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TV Recap: Gossip Girl - Valley Girls

This week’s Gossip Girl episode served as a backdoor pilot for Valley Girls, the long-anticipated spinoff. Valley Girls is set to star Brittany Snow as the 80s-era Lily Van der Woodsen and explains how she went from Upper East Side socialite to Nine Inch Nails groupie and back again.

Even though the pilot is rumored to be DOA, I have three reasons it needs to happen (well, four, if you count the fact that other than Gossip Girl, CW doesn’t have a whole lot going for it next season): 1. Neptune’s Net 2. Gia Goodman and 3. Dick (I’ve never been a reason for anything except a thorough STD test) Casablancas. Yes, Valley Girl is a virtual who’s who of Veronica Mars, and for that it deserves at least a million seasons.

But, since this was only a backdoor pilot, we still had our favorite current Upper East Side mavens to contend with, so let’s dispatch with them. This week’s episode started off where last week’s left off: with Serena in jail.

After her disastrous dinner with Rufus, Lily decides that Serena has learned her lesson and goes down to the jail to drop the charges. However, Serena has decided to call in the big guns: Lily’s mother to come help her out. This, of course, is nothing more than a plot device in order to get Lily’s mother back in order to better facilitate her flashbacks to when she was a Serena-like wild child in L.A.

In any case, Serena ends up leaving jail in time to go to her senior prom with Dan. She wears a Jenny Humphrey original and she and Dan have a perfectly lovely if uneventful evening. Blair, on the other hand, is a different story (as she always is).

Blair has apparently been keeping a prom scrapbook since she was 12, detailing her perfect evening. Since she and Nate were together then, naturally he was her perfect prom date. She had everything planned out; from the corsage, to the dress, to the hotel room. Then things went terribly wrong.

Her dress was ruined, the corsage wasn’t there, the limo was rented out by a bachelorette party in New Jersey, and it seemed as though Nelly Yuki was going to be named prom queen. Then, mysteriously, things started gong her way.

A new dress, exactly like the one in her scrapbook arrives from Paris, and she and Nate are voted prom queen and king. Chuck, who of course had been accused of sabotaging prom in the first place, is the one behind everything. He tells Serena that her dress looks better without the corsage, that he voted for Blair about 150 times for queen, and hands her the key to the penthouse at The Plaza.

Blair doesn’t know that Chuck is her fairy godfather, but regardless, she seems to sense that her days with Nate are over. She had spent so much time dreaming of going to prom with her high school boyfriend, that once she did, she … felt like she was going to prom with her high school boyfriend. So Blair and Nate have finally, mercifully, ended it.

Now on to Valley Girls.

I’ve liked Brittany Snow since she was on American Dreams, and while she doesn’t exactly remind me of Lily, she’s a good choice for this new show. I guess I kind of imagined Lily in high school to be a lot like Serena, but it makes more sense that she’s actually more of a blond Blair Waldorf—which I find kind of hilarious.

Turns out Lily’s parents have just gone through a contentious divorce, and she’s been shipped off to boarding school. Lily doesn’t deal well with this, and manages to get herself expelled so she can go live with her father. Daddy Rhodes, however, is too busy keeping Tower Records in business, so he has no time to raise his teenage daughter.

Lily’s older sister Carol (Krysten Ritter) has already left the family to make it as an actress, so Lily makes the decision to join her. While mixing it up in the Valley, she meets a few interesting characters.

First, there’s Shep, Carol’s not-boyfriend (the awesomely be-pompadour’d Ryan Hansen), then Owen, the boy we find out Lily falls in love with, but is chased away by her mother. Most interestingly, however, is the introduction of Keith Van der Woodsen, the man Lily eventually marries and with whom she has Serena and Eric.

Knowing how Lily’s story eventually ends (don’t forget, Rufus has to show up at some point and get her pregnant), the idea of seeing how she gets there is really interesting to me. This has the potential to be a strong spinoff, and I hope that CW decides to pick it up this fall.

What do you think? Is Valley Girls worth its own show, or should CW just end it now and pretend this experiment never happened?