Friday, October 19, 2007

"There is something vibrating in your pocket and I hope it's your phone.": Gossip Girl

[I apologize for the delay in posting this recap. A Wednesday power outage created havoc with my Tivos. - C]

Perhaps I was just really happy that the power came back on before I missed any more of my precious television shows, but for my money this was the most enjoyable episode of the season so far. Splitting time between Blair's legendary annual sleepover, Serena and Dan's first real date, and Rufus and Lily's reconnection over a bowl of pasta, "Dare Devil" managed to show character development in all its leads (save Nate and Chuck, who were absent but not missed) and had a hell of a good time doing it.

After Serena chooses a date with Dan over Blair's sleepover, Blair decides to invite little Jenny Humphrey instead. Unfortunately for Jenny (who shows up with pink sleeping bag and bunny slippers in tow - aw) this is not your typical sleepover of watching scary movies and giggling about boys. This is the sleepover Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in Cruel Intentions built, with designer clothes, club hopping and a wicked game of Truth or Dare. Blair's goal is to shame Jenny mercilessly, but Jenny isn't one to back down from a fight and does everything from ruining a stranger's relationship, to drinking a gin martini, to breaking Eric out of his rehab facility, to talking her way out of getting arrested when she gets busted stealing a jacket from Blair's mother's store. Jenny is kind of fierce, but also a truly frightening character -- a social climber who will do anything to get to the top and always look fabulous while doing it. She's Blair, if Blair was poor. Blair recognizes a kindred spirit, and it looks like our dear Jenny is headed for the social elite.

Serena and Dan finally go on a real date, but Dan bungles everything by trying to give Serena the fancy night he thinks she wants. Serena confesses she hates the date, and Dan takes her on a "Dan" date to play pool in a dive bar. She loves it, because who wouldn't love a place that had "Mama, I'm Coming Home" on the jukebox, and they are ridiculously cute while they flirt over the pool table. Penn Badgley and Blake Lively have fantastic chemistry, and this episode went a long way to redeeming Dan's character after a few shaky incidents of douchebaggery in previous weeks. Their date is interrupted to help find Eric, but in the end they share a pretty smoking kiss on the New York streets. I've gotta say, I'm on the Serena/Dan train and I don't want to get off. I'm really not looking forward to Nate's return, because the story of Nate and Serena's True Love makes me want to fall asleep.

The parents even got in some great moments this week when Lily goes to Rufus's house to have him help find Eric, who Lily eventually finds and decides to let return home from the rehab facility for good. This pleases me, because I am just in love with that little actor who plays Eric. He is delightful. The best news about this episode was that the parental scenes felt unforced for once, and showed an actual connection that was only hinted at before. I don't want to see large portions of the show devoted to the parents, but if they stay as good as the moments in this episode the characters could definitely grow on me. Also, imagine if Rufus and Lily got married. Dan and Serena would be step-siblings! And so would Eric and Jenny, who have a cute flirtation thing going! Awkward. And awesome.

Another great episode. Again, it's too bad the ratings don't reflect this.


Bianca Reagan said...

Why didn't Serena's mother try calling Dan using the cell phone that Serena left in her purse? That was almost as bad as the plot contrivance on Studio 60 when Amanda Peet and Old Man Whitford couldn't get cell reception on a roof in West Hollywood. What? Stupid lazy writers.

Also, I didn't think it was possible to heart Dan even more, but I do now. I was begging Serena to just grab him and kiss him instead of waiting for him to do it. What was she waiting for? Dan gets distracted by silly things like missing little siblings. Serena needs to take charge and get her groove on. Especially with Vanessa coming back! Hooray!

Jenny is successfully going after the life she thinks she wants, but she has no idea what she is in for. Quel drama.

Carrie said...

Bianca -- I didn't even think of that! Apparently the writers are as dumb as I am.

Dan was ultra adorable this week. It reminded me why I like Penn Badgley so much. Who is Vanessa? I missed previews because I watched on iTunes.

Jenny is in for a wild ride, that's for sure. Seriously, though, she scares me. She's ruthless.

What I want to know is when do we get introduced to the slutty character? You know every group has one. The boys already have their promiscuous guy, Chuck. They won't let Jenny, Serena or Blair be promiscuous. But we need someone. Preferably someone not judged for said promiscuity and free to sleep around without impunity.

Bianca Reagan said...

In the book...

Vanessa is supposedly Dan's BFF and future first. In bed. Well, I'm not completely sure about first. He goes out with a few other sexually free women, but he definitely gets it on with Vanessa A LOT. He even becomes The Other Man when Vanessa is dating (and sleeping with) Blair's crunchy stepbrother.

The most bizarre disparity between the show and the books right now is the lack of hot monkey sex. The only people not having tons of sex in the books are Jenny and Blair, until after Nate breaks up with Jenny (I know, right) and then Blair and Nate get back together and can't stop doing it. Then they break up, and Nate starts dating Serena, and they do it it whenever Nate can get it up long enough. The weed is getting to him.

And in the books, Chuck's not having sex. No one condescended to bumping uglies with weird Mr. Bass.

It's so sad the actor behind Chuck is the most intriguing performer on the TV show. Because in the books, none of the girls were labeled slutty because everyone was doing it all the time. But with the rapist on the show getting so much screen time, and what with this being The ironically backwards CW, none of the girls are going to be allowed to have sex like normal, guilt-free human beings. Two of them have to get sexually assaulted, and Vanessa will probably get as the Jen Linley former whore who regrets all of her past sexual experiences. And Dan will start dating the pure and innocent Joey. If only Joshua Jackson would stage a comeback. I miss him.

Anonymous said...

You know, I think they stole that sleepover theme from Grease. Jenny is the new Sandy I guess. I have those bunny slippers they're super comfy. I think I got them from Barefoot Parties.