It's been a while since Penn Badgley and his flowing locks last graced our television screens. Two whole years, in fact — the last time was in Dec. 2012 for the series finale of Gossip Girl, when his character, Dan Humphrey, revealed himself to both be Gossip Girl her—(him?)—self, and possibly a sociopath because why did he react in shock to Gossip Girl blasts on his phone even when he was alone if he was the one sending them out? (SERIOUSLY. CAN ANYONE ANSWER THAT? ANYONE?) Anyway, safe to say, Badgley needed a break, and he's spent his time mostly filming movies, becoming an official hipster Brooklynite by dating Girls star Jemima Kirke's sister Domino Kirke, and also starting his own band, MOTHXR. Now, however, it seems his hiatus away from the small screen is finally over: Penn Badgley has joined NBC's upcoming miniseries The Slap , which is based off of the Australian miniseries of the same name.
Plotwise, the project actually sounds pretty great: As the title suggests, The Slap surrounds a literal slap, involving a parent slapping another family's child during a barbecue in response to the child acting up. His actions spark a rift between friends and families, with major consequences for everyone involved. As far as dramas go, expect a lot of complexity from this one. Badgley will reportedly be playing the much younger, 25-year-old boyfriend to Mary-Louise Parker's character.
Though unfortunately not much more information is given about his character, this show is based off of a series that has already aired, so it's actually fairly easy to pinpoint his character's Australian counterpart: In the original series, the character is that of Rhys, who was portrayed by Oliver Ackland. In addition to being the star of a popular TV soap opera Ocean Grove, he also has a pretty carefree life, plays in a band, and has no problem with the ladies. He's dating a writer for his television show, the 41-year-old Anouk, and at one point suggests the two of them literally take off to Europe for an extended vacation because he's that carefree and rich.
Though it's not clear how close to the original series NBC plans to keep their version, gotta admit — even though the show couldn't be farther from Gossip Girl, Badgley's character specifically totally does sound like one you'd see on the show. Rich, thinks random vacations to Europe for weeks on end is normal, and has a steamy affair with an hot, older woman? I'm pretty sure I just described Nate Archibald.
But seriously: As long as Badgley isn't suddenly revealed to be Gossip Girl at the end of this series, I'm in.