TV Review: Gossip Girl 1.01 – Pilot


Back where it all began, in the first episode of the first season. The mysterious Serena van der Woodsen is back after her disappearance last year, and Blair is trying to ‘seal the deal’ with her boyfriend Nate.

Serena van der Woodsen
Serena is the first character we’re introduced to, who returns to New York after a year away at boarding school. Her disappearance to boarding school was abrupt and unexplained, and her return is met with hostility from her best friend, Blair Waldorf, and awkward conversations with Blair’s boyfriend, Nate. In this episode, Serena is accosted by Chuck Bass, a boy from school, and ends up going on a date with Dan Humphrey to see his father’s band. We learn that her return to New York was caused by the attempted suicide of Serena’s brother Eric. We also learn that she left after sleeping with Blair’s boyfriend, Nate, at the Shepherd wedding, which was witnessed with Chuck.

Blair Waldorf
Blair is the daughter of a fashion designer, and is dating the very handsome Nate Archibald. Spurred by Serena’s sudden return, she decides to sleep with Nate for the first time, but he reveals he slept with her best friend, Serena, last year. Blair also hosts the Kiss On The Lips party, but actively decides not to invite Serena, who left abruptly last summer and didn’t inform her of her return.

Nate Archibald
Nate is the boyfriend of Blair Waldorf, who slept with her best friend, Serena, the year before, when Nate and Blair were still dating – they have been dating since Kindergarten. After revealing this information, we see him forced into reconciling with Blair as his father wants to sweeten a deal with Blair’s mother and her fashion company.

Dan Humphrey
Dan is the kid who doesn’t fit in – he doesn’t live on the Upper East Side, and he lives in a loft with his father Rufus and his sister Jenny. He is hopelessly in love with Serena van der Woodsen, who he ‘accidentally’ bumps into at a hotel where she asks him on a date. They end up going to see Dan’s dad’s band, and then saving his little sister Jenny from Chuck Bass. Dan is often ignored and is ‘invisble’ to others at school, including Nate and Chuck.

(also can we mention how ‘accidentally’ bumping into a girl is quite creepy!)

Jenny Humphrey
Jenny is Dan’s younger sister who aspires to fit in with the kids at school, and makes copies of designer dresses she likes on her sewing machine. She gains an invite to the Kiss On The Lips party in exchange for addressing all of the invitations, and is taken advantage of by Chuck Bass who plies her with alcohol and forces himself on her.

Chuck Bass
Chuck is the resident ‘bad boy’ which is a bit of an understatement in this episode – he forces himself on two girls (Jenny and Serena) and tries to persuade Nate to sleep with Blair. I’m not impressed with him as a character at this point but his behaviour isn’t condoned and he is confronted by Dan at the end of the episode.

Other notes
There is so much music in this pilot! Every scene is accompanied by cinematic shots of New York and some tune.
Hints at a past romance between Rufus Humphrey and Lily van der Woodsen.
Pilot starts and ends with a similar shot of Serena staring out of a window pensively.

Shadowhunters Episode 2 Review


In true Netflix fashion, the UK got the latest episode of Shadowhunters the day after the US, and in true me fashion, I watched it this evening (whilst cooking dinner).

The episode picks up where the premiere left off, and then introduces us to the Institute (which is very high-tech) and Hodge Starkweather (who is much younger than I imagined him).  The episode revolves around finding the Mortal Cup, and reclaiming Clary’s lost memories seems like the obvious thing to do, with Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Jace along for the ride. Cue lots of sexual tension (Sizzy, anyone?), joking about Simon’s inevitable death by runes, and Alec being as uptight as ever.

I think I missed this part, but essentially the Mortal Cup is the most powerful object in the Shadowhunter universe, which can be used to create more Shadowhunters, and Jocelyn (Clary’s mother) probably has it, hence why Clary is trying to get her memories back.

Luke’s storyline this week involved beating people up, and turning into something. More on that in later episodes, I’m guessing.

Dot (Lady Dorothea from the film) is on the hunt for Magnus, but gets jumped by the Circle and tortured for information by Valentine, but she can’t undo the magic on Jocelyn (who is still comatose) as she wasn’t the Warlock who performed the spell.

