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Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Vanessa & Dan-itive (a.k.a. My Gossip Girl Season 4 Wish List)

 

Greetings fellow GG fans!  Can you believe there are only TWO more episodes left, before Season 3 draws to a close, and our favorite Upper East Siders ride off into the sunset (most likely to the Hamptons) for summer hiatus?  (The season finale episode, entitled Last Tango, Then Paris, is scheduled to air on May 17th on the CW.)

“OMFG, S!  That TV Recapper Girl is staring at us again!  Doesn’t she know we’re on vacation?” 

As the summer months will definitely be long, hot, and lonely, without my wealthy and stylish New York friends to party with on Monday nights, I thought it might be fun, just this once, in lieu of my usual weekly recap, to peer into my crystal ball into Gossip Girl‘s future, a.k.a Season 4.

Here’s the thing . . . I’ve been a fan of Gossip Girl pretty much since it started, which was back in 2007.   (Sheesh, I can’t believe it’s actually been that long!  I feel OLD!).  When you’ve been with a show for that long, you can’t help but become invested in its characters and storylines.  You also can’t help but form some REALLY STRONG opinions on which aspects of the show you think work, and which . . . well . . . don’t.  So, without further adieu, here is my Wish List of Ten Things I’d Like to See More (or Less) of during Season 4 of Gossip Girl .  . .

1) More C&B Moments!

This one is so obvious, it almost goes without saying.  But, of course, I am going to say it anyway.  As far as I am concerned, Chuck and Blair are, and have always been, the true heart and soul of Gossip Girl.  Every time Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick are on screen together, their explosive on-screen presences and undeniable sexual chemistry are so intense, that I sometimes fear that their collective “heat” will burn a hole in my television set.  Check out this SMOKING HOT fan video of the pair, if you don’t believe me!

Early on in Season 3, Chuck and Blair fell into that WAY TOO common trap suffered by many of television’s great super couples.  Here’s how it goes. . .  You have these two sexy characters that are TOTALLY hot for eachother.  But, for one reason or another, they can’t couple.  (Maybe one of them is dating someone else.  Maybe the two are pretending to hate one another.  Or maybe each member of the pair is simply too proud to admit their true romantic feelings, out of fear of hurt or rejection.)  In Chuck’s and Blair’s case, it was ALL OF THE ABOVE!

So, FINALLY the Season Finale comes.  And the writers give fans what they have been clamoring for since the first episode, a dramatic event that throws the two unrequited lovers together and FORCES them to admit their feelings for one another.  Fans rejoice!  Pause and rewind buttons are worn out on television sets, as “shippers” replay the sexy satisfying moment of coupling OVER AND OVER AGAIN!  DVDs of the Season are preordered en-mass, JUST so people can rewatch the finale.  Fangirl blog posts are written in ALL CAPS with lots of smiley face emoticons!

Then the following Season begins and the pair is now a COUPLE.  And the writers are stumped as to what to do with these fan favorites.  So, first, they give the new couple a lot of makeout and sex scenes to appease the fans.  Then they throw the pair into ridiculous situations, just so the two can fight with one another, and somehow be involved in the story.  But the “fights” seem lame and contrived, and the loyal fans don’t buy into them for one second.  These fans soon grow bored with the same people they once tuned in week after week to see.  Unfortunately, it happens all the time.  And it happened to Chuck and Blair.

But now that the two have broken up (but obviously still care for one another), the writers have an EXCELLENT opportunity to rebuild the angst and sexual tension Chuck and Blair once had.  There can ONCE AGAIN be longing looks, and ALMOST sex moments!  There can be sexy “I want to rip your clothes off, because you infuriate me so much,” bickering.  And there can be the inevitable jealousy that arises when one of the pair tries in vain to “move on.”

You have the power to REALLY make this work GG writers, so DON’T SCREW IT UP!  Don’t instantly throw Chuck and Blair into random and unfulfilling relationships with new characters we don’t care about, or old characters we don’t like that much (cough, Jenny, cough).  Curious as to how to fill Chuck’s and Blair’s time while they are single and, once again, longing for one another, writers?   #5 on this list, should help you out there . . .

2) DOWN WITH DAN AND VANESSA!

“Hey Vanessa, what are you watching?” 

“The Chuck and Blair parts of our show.”

“Cool, let’s do that for the remainder of our screen time.  Maybe it will make us more interesting .  . .”

