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What’s become of the broken hearted? – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s Season Premiere “Belles Du Jour”

“They say it’s a broken heart, but I hurt with my whole body.” 

Although the above-referenced statement might sound like a line from a pharmeceutical commercial . . .

Are you depressed?  Lonely?  Not feeling quite like yourself?  If so, you might be suffering from Chuck Bass withdrawal . . .

 . . . it was actually uttered by Blair Waldorf, toward the end of Gossip Girl’s Season 4 premiere, “Belles Du Jour.”  Of course, our favorite Queen B wasn’t the only one feeling that way.  In fact, whether or not they were willing to admit it, each member of “Manhattan’s Elite” was nursing a broken heart of some sort, during this past summer.  And this first episode illustrated to GG fans the highly distinct ways that these characters chose to cope with their unique brands of heartache . . .

The Fountain of Ruthless

Ever wonder what it would be like to swim in a fountain in Paris?  You might want to ask Serena . . .

When the episode opens, we are treated to the oh-so-familar voice of Gossip Girl, as she summarizes the highlights of Blair’s and Serena’s epic summer abroad in Paris. 

Now, I know this is ONLY a TV show, and we are supposed to suspend reality a bit here.  And yet, I can’t help but cry foul.  It’s one thing for Gossip Girl, who was presumably a fellow student at Constance Billard Prep, to follow the goings on of Serena and Blair, during the first two seasons of the show.  By extension, it would be conceivable for Gossip Girl to continue to follow the girls in college, seeing as the entire crew seemed to stay in New York City.  I can even understand how Gossip Girl got scoop on the girls’ previous summers in the Hamptons, since ALL of the Upper East Siders summered there.  But for her to chronicle the girls’ ENTIRE SUMMER IN PARIS?

Are we supposed to believe that this ambitious 19-year old has Frenchies on her payroll too?  Or, perhaps, she flew to Paris, herself.  Ummm . . . you know, we have a word for that here in America, Gossip Girl.  It’s called STALKING.  And it’s ILLEGAL. 

Be afraid for your EX, Mr. Archibald.  VERY afraid!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, are we supposed to believe that Gossip Girl is intrepid enough (and lame enough) to know exactly where in Paris Blair eats her morning muffins, but has NO CLUE that Chuck was almost SHOT TO DEATH PRAGUE??!! 

Gee, I don’t know the answer to that question . .  . but I CAN tell you that Serena went to the bathroom 8 times yesterday!  Could she be diabetic?

Come on Show Writers, have a little faith in your fans’ intelligence .  . .

But I digress . . . back to Blair and Serena.  Gossip Girl informs us that Serena has screwed the entire West Bank of Paris in a single summer, causing stock prices for all condom manufacturers located there to soar through the roof.  This single-handedly ends the country’s economic recession.

Serena van der Woodsen:  Saving the world, one f*ck at a time!

Meanwhile, BLAIR . . . did some sightseeing and . . . (gasp) ATE CARBS!

It’s OK, Blair.  Five pounds can be easily lost, but an STD is forever . . .

In other words, Blair may have eaten crabs in Paris, but SERENA took them home . . .

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that Blair WASN’T looking for love in Paris, she was just a little pickier about it than Serena.  Specifically, suitors who are neither royalty  . . .

nor Chuck Bass .  . .

. . . need not apply.

One day, Blair is admiring an exquisite Manet at a nearby museum . . .

. . . when she realizes that someone else is admiring her . . .

His name is Louis.  And, to his credit, he does a fairly nice job of feigning sufficient interest in the artwork, to convince Blair that he’s cultured enough to accompany Her Majesty to dinner.  But what REALLY seals the deal for Louis is this . . .

 . . . a chauffeured car and a Royal Family Name Drop. 

(GIF provided by http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com)

In preparation for her Big Night Out, a newly ecstatic Blair commandeers BFF Serena for a shopping excursion, where no credit card is left behind. 

“Blair, Cinderella did NOT Google Prince Charming,” Serena lectures, as our Queen B tries desperately to get additional intel on her would-be suitor.

Cinderella may not have, but that doesn’t mean that WE can’t .  . .

Speaking of Serena, she has some good news of her own.  Turns out, our girl has been accepted into Columbia University, where Blair and Nate will also be matriculating this upcoming fall. 

And yet, Serena is not quite sure how to break this so-called “good” news to Blair, who apparently has final say on all her friends’ continuing education choices.  So, of course, in typical Serena fashion, she says . . . nothing.

“I wanted to tell her!  But my Mom always said that it’s rude to talk with your mouth full.”

Mouth full or not, Blair invites Serena to tag along on her date with Louis, because Louis’ “friend,” Jean Michel, also wants to come along.  All seems well in Blair-land — that is, of course, until Louis shows up, DRIVING HIS OWN CAR .  . .

 . . . and wearing a fashion accessory that makes him most unworthy of receiving the annointed status of Queen B’s Beau  . . .

A Chauffeur’s CAP?  OMG!  The dude might as well have been wearing a KKK hood, as far as Blair is concerned . . .

According to Louis, Jean Michel is the ROYAL, and HE, is nothing more than the lowly driver.

At dinner, Blair tries to be courteous to her “blue collar” date, but ends up doing a really crappy job of it  — responding to an admittedly not-that-funny anecdote about Louis wearing blue jeans to a fancy dinner, by lecturing her guests on the importance of respecting the “Rules of Fashion.”

“That’s right, Louis!  And if you don’t eat every last vegetable on your plate, I will see to it that you are GROUNDED!”

But the poo REALLY hits the fan, when Blair receives a call from her mother, who was apparently, oh-so-excited to learn that Serena would be going to Columbia with Blair, that she had to call her IMMEDIATELY to gossip about it.  Massive international time differences be damned!

 “OH HELL NO!  You mean to tell me THAT DUMB SLUT got into Columbia?  Aren’t there ANY standards in the Ivy Leagues anymore?  I might has well have gone to (gasp) a STATE SCHOOL!”

Now, Blair, despite being, by all other accounts, highly intelligent (and despite having been out of high school for OVER A YEAR) STILL has not disabused herself of the notion that the whole wide world is made up of two classes of people:  the popular clique and BIG FAT LOSERS of Turdville.  Additionally, Blair truly believes that the “popular clique” at Columbia is not big enough for both her and Serena.  So, if Serena matriculates there (without banging the entire rugby team and flunking out her first semester– which, let’s face it, is probably what she’s going to end up doing, anyway), Blair will be banished to Turdville for ALL ETERNITY . . . or at least until college graduation. 

OH THE HORROR!

So, Blair not-so-subtly drags Serena outside and more or less tells her she CANNOT attend Columbia University. 

“Now, look what you’ve done, Serena!  You have made me break out my ANGRY FACE!  Do you have any idea how much BOTOX I’m going to need in the future to repair all the damage you’ve caused?”

When Serena refuses to obey her Bestie’s matriculation wishes, Blair does THIS . . .

 . . . which results in THIS . . .

“I’m MELTING!  I’m MELTING!”

A very WET Serena returns to the restaurant, to find Blair trying to make up lame excuses for her absence to Louis and Jean Michel.  But Jean Michel already LOVES Serena (of course), and immediately escorts her out.   When Louis shows an interest in finishing dinner with Blair (though, honestly, after her rude behavior that night, I’m not quite sure why), Blair quickly suggests they follow Jean Michel instead.  And THAT is when Louis drops the bomb on her.

As it turns out, Louis IS royal, after all! 

He just wanted to test Blair to see if she really liked him for his personality, or just for his esteemed status.  And Blair FAILED the test . . . MISERABLY.

I guess she should have Googled her Prince Charming a bit more thoroughly . . .

That night, as Serena packs to travel home, a guilt-ridden, dumped, tail-between-her legs, Blair apologizes profusely for her bad behavior — chalking it all up to Chuck-induced depression.  Blair even “gallantly” allows Serena to attend HER college.  The “best friends” promptly kiss and makeup.  HOORAY!

Awwww, LOOK!  They’re even in front of a fountain . . . MEMORIES!

 Hit me with a Baby, One More Time!

In other news, Dan is shacking up and playing house with Georgina  . . .

 . . . along with their supposed lovechild, Baby Milo. 

But, as always, Georgina is obviously hiding something.  Repeatedly, during the episode, she gets angry secret phone calls from some harsh-sounding Eastern European dude, who, for some reason, seems OBSESSED with Georgina getting Dan to sign the kid’s birth certificate.  What does this guy have on Georgina?  And why the hell does he care so much about Dan?  (Nobody else does!) 

Perhaps Baby Milo is HIS, and he’s using Dan’s paternity of Milo to get his own Greencard? 

Who knows?  What we do know is that Dan is in some serious Doo Doo!

When Dan starts avoiding his parental units (because, of course, he’s never told them about the baby), Rufus and Lily. . .

 . . .  start to suspect something is up with him.   And so, Dan’s parents send in for reinforcements.  Or, rather, one REALLY ANNOYING reinforcement . . .

Vanessa barges into Dan’s apartment and finds him  .  . . with child.

Meet Milo!  The NOT AT ALL realistic looking spawn of “Dangina”  (Although . . . he DOES seem to have his dad’s chin.)

While Dan is reminiscing with the snoozy girlfriend that almost was, Georgina is busy accidentally / on purpose spilling the beans to Dan’s parents about their new grandchild.  Rufus is skeptical, and rightly so.  His only solace comes from the fact that Dan has not yet signed Milo’s birth certificate.  “Get  . . . a . . . paternity . . . test . . . NOW!”  Rufus demands.

“Fortunately,” Georgina has one right in her purse!  (How VERY convenient!)  When Rufus once again questions the reliability of these results  rightly so), Georgina has them TELEPHONE the doctor for confirmation.  (Riiiiiight, because doctors can NEVER be paid off!) 

Unsurprisingly, the doctor confirms that Dan is, in fact, the Baby Daddy.  So, “New Papa Humphrey,” who has, apparently, never watched an episode of Law and Order before, immediately signs the birth certificate, and returns it to Georgina.  The next day Georgina is GONE, and Dan is left to care for Baby Milo ALONE!

Oh, wait!  That was supposed to be SHOCKING, right?  I’m sorry.  Let’s try that again . . .

Better?

Nate gets a date . .  . (well, actually,  a lot of them — but only one that really matters)

Since the two are attempting to get over EACHOTHER, it makes sense that both Serena and Nate are mending their broken hearts in the exact same way . . . through their pants.

I found these in Nate’s hotel room.  Either that guy is getting laid LOTS, or he’s attempting to open a Victoria’s Secret franchise . . .

Armed with the MIA Chuck’s Little Black Book, Nate has spent his summer boning some of the New York City’s skankiest honeys.  And yet, the fun of it all is starting to wear a little thin.   And, perhaps, THAT is what intrigues him about the seemingly bookish, slightly standoffish, but still ridiculously attractive, Juliet Sharpe . . .

Although initially put off by his man-whoring ways, Juliet appears to recognize in Nate a troubled man with a good soul.  So, eventually, she slips him her digits, and offers him a shoulder (and pair of boobs) to cry on.  Of course, Nate readily accepts the offer.  He’s IS guy, after all!

And yet, at the very end of the episode, we see that Juliet may not be exactly who she seems to be.  For starters, she has THIS over her desk . . .

You mean Juliet is a FANGIRL, who watches GOSSIP GIRL, and loves Chace Crawford?  How very meta!

Actually, it’s not only Nate that’s featured on the wall.  Other cast members Upper East Siders are represented there too . . .

And it’s not just pictures of them.  It’s also notes, magazine clippings, and other assorted intel.  CREEPY!

OK.  So, here are my guesses as to Juliet’s “BIG SECRET.”  (1) Juliet IS, in fact, a stalker / psycho killer, which could make her a lot of fun, and/or unbelievably lame, depending on how well her character is written;

(2)  She’s some undercover CIA or FBI operative, sent to investigate criminal activity within the Archibald Family, or the Bass Family, or the van der Woodsen Family (They each include AT LEAST one criminal, after all).

Yeah, I know.  I know.  This ISN’T Katie Cassidy (the actress who plays Juliet).  It’s actually Heather Locklear, back when she was in her twenties.  But the two kind of look alike, so I thought I might get away with it.  Sorry.

or (3) (and this is my personal favorite)  Juliet Sharpe is GOSSIP GIRL!

