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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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Anatomy of a Trailer: Sex and the City 2

I was a big fan of the original HBO series, Sex and the City (based loosely on a book by Candace  Bushnell of the same name),  which ran from 1998 through 2004.  Aside from being titilatingly naughty, hysterically funny, and breathtakingly sexy, the series had a lot of really insightful things to say about what it meant to be a single woman during the early 21st century.

As I grew older (I was still in high school when the show first aired.  So, my friends and I couldn’t talk about, much less do the things shown on the show without blushing), the series became increasingly relevant to my daily life.  Even though Sex and the City has been off the air for nearly six years now, I still find myself recalling episodes and quoting lines from the show when discussing dating and relationship problems with my friends and family.  Oh, and did I mention it was FILLED with hot naked men?

When the first Sex and the City movie came out in 2008, I’ll admit that I was a bit underwhelmed.  Sure, the characters were all there, and the fashion was amazing.  Yet, it just seemed to be lacking some of the humor, fun, and light-heartedness of the original series.  And let’s face it, there WASN’T NEARLY ENOUGH SEX!!!!

So, when I heard they were making a sequel to the film, in the iconic words of Carrie Bradshaw, herself, “I couldn’t help but wonder,” are the producers of this film simply beating a dead horse (a botoxed horse, clad in Jimmy Choo horseshoes and a Vera Wang saddle, but a dead one nonetheless)?

Take a look at the trailer, and see what you think . . .

Here’s what I saw:

:11 – Growing up just outside New York City, one of the things I always loved about Sex and the City was that, it was, at its core, a love letter to Manhattan.  Too many television shows and films nowadays claim to take place in Manhattan, but are actually taped in L.A. or someplace in Canada.  I liked being able to watch the show and pick out actual places I’ve been and things I’ve done in NYC. Of course, seeing as I was a student during the entirety of the Sex and the City run, I couldn’t afford most of the places the SATC girls hung out (and, mostly, still can’t).

That being said, I love that this trailer opens with gorgeous aerial shots of NYC, shown to the tune of Jay Z’s and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”  The song has become a bit overplayed of late, in my opinion, but it works really well here.

:24 – One of my gripes with the original film was that, over time, the Sex and the City girls became too rich and successful and, as a result, much less relatable.  It seems like this trend will continue into the second movie.  Why does Carrie need two door men?  Isn’t one enough, Mrs. Big?

:33 – Here, it looks as though Charlotte has started her own baking business from her home, which, undoubtedly, will be instantly successful and make her into the next Martha Stewart / Rachael Ray.  I doubt any of these women have ever heard the term recession, much less experienced one. 

:35 – It appears as though the girls are attending a ritzy New Year’s Eve party in this scene.  I can tell because Gidget the Humping Dog (one of the best parts of the first movie, in my opinion) is wearing one of those goofy silver top hats that are acceptable and fashionable precisely once a year, during the hours of 8pm to 12:01 am, and then must be taken off . . . FAST!

:43 – So glad Carrie got to keep her obnoxiously-sized clothing closet from the first film, which is probably bigger than my entire apartment.  (Think I am bitter?  YES I AM!)

:51 – This looks like another fancy wedding.  I wonder who’s getting married this time . . .

:53 – Woo hoo!  Samantha Jones is SINGLE AGAIN, and ready to mingle with this hot bartender guy!  Does this mean more raunchy sex scenes?  Here’s hoping . . .

:57 – Fashion Police Alert!  Is it just me, or does Carrie look like a very skinny Magic 8 Ball dressed in an eggplant – colored mumu?

1:02 – And . . . now we are at the airport.  Where are we going ladies?  (I’ve read rumors that Carrie & Co. travel to Morocco during the film.  I’m not sure if they are true.)

1:04 – Now the ladies are riding camels and trekking through the desert? WTF!!!  I am hoping this is some sort of bizarre dream sequence.  Because, if not, ladies and gentlemen, I think we have just jumped the shark! 

Sex and the City 2 hits theaters May 28, 2010.  Are YOU going to see it?

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Filed under Movie Trailer Recaplets, Sex in the City 2 - The Movie