Thursday, October 25, 2007

"And they said Vin Diesel couldn't do comedy.": Gossip Girl

For some reason, each week when I sit down to watch this show I cynically think to myself, "This is the week it's going to start sucking, I know it!" And then each week, without fail, it somehow defies my expectations by getting better. This show is just a little lifeboat of awesome on the sinking ship that is The CW, and I think all of America should climb on board and start baling water. I mean, can you imagine how fabulous the "We Survived Certain Death" party would be?

I absolutely think the smartest thing this show has done is revolve every episode around a different party. At first I thought this would get tiring, but it is actually perfect for bringing all of the characters together and forcing interactions that might not have happened without a party to facilitate it.
Also, I love party dresses and champagne flutes. They're pretty! The only party story that hasn't worked so far this season was Chuck and Nate's boy's night party, because it split up the characters and seemed really boring as well. And it didn't involved party dresses.

This week the party was an old staple, the masquerade ball, perfect for mistaken identity tomfoolery! Blair spends the day preparing by ordering Jenny around like her little lapdog. Jenny happily complies because she is expecting an invite to the party like when she did the invitations for the "Kiss on the Lips" party. To Jenny's dismay, Blair is still forcing her to pay her dues and bitchily yet nicely at the same time tells her she can't go. How Leighton Meester plays bitchy and nice at the same time, I do not know. That is a talent, right there.

Meanwhile, at Blair's urging Serena finally gets up the nerve to invite Dan to the party, putting Dan in a bad spot because old love Vanessa has just returned to town and surprised Dan at his apartment. Serena hears Vanessa's voice in the background and Dan lies about who it is like a stupid teenage boy, and Serena catches him in the lie and decides not to invite him to the ball after all. Dan, crushed, decides to go to a movie with Vanessa instead. This leaves Serena dateless and Blair puts the word out, a plea which ends up on the Gossip Girl website. She ends up going with a jock from Newport that she meets online, which: creepy. Also, ha!

Dan decides to "be a man" and go after Serena at the party, lying to Vanessa by saying he's writing a paper and can't go to the movies. He sneaks in using some drunk rich kid's name and goes off looking for Serena. While he's sneaking in through the front door, Jenny is sneaking in the back with help from Vanessa. Okay, confession time you guys. I sort of hate Vanessa. I'm not sure I have a reason yet, it's just a feeling I have. Anywho, even though she thinks masquerade balls are "pretentious" Vanessa sticks around. I don't know why. Free champagne, maybe? Jenny spends her time tricking Chuck into following her to the roof and then locking him up there in his skivvies. Yes, it's mildly amusing, but if the show is trying to say they're even now I'm going to have to disagree. Dan, meanwhile, cuts in with Serena on the dance floor and they do the kiss and make up thing again. I hope they don't break up/make up each episode because that's going to get old. Awesomely, Vanessa sees them making out and everything becomes clear. They have a little fight on the dance floor and Vanessa reveals Dan told him he loved her right before she left town a year ago. She obviously came back expecting things to start right back up again, but Dan tells her the "loved" is in the past tense and he's with Serena now. I'm sure he'll never be conflicted again! Ugh.

Nate isn't having such a good time this week. Even though all of the money missing from his trust fund was replaced, he is still stressed over his father's apparent money issues. He goes searching his father's study and finds a bag of coke. Daddy's a druggie! He tries to talk to Blair about his problems, but she's too busy being fabulous so he goes to Serena for advice instead. He tries to get all up on her, but she rebuffs him because Serena is awesome, y'all. At the ball when he's supposed to be going on a scavenger hunt with the prize being Blair's virginity, he simply can't take it anymore and runs up behind Serena and tells her he's in love with her and kisses her right on the mouth. Too bad for him it's actually Jenny in Serena's mask and jacket!
Masquerade ball, you tricky devil you! Blake Lively is at least six inches taller than Taylor Momsen so I don't know how anyone could confuse them, but just go with it. Nate's not that smart anyway, so I suppose it's believable. Jenny keeps quiet and runs away, obviously saving this information to use at the most advantageous time. Jenny, I love you, you social climbing party crasher. Things only get worse when Nate goes home and his mother confronts him with his father's coke. It's obvious his dad totally sold him down the river and expects Nate to take the rap for his drugs. Wow, Nate's dad really sucks. If I liked Nate more I might care.

As for the parents, they were back to being mostly boring after a strong outing last week. I think I've finally sussed out the reason their story doesn't work (besides the fact that I find the actor who plays Rufus to be completely without personality): it's that it feels too similar to the Blair/Nate/Serena drama. Both of those plots are completely trite, but at least with the younger set it can be explained away by immaturity and inexperience. With the older folks, it simply seems tired. Aren't they old enough to be beyond these types of games? I guess in a TV world populated with Shonda Rhimes characters the answer is no, but I at least wish the writers would give it a more creative spin. Until then, it's back to ignoring the parents again for me.

Next week: no show! They're back on November 7th, and the previews promise that NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME. Nothing!
Oh, Gossip Girl. You know I love you. (xoxo)


Bianca Reagan said...

Okay, confession time you guys. I sort of hate Vanessa. I'm not sure I have a reason yet, it's just a feeling I have.

But I like Vanessa! Oh no. :(

Jenny spends her time tricking Chuck into following her to the roof and then locking him up there in his skivvies. Yes, it's mildly amusing, but if the show is trying to say they're even now I'm going to have to disagree.

I hear that, Carrie. Not even close. Now if she tricked him into a federal prison, then maybe.

How do I still love Dan after he lied to both Serena and Vanessa? I don't know. Penn Badgley has some skills.

Carrie said...

Bianca, I think it was the fact that her first line was "Do you have my copy of 'The Crying of Lot 49'?" Ugh. UGH, UGH, UGH. Also, I hated the way she spoke to Rufus. It was far too familiar, as if they were peers and not of different generations. It just sounded disrespectful to me.

I guess I do know why! Hee.

Bianca Reagan said...

I'm not sure they are of different generations. He's like 30. (Okay, 38, but still.)