Spotted: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad World

This week Gossip Girl tackled a tricky question: if you used to do sketchy things — like deal drugs or sleep with your boarding school professors — should you tell your father? the answer, dear readers, is no. You should not. It won’t help anybody anyhow, faith or no faith in your father-daughter relationship. Of course, things are different when you’re a van der Woodsen….

This was not my favorite episode of Gossip Girl of all time, far from it, but let’s put on Serena’s rose-colored glasses — I’ll tell ya what I did like:

  • Blake Lively in turquoise. Crazy pretty.
  • Chuck: “Judge away. Shame turns me on.”
  • That pink bow in Lily’s hair.
  • Eric telling Dr. VDW that he doesn’t need him. You go, Little van der Woodsen.
  • Blair: “Are you third-personing me?”
  • Blair in that blue hat. I have a lot of difficulty with Blair’s hat choices (remember that thing she wore in the Yale episode? blech.) but this worked. And the lavender polka-dot dress underneath — perfection.
  • Vanessa’s giant giant poncho jacket. just joshing. it was awful awful awful.
  • Chuck and Lily. Aw. Those two always get me.
  • That sad uneaten sandwich Rufus made.
  • Drug dealing coming to some good: Jenny has insider info on Dr. VDW effing with Lily’s medicine, and she knows just the Upper East Sider to squeal to.

But other than the above: when the BING product placement is not the most annoying part of a CW show, we have a problem. I was just not feeling this episode. I was ready to delight in the Jenny/Serena battle but … meh. I don’t really care if Rufus cheated on Lily. Or if Vanessa and Dan will write each other sexy letters while she’s in Haiti. I have a case of the Gossip Girl blahs. And winter? I do not want to see snow on the ground in NYC when I’m watching an episode on May 3. Shoot indoors. Or hire people to clear away a tiny area of snow and fake it. Cut Jenny’s hair extension allowance and use that money for set decoration.

My hope: the season finale is as awesome as it’s being hyped to be, we get all excited for season 4, and in September with a fresh start the show gets back into its season 1 & 2 groove. Turn wheel of fortune, turn.

Am I being way harsh? Did you enjoy the episode?

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Spotted: Inglorious Bassterds

Hmmmmmm. Not quite sure what to make of this episode of Gossip Girl.

There was some stuff that just fell flat — like the split-screen ’70s campy spy/action movie effect. Nope, not working. And even Dorota, who I always always love, was given just too much corny stuff to do.

I’m not sure that the whole Jack Bass scheme even makes sense in the end — why is he so hell bent on breaking up his 18-year-old nephew’s relationship? He doesn’t have better things to do? But that Desmond Harrington knows how to play repulsive, and he did it well tonight. I am happy to see conflict between Chuck and Blair, and their confrontation at the end of the episode was great — even if it came from something ludicrous. Blair’s single tear, and that slap, and Chuck remembering word for word what Blair said to him when she first told him she loved him… classic glorious Gossip Girl.

As was Blair in that Matthew Williamson embroidered halter dress. Stunning.

I liked Jenny’s attempt to break up Nate and Serena, and liked even more that it failed. That she’s using her actual trauma-rama life to manipulate Nate, but he’s only there being a stand-up good guy.

Glad Eric van der Woodsen’s back, with his quick wit, his dalliances in Japan, and a new potential beau lined up. And congratulations to Dorota and Vanya. I look forward to your nuptials.

The Dan/Vanessa plot was a little more interesting this week, since they were bickering a bit and it looks like things will pick up when Dan inevitably finds out Vanessa’s applying to Tisch as well. Interesting.

The promo for next week suggests we’ll finally meet Doctor van der Woodsen, and (thank god) we’ll see the return of my one true love, Carter Baizen.

But this week’s episode… I dunno. It didn’t quite work for me. Thoughts on where it went wrong? Or why I’m wrong and this was Gossip Girl gold?

Spotted: The Empire Strikes Jack

Anybody else find Blair’s chapeau extremely distracting? I just stared at her head. Who knows what she was talking about.

I don’t know about you Jenny Haters out there, but second week in a row with a strong Jenny plot and I am digging it. Poor kid still gets drugged and nearly taken away by some skeeze. I found that plot truly scary. Though I could have done without the double-Agnes vision. I am also VERY excited about the Jenny Destroys Nate-and-Serena plot. Weee! Do it.

I love Eleanor Waldorf, and her return in this episode was no disappointment. “Never hide who you are,” she advised her daughter. Very wise words. It also looks like we’re coming to the end of the Blair @ NYU mistake, and thank god for that. The fashion show looked cool with the projected image behind the catwalk, and my roommate informs me that the Mickey Mouse DJ is in fact DeadMaus. The return of Brandice and her prostitute gang was welcome, as Blair says, “Prostitutes are people too. With a lot of disposable income.”

