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'Gossip Girl' and '90210': What am I missing?

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Gossipgirl90210_l

Gossipgirl90210_lAfter six weeks of silence, Gossip Girl returned last night, and 90210 returns soon after a month of spring break. Oops, that sentence was supposed to end in an exclamation point, because around these parts, that’s a big deal. It seems few things get certain EW staffers more excited than the outlandish antics of rich teens. Me, I don’t care. And given that Cavemen got better ratings than GG and 90210 combined, I know I’m not alone.

What I need is someone to explain it to me. Yes, I am old (30s!), but I will watch teen shows. I love the British series Skins about a group of profane, raunchy, bright, insipid, inspired kids. But for some reason, American shows about rich adolescents don’t do it for me anymore. It’s probably The O.C.‘s fault — something about that time Seth Cohen sailed away to Portland still doesn’t sit right. And it’s true, I haven’t given GG or 90210 much of a chance. So I’m asking for help.

Please tell me: What makes these shows so compulsively, compellingly watchable? Is it the writing? Camp factor? The clothes? (Seriously, are they awesome?) What about the irritation quotient? Seeing young, beautiful, rich kids whine for an hour is liable to make me take my shoe off and beat folks with it. And are there those of you who watch one but not the other? Why?

Help an old lady out, PopWatchers. Share what’s so awesome about Gossip Girl and 90210 that I’m clearly missing. Or tell us about another teen fave we should be into. I’m open.

addCredit(“Gossip Girl: Giovanni Rufino /The CW; 90210: Jaimie Trueblood/The CW”)