Thank God that’s over.
I am so fed up with these people and their rubbish. The last 10 minutes packed some emotional punch and a twist I didn’t see coming, but it was too little too late – almost everyone and everything in the rest of the episode was unlikeable, annoying, cruel and stupid. After an afternoon spent catching up with Mad Men, I thought this would be like dessert after the sensible main course but it was more like eating a big bowl of sequins – all shiny, flashy and bound to irritate your insides.
Not a lot to say here, really.
The episode was quite good, I quite enjoyed it and that’s about it. I don’t have any profound insights to offer but it was nice to see Lily and Rufus getting back on track, and nice to see Blair piercing through Chuck’s haze of drug-addled grief and self-loathing to bring him back from the brink. Literally.
Of course, Dan’s self-righteous self-absorption continues to grate, Jenny seems to have had a personality transplant and crossed over to the side of good, but two weeks in a row without Vanessa Abrams means I’m keeping my complaints to a minimum.
“Death changes things; it clarifies them. Brings some people closer together, pushes others further apart.”
We spent this episode of Gossip Girl finding out how true that is, as, in the aftermath of last week’s accident, Lily pulls herself together, while Chuck completely falls apart. Lily reaches for Rufus, Chuck pushes Blair away and everything ultimately turns into a big sad mess.
This week’s was much better than it has been for a while, the serious tone well-handled by a cast and writers used to dealing with much flashier, glossier problems than the inelegant, brutal pain of bereavement. The only mis-steps were due to – as usual – the stupid Serena and Dan will-they-get-back-together-who-on-earth-cares storyline. It’s funny that back at the beginning of season 1, these two were the adorable core of the show while Blair and Chuck, and to some extent, Lily, were comic-book villains. Now, Serena and Dan are romance-novel-idiots, without a believable feeling between them, while Chuck and Lily, and the back-on-form-this-week Blair, are the heart and soul of the thing. If it weren’t for the three of them, I wouldn’t be watching.
A sort of couples mix’n’match this week, with a whole lot of boyfriends, girlfriends, currents and exes all trying to work out who should be with who against the backdrop of the weekly society event.
And it was fine, if a bit uninspiring. I love Lily so I care about what happens to her, and I love Chuck so I care about what happens to him. Kelly Rutherford and Ed Westwick are great, and their characters are brilliantly written. Unfortunately nobody else’s character is and I find it hard to care about them any more as a result, no matter how witty their lines might be or how gorgeous they look.
Serena’s entire character is now defined by her relationship dramas – Serena’s jerk-ish boyfriend’s ex hooks up with Serena’s jerk-ish ex-boyfriend? When really Serena and said ex-boyfriend want to be together? So BE together, idiots. Or don’t. Whatever. Stop spending every episode back-and-forthing about it.
Jenny’s entire character is now defined by her doing horrible things and then regretting them. How about you stop doing them, then, Little J?
Even Blair is almost a parody of herself with her top-volume manic melodrama and only really seems to blossom in scenes with Chuck. Thank goodness they at least have the sense to put her in a lot of them.
Thanksgiving in Gossip Girl this week – and thankfully, it was much less irritating than the past couple of weeks have been.
The specifics don’t really matter – it being Thanksgiving, and this being a Josh Schwartz show, it was all about finding family, biological or otherwise, in the people who love you. So Chuck – continuing to be ace in a Bond-villain-with-a-heart kind of way – and Nate find each other again, Blair and the Waldorfs find happiness, Lily – second only to Chuck now in her awesomeness – finds the strength to walk out on controlling, creepy husband Bart (a baddie in the Caleb Nichol mould, right down to the haircut) and finds solace with her son and the Humphries, while Serena and her new boyfriend find joy in each other. Despite the fact he is still a jerk.
Even Little Jenny managed to stop being a horrible little shrew for a few minutes, so as not to spoil the general “snark a little, kiss and make up a lot” vibe. Generally, it was all quite sweet, witty and fun. Sadly, however, the dishonourable exception to the rule is of course my nemesis, the bohemian-by-numbers Vanessa Abrams. When asked what she was doing for Thanksgiving, she said this:-
“I decided to pass on joining my family at the Washoe Reservation, where they’re helping to stage a protest. My plan is to hole myself up in my studio, rent Berlin Alexanderplatz and enjoy a frozen Annie’s Organic turkey dinner.”
I swear that is a direct quote. WHO talks like this as a fully grown adult, let alone a 17 year old? How many “right-on” themes, buzzwords and activities can one person name-check in one unbearably pompous, self-satisfied and infuriating paragraph? So much for less irritating.
I’m playing catch-up with a double-header this week, prompting me to ask – is two episodes of this too much of a good thing? Or is Gossip Girl just not a good thing any more?
Serena, as stupid as she is beautiful, repeatedly lets a man not worth the product in his hair play her like a particularly stupid and beautiful violin – it may not be Dan this time, but it’s different boy, same Serena. Jenny, as mercenary as she is churlish, continues to screw over everyone she knows to get what she wants – this season to further her career as an “amazing” designer with “amazing” designs you’d have to pay me “amazing” amounts to wear. Dan, as hypocritical as he is judgemental, furrows his brow a lot and does some more hypocritical and judgemental Dan-type things, while Nate takes a bite out of some forbidden feminine fruit, yet again. (Nate. Dude. There are actually women out there who are not married/your girlfriend’s best friend/your best friend’s sister. Go hook up with one of them.)
So it’s the same old song, with a word or two changed here and there. But it feels like everyone is slightly out of tune. Or maybe I am. Almost everyone and everything was just annoying. The only main character I really liked across the two episodes was Chuck, who was frankly fantastic. Awesomely, he and Blair seem to have forgotten their hearts were broken last week, and have just gone back to being their usual selves, like I asked them to. I guess, sometimes, things being the same doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
Sorry I’m late……
I’m a week behind with Gossip Girl now, having discovered that sometimes I don’t actually want to watch tv. I know. It was a surprise to me too. I’m hoping normal service will resume shortly but in the meantime, I see Gossip Girl has thrown up some surprises of its own. Ok, Dan is still a smug little hypocrite and Vanessa still has no purpose but to cause disharmony, but now Blair’s openly breaking her heart over Chuck, Chuck’s being honest with Blair (and breaking his heart too), and Nate’s suddenly gone all romantic hero for Little Jenny? Woah.
Of course, this has all been threatening to happen for ages, but things seem to be coming to a head and I’m not sure how I feel about it. This was a perfectly entertaining episode but what about future episodes? Nate has always been sweet enough, so I can handle him going sappy for someone even if it is Little J. And the writers are spot-on about Blair and Chuck – they do love “the game’ more than each other, so a relationship probably wouldn’t work. But if the pair of them are going to keep moping about it, who’s going to be mean and clever instead of them? Dan? Please no. C’mon you two – pick yourselves up and play Machiavelli for me. That’s what I would call normal service.