“XOXO, Juliet Gossip Girl”

A plot twist like this would be AWESOME!  For one thing, it would serve to FINALLY solve the four-year long mystery of who this Upper East Side stalker biatch actually is. (And DON’T say she’s Kristen Bell, because I’m not just talking about the “voice” of Gossip Girl, and YOU know it!)

“I am NOT a GOSSIP!  I just play one on TV!”

Additionally, since we already KNOW Juliet and Nate will eventually hook up, I think it will be absolutely HILARIOUS to watch Gossip Girl try to repeatedly “blast” news items, in which she is one of the key players.  Here is an example of what such a news blast might look like:

 “Spotted, Nate Archibald doing the horizontal mambo in the backseat of a limo with ME! ME! ME! YAY! WOOHOO! OMG! HE’S SO HOT! random nobody, Juliet Sharpe.”

GG writers, PLEASE make this happen!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering where Chuck Bass was . . .

“Ummmm, YAH!  That’s why we’ve suffered through this whole long recap.  DUH!”

He’s dead!

Just kidding!  He’s PRESUMED dead, but actually alive, having been nursed back to health by some random blonde chicky.

“Who the heck are you?”

“I’m Eva, Chuck!  What’s the matter?  Don’t you read spoilers?”

Apparently, these two were shacked up in Prague throughout Chuck’s (sorry “Henry Prince’s”) recovery.  But, now, they have left Prague . . .

 .  . .   and arrived in (shocker of shockers) PARIS . . .

 . . . temporary home away from home to one, Blair Waldorf.

Golly, GG fans!  Paris is a MIGHTY BIG PLACE!  These two star-crossed lovers couldn’t possibly cross paths there.  Could they? 😉

There you have it folks, our first GG episode of Season 4.  Was it everything you hoped for?  Or were you as peeved by the Extreme Lack of Chuck, as I was?

P.S.  Before I sign off, I would be totally remiss, if I did not take this opportunity, during my first GG post of the new fall season, to thank the lovely folks at Chuck and Blair the Perfect Pair for helping me get my GG fix all summer long.  If you haven’t visited their site yet, please, by all means, drop everything you are doing, and GO NOW!  I am serious!  You will NOT be disappointed!

XOXO

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Gossip Girl

OMFG? Not so much . . . – The Top Ten “Been There, Seen That” Teen Television Cliches (Part 1 of 2)

It is probably no secret to anyone who has ever stopped by this blog before (or even just examined the above “collage”), that I am a sucker for Trash-tastic Teen Television.  I have been a fan of these types of shows since the age of eight.  That was when I first decided that I desperately wanted to be a teen.  And I have no doubt that I will remain a fan, long after I have cruised past “old age,” and am forced to squint through my coke bottle glasses, and smile through my dentures, at the sight of some pipsqueaks (who bear a suspicious resemblance to my grandkids) attending prom on my small screen.

“That is one hot threesome.  Oh, when I think back to my first threesome . . . ah memories!”

Having been around the “teenage television” block quite a bit since my eighth birthday, I have come to notice a few patterns among my favorite teen dramas.  Over the years, I have watched in wonder, as certain storylines traveled across decades,  time zones, and networks, just to reach my lowly television set, over and over (and over and over) again . . .  So I’ve decided to investigate these storylines, in hopes of FINALLY figuring out what makes them so “gosh darn special!”

1) “Hit me with a baby, one more time!” – The Pregnancy Scare and/or Actual Pregnancy Plotline

The Storyline: Our teen female protagonist has sex . . . usually for the first time.  Her partner is either a long, LONG time boyfriend, with whom she has been discussing doing the deed for the ENTIRE season . . .

 Or, conversely, he is a one night-stand, who she (a) barely knows; or (b) seemingly despises.  There is never any in between. 

In the very next scene, our protagonist learns that she has missed her period.  She is FLIPPING THE F&CK OUT!

She keeps her discovery a secret from everyone, except for her best friend.  And the best friend is inevitably the one who convinces the protagonist to take the pregnancy test.

Regardless of the pregnancy test’s ultimate result, inevitably there comes a time when our protagonist has to have “The Discussion” with “The Maybe Baby Daddy.” 

 Sometimes, he takes it well . .  . usually, he doesn’t . . . at least, not at first.

Now, if the protagonist ends up not being pregnant . . . well then . . . THAT’S IT!  Our protagonist is RELIEVED!  She feels brand NEW!  She’s CHANGED!