People who read my recaps might get the idea that I HATE Dan and Vanessa.  I don’t (or at least, I didn’t).  You know when I liked Dan and Vanessa?  Back during Season 1, when they were the poor kids, thrown in with a bunch of rich kids they didn’t like and felt morally superior to.  Because Dan and Vanessa were different than the rest of the GG crew.  They were snarky, and not as well-dressed, and a bit less attractive (Sorry guys!).  So when they made fun of Serena, Nate, Chuck and Blair, you laughed with them, and related to them.  Then the writers got the “great” idea to incorporate Dan and Vanessa into the gang.  They even made Dan RICH! 

“Yo, Jeeves!  I called you TWO WHOLE minutes ago!  Where the F is my limo?  I’d rather DIE than ride the subway!”

What’s worse?  They took these two GREAT sidekicks,  and not only put them center stage, but put them center stage TOGETHER!  Why?  Vanessa and Dan are practically the SAME PERSON!  They are both artsy fartsy, self-righteous, outsiders, who prefer talking about art and literature to partying and having sex.  How can such people even exist on a show like Gossip Girl AT ALL?  Let alone take up 15 minutes of screentime each week .  . .

The TV version of a sleeping pill . . .

Now, I’m not saying to get rid of Dan and Vanessa ALTOGETHER (Although, seeing as the writers just shipped Vanessa off to Haiti, they may, ultimately, have decided to do just that).  I’m simply saying keep them as snarky sidekicks.  Let them give sage advice to our less “level-headed characters.”  Let them provide a grounded sense of realism to the show (as long as such grounded realism lasts under 7 minutes . . .).  Gossip Girl is supposed to be about ostentation, fashion, gorgeous people, bad immoral behavior and teenage angst.  Mature cast members need not apply.  Which leads me to #3 on this list . . .

3) Ix-Nay on the Parental Units’ Storylines, Por Favor!

OK, this one is probably going to sound a little ageist.  But just as I am not cool with Dan and Vanessa eating up twenty minutes of perfectly good GG screentime, nor am I copacetic with that same screentime being devoured by:  Lily van der Woodsen, Dr. van der Woodsen, Rufus Humphrey (and/or that slutty neighbor chick who wants in his pants), Eleanor Waldorf, and Cyrus Rose.  I would, however, make an exception for the Dead Bart Bass . . .

This guy is just too cool!

Look, I’ll be the first to admit it.  There are PLENTY of great shows out there that revolve around the “Over 40” set.  Like, for example, Desperate Housewives or The Golden Girls.

Gossip Girl just ISN’T one of those shows . . .  It’s on the CW, for crying out loud – The NETWORK for late teen, and early twenty-something angst!  Now, I know these teens DO have parents.  And I am not expecting the show to convert said parents into off-screen incoherent buzzing sounds, a la Charlie Brown. . .

 . . . nor should they be just a pair of “feet,” like The Nanny in The Muppet Babies.

All I’m saying, is I don’t need to be informed EVERY time Lily is propositioned by one of her many, many, MANY aging bachelors.  And I don’t need to see that furrowed brow look that Rufus gets every time he feels “insecure.”  Enough is enough!

4) Fire Little J’s Stylist!

(Self explanatory)

5) Bring Back Scheming Blair and Self-Destructive Chuck!

Earlier in this post, I suggested that the writers keep Chuck and Blair single and hot for eachother during most of Season 4.  I also suggested that I would provide the writers with guidance, as to how to keep the characters’ busy during those long uncoupled months.  Here it is!  Gossip Girl was never about “good behavior.”  We love our characters best when they are being naughty!  So, enough of all of this maturity!  Let Chuck get self-destructive, drunk, and slutty with random girls.  Let Blair scheme and connive to get what she wants and to get revenge against those who double cross her.  Better yet, let these two awesomely adorable baddies self-destructively scheme and connive TOGETHER, like they did during Season 1!

6) Get thee to Columbia, GO!

When a high school show transitions into a college show, it is typically a make or break time for the series.  Lesser shows have failed in making the transition, but Gossip Girl did a fairly good job of it.  The writers managed to keep all of the characters in NYC and, therefore, relevant to the series, while not falling into the “they should all go to the same college” trap, into which other shows have fallen.  For example, it makes total sense, that the non-academically inclined Chuck, and the under achieving, Slutty Serena would not attend school at all, while the born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth Nate would be able to use his lineage to get into an Ivy League school.  However, I can’t say I’ve been all that pleased with the show’s portrayal of NYU.

