By People Staff
Updated September 20, 2007 06:00 AM
Credit: CW

Gossip Girl starts off with one-time reigning It girl Serena van der Woodsen (played by Blake Lively of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) slinking back into Manhattan after a year of mysterious exile. Her return upsets the tidy social order of her Upper East Side prep school not to mention current queen bee Blair Waldorf s (Leighton Meester) world. Blair happens to be Serena s BFF, and she s got every reason to worry: Her boyfriend Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) has a thing for Serena. He s not the only one: Add Dan Humphrey, a less privileged outsider, and Chuck Bass, a pot-smoking bad boy, to her list of admirers.

As the two queen bees Serena and Blair struggle for power, the guys buzz around all against a backdrop of parties, cocktails and furious text messaging. Remind you of The O.C., at least the first season of The O.C.? It should, it s written by Josh Schwartz, the creator of the Fox teen drama. The premiere episode hints at much more gritty, maybe downright nasty drama. After all, can a one-time bad girl go good for long? And what s behind her self-imposed exile?

Maybe Blair s mom captures the heart of the show best when she tells Blair: You will never be more beautiful or thin or happy as you are right now. I just want you to make the most of it. And from last night s episode, Gossip Girl is living up to all its catty teen glory. –Aaron Parsley