Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gossip Watch

Trying something new this week with a recap of every one's favorite ludicrous teen soap opera, Gossip Girl. I'm not ashamed to say I love this show, especially living in New York which is practically one of the characters. And I love Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick). Looove me some Chuck Bass. Can't quite explain it; objectively he's the least attractive of the male leads, and yet there's just something about the guy. Maybe it's his outrageous wardrobe. Maybe it's the way he always talks through his nose. (With regards to Joel McHale.) Maybe it's that he always acts like he owns everything and everyone he comes in contact with. All I know is that if Westwick is unlucky enough to ever cross paths with me, I will probably end up doing something that will embarrass us both in equal measure. Anyway, on to the recap. Last night's episode continued the spiraling "Jenny goes rogue" plot line. Jenny spent the episode trying to get her clothing line off the ground, with mostly disastrous results. Her would-be partner, Agnes (Willa Holland, who I loved on The OC but who played a total bitch here-- and seriously, what's with the name "Agnes"? Was she born in 1945?) was by turns unreliable and treacherous. Jenny tries to go it alone with a potential agent, only to have Agnes catch wind and burn her entire collection in a barrel conveniently placed by her apartment. (I found it hard to believe that she could scoop up every piece in the whole collection at once, but whatevs.) "You're out of your mind!!!!" Jenny screamed. I know it sucks, little J, but how often do you get to scream those words? Not very. Meanwhile, Blair spent the episode trying to sabotage her mom's new relationship, having instantly decided that the guy (the always wonderful Wallace Shawn) was inappropriate. Blair really is one of the show's best characters; she always gets the best dialogue. Although it was amusing that part of the plot revolved around her 18th birthday, since Leighton Meester looks like she's been on the wrong side of 18 for several years. Anyhoo, this subplot came to a sweet end when Shawn's character won her over, with the help of Cyndi Lauper (!). As for those two star-crossed, currently off-again lovers, Dan and Serena? Well, Dan became convinced that he was the next Deepthroat or something; asked by New York Magazine to dig up dirt on Bart Bass, he stumbled onto some sort of shady real estate scam-- and when he pressed Bart for details, the guy let it slip that someone died, too! Fortunately, Chuck appealed to Dan's decency and he killed the story, while also giving Bart a copy of his thinly veiled account of Chuck's inner turmoil. Finally Bart, who up to now has earned the World's Shittiest Dad title, talked to his son and told him he never blamed him for his mom's death. It was another sweet moment in an episode that demonstrated the heart that (occasionally) boosts Gossip Girl beyond mindless escapism. Serena's storyline was less heartfelt and more mind numbingly saccharine. Up until now I'd been willing to tolerate her "cute" flirtation with a former summer school pal, Aaron; but his "free spirited" philandering, transparently manufactured "scruffy" look, and meant-to-be-sweet-but-actually-just-creepy gestures really got my goat in this episode. At one point he showed Serena a cheesy "installation" involving curtains and photos of her that he'd spent all night constructing; "where does he hang her teeth?" I wondered aloud. These scenes are watchable because Blake Lively is both gorgeous and lovable, but I'd love for her to ditch this rat-faced hipster trash. I sure wouldn't kick Penn Badgley out of bed for the likes of him! At episode's end, Jenny was making the predictable decision to seek emancipation from her parents, even while Dan urged Rufus to get her back home by any means necessary. I'm not sure how I feel about the way this Jenny arc is headed; she's an essentially sweet girl but the writers have gotten her mired in so many bad decisions and cliched rebellion (i.e. her horrendous bangs and raccoon eye shadow) that I'm afraid the character as we know it may never recover. At least next week's ep looks promising: Serena's underused gay bro Eric is back, with newly darkened hair, and so is Blair's suave gay father ("Lois & Clark's" John Shea, who happens to hail from my hometown of Springfield). Just as long as the title is better than last year's lamentable Thanksgiving ep's "Blair Waldorf Must Pie," we should be all set.

No comments: