The Gossip Girl We Know and Love Returned Last Night! Huzzah!!!
May 19, 2009

Just in time for its summer hiatus!  Fiddlesticks!!!  Though I don’t really think I can better express my extreme frustration than this visual diagram:

chuck blair gossip girl

See, like Blair’s inability to wait for Chuck to confess his love for her, such is my inability to wait for Gossip Girl to return next season.  That’s just how good it was.  Soooo good.  Incapable-of-making-complete-sentences good, even, so let’s just abandon all hope of a cohesive recap and discuss the highlights of this fabulous return to glittery trash.

Firstly, there was the moment in this episode when for a hot second we’re all led to believe that Eric’s boyfriend was Gossip Girl, but then after the commercial break we’re told that he’s not; he just happened to hack into her file server, which gives him access to her texts (?). That barely makes sense, seems inspired by one of the bevy of internet-themed thrillers that came out in the mid-1990s when our minds were being blown by dial-up and AOL, and also gave me the “Whaaaa?”-face of the century.  It may have only been a tease, but what a fantastic tease it was.

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Gossip Girl IV: A New Hope
April 21, 2009

Last night’s Gossip Girl was rather peculiar.  The Blair/Nate/Grandpa Archibald plot?  A curious plot of deception and double-crossings involving Nate wanting to go to Columbia because he got in on his own, and Blair and Pop-pop Archibald wanting Nate at Yale so Blair could be a socialite and grandpa can still feel in control of the family legacy–except that it turns out that he turned Nate’s dad in to the SEC!  Muy escandaloso!  Perfectly fine as filler, I suppose, except that it tried to act like this was riveting political intrigue; instead, it felt over baked and underdeveloped (particularly in terms of Blair’s turn).  I mean, was there really no easier way than this to keep both Blair and Nate in NYC for the third season?  I’m just going to guess and say there was.

Added to that, the Seder dinner plot line played out like an equally overblown poor man’s comedy-of-errors dinner party.  Dan’s a cater waiter at the dinner to help pay for college, but Lily and Rufus are there and can’t know because Dan has pride!  Eeks!  Serena’s maybe-husband-due-to-a-debauched-night-in-Europe shows up, so Serena pretends she and Dan are back together (don’t worry, she’s not married, but she is totally crushing on her fauxsband)!  Yipes!  Eleanor Waldorf is sick of tradition and just wants to get her kosher eat on!  Gosh!

One particular sequence was shot and edited as if  the director of this week’s episode had just seen the dinner party scene at the end of the original The Thin Man.  All the tight shots of faces and quick cuts in conversation crave to be ZANY, SCREWBALL DRAMEDY!  Sadly, none of it’s particularly compelling.

Then, in the minor plots with characters that are momentarily entirely useless to everyone, Jenny continues to look like a depressed raccoon, but now she has a crush on a total butterface.  Chuck is so dramatically useless as a teenage billionaire that the best the screenwriters come up with is to have him apologize for forcing himself on Jenny from way back in the beginning of the first season.  I’m not saying that the apology wasn’t warranted, but I am saying that this show is clearly running on empty for ideas.  

That all said, I see a light at the end of the tepid tunnel:

HUZZAH!

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Hell No, “Valley Girls”
April 20, 2009

Once upon a much more innocent and simpler time, I really loved the hell out of Gossip Girl.  It was completely absurd, but I loved it so.  The plot lines always resolved themselves in a matter of episodes, and a great deal of drama was either totally regurgitated whenever needed (Serena and Dan, together yet again!) or totally ludicrous (Lily and Rufus have a secret baby!), but that didn’t mean the show lacked flair.  Like good trash television, it knew the marks to hit and hit them with aplomb.  

The costumes were either fabulous or fabulously tacky, so either way they’re good for conversation.  The dialogue was frequently smart, and the Chuck-and-Blair banter occasionally even reached rather Hawksian heights of verbal sparring.  And let’s not forget that Gossip Girl birthed Georgina, an F5 tornado (F is for fierce) of pure bitchcraft that made the show briefly crackle with a palpable electricity.  

But the past few weeks of Gossip Girl have been pretty miserable, and tonight’s episode doesn’t really put me in anticipation of any great review.  Between the teacher/student affairs, the secret sex clubs, and the reunion between Nate and Blair that rests firmly atop the Do Not Want list, I’ve pretty much accepted that I’ll follow Gossip Girl through the rest of this season out of loyalty alone.  Even Georgina’s return just makes soul hurt; why drag her down with this sinking ship, Josh Schwartz?  You already introduced those terrible (and by terrible, i mean boring and poor) public school kids in the third season of The O.C.!  Haven’t your wrought enough carnage?

Obviously not, because we’re getting this mess May 11th:

valley_girls_poster

This is the promo poster for the Gossip Girl flashback episode involving Lily van der Woodsen’s youth in L.A.  This poster says, “I’m a twenty-something actress that’s been lit in this poster to more closely resemble a thirty-something drag queen because I’m a show that’s all about quality.”  This poster also says, “Please watch me despite the fact that I’m a terrible idea made real only by riding the wave of middling hype of a once-great-but-now-rather-dreadful show.”  This poster is the new (tranny) face of the Do Not Want list.  

Let’s hope this is not suggestive of what’s to come with these final episodes of this season’s Gossip Girl because that’s one gaudily styled train wreck of despair.  Le sadness, indeed.

Update: This post was initially written under the impression that “Valley Girls” was to be an official spin-off show.  It has since been reported that “Valley Girls” is merely a flash-back episode in the second season; however, depending most likely on fan reaction and ratings, this train-wreck could be a go for this fall.

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