Clary, having a vision of Dot’s attack as it goes down, becomes more frantic about getting her memories back and so Jace suggests the Silent Brothers. Cue creepy underground lair, a ‘Soul Sword’ and Clary remembering that her dad is in fact… Valentine.

As Clary leaves the Silent Brothers and heads back to the others, Simon gets kidnapped by a group of vampires, holding him ransom for the Mortal Cup. Oh boy…


  • Clary REALLY rocks leather. Potential cosplay?
  • Clary is a bit stupid.
  • Isabelle’s lipstick is a gorgeous colour.
  • Hodge is younger than I expected.
  • The Institute is much busier than expected.
  • There’s a lot more technology in the TV series than the books, and the lack of tech was charming in the book (and set the mood).
  • I got a little confused over who everyone was.
  • Sizzy was introduced fast.
  • Where are all the parents?!

An interesting episode developmentally, but one which I did get a little confused during (probably because I was cooking dinner). I’ll tune in next week 🙂

What did you think of this episode? Comment below or tweet me at @AnnaliseBooks 🙂

Annalise x



Shadowhunters: Episode 1 – the Mortal Cup

Shadowhunters, the TV adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s best-selling Mortal Instruments series, premiered today on Netflix outside of the US.



Shadowhunters begins with Clary Fray, a red-haired 18-year-old who has just been accepted onto a programme at the Brooklyn School of Art. It’s also her birthday. Her mother, Jocelyn, and her mother’s boyfriend, Luke, discuss whether to tell Clary that she is a shadowhunter, a race who protect the human world from the demon world. Before Jocelyn has the chance to tell Clary the truth, Clary flounces out the door to a gig with her best friend, Simon, and Jocelyn resigns to let Clary have one more day without knowing the truth.

After the gig, Clary and Simon hang out outside the club, Pandemonium. Suddenly, a boy bumps into Clary, who Simon can’t see. Clary follows him into the club, where she witnesses him, and his two companions, murder several people with glowing blades.

Heading home in a cab, and leaving Simon at the club, two Circle agents follow behind, leading them to the home of Jocelyn Fray. Realising what has happened, Jocelyn has her friend Dot open a portal, and Clary is transported to the police station. Jocelyn stays behind to fight off the agents, but succumbs and drinks a potion that knocks her out cold. Dot is thrown out of a window, landing, apparently dead on the ground outside.

Clary overhears Luke at the police station, stating that Jocelyn and Clary mean nothing to him. Distraught, Clary returns to her apartment, finding it trashed and her mother gone. She finds Dot, alive, asking questions about the mortal cup. When Clary claims she knows nothing, Dot gets angry, and her face bursts open, revealing that she is in fact, a demon. Backed into a corner, Clary is saved when the boy from the club stabs the creature, but Clary has been bitten by the demon, and the venom causes her to pass out.

Clary wakes up to find Isabelle, the girl from the club, sat at the end of the bed. She introduces Clary to Alec and Jace (the boy who saved her), and Alec is seen to be jealous of the attention and interest Jace is giving to Clary. Simon calls Clary, tracking her down to an abandoned church. Wearing Isabelle’s leather clothes, Clary rushes down to meet Simon, not realising a Circle agent lurks outside the church. Jace kills the agent, to Clary’s horror and Simon’s confusion (as he does not have ‘The Sight’).

In Chernobyl, a man is now in possession of the body of Jocelyn Fray. He learns from his agents that Jocelyn has a daughter, and demands that she be brought to him.


  • Simon is pretty hot. Should he be? I don’t know.
  • Isabelle dresses like a baby prostitute. And talks like one. And dances like one. Huh.
  • Jace is cocky, which I like, for some reason.
  • I’m enjoying the amount of Magnus Bane, who has been introduced earlier in the TV series than in the books.
  • Some of the acting is really really awkward.
  • Why is part of this set in Chernobyl?!
  • Clary is a little too ditzy to be truly likeable, but hopefully this is a chance for some great character development.
  • This show has a lot of PoCs, which is good. The casting is good.
  • Dorothea from the movie has become the young, hip ‘Dot’.
  • It’s a little cheesy at times.

All in all, an alright, if a little cringey start to the show. I’m actually looking forward to the next episode and seeing where the show goes and how that relates to both the books and the movie.

Have you seen Shadowhunters? What did you think?

Comment below or tweet me at @AnnaliseBooks 🙂

Annalise x