Thursday, October 11, 2007

"I think we can agree to those terms, but you can't wear those shoes...or that hair.": Gossip Girl

First, I'd like to pause for a moment to squee like a tweener in the front row of the High School Musical concert, because despite piddling ratings Gossip Girl was picked up for a full season! Hooray! Or whatever hip exclamation the kids are using these days.

Now on to the matter at hand. Last night's episode, "Bad News Blair," took some familiar stories and handled them in completely familiar ways, and still managed to be decently entertaining. How do they do that?
(Also, I just realized their episode titles are takeoffs on movie titles, because I am slow.)

Instead of throwing all of the characters together like the first three episodes, this one splits the gang up into two separate groups, Catholic school style -- by gender. Nate and Chuck hole up in Chuck's hotel suite for "The Lost Weekend," an annual party supposedly filled with debauchery. All we see are some hookers who don't seem to have sex with anyone and a pub crawl, so this weekend of hedonism seems awfully tame in comparison to the boys' sexual assault-filled parties of yore. It's rather disappointing. Chuck, who was looking forward to a boys weekend with his one true love Nate, is chagrined when old friend Carter returns from some sort of Christopher McCandless sojourn into douchebaggery (complete with hemp poncho!) and becomes instapals with Nate again. Chuck warns Nate that Carter is bad news, but Nate doesn't listen and ends up in a laughingly stupid game of cards with a bunch of sharks. Listen, Nate. If you can't spot the sucker within your first half hour at the table, you're the sucker. He really needs to watch more movies.

Anyway, of course Nate bets more money than he has on him and loses, and of course it was a setup by Carter to steal his money, and of course lover Chuck comes to bail Nate out of trouble at the last minute. The only interesting thing about this story is that Nate tries to get into his trust fund to pay Chuck back only to learn that his father drained over $200,000 from it recently and now he has no money. Hmm. So that's why Nate's dad is so insistent he stay in a relationship with Blair! It looks like our dear Nate has left the movie plots and decided to go classic, and is now a (female) character in a Jane Austen novel. That explains the lip gloss, at least.

Meanwhile, Serena and Blair's truce is holding up as they begin to start trying to be friends again. Blair's horrendous mother (who I think is a recast from the pilot) gets in the way, though, when she asks Blair to be the model for her new clothing line and then swiftly fires her when her minions think Blair isn't up to snuff. Blair actually seems to be fine with this development, until she learns that her mother has chosen Serena as her replacement and goes bananas. To her credit, Blair's horrendous mother tricked Serena into thinking it would be a co-campaign with both her and Blair as models
, and once Serena learns the truth she quits immediately. She and Blair make up, again, and get back at Blair's horrendous mother by stealing all of the clothes from the photo shoot and wearing them around town and having a photo shoot of their own. It's a very cute scene, but I hope I'm not the only one hoping Serena and Blair's truce doesn't last, because they are just too fun when they are battling it out for queen bee status. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester have fabulous acting chemistry when either friends or foes, though, and it makes their scenes so much fun to watch.

Serena and Dan also have a subplot where they try to go on a date but it doesn't work out. They are cute together, but Dan sort of sucks so it's difficult to get behind them as a couple. The one good thing that happens this week is that Dan apologizes for being judgmental, which is so on the money. I have a sneaky suspicion his judgmental attitude will return the next time Serena does something he considers to be "rich" but for now at least it's a start.

Again, Dan's father Rufus and Serena's mother Lily have a subplot. Again, it is painfully dull. They are trying to create some sort of atmosphere of lost love between them, but it's simply not working. They are not compelling enough to be carrying off their own storylines, and I want them to sort of disappear into the background and only show up in breakfast scenes with their kids once in a while.

Next week: I don't know, because due to a Tivo failure I watched this on iTunes. But I really want to know! Help a sister out.


Bianca Reagan said...

Nate is dumber than a box of rocks, and the guy who plays him can't act. Why is he on this show?

Also, Chuck is displaying some serious HoYay. Jacob outlines it on TWoP better that I will attempt to.

page said...

totally a re-cast. it's margaret colin now, i didn't catch the first mom.