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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love "Gossip Girl"

My position on Gossip Girl is slowly changing into something akin to--dare I say it?--amused appreciation. Will it ever blossom into the fullness of love experienced by the future Mrs. Televisionary (recounted in a post about her love for Gossip Girl here)? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I do have to say that I was completely sucked in by this week's repeat installment of Gossip Girl ("Dare Devil"). Maybe it was the complete and utter lack of Chuck (still a little too creepily smarmy for me) and Nate (far too whiny pretty-boy), but I actually really enjoyed this week's episode, which put the spotlight on little Humphrey, Jenny, and on the burgeoning friendship/repeated strolls-down-memory-lane between Rufus and Lily.

Jenny dished it out as good as she got it when she was on the receiving end of Blair's "generosity," snagging an invite to the annual Waldorf slumber party and falling victim to a mean-spirited game of Truth or Dare in which the stakes kept climbing. Not one to fall victim to Blair's machinations, Jenny proved that her claws are just as sharp as Miss Waldorf's: after getting locked inside Blair's mother's shop (with the police en route), Jenny pulled her best Blair impersonation and convinced the police to let her walk. Which she did, with that coat in the window display. But the very best bit: her decision not to spend the night at Blair's and to keep the jacket. Looks like B. has some new competition...

Additionally, I love the relationship between jilted Rufus and embittered Lily, even if it took weeks to finally let Lily relax a little around him. (Not helping: her insistence on keeping Eric in the hospital, even after he appeared at Ivy Week, but that's a moot point now.) Considering this series typically focuses on the mores of the young and rich in Manhattan, it's a nice change of pace to see their parents getting some three-dimensional storytelling as well. And when has Kelly Rutherford looked so luminous or had such a rich and complex role? It's brilliant to finally see her in a part worthy of her talents.

As for Serena and Dan, they are absolutely adorable together... which makes me feel that the producers will find some overly scripted way of keeping them apart in the next few episodes. Maybe some pressure put on them by the sudden appearance of one of Dan's Brooklyn friends, perhaps, in an echo of that old The OC storyline with Ryan and Theresa? Which is too bad, really, if that's coming sooner rather than later. (A quick look at next week's listings says it's coming now.) Sigh. I like the class warfare embedded into Dan and Serena's romance; the bit with Serena thinking Dan got a Vespa for their date (rather than the chauffeured car) was priceless without being precious. I'm dreading the addition of angst to the mix.

Still, the fact that I was glued to my television set last night was major progress in my crusade to learn to appreciate the charms of Gossip Girl. From what I hear (a la the sweet whisperings of the future Mrs. Televisionary), the series just gets better and better. And I am quite content to be the one catching up on an existing series for a change.

Next week on Gossip Girl ("The Handmaiden's Tale"), Dan's childhood friend Vanessa returns to Manhattan and hopes to be more than just BFFs; Dan and Jenny sneak into Blair's costumed ball.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Biggest Loser (NBC; 8-10 pm); Reaper (CW); Just for Laughs/Just for Laughs (ABC); American Idol (FOX; 8-9:30 pm)

9 pm: Big Brother 9 (CBS); One Tree Hill (CW); According to Jim/Carpoolers (ABC); Back to You (FOX; 9:30-10 pm)

10 pm: Jericho (CBS); Quarterlife (NBC); Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9 pm: Last Restaurant Standing on BBC America.

On the fourth episode of this addictive British import, Sam and Jacqui, Nicola and Tom, and Martin and Emma must battle to keep their restaurants open as they are tasked with serving a large-scale lunch for hundreds of scientists; as one team discovers they've forgotten some basic ingredients and another bemoans the lack of oven space, the pressure is on to make the most profit... or give up their dreams of owning their own restaurant.

Comments

Anonymous said…
That was definitely one of my favorite eps, if not my favorite, and for exactly the reason you mentioned - no Nate and Chuck!

As the season went on, Chuck grew on me a bit (he has a somewhat better storyline coming up), but not so much Nate, who is just so dull...

Glad you are finally coming around!
I agree with Ally. Chuck's upcoming storyline suddenly makes him much more interesting (if not more likable).

The Vanessa storyline is a little irksome but I got over it pretty quickly.

And Kelly Rutherford is definitely one of the best things about this show. I've never been a huge fan of hers but she is perfect as Lily and, like the show, just keeps getting better and better.

Keep watching!

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