Sunday, 3 April 2011

Gossip Girl: “No denials, your skirt’s on backwards.”


I’m not even sure what to write in my little Gossip Girl introductions anymore, since basically the same thing happens every week. Serena must choose between two or more men. Chuck and Blair teeter on the edge of hate and love. Vanessa reemerges from the commune and is swiftly sent straight back when she remembers that no one likes her. Juliet schemes and it doesn’t quite work out. Somewhere in upstate, Jenny applies more eyeliner. Nate tries out new hairsprays.

All of that happened last night in one form or another, but this time, they all wore ball gowns and tuxedos instead of cocktail dresses and…whatever the guys wear during those scenes. It’s possible that I’ve never noticed. Probable, in fact. Anyway, on with the show.

Serena opened the episode by waltzing in on sleep-masked Blair to complain about her pretty, silly problems with Colin. You see, she wants to go to the ballet with him and be photographed with him and gaze upon his cheekbones but life is just so not fair and she has to wait a whole month before she can do that stuff and her life is just really hard except the part where she’s an Amazonian, perfectly-plastic-surgeried, beweaved blonde heiress who is wiling away a couple of years at an Ivy League school before inevitably becoming a member of the shopping, cocktailing idle rich but why does life have to be so challenging?

*sharp intake of breath*

Serena had barely left and I barely gotten halfway through my weekly epic Serena eye-roll before Chuck popped out from under Blair’s covers face-first and made me shriek. He got me. I totally LOL’d. Apparently the hatesex didn’t stop at last week’s pianotop, Robyn-soundtracked romp, and it still shows no signs of abiding. Throughout last night’s episode, Chuck and Blair also banged in a brownstone vestibule and the backseat of a limo (Leighton’s post-coital limo sex face was almost creepy in its utter perfection, give the girl her Emmy already), which lead Blair to declare an end to all hot Chuck-sexing activities so that they could transition to being friends.

Naturally, that ended up with Blair hiding out in her bathroom, eating macarons by the boxful and ignoring dozens of Chuck’s calls while he tried to take advantage of his 24-hour grace period. Only Blair could look so perfect while stuffing her face in a warm bubble bath. I’d be sweaty from the steam, my hair would be frizzy and I’d probably have cookie filling all over my face. (Sex-avoidance leads to ravenous eating, natch.)

While all of this interesting, sexy, intriguing stuff was going on between Chuck and Blair, some far less intriguing things were going on between Colin and Serena. They took an “accidental” taxi ride together to Columbia, which only made me continue to wonder why neither of them seems to employ a car and driver, although it was probably meant to make me think about their relationship subplot. As it turns out, I don’t actually care about their subplot since the writers never took any time to develop it, but they agreed to go away for the weekend to have some get-to-know-you time away from the prying eyes of New York.

That would have all been fine and good had Serena not blabbed about the whole thing to Dan. Being totally biased and kind of still in love with Serena, he told her that the Lusty Professor should have quit his teaching gig immediately upon having any feelings in his boyparts for her since she is worth far more than a guest lecturer fee. Despite the fact that quitting a job is more or less the polar opposite of a reasonable reaction to having a crush on a student, it doesn’t take much to get an idea lodged in Serena’s brain. It’s not like there’s much else in there to push it out. Cue the patented Serena Sadface, which is actually half sad and half confused.

While Serena was plotting who else to take to the ballet to make Colin jealous (hint: it was Dan), Nate and Vanessa were doing some plotting of their own that, for once in their lives, didn’t involve hair products or bad weaves. Their scheme involved finding Juliet’s real identity, which actually sort of worked since Juliet is about as bright as either of them. Once Nate dropped by her ‘apartment’ to give her back some stuff she left at his place and found out that she didn’t actually live there, oh man, it was so on.

I don’t really remember where Nate found Vanessa or why she came back from the commune, but while Nate lured Juliet out to coffee, Vanessa snuck up to Harlem to investigate her apartment and find out about her real identity. As it turns out, all Nate had to do was ask – when confronted by Sir Manbangs, she confessed to being a person who lives in a crappy apartment, puts together her own Ikea furniture, shops at outlets and dyes her own hair. So, in short, her real identity is…a college student? Were we supposed to feel bad for her? Because I didn’t. She got one of the eye-rolls that are usually reserved for Serena.

Nate texted Vanessa to call off the investigation, but she had already invested a lot of time and FourSquare stalking into breaking into Juliet’s apartment, so she decided to sneak around anyway, just for good measure. When she did, she found those creepy pictures that Juliet had taken of Colin and Serena last week using her extra spiffy magic fancy spy cam, and even when Juliet showed up to tell Vanessa that she had changed her ways and wasn’t going to bother Serena anymore (because Colin threatened to cut her off, did I forget to mention that?), Vanessa actually managed to squeeze out the last bit of scheme inside of her and surreptitiously pocket the video card with the images of Serena.

