I liked the premiere a lot better than I was expecting to, mostly because Spencer completely pawned every scene she was in, especially her interactions with Ashley.

There were a few third season adjustments upfront, like Glen and Sean (but not Chelsea) graduating from high school and Clay dying because of Danso's personal values conflicting with SoN. I understand Danso's dilemna. Some of my personal values conflict with SoN too. Like why would someone as smart as Chelsea get pregnant in high school and why couldn't Spencer and Ashley show physical affection on screen all last season? It's looking like thanks to many folks standing up for their personal values, this latter is going to get corrected this year. "We shall overcome" and all that.

Halfway through the premiere, for the first time, SoN actually really goes there. Ashley and Spencer acknowledge that they love each other, they exchange the hottest kiss we've seen so far, and it sets the stage for them to be able to still be connected even though Spencer breaks up with Ashley. No bitterness or recriminations, Spencer understands Ashley's flaws too well for that.
This is so much more interesting and grownup than what I was expecting from SoN after last season. Now I'm going to be able to hang in there with SoN through the Ashden.

Unfortunately, the Ashden is already on. Kyla and Ashley's conversation made me feel better about it though. I like the current spin on it which is that Aiden is safe and comfortable but Spencer is the one that Ashley's pining for and in love with. I can even forgive Ashley for how screwed up she is, she really seems to be angsting over the situation. Again, not the easy route I was expecting SoN to take, and so much more potential for drama.

Stuff I'm not thrilled about:

  • Is it just me or do other folks also find it in poor taste every time Ashley celebrates how the death of her father is going to bring some side benefit for her? I found the excitement over appearing in the MTV special last year really shallow and the excitment about the inheritance this year seemed just as tasteless.

  • Why is someone as well adjusted as Spencer even friends with attention-seeking, pretty boy Aiden? The guy tries so hard to be cool, but all the bikes and new hair dos in the world won't get him there.

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