Thursday, November 08, 2007

"What's with the business formal? Are you being arraigned for something?": Gossip Girl

The previews for this episode touted that after this week "nothing would be the same." While I recognize the statement for the promotional hyperbole it is, after seeing last night's episode I do tend to agree a little bit. I mean, this one really ended with a bang. Literally.

Let's get right down to that ending: BLAIR AND CHUCK TOTALLY DID IT IN THE LIMO! Holy gravy, I was not expecting that. After all of Blair's sturm and drang trying to get her perfect first time with Nate, she ends up breaking up with Nate and impulsively sleeping with his best friend (and attempted rapist) Chuck in a limo after performing a strip tease at a burlesque club! Blair Waldorf, we hardly knew ye. This is the perfect soapy development, and it's sure to cause no small amount of drama in the weeks to come.

The one troubling thing is this. In the very first episode of the show, they established Chuck as a complete slime ball and had him attempt to rape two women. If they are trying to use some sort of relationship with Blair to rehabilitate the character, they are going to have to work much harder than that because I'm not selling what they're buying yet. I love the character of Chuck, but I don't want him to become someone we're supposed to respect, because he's a pig. The reason it seems they will attempt to rehabilitate him is because directly before the macking commenced, Chuck asked Blair "are you sure?" Listen, Charles. Chucky. Chuck-meister. If you would have asked any of those girls you attempted to rape in the pilot if they "were sure," or paid any attention to their protests at all, I might feel better about the direction your character is taking right now.

Despite my worries, Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick have fantastic chemistry and this story should take full advantage of that. Meester in particular has been quite the revelation on this show, infusing a potentially loathsome character with real emotional depth. Just watch the scene where Jenny reveals Nate's confession to her about still being in love with Serena. The acting Meester does in that scene with only her eyes is incredible.

Nate. Nate is a potentially satisfying character stuck in the body of an actor with little to no charisma. Chace Crawford was given a lot of great material this week, between
fighting with Blair, telling his mother about his father's drug problem and then ultimately sending him to jail, but although he was slightly more interesting than in the past everything about him still left me cold. Nate is totally the Marissa Cooper of this show, and I won't be surprised if he becomes an alcoholic and Chuck has to carry him through the back alleys of the Hamptons after a particularly bad bender, and I'm not looking forward to any of it. I will say this, though: Nate's parents are horrible human beings. No wonder he sleeps in Chuck's hotel room every night.

Serena and Dan. Serena and Dan spent the hour in their own little world making out and generally being ridiculously cute. Romantic pairings on teen dramas like this almost always come down to personal preference, so I'm sure there are others that are not quite as enamored with Serena and Dan as I am. Still, the actors have undeniable chemistry and the writing for them has so far been surprisingly non-cringe inducing. The use of humorous flashbacks and dreams to illustrate Dan's fear of sex was fun, and it was nice to see the male teen perspective on sex with a more experienced partner rather than the other way around, and ultimately having her be the one to decide to wait on sex. However, something about this story in juxtaposition with the Blair/Chuck story was worrisome. Why does the female virgin get deflowered by the attempted rapist and the male virgin get a romantic, sweet night with the "promiscuous" girl? Perhaps I'm just hyper sensitive because they are trying to make me genuinely like Chuck. I don't know.

Vanessa. I stated my fear that I already hated Vanessa after her first appearance. She was much more tolerable this week (except when extolling how slutty Serena is to Dan) but the main problem with her character is that she's completely unnecessary. Why bring in a third wheel in the Dan/Serena relationship now? There's no need for the complication for at least six more episodes. Until then, she'll just be hanging around and being useless, and it bugs. I will say that the actress is growing on me, though.

The adults. Ugh, the adults. For the most part, I enjoy them when they are in scenes with the younger set (the Lily/Chuck scene was gold) but any scene solely featuring the parents is so deadly dull. One potentially interesting development this week is the imminent return of Dan and Jenny's mother, at Jenny's behest. Although, if she's just returning to become the fourth side of the Bart/Lily/Rufus rhombus, count me out.

Next week: Fallout from Blair and Chuck's limo lambada! (Did I just say limo lambada? Yikes.)


Bianca Reagan said...

The parents need to stay in the background unless absolutely necessary, like on Degrassi. That story with Nate's dad and the cocaine and embezzling needs to be a story on Law & Order since the New York DA will be prosecuting the case. Maybe Jesse L. Martin and Sam Waterston can make guest appearances. Though for Jack McCoy to get involved, Nate's dad would probably have to kill someone. I vote for Nate; he bores me. Get off the screen!

Blair needed to get off that stage and put her dress back on. Despite her delusions, she does not have "moves".

I am so in love with Dan. I want him to deflower me on his football sheets with his teddy bear (whose cute name I forget) holding his paws over his eyes. Chester?

Stephanie said...

The whole storyline with Nate's Father is so The OC. Okay so Jimmy Cooper wasn't doing coke but the other stuff is so OC.

I keep thinking that Rufus is going to be the one to help him out but then I remember he is a art gallery owner and not a lawyer.

But if Nate and his mom end up living in a trailer park, I'm just going to have to say "I told you so"

page said...

Nate is SO the Marissa Cooper of this show, Ha! Good call. I really like Chuck. One of my three eps was the Pilot so I saw the mauling of little Jenny, and of Serena, I know, hideous and unforgivable, but I still like him. Call me un-PC, uh, except that those are my initials...