Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"The Serena Also Rises" - Gossip Girl, episode 2.5


In case there was any doubt, "The Serena Also Rises" was proof positive that this season Gossip Girl is first and foremost a show about Blair. I always think of the main character of an ensemble series like GG as being the one that the show happens to, and this year its the aristocrat-loving, Bass-hating, friend-losing Miss Waldorf.

That's not to say that things didn't happen to other characters this week. We haven't seen much from Taylor Momsen's Jenny yet; she's been drifting around the fringes of the show working an internship for Blair's mother and otherwise trying to get her hfoot in the door of the fashion world. Well, Fashion Week is here and Jenny (now in Eleanor's good graces) is helping to plan the big Waldorf show. Blair is working on the seating chart and planning on being backstage during the show with her Mom and Serena; it's an old tradition for the two friends. Thanks to Jenny and the fact that Serena is now a regular in the society pages, Blair's plans to win back her school status by giving her friends great seats go awry. What kind of Fashion Week show is this where high school girls get the best seats? Eleanor must either be very secure or thoroughly second tier.

Jenny survives Blair's attempts to embarrass her by enlisting Serena and her friends into the show at the last minute. Blair, lacking the energy to fight a two-front war, seems to have given up on the idea of banishing Jenny to social obscurity at least for now. We'll see what happens, but I think I'd much rather watch a Gossip Girl about Blair (who is smarter but less worldly than S.) having to find new relationships than Serena (who seems to have become a real blank slate this season) being Dan's boyfriend. I'm a little less sanguine about Jenny's plan to drop out of school and work for Eleanor.

Someone needs to tell the writers that there are plenty of writers who do just fine writing about their romantic lives and Brooklyn. (like this one) The novelist played by David Patrick Kelly advises Dan to get down and dirty with his fiction; Dan decides to follow Chuck around for a couple of nights but (after landing in for a bar fight and having a bonding moment with Mr. Bass) won't use a revelation Chuck makes in a story, much to his mentor's disappointment. Will Dan get out of his own head and put some grit in his stories? Here's hoping, because the moping is starting to get tiresome. Oh, and grown-ups? If Lily posed for a Mapplethorpe photo, it's already out there.

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