The Age of Dissonance
First let’s say cheerio to those unwelcome ladies who have now taken their leave: good riddance Miss Iowa, the easily corrupted Rachel Carr whose handwriting is like that of a fifth grader, but cheers for permanently messing Dan up by crushing his youthful optimism; and farewell to Elle the Mystery Girl who was more interested in the wallet in Chuck’s pants than anything else.
Elle, I hated your plotline, I resent you for taking Chuck from Blair, if only for a few episodes, and I hope and pray to the Gossip Gods we’ve seen the last of the those dumb secret tattoos. As if all these high-society dudes have giant tattoos where everyone would see them everyday. I realize that you can’t have Carter Baizen mooning Chuck Bass to reveal he too has the secret tattoo of the Super Secret Society!, but was there no other way? It’s also un petit peu ridiculous that Mr. Campbell couldn’t have told Chuck to go to the Eastview Hotel but instead sends him a traceable message. Nice touch, tho, to have the meeting place at the Eastview Hotel cuz in the Gossipverse that’s where dudes get killed! (i’m using serena’s very loose definition of the word “kill.” you only die if you yourself snort the drugs that you yourself brought.)
The cast of characters of the Constance Billard–St. Jude’s production of The Age of Innocence: Serena as May, the pretty socialite who follows the rules with perfection and grace but suspects her fiance, the dashing but questioning Newland Archer (as played by Dan), may have eyes for her cousin, the returned and disgraced Countess Ellen Olenska (Blair). And right she is; Newland and Olenska are in lurve but it can never be… Nelly Yuki dons spectacles and a fat suit to play Mrs. Manson Mingott, the matriarch of the family, granny to May and Ellen, who has a stroke when Beaufort (Nate) is revealed to be an embezzler. Oh and Penelope’s the maid.
Giving proper credit to your literary predecessors is a classy thing to do and Gossip Girl owes a great heaping pile of thanks to the genius of Edith Wharton. I loved the awkwardness of the performance and how at least four people in the audience were playing on their cell phones during the show. Loved Nate’s freakout and Charles Isherwood‘s interpretation of it and the poor tortured stage manager. Dorota holding up the extensions to see how they’d look on her. The director being so impossibly pretentious but just cute enough that we can see why Serena thinks he’s hot. The Vanessa-as-Cyrano thing was kinda fun and led me to have fleeting hope that the end was nigh for V and N. And Serena: actually funny! It was pretty ludicrous!
Speaking of ludicrous… oh Blair, honey, you’ve lost your effing mind. Again. I love Blair on a rampage, and the stakes are pretty high (since Yale = her life plan since infancy), but holy mother of Gossip Girl. Blair hears the harsh truth when no one wants to play her games. Nelly Yuki shuts her down: “People aren’t jealous of you. They hate you.” And Serena doesn’t believe Blair didn’t send the blast: “Bottom line is betrayal is in your nature.” The turn at the end of the episode worked for me — Blair’s rage redirected at herself, and her revenge on Ms Carr being simply for her to live with her actions. It’s about time Blair felt remorseful.
But hooking up with Carter Baizen? A surefire path to feeling additional remorse. Turn back while you still can. I know it’s fun to make out with your real-life boyfriend on TV, Leighton, but for Blair’s sake, don’t do it! Go make a cameo on Kings or something.
Now from ludicrous to mortifying: when Rufus found that note. when Rufus went to Rachel’s apartment and she had candles lit? I thought I was going to fall right off the couch and die of secondary embarrassment. That is the worst. The dad of the guy you’re all prettied up to have sexy times with comes to your house cuz you’re doing it with a teenager. Oh god. Wait, was this the writers way of telling us that lusting after Chuck and Nate and Dan is somehow inappropriate for someone a few years older than them? No? Good. (There are a lot of hot pictures of Ed Westwick here.)
Sidebar question: What do I have to do to have hair like Blair Waldorf? I’m in the thick of writing Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl and that means I am watching a lot of GG and sometimes, instead of being focused on the task at hand, I find myself thinking about Leighton’s hair and if it looks Blair Waldorf–good on her days off and what her recently debuted bangs will mean for Blair. I’ve only just come to terms with the slightly lighter brown of her hair this season (and it’s episode 18). Also: Jenny’s hair. Are you haters OK with it yet? Or is it still just me who thinks she looks cool?
So what’s Blair going to do now that she ain’t going to Yale? Is there still a chance for regular acceptance with the rest of the plebs? Or is this phase one in the Everyone Goes to the Same College Which Happens to Be on the Upper East Side plot?
Next week: “The Grandfather.”