She will pretend this whole little sweeps week episode never happened (or, in the case of Manny Santos, and Degrassi, the U.S. will pretend this whole episode never happened . . . by NOT AIRING IT, until about 3 years after it was actually filmed).  However, if our protagonist IS pregnant . . . we get stuck with a baby storyline for ALL ETERNITY (or at least it will seem that way  . . .)!

Examples: Brenda on 90210 (not actually pregnant); Andrea on 90210 (actually pregnant / had baby / raised baby); Summer on The O.C. (not actually pregnant); Manny on Degrassi: The Next Generation (actually pregnant / had abortion); Liberty on Degrassi: The Next Generation (pregnant / had baby / gave baby up for adoption); Emma on Degrassi: The Next Generation (not actually pregnant / feeling left out because EVERYONE else on her show actually was); Blair on Gossip Girl (not actually pregnant);  Georgina on Gossip Girl (To Be Determined?); Amy on Secret Life of the American Teenager (actually pregnant / had baby / is raising baby); Quinn on Glee (actually pregnant / had baby / gave baby up for adoption).

Why it’s a cliche?

“Hey there, boys and girls!  I’ve got a message for you!  Premarital sex is BAAAAAAAAD!”

Teen television programs tend to be written by adults.  And even the most hip and forward thinking adults, don’t like to think about their 15-year old kids f*c*ing eachother’s brains out like bunny rabbits on acid. 

So they ever so subtly try to scare the crap out of their kids, by showing them how having sex once can RUIN THEIR LIVES FOREVER!  It doesn’t really work . . .

This storyline is SO overdone that precisely NO ONE is shocked or dismayed by the prospect of a female protagonist  . . . missing her period.  Hey writers, want to REALLY scare your kids celibate?  Give your television characters crabs. 

That will permanently glue your teen’s legs shut for sure!

2) “OH NO!  You killed .  . . what’s his name again?” – The Death of the Peripheral Character Plotline

 

The Storyline:  There is this recurring character on your favorite show that has becoming increasingly annoying, of late. 

You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you just think the character really sucks. 

And you can’t wait for him or her to leave your television screen ALONE! 

You spend WAY too much time bashing this minor character on online message boards, and in snarky recaps of the show.  In those messages, you may or may not beg the show’s writers for said character’s untimely demise. 

Then the character actually DIES. 

And you’re secretly happy that you got what you wanted. 

But NOW you’re convinced you are very sh*tty person.  Because, REALLY, what kind of nice, normal person is HAPPY when someone dies, real or fake?  Even though very few of the characters on your show seemed to like this character any more than you did, while he was alive, they all make a big show of mourning and /or having a funeral for him or her.  

Your favorite character will inevitably give the eulogy for this character.  And it will be all warm, and fuzzy, and heartfelt . . . and, of course, totally depressing. 

And YOU will surprise yourself by crying like a baby when you watch it (probably out of guilt for openly hating the character so much . . . or . . .  maybe the scene just reminds you of a dead relative).  After the episode airs, the show’s entire cast will COMPLETELY forget that this dead character ever existed . . .

Examples: Scott on 90210, Abby on Dawson’s Creek; Rick on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Johnny on The O.C., that dude Serena supposedly “killed” on Gossip Girl, Percy and Reed on Grey’s Anatomy (not technically a teen show, but still . . .), Vicki on The Vampire Diaries

Why it’s a cliche?  The “Very Special” Dead Person episode of any teen show is sure to be a ratings grabber, no matter how unlikeable the soon-to-be dead character was before he met his demise.  Plus, killing any character on their show (even if it’s just a one-episode guest star) allows producers to run that oh-so-original . . . “SOMEBODY WILL DIE!” promo the week before their episode airs, and you know how ALL producers LOVE that promo! 

3) “Hot for Teacher!” – The Inappropriate Student / Teacher Relationship Plotline

The Storyline:  The protagonist has a crush on his or her very attractive (yet obviously lonely, and very desperate), teacher. 

The teacher makes a lame ass attempt to rebuff the protagonists affections, but fails miserably. 

Soon the student and the teacher are doing the horizontal mambo together in secret. 

Someone always finds out.  Someone always exposes them for the sluts they both are. 

