Ranking pilot episodes of my fave shows from 10 years ago
If there’s one thing I love, it’s rewatching a TV show. Watching your favourite characters over again and living through those old stories give you that much needed combination of escapism and comfort. For someone who is often overwhelmed and anxious in day to day life, knowing how something will end can be so reassuring.
BUT, do the TV shows I loved ten years ago still hold up to a rewatch today?
A quick premise: The beautiful Serena van der Woodson returns to the elite Upper East Side high school, Constance Billard after a year away. The titular Gossip Girl chronicles every move and secret by the teenagers, as your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.
My favourite moment: Being introduced to the enigma that is Blair Waldorf
Moment that evades reason: Why on earth are Nate and Chuck taking a bus
Does it hold up: Chuck tries to assault not just one, but two girls (girls, not women) and suffers no consequences apart from being punched. I don’t think this would be portrayed in the same tone in 2021.It also struck me how dated everything seems. It’s weird to see “elite” teenagers using flip phones
Tier ranking: Would rewatch, but spend 50% cringing.
A quick summary of the premise: An unexpected group comes together as a study group in a community college.
My favourite moment: Britta’s first words to Jeff “Yeah, don’t hit on me, okay”
Does it hold up? A big fat giant yes. This is such a good show and I love it as much as I did in 2011.
Tier ranking: GOD TIER
Once upon a time
A quick summary: All the well known fairytale characters are stuck in our world, living in a curse. They have forgotten their real selves and forgotten that their old life existed. The adopted son of the Evil Queen runs away from the cursed town to mind his birth mother.
Moment that evades reason: The wolf in the middle of the road that stops Emma from leaving is never really explained. At first Henry says how something bad will happen to anyone who tries to leave, but also Emma is the only one who can leave. Make it make sense?
Does it hold up? I maintain that the first season would hold up. This show had such a good premise but it went on for wayyyy too long. I think one of the later seasons has Anna and Elsa from Frozen… No one asked for that.
Tier ranking: enjoyable
A quick summary: Emily Thorne moves back to her childhood home in the Hamptons. She starts to enact her revenge plan against the people who set up her father when she was a girl.
My favourite moment: The queen that is Madeleine Stowe
Moment that evades reason: Why are there so many people at the dive bar type place? Who can afford to stay at the Hamptons and also wants to go to a sea shack themed bar?
Does it hold up? It was funny watching in such quick succession to Gossip Girl. This show is like a grown up Gossip Girl, but instead of Blair exiling people from Manhattan, Emily murders them. It’s extremely melodramatic, but I still wanted to watch the next episode.
Tier ranking: Would watch but spend 50% of the time cringing
A quick summary: Sherlock Holmes in the modern world. He works with the police to solve a case of what appears to be serial suicides.
My favourite moment: Every single moment. This episode was pure perfection.
Does it hold up? Every single second of it. Sherlock was one of my absolute favourite shows for the first two seasons. My fifteen year old self’s Tumblr was exclusively Sherlock and Harry Potter.
Tier: god tier
A quick summary: This one was living deep in my head. A single dad finds condoms in his daughter Tessa’s room (horror of horrors), he decides they should move out of NYC to the suburbs. Tessa's dad has a surprise for her in the garage and she thinks it’s a new car, but it’s a bike and she is FURIOUS. The stereotypical mean blonde girl thinks Tessa is a lesbian because she wears combat boots and PLEASE RELEASE ME.
My favourite moment: Couldn’t tell you, I didn’t make it through the ep. It was nice to cool to see Zoey from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist though. She’s actually pretty charming.
Does it hold up? Not really - too much ‘not like other girls’ action.
Tier ranking: not strictly good, but somewhat entertaining.
A quick summary: Jenna hooks up with her ~dream boy~ at camp, who is a 2010s version of Noah Centineo. She figures out that he actually isn’t that perfect. She gets home and finds an extremely mean letter giving her steps on how to be noticed. Unfortunately she slips in the bathroom on a broken pill bottle and breaks her arm.
My favourite moment: nonexistent
Moment that evades reason: why would they set her arm upright in a high five position? There is truly no reason, because it is insane.
Does it hold up? An unequivocal NO. People at school think that Jenna attempted suicide and make endless jokes about it. Hilarious.
Tier ranking: not watchable
Apart from the unfortunate show that is Awkward (the Riverdale of the 2010s), my fifteen year old self actually had fairly good taste in shows. They are obviously more captivating to teenage me. Apart from Community, which I will begin rewatching for about the four hundredth time.