Having taken summer classes at NYU, I am happy to report that it’s a fine establishment, no where near the lame artsy fartsy place it’s portrayed as on the show.  Now that BOTH Nate and Blair are attending Columbia on the Upper West side, the writers have a BRILLIANT opportunity to portray a second college in a more realistic way than they portrayed the first.  The change of scenery might be nice too . . .

7) “New York . .  .  it’s streets will make you feel brand new.  It’s lights will inspire you.”  USE IT!

As someone who works in NYC, I generally love Gossip Girl’s glamorous and CLEAN portrayal of my city.  However, they keep showing us the SAME TWO BLOCKS!  NYC is a vast playground, in which our favorite characters can thrive and play.  Take advantage, writers!  Wouldn’t you LOVE, for example, to see Blair muck it up in the not always so classy, Times Square?  Or watch Serena get laid in the Bronx?  Because I WOULD!

8 ) Put the “F” back in OMFG!

I absolutely ADORED the “OMFG” Gossip Girl campaign that jump started Season 2 of the show.  After all, how could you possibly top posters like these?

Except, lately, I feel like the show has gotten a bit .  . . how do I say this . . . TAME!  So, here’s a tip for the writers: in Season 4, try to include at least one OMFG (slutty) moment per every 20 minutes of Gossip Girl.    You get extra bonus points if the slutty scene in question involves Chuck and / or Blair.

9) Little Eric . . . BIG Backstory!

In last week’s GG installment, “It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World,” the chronically underwritten Eric van der Woodsen really got a chance to shine.  And fans FINALLY got to see Connor Paolo flex his acting chops.  The episode also gently reminded us that ERIC TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE back in Season 1!  Why did he do this?  What made him so depressed?  I would really love to see this storyline explored (possibly through flashbacks) during Season 4.  And I think Mr. Paolo is up for the challenge . . .

10) If Nate only had a brain (and a decent storyline) . . .

It’s no secret that Chace Crawford is easy on the eyes.  But I THINK he can actually ACT too.  Although, you wouldn’t really know this from watching Gossip Girl, of late.  In recent episodes, it seems as though Nate’s only function is be the sex toy for whatever lady happens to desire his “services” at the moment.  If GG was a porno (and sometimes I wonder if it is), Nate would be the Pizza Delivery Guy.

Earlier in this post, I saved you writers A LOT of screentime by nixing storylines for Dan, Vanessa, and the Upper East Side Parental Units (except for, of course, Awesomely Dead Bart Bass).  Let’s fill some of that screentime with a meaty Nate storyline — perhaps, one that doesn’t involve him taking his clothes off at the the first opportunity . . .

There you have it GG fans, my Wish List for Season 4 of Gossip Girl.  Oh, and if, by chance, you happen to be experiencing GG-related withdrawal symptoms this summer, I recently came across an EXCELLENT Gossip Girl blog site, that will be sure to satisfy all of your OMFG needs.  Here’s the link:

http://chuckandblairtheperfectpair.wordpress.com/

The writers of the site are VERY nice, and will be happy to assist you. (Just don’t mention the whole “Chenny” thing to them.  You might make them angry . . .  ;))

XOXO

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Make Room for Daddy (and Jenny) : A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Dr. Estrangeloved”

Uh, oh . . .

Greetings, Upper East Siders!  Tonight’s GG installment touted the return of many things us fans may or may not have been missing from Seasons past: (1) a wasted, shaggy-haired, self-destructive, and generally D-baggy Chuck . . .

So HOT!

 . . . (2) an uber slutty, gothed out, stringy-haired, man-stealing Little J . . .

So NOT!

 . . . and (3) a formerly absentee daddy, who kind of, sort of,  makes a pass at his own biological daughter

So CREEPY!

Let’s revisit, shall we?

Little Girl Lost (Bad Hair Found)

So, apparently, while Serena has been MIA searching for her not-so-proud papa, Jenny and Nate have been getting mighty chummy.  She’s been crashing at his place, sleeping in his bed (He sleeps on the couch), and supposedly wearing his shirt . . .

OK, GG Fashion Department, this is where I call BS.  That shirt Jenny was wearing?  HUGE . . . Nate?

