Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"The Freshman" - Gossip Girl, episode 3.2


Last week I wrote that GG never really gets off the ground until the characters go back to school, and darned if "The Freshman" didn't prove me right. The sophomore episode of GG's junior year follows Dan, Vanessa, and Blair through their first days as NYU freshmen and sets up a new social hierarchy for the show. Are we ready for a world where Dan Humphrey is the life of the party? That world is here my friends.

Chuck offers an unusually helpful comment to Blair before she heads off to freshman orientation. Blair is determined to rule the NYU social scene, more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. Chuck correctly points out that at college one's address and personal wealth are irrelevant before going on to make a weird Liza Minnelli reference that lets slip he thinks it's 1978 (and maybe tips his hand re that upcoming "Chuck makes out with a guy" episode). Of course Blair can't be stopped; she hasn't been at NYU a day before she's recruiting potential followers. But this isn't "GG Goes To College." "The Freshman" marks the return of Michelle Trachtenberg's Georgina, who in a cunning bit of social engineering had previously ensured she'd be Blair's roomie. Her brief conversion to Christianity last season notwithstanding Georgina is the one character who consistently knows how to checkmate Blair's maneuvers. It's too early to tell exactly what Georgina's game is, but I loved watching her play Vanessa (and her documentary) against Blair's plan to host a sushi feast on the hall.

There's one GGer who doesn't make it to college of course: Serena defers her admission to Brown after first hiding out at Chuck's. Her current plans seem to include dating blah Carter, being a friend to Blair (their scene on the Met steps was amazingly grown up), and generally causing havoc to attract the attention of her absent father. Although this episode included a rare instance of Rufus actually being useful (counseling Serena on her decision), I hope that there's a plan for Serena to impact the life of one of the other GGers in a major way. I don't want a GG where Serena is trying to be good, dating such a dull guy, and peripheral to the action. Serena's disruption of Chuck's business plans (to create a secret sex club in a bank) felt like a bit of the old S., perhaps the two unmatriculating major characters will be at odds.

In the first great GG moment of the season Blair disrupts Georgina's rooftop party with the Christian crusaders Georgina's was hiding behind last year. It's classic Blair, but it's Dan who fires back by rallying the crowds to Georgina's side. Dan is quite quickly assimilated into the NYU family; he's in a writing group and reconciled with Vanessa, who's still dating Rufus & Lily's child Scott. Whatever else one can say about Scott he's not exactly a social animal, there's a weird gag about him rating his professors that doesn't go anywhere. The weirdest thing about this strange new terrain that our heroes find themselves in is that Blair might need Dan and Vanessa to get by; she "makes" him take her to Georgina's party after all. The possibilities for comedy seem endless.....

Oh, in case you haven't heard the GG producers have decided to spin Nate's character off into a new show that runs concurrently with GG on the same network (a TV first)...something to do with politics and an Amy Adams lookalike.

Paging Taylor Momsen......Taylor?

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TV on the Internet, Episode 20: The Only Good New Show Is a Dead New Show



Todd and Libby have some things to say about the Emmys AND about the new fall season. Also, they talk about the soft launch for the fall season last week with thoughts on shows like The Office and Fringe AND find a way to clumsily shoehorn Lost into the proceedings. Also, we hit all of those people who thought Mad Men was getting boring in the FACE.

Thanks for all your comments and criticism. They're helping us make the show better. If you like us, please review us on iTunes. We WILL take out the Official Lost Podcast! We WILL!

We're available on iTunes, or you can check us out at Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle or the TV on the Internet libsyn page.

And if you like the show, consider a donation by clicking on the PayPal link over at the right. Remember, you'll get your name on the air and could get to choose some show for us to review!

Look after the jump for complete details.

TV on the Internet, Episode 20: The Only Good New Show Is a Dead New Show

Here's a direct link to the episode.

Time codes follow. There are MAJOR SPOILERS for a variety of shows, so you may want to skip over a segment if you haven't watched the shows discussed therein.

Times:

00:00.00-00:02.20 Introductions and music from The Apples in Stereo
00:02.21-00:20.05 Todd and Libby dissect the Emmy winners and the show itself, especially Neil Patrick Harris' hosting job.
00:20.06-00:42.51 Todd counts down his top ten new shows of the fall season, and Libby occasionally says things that are witty and/or insightful.
00:42.52-01:18.37: Discussing the weeks in television. (Includes spoilers for Parks & Recreation, Bones, Greek, Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Supernatural, The Office, Fringe, The Jay Leno Show and Mad Men.)
01:18.38-01:25.50: The classic TV on DVD pick, the wrap-up, more from The Apples in Stereo and an outtake.

Headline Links:

Check out an Emmy wrap up here.

This Week's Music:

#1 Hits ExplosionThe Apples in stereo
"The Bird That You Can't See" (mp3)
from "#1 Hits Explosion"
(The Apples in stereo)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album



Clips are from The 2009 Emmy Awards, Cougar Town (episode: "Pilot," script by Kevin Biegel and Bill Lawrence), Parks & Recreation (episode: "Pawnee Zoo," script by Norm Hiscock), Greek (episode: "The Half-Naked Gun," script by Roger Grant), The Office (episode: "Gossip," script by Paul Lieberstein), Mad Men (episode: "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," script by Robin Veith and Matthew Weiner) and Lost (episode: "Pilot," script by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof).

Corrections:

(We'll post 'em as you make 'em.)

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