It always ends badly . . .

Examples: Pacey and Miss Jacobs on Dawson’s Creek, Paige and Mr. O on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dan and Miss Carr on Gossip Girl, Aria and Mr. Fitz on Pretty Little Liars

Why it’s a cliche?  Forbidden love is HOT!  And cougars are all the rage!  Plus, who HASN’T had a crush on one of their teachers and indulged in a naughty fantasy, or two (or twenty) involving same? 

 Mine was my freshman history teacher in high school.  He was pretty young, compared to most of my teachers at that time . . . probably in his mid-to-late twenties . . . and single.  Actually, he kind of looked like this . . .

 . . . only he was a wee bit older . . . and he generally wore shirts (unfortunately).  Coincidentally, Mr. Devlin, if your reading this . . . 😉

4) “Cheaters never win, and winners never . . . whatever.” – The Cheating on a Test / Plagiarism Plotline

Storyline: The protagonist REALLY needs to pass a particular test or ace a certain paper.  He or she is under a lot of external pressure to do so. 

 But something happens, so that he or she doesn’t have time to do the appropriate amount of studying and /or research.  He or she is tempted, upon receiving answers to the test or a pre-written paper, to . . . CHEAT!

The protagonist struggles with whether or not to enter into the dark evil world of “school crime,” but ultimately does. 

Because the character cheated, he or she does so well on the test or paper that his teacher inevitably wants to enter him or her in some national competition of some sort related to the aforementioned paper or test.  Smothered by guilt, the character eventually comes clean.  He or she then gets in trouble . . . 

But not in nearly as much trouble as the character would, if caught, in . . . say . . . the REAL WORLD . . .

“It can’t possibly be worse than when I got that awful haircut . . .”

Examples: Felicity on Felicity, Andie on Dawson’s Creek, Rusty on Greek, Lindsay and Daniel on Freaks and Geeks, Spencer on Pretty Little Liars

Why it’s a cliche?  One word:  schadenfreude.  You see, here’s the thing . . . every teen show has that one uptight overachieving character, who always gets A’s, is super judgmental of all of her “less brilliant” friends, and never seems to do anything wrong.  Admit it!  It’s kind of fun to see tight asses like that crack under the pressure . . .

Make that VERY fun!

5) “I’m gonna do real bad things to you .  . . and make you DO real bad things!”  – The “Bad Influence” Plotline

The Storyline: Our protagonist is going through kind of a “rough patch” in his or her life.  He or she is therefore looking to let loose, and have some sort of emotional and/or physical release.  In walks a character who is fun, adventurous, and more than a little dangerous. 

Our protagonist starts hanging out with the “dangerous” character a lot. 

(Click the internal link to watch!)

Before you know it, he or she is behaving just like the “dangerous” character, and getting into all sorts of trouble as a result.   

 The protagonists other friends are jealous of all the fun their typically boring protagonist is now having.  But they are also worried.  Inevitably, the moment comes when protagonist is about to get into a cr*p load of trouble with the “dangerous” character. 

 The friends stage an intervention of sorts. 

It works!

 The dangerous character rides away on the evil broomstick by which it came.  All is, once again, right (and boring) with the world . . .

Examples: Abby influencing Jen on Dawson’s Creek, Georgina influencing Serena on Gossip Girl, Damon influencing Caroline on The Vampire Diaries, “The Freaks” influencing Lindsay on Freaks and Geeks, that character Paul Wesley played on Everwood influencing Hannah on Everwood, that character Paul Wesley played on The O.C. influencing Ryan and Seth on The O.C.

Why it’s a cliche?  Everybody’s got a dark side.  Secretly, we all want to be a little “bad” sometimes.  The good news is that we can do it safely and vicariously, by watching our favorite “good” television characters “go bad,” albeit temporarily.  They have fun while doing it . . . and so do we, at least until their lame friends bring them back to earth.

Well, that’s all the teen television cliches I have for tonight.  But please tune in tomorrow, when I tackle love triangles, love-hate relationships, prom, the ever enlightening “trip to Europe,” and, of course, the dreaded ski trip  .  . .

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Filed under Freaks and Geeks, Glee, Gossip Girl, Greek, Pretty Little Liars, The O.C., The Vampire Diaries, Top Ten Lists

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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