry as a whole it would come off more meaningful or if the acting was maybe one step up. In my opinion the heart of the story line is there with the "broken family" thing I just dont know if this group of actors as a whole has what it takes to make it feel meaningful and wholehearted. As I said I'll watch a few more times and hope it picks up but if it doesnt it's a shame because with some character edits and a few minor re-writes the show has the potential to be excellent.

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Sep 10, 2008 1:41PM EDT

Yes the writing is pretty bad, and as far as the casting choice, yes, it wasn't very well thought through, most of the actors seem like either just plain bad actors, or ones that aren't bad but don't real shine unless they're given something great (meaning they don't seem capable of taking crap and spinning it into gold). But it's a show on the CW and they obviously didn't put too much time into it. And I think it might need more than just a few small re-writes. The dialogue needs to be less blunt. Most people aren't that up front honest about their problematic past with people they just met - let alone a whole spew of people who "just happened to find each other". Plus subtlety adds complexity and makes it more interesting. You shouldn't just give it all away with the first show. - but I do agree that it could be a lot better.
And I wasn't really aware that you were trying to get at any of those things in your review, most of your opinions were generalized, and unclear. But I appreciate your reply and clarification.

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Sep 14, 2008 10:29AM EDT

while i agree that it's not the best show [but think it definitely shows promise] i don't understand how you can call this empty, shallow, and fake while singing the praises of gossip girl and the hills of all shows, the logic is quite baffling, i must admit.

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