Perhaps I’ve forgotten something. Maybe I simply follow too many shows to keep them all straight. Maybe the Gossip Girl writers have run us in so many circles that I’m dizzy and I don’t know which direction I’m facing. Whatever the reason, I can’t really remember why Vanessa hates Serena so much. Last we saw her, she was getting self-righteous about Juliet’s attempted takedown of The Blonde One, but then Dan banished her from Brooklyn because he thought she was involved. So now she hates…Serena? I missed something, right?

Now that we’ve established the episode’s various conflicts (Vanessa vs. Serena, Dan vs. Colin, Juliette vs. Herself, Chuck and Blair vs. their loins, Nate vs. the frizzies), it was time for the requisite fabulous party. This one wasn’t just fancy, it was formal – you can’t just wear a cocktail dress to the ballet, after all. Serena had chosen to bring Dan to the party after canceling her weekend and/or relationship with Colin, Blair came with Chuck and Juliet and Vanessa both showed up poor and unaccompanied. Or maybe Nate came with Juliet, after hearing her boo-hoo confession about doing her own highlights? I honestly don’t remember, nor does it matter.

Anyway, it was Vanessa’s intention to hunt down the dean (who apparently does nothing but go to parties with students) and show her the pictures from Juliet’s camera. The more I think about this whole dean issue, the less likely the entire plot seems. I think that I saw the dean of my journalism school approximately once, and that was when he came to speak to one of my classes. His first name was Culpepper, but that’s all I remember. As far as the dean of the entire college goes, I have no idea who that would have been, and I certainly never encountered him socially, despite the fact that my college town was certainly smaller and less populous than the island of Manhattan. And even, if by some small twist of fate, I had run into him and someone had tried to sabotage me with pictures of me kissing some non-faculty guest lecturer who had already quit (SPOILER ALERT I didn’t get to that part yet), I doubt he would have cared. Or even bothered to find out who I was. He probably would have assumed I was a cater-waiter and asked me to refill his drink.

But yes, Colin quit. Columbia should probably just kick all the cast members out now or they won’t have any faculty left by the end of the semester, since getting swept into Blair’s or Serena’s social lives causes professors to suddenly flee the campus. That wasn’t the end of the story, though. Serena didn’t find out that Colin had quit until she had already arrived to the ballet with Dan, and seeing her plant a big ol’ sloppy kiss on Colin made Dan feel appropriately emo.

Serena didn’t notice, though, because she was too busy being accused of trading sex for grades via Juliet, who had been talked into hating Serena again by Vanessa after they bonded over being poor (that word doesn’t mean what they think it means) girls in a rich world. They approached the dean together and waved Juliet’s memory card in her face to a rather dubious reaction, and just as they were gaining a bit of attention, Blair came along to claim that it was actually her in the photos and then plunk the card into her glass of champagne. It seemed as though Juliet also had the pictures on her laptop, but the warning that the group gave her outside of the ballet will hopefully encourage her to find another route of attack entirely.

Hopefully Vanessa will be forever exiled in Vermont, making cheese or maple syrup or whatever it is that she does on that commune, but it looks as though Jenny is going to come back to take her place and join forces with Juliet in a classic illustration of the “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Serena, for her part, went back to only thinking about men. Since it was no longer forbidden to date Colin, she didn’t have any interest in doing it anymore and broke up with him on the car ride home, after which she immediately started scrolling back through her phone to see who she could call to entertain her that night.

Since Dan comes before Nate alphabetically, Serena beckoned him all the way from Brooklyn to rekindle their romance. Too bad that Nate lives on the right island and happened to get there first to confess his love for Serena, and since they were both getting over members of the same family, it seemed as though she would choose him over Dan. I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out. If you care, that is. Which I don’t, but they’ll probably tell me about it anyway.

The only thing I do care about, obviously, is Chuck and Blair and their nascent re-relationship. They got together to look gorgeous and drink champagne at the end of the episode and promise each other that from there on out, they would just be friends, but then the thing happened that we (meaning “me”) were all wishing and hoping would happen: as Chuck got up to leave, he hugged Blair, and that lead to a kiss. A kiss lead to many kisses, and that eventually lead to Chuck picking her up and carrying her upstairs just as we all hoped would one day happen to us when we were tweens, and the 12-year-old inside of me absolutely died. In one fell swoop, Gossip Girl erased all the sins of the last episode and made me excited to find out what will happen in the rest of the season. I can’t even make jokes about Chuck and Blair. I just love them.[via]