Not so much (still cute though).  The pair was also  involved in some SERIOUS Wii Tennis Tourneys.  And can I just say, if that game is anywhere near as sexy as Chuck described it here (sweaty bodies touching, grunts, groans, and sexual tension galore), I would hereby like to officially add a Wii to my Birthday Wish List . . .

How phallic!

Anyway, Serena texts Nate to let him know she’s back home. So, our boy promptly ditches Little J’s ass.  She sulks unattractively, convinced all hope is lost.  However, EEEVVVIL (and hot) Chuck encourages Jenny to use Serena’s return to her advantage, by trying to drive a wedge between the happy couple.  Why did Chuck suggest this you ask?  Well, if you recall, last week Blair dumped his butt.  So, now he’s miserable, and wants everyone else to be miserable too . . . And nothing could make a person more miserable than dating Little J . . .

“I’m misery incarnate!  Yay me!”

Jenny takes Chuck’s advice, stealing Nate’s shirt (which conveniently has his last name etched in the back – His maid must have done that, because we all KNOW Mama Archibald doesn’t sew!).  Jenny then “accidentally” pulls the shirt out of her purse, when she runs into Serena later that day.  Jenny’s evil plan seems to work, because Nate and Serena quickly start bickering over the shirt, as well as Serena’s recent MIA-ness. 

“I was washing my hair.  Not like Little J!  Her weave is probably waterproof!”

Having so much success the last time, Little J takes Chuck’s advice again by “dressing like someone who doesn’t have a mother” (which she sort of doesn’t), when she accompanies Nate and Chuck to a party in Brooklyn. (Yes, boys and girls, our Upper East Siders actually LEFT the Upper East Side this week  . . . and went somewhere other than the Hamptons.)

When Serena calls Nate on his cell phone, Jenny sparks her ire again, by approaching Nate and — loudly enough so that Serena can hear — suggesting he do shots with her . . .

“Drink these, Nate.  They will lower your standards, and make you forget that I am UNDERAGE!”

When Serena rips Nate a new one over the phone for being out with Little J, Nate gets pissed, and decides he wants to “go back to the apartment and get wasted.”  (Smooth move Nate!  Because liquor and heartbreak always mix SOOO WELL!)  Of course, Jenny goes tromping off after him.  Back at the apartment, Nate is bitching to Little J about Serena.  And Little J takes up the bashing in full force, telling Nate that he deserves better, and that SHE would never treat him that way.  Jenny then pulls Nate in for a kiss, which he rebuffs. And Serena arrives at the apartment, just in time to see the WHOLE THING!

“Not cool Nate.  When I told you to bring someone back to the apartment for a threesome, I assumed you would at least choose someone hot!”

Nate and Serena begin to duke it out, and, through their fighting, they figure out that Jenny orchestrated this whole mess. So, Nate kicks Little J to the curb . . .

 . . . and Serena and Nate kiss and make up (meh!  – At least it’s the lesser of two evils . . .)

World’s Creepiest Dad . . .

Why was Serena all “MIA” from Nate’s life during this episode, you ask?  Well, it turns out she was dealing with family issues.  If you recall, last week, when Serena went to her biological father’s apartment, she found her mother there . . .

Apparently, all this time, Serena’s father has been treating Serena’s mother for cancer.  The pair had temporarily cut ties with their entire family, to keep this a secret from them (which, I’m sorry, seems really weird and unrealistic – I don’t blame Rufus for being skeptical).  Papa van der Woodsen arrives in the Upper East Side to break the news to everyone.  He claims that Lily is in remission now (that was fast!), but he would like to rekindle a relationship with his daughter . . .

OK, here’s the thing . . . I always REALLY liked Billy Baldwin.  In my opinion, he was the hottest Baldwin brother (Alec was the funniest, Stephen was the most religious, Daniel is . . . nevermind).  I even liked him as the sexy sociopathic voyeur in that bizarre Sharon Stone movie, Sliver . . .

And for a middle-aged dude, he still looks pretty good.  My issue here, I think, is with how Billy chose to play this particular role. I’d read in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview with Mr. Baldwin, that he was kind of offended that GG cast him as Serena’s dad.  After all, in the past, he always played the boyfriend of girls like Serena. 

