Monday, January 05, 2009

"In the Realm of the Basses" - Gossip Girl, episode 2.14

We're all agreed that GG represents teenage life for about .001% of its viewing audience, but when Chuck gets drunk why does he have to act like a 47-year old man? "Farewell to my dear Spanish ladies?" Really? This show is still set in 2009, right? I half expected Chuck to pop up between Benchley and Parker at the Algonquin Round Table.

The New Year finds our GG friends back to their old habits. Serena, having dumped Aaron on the flight to Argentina (thank goodness!), is nervously mooning over diffident Dan. Blair is socially climbing, up for membership in a high-end social organization and obsessing with Dorota about impressing the selection committee. Then there's Chuck. MIA since the funeral of his Dad, Chuck is discovered in a family hotel (which resembles an opium den) in Bangkok by his uncle (Desmond Harrington) and dragged back to New York in a stupor. If you saw the promos for this episode you know that Chuck's grief over his Dad pushes him near the breaking point. But of ocurse the great reversal begins. It has been a season of growth for Blair, as she disovers there's more to life than being Queen Bee. Tonight, she chooses her heart over status and abandons the high society track to help Chuck out. I'm a little skeptical about what a tamed Chuck will do to the show's energy level and about Ed Westwick's range as an actor, but time will tell. (What's this? Blair and the uncle on New Year's Eve? Nothing comes easy>)

I liked a back-at-school Jenny and Eric as forces for good. After a season burning bridges and trying to establish her own identity, Jenny seems poised for a career as a sort of social anarchist inside the school's tightly regimented social structure. The scene where Jenny faces off with the Steps Girls over Nelly in front of Blair was a missed opportunity though; couldn't that scene have been played more satirically? I was expecting something like the never-filmed Marlon Brando scene from Godfather II. Still, it's good to see Taylor Momsen less bratty than usual.

As Rufus and Lily prepare to go on a road trip in search of Lily's given up child, Dan struggles with urge to tell Serena about their parents' history. I'm a little worried here, because new siblings and trysts with characters we've just met are pretty thin reasons to keep characters apart. We'll see going forward, but I'm hoping not to have to strain credibility (more than usual) to enjoy the rest of the season.

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