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"You're Lucky I'm Bored": Catwalks, Catfights, and Catty Behavior on "Gossip Girl"

I was really looking forward to last night's episode of Gossip Girl ("The Serena Also Rises") as it promised not only a potential showdown in the escalating war between former BFFs Serena and Blair, with the backdrop of New York Fashion Week, but also because it promised to finally bring together bitter enemies Chuck and Dan for a night on the town. Right?

Not quite.

While I was riveted by the Serena/Blair/Jenny drama (though, honestly, Laurel should be fired for leaving an intern in charge of readying the models and did no one check any of the models' ensembles before they went out on the runway?), I found the Dan storyline to once again be a leaden mess and a complete misuse of what could have been a hilarious and fun storyline that had the two of them hitting the town, Chuck Bass style.

Instead, we're force-fed another plot about what a fantastic writer Dan is but how Yale's admission office won't be impressed with any of his recent writings (despite, one can't help but think, the fact that as a teenager he got a story published in The New Yorker, no small feat) and how he needs to experience something outside of his sheltered background, something he determines only one Chuck Bass can show him, in order to make his writing sparkle. Apparently, Dan hasn't heard of actually writing fiction for a change, rather than less-than-artfully shading his real-life experiences into semi-fabricated copy.

The two set off together for a night of debauchery, only to have Chuck offer Dan drugs (he reluctantly accepts a pill from Chuck without knowing what it is and without seeing Chuck actually take one himself), take him to a sex club behind a White Castle (where he sees a real live hooker!), and then dump him on the sidewalk somewhere in Manhattan without his shoes. Not sure why Dan would even get out of the car, much less not demand his shoes back, but there you go.

All of that could have still happened as a prelude for an actual night of bonding in which Dan comes back for another taste of Bass. But to have him bring a copy of his short story along for the ride, with notes like "Find out his secrets!" written in red ink was entirely ridiculous, as was the police handing Chuck the wrong bag of personal belongings, which just so happened to contain that incriminating short story.

Such wasted potential here for some actual interesting and compelling storytelling as well as some character development; while I don't want Dan and Chuck to be friends any time soon, I think a night out on the town could have been a fantastic beat for them, even if it still did end with Chuck feeling betrayed by Dan after opening up to him.

I am, however, loving Jenny Humphrey, who's not only been cutting school to work for Eleanor (and lying to Eleanor about doing an independent study program, the school, and Rufus to boot) but, after attempting to get him barred from the fashion show after-party, tells Rufus to his face that she won't be returning to Constance Billard any time soon and that she told the headmistress that herself. Bold move, Little J. As was casually sauntering back upstairs afterwards (and issuing a verbal slap to Rufus when she said she thought she had more talent than he did at her age) instead of leaving with her dad. This kitten's got claws.

I am hoping for some sort of truce between Blair and Jenny, if only because they would both be much better off working together to dethrone Serena (loved Jenny's line about how they both have had to work for things in their own way while Serena glides through life) rather than wasting time warring as well. Together, these two might just be the chink in Serena's armor.

Not sure I buy that socialite Poppy Lipton is hanging out with teenager Serena but stranger things have happened on this series. Like Serena proving during the entire first season that she was a good person, only to undermine that completely last week... and then this week attempt to embrace the glittering new Serena van der Woodsen who won't turn down her glow for anyone.

But no Nate or Vanessa this week, which is a Very Good Thing in my book. And just what did Bart learn about Lily that had her so freaked out? Hmmm.

In two weeks on Gossip Girl ("New Haven Can Wait"), Serena ditches plans to visit Brown after a fight with Blair and decides to visit Yale instead, knowing fully it will upset Blair who has always dreamed of attending; Chuck is kidnapped by members of Skull & Bones; Nate hooks up with a college student... and everyone in the little coterie of Gossip Girl seemingly wants to become Yalies.

Comments

Completely agree with you about the Dan/Chuck storyline. Just when things were getting interesting (with Chuck giving Dan that pill) we cut away and don't catch up with the boys until later when Chuck dumps Dan off on the side of the road. I think they could have done a lot more with that.

The Jenny/Blair/Serena feud was great, though. (Although I can't believe no one would notice that Serena was in the wrong dress before she went down the runway.)

And I'm very interested to see what secret Lily has been hiding...
Anonymous said…
I know, what's up with all the Yale references. Is the university sponsoring the show or is everyone suddenly wanting to be Rory Gilmore?
Anonymous said…
Was it just me or did you think like Chuck did that the way Dan said he was looking to try something new made it seem like he was coming on to him???
The CineManiac said…
I enjoyed the episode, but agree that the Chuck/Dan story could have been better handled.

But what really bothered me was how Rufus just stood there when Jenny walked off to go up the stairs. I think a real father would have said something. Also I'd have told her she's going back to school or she's finding a new place to live.
Anonymous said…
I think the Yale thing it's just a way of keeping everyone together next season, because I heard the gang is graduating in the end of this season.
Anonymous said…
"But to have him bring a copy of his short story along for the ride, with notes like "Find out his secrets!" written in red ink was entirely ridiculous, as was the police handing Chuck the wrong bag of personal belongings, which just so happened to contain that incriminating short story."

UGh - this bothered me to no end. This is total hackneyed tv.

and yes, ITA agree re: the Chuck/Dan story. Such wasted potential.

Blair and Little J together would be a force to be reckoned with.

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