The Chuck plot line left me a little cold but at least it’s moving quickly. Ed Westwick’s acting in this episode was superb. He had that teary-eyed glisten happening, like I really want to cry but goddammit I won’t. (And also the poor boy looked very cold.)

The Dan and Vanessa story felt a little tacked on too — subplot! And again I ask where is Eric van der Woodsen??

The trailer for next week’s episode had me gasping with shock and horror and delight! It looks like this is the episode that inspired the minorly spoilery window at Matthew Williamson.

What were your favorite moments? The Bristol Palin reference? Dorota comparing her baby’s kicking to Lars Ulrich’s drumming?

Next week: “Inglorious Bassterds”

Spotted: The Sixteen Year Old Virgin

Poor Little J! It seemed like she was going to have one significant first this episode, but in the end it wasn’t the one we expected: Jenny may still be a virgin but she’s seen Dirty Dancing. I really liked how this plot turned out, and how it roped in Nate’s and Serena’s feelings about their own first times and reputations.

But Jenny first: I find her really entertaining when she’s grumpy and snarky with Rufus (Waffles? What a surprise.), thought she looked really pretty with her hair up (which she immediately took down), and found her sense of isolation really believable. She’s right — when Dan dated Serena at the same age, it was cute. And while we know that Damien is a drug dealer, the rest of the Gossip gang doesn’t — why are they controlling her so much? Jenny calls Nate a traitor and I’m sure that’s how she feels about Serena and Dan as well. No wonder she lies to Serena at the end of the episode about losing her virginity. But she didn’t — it turns out that underneath that mop of blonde hair the Jenny that Rufus considers his daughter is still there, and isn’t willing to give it up to Damien and then discuss the importance of giving it up. Jenny’s always trying to prove that she’s not a child anymore, so for Damien to call her one, in that situation, is just about the most crushing thing he could have said.

And Blair’s plot line! Oh wait, she didn’t have one, save for nestling with Chuck and supporting him through thick and thin. At least she and Serena still get ready for balls together. (And did you catch the shout-out to the Daily Intel? Serena said “Daily Intel”! I bet Chris and Jessica just about died of joy. Next up: their cameo appearance.)

Serena attempting to pull a Chuck-and-Blair level ruse on Damien was hilarious in its failure. The Serena/Nate dynamic is believable, I think, but I don’t know that I want them to stay together. Eep! Sorry. Nate is such a good boyfriend, and I love it when he’s with someone (save for Bree . . . and Vanessa) but I like Serena when she’s in the Danger Zone — dating a Carter Baizen type. But Nate — break my heart — and his revelation about how he felt being ditched the morning after (well, technically the night of), and having Serena disappear from his life for a year. I’d never really thought about the situation from his perspective, and it turns out Serena didn’t either. Did anyone else think they were going to head down to the Campbell Apartment and re-enact the whole first-time moment?

What’s going on with Lily, Cece, and Dr. van der Woodsen? Is Cece the one who needs more tests, or is it . . . Lily?? I think it’s time for Lily to fess up about what’s going on with the good doctor. It was hard to watch her lie to Rufus, just moments after having a sweet make-up in the Bart Bass Wing of wherever they were. I also thought Kelly Rutherford was pitch-perfect in the moment that she sees Jack Bass approach. What the hey was with that wannabe-rapist’s facial hair? Things have not gone well for him, style-wise, in the past year. His “apology” for the night at the opera was really funny (how do they make these horrific moments hilarious?) — he drank too much, took some of those over-the-counter pills that are now behind the counter, . . . and some meth.

No real surprise: the evil Jack Bass is on the Empire Hotel take-over plot with Evelyn Bass/Elizabeth Fisher and Chuck’s lawyer. (Why they would want a hotel they just ran into the ground, I do not know.) Did Jack have the DNA test results faked? We know he can hook up a faux liquor license at the drop of a hat, so it’s possible he was behind that. Or maybe Evelyn/Elizabeth really is Chuck’s mother, and she’s just awful. I must say I’m looking forward to this all coming to light — there’s something so wrong about routinely seeing Chuck Bass with a giant smile and happy puppy-dog eyes. Give me misery and cynicism, Bass. (Another great line from Jack was about the number of great sexual puns you can make with the name “Chuck Bass.”)

And what about the Dan & Vanessa friends vs. friends with benefits debate? I find Dan the most entertaining when he’s unsure and awkward and the whole “make a map” thing and calling Vanessa a classmate was hilarious. I wasn’t sure if I would take to Dan+Vanessa, but so far so good for me.

One more question: where is Eric van der Woodsen? I don’t recall them even giving us an excuse for his absence. He and Jenny made up at the hospital in “The Debarted,” and now? He’s vanished. Did I miss something?

Next week: the return of Eleanor Waldorf, crazy model Agnes, as well as some roleplaying, fashion shows, hallucinations, and … did I see a dagger?? will post the HQ promo when CW has it up.

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