You know what?  It totally showed.  When Billy asked Serena out to a local restaurant “to chat,”  and, later, when he said to her “let’s get out of here” and have some “banana splits,”  his line deliveries were much more in the vein of a creepy old guy hitting on a teenager, than of an absentee dad trying to reconnect with his daughter.  It totally grossed me out.

Later that evening, the van der Woodsens have yet another family meeting.  It turns out that Lily’s cancer is not  in remission after all.  So Papa van der Woodsen is going to have to stick around for a while.  But is Papa a Big Fat Liar?  His cryptic conversation with a shady pharmacist, at the end of the episode (not to mention next week’s promos), seem to suggest that he is . . .

The Tale of the Relationship Fatwa . . .

Poor Blair!  Recently single and in complete denial of her breakup pain, all she wanted to do was have a hot revenge makeout session with an eligible bachelor.  But EEVVILL Chuck had other plans for her.  When Blair arranges a party with a dozen eligible bachelors from the Upper East Side, not one of them shows up.  Blair knows the reason instantly.  “You put a Relationship Fatwa on me,” she whines to Chuck.

“I did NOT put a Relationship Fatwa on you,” argues Chuck.  “It’s just that no one can measure up to what we had, and I’m not the only one who knows it.” 

(For what it’s worth, I kind of liked the “no one can measure up” line.  I thought it was kind of sweet in a D-bag Chuck way.  But, apparently, he’s used it in past breakups with Blair.  Because when I searched for the quote on Google to try and nail down his exact phasing, I found the same words in recaps for other episodes.  Way to be original, Gossip Girl!)

Anyway, recycled lines aside, Chuck was LYING!  He totally put a Relationship Fatwa on Blair!  He confirms this when he learns Blair is heading to a party in Brooklyn (the same one Jenny and Nate attended). Chuck immediately decides to go to the party, in order to extend the Fatwa across all Five Borroughs! 

At the Brooklyn party, Blair flirts with a student from Columbia (which, if I recall, is where Blair now goes to school, although they seemed to brush over that fact during this episode.  Wouldn’t it have made sense for her to tell this boy that she recently transferred to his college?).  The Ivy League Co-ed is clearly smarter than he looks, because he immediately picks up on all of the glares Blair is throwing in Chuck’s direction.  He tells Blair that he is more than willing to play along, and make out with her, to make Chuck jealous.  But Blair declines.

Huh?

As Blair explains to Chuck at the end of the episode, she needs to properly grieve over the loss of their relationship, before she can make out with random dudes.  “When I kiss another boy, I want it to be for Me,” she explains.  (Boo, hiss Blair!  Don’t you know, you aren’t supposed to be the mature one on this show?  What happened to the bratty, whining, scheming, and 12-year old acting Blair of yesteryear?)

I’ll miss you, Mean Girl!

In Other News . . .

Gossip Girl‘s most boring couple got only slightly more interesting this week, when they both screwed one another over.  You see, apparently, NYU — where, in real life, approximately 20,000 undergraduates are matriculating at any given time — in GG world, has the WORLD’S SMALLEST WRITING PROGRAM EVER – one that only admits ONE PERSON every year.   Riiiight!  Talk about a poorly constructed plot device.  And yet, if it drives a wedge in the middle of this snoozy couple, I say, “Bring it on!”

Anyway, Sleazy Liar Vanessa decided to apply to the program AGAINST Dan, and NOT TELL HIM she was doing it.  And even though the character has NEVER EVER shown ANY interest in writing AT ALL!  She gets in over him.  When Dan finds out, he initially tries to be supportive.  But I’ve faked happy for a friend I was jealous of before, and I know what it looks like . . .

Yup . . . that’s what it looks like.

Fortunately for Dan, the daughter of the Dean of Admissions at Tisch REALLY wants to get in his pants.  So when Dan lets it slip to HER that Vanessa’s application piece might not have been entirely original (He thinks she based it on a short story Dan once wrote), the ho-bag quickly runs to rat Vanessa out to Daddy.  The only problem is . . . Vanessa DID submit an original story, one based on her relationship with Dan (that must have been ONE BORING ASS STORY!)  So, of course, Vanessa finds out what Dan did, and she is PISSED!

Well, that’s all folks!  Tune in next week, when we will most definitely get to see a lot more of this Creepo . . .

 . . .Tighten up that chastity belt, Serena.  You’re gonna need it!

XOXO!

 

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