Okay, I'm gonna review this episode a bit more seriously than usual. Gossip Girl is fun to poke fun at because I love it and enjoy doing that... but lately (as in this season, and to some extent the back half of season two) has seen GG take a huge downward turn in quality. This show is only fun to poke fun at if I understand it and it still has its awesome redeeming qualities -- which I don't feel I do at the moment and it doesn't right now. If you're wanting to read a sunshine and roses review this isn't it, I'm not going to pretend this episode was good just because I like this programme and I refuse not to criticise it just because I like it. The criticisms come from wanting it to get better. Warning this is going to be a little ranty... The fact of the matter is, I don't understand what most of the characters are doing. I know on places like TWOP they're having the same issues with season three: Blair acting completely regressed, Nate suddenly wanting to help his granddad, Serena and Carters insta-romance. It all smacks of lazy writing. Where are the motivations? Where are the complexities of season one? I said last week that I've been enjoying season seven of One Tree Hill more than GG this season, it's sad because GG is a better show, there's no doubt about that, yet I feel as if OTH has been much better quality this year than GG. I'm also enjoying OTH and I don't enjoy GG at the moment... I think that's much worse in a way. I can ignore poor writing to an extent if I enjoy something enough but I'm feeling increasingly frustrated with this show.
Case in point, lets start with Chuck and Blair since they're my favourites. It seems to me that the writers can handle these two in a relationship although I have to wonder at their lack of screentime and lack of intensity at the moment. You have here the two best actors on the show by a huge mile and what are they doing? Not a whole lot. This episode we basically had Chuck being a mature man and supporting his girlfriend, while Blair the childishly regressed girlfriend manipulated him? I think the manipulations of Blair's part is a natural way for their arc to go, but I WISH they had not sacrificed Blair at the altar of BS for it go that way. Chuck has been characterised well this season for me (who knew he would make such a fantastic boyfriend?) -- I would like more snark though. Blair is the one I have a problem with. Her characterisation has been appalling this season; she's been trying to become queen of NYU, which is inherently stupid in itself because there is no such exisiting social structure in any university. Another reason this characterisation is moronic is because it makes Blair look childish (especially compared to Chuck) and it's a regression of her character -- there's that word again. Blair has been regressed. She is no longer the wonderfully complex, viscous, self-serving, kind hearted, intelligent and insecure girl we met in season one. That has been stripped away from her lately as she's been used for comic relief and asinine plotlines like the one in this episode. In season two Blair said she was over power plays in school when Chuck was going insane and trying to drink himself to death; she realised some things were just more important than status. This was positive character growth and I was pleased to see this occur, yet here she is in college attempting to exert her control?! Awful. If we turn to this episode we see Blair manipulate Chuck, which I didn't mind and think that development is more interesting than a third party to cause drama. This is obviously going to cause them a certain degree of trouble in their relationship. What's sad about the events of this episode is that Chuck loves Blair more than anything in the world; he never would have denied her anything she wanted -- I thought that line where he said he didn't like kissing someone that wasn't Blair said it all. If she had just asked him to help her she could have avoided the damage that machination has now caused them -- I just wish Blair hadn't been written so childish alongside it. Although, no matter what Blair does I could never hate her. I am angry with the writers for being so utterly careless though. Although I did like the Blair dream at the start of the episode, hee. I definately agree with those who believe that this show turns to abhorrent mess when Blair is no longer at the emotional centre of the show -- another reason why season one was so good IMO.
Now Nate. I like Nate. I can't help it, even after his dubious behaviour during latter season two -- I'm glad that he's back in thick of things although I don't understand his motivations. He seems to change week to week depending upon whatever contrived piece of crap storyline the writers need him for. He's back helping his grandfather in this episode although I cannot fathom why. In season one Nate wanted nothing to do with his parent's lifestyle, which is why he dated Vanessa and is friends with Dan etc. and just generally realised that there was life beyond the UES. That rebellion against the social norm was at the core of his character and his struggles. Now here he is in season three becoming what he was always so determined to avoid. Huh? In season two when we first meet his granddad we see that Nate didn't want approval from him... in that episode in season two Nate suddenly decides he does want granddads approval and continues to flip-flop on this until the finale when he basically said screw it and turned his back on granddaddy (again). Unless I've missed something I don't know why he's suddenly changed his mind yet again and is back to helping his family. It's all very confusing. Maybe if I rewatched the episodes I could see the consistency in Nate's progression but I can't see anything even resembling sense with regards to his character. I thought it was funny that he said 'I have an idea' in this episode... ahahahahahhahahaha! Poor stupid Nate.
I loved seeing Gina Torres: it's so nice to see Buffy/Angel/Firefly alum back on my TV... erm, computer screen. Now to Vanessa, Vanessa with her terrible terrible hair and even worse personality. I liked her last week and quite rightly predicted the fact that I would soon want to murder her once more! Oh the hatred is back in full force... unbridled and lusting for blood. Usually I just veer unsteadily between sheer indifference, annoyance or outright hatred -- thanks to this episode; I'm back to outright blood boiling hatred. Grr, I do resent having her shoved down my throat so much. The loathsome creature has had more screentime than Chuck, Nate and Jenny this season. She's a supporting cast member stop trying to f*****g make me love her writers; it's not gonna happen. Why bother? I know this tatic. Give her so much screentime that the audience will see her awesomeness and love her WTFever. I really hate her. It reminds of what they tried in season two when they were all 'look Chuck Bass thinks Vanessa is cool! You should like here therefore...' Ugh. Half of the problem with this season has been her amount of screentime to the detriment of the other main characters. Jessica Schorz is beautiful and sweet but I don't like Vanessa or her acting. I will also scream very loudly if Vanessa EVER becomes friends with Blair. As someone else pointed out, how silly has this show gotten that even Vanessa can out-scheme Blair? -- V who is as dumb as a pile of bricks. Dark times my friends dark times. As for the other stuff... I don't mind Hilary Duff, she's cute as a button and I find her very inoffensive compared with some of the dreck this show has been dishing out if late. Dan is fine, I like him after a forever of disliking him: nothing to complain about there. One other thing aggravating me is All About Serena and her tru wuv Carter. Are we really supposed to care? I can't even summon the energy to think about them much less concentrate during their scenes -- the writing, like everything else this season has been mediocre at best. Their feelings for one another don't seem to correlate with what we've seen of them in the past and I'm having a hard time buying what they're selling. I heard a rumour that if CS are well received then Carter will become a regular. I don't like this idea for two reasons: first, we already have a Chuck Bass, we don't need Chuck Bass 2.0, Chuck Bass Lite, or A Chuck Bass for Serena. I'm worried that they'll give precious screentime and storylines that would have gone to Chuck to Carter -- his lesser twin. Secondly, this cast is already so bloated we really do not need another regular who adds nothing new to the story. The show got huge budget cuts after last season and the usually beautiful clothes are already suffering -- these writers do not need any shiny new toys to play with. They need to play with and develop correctly the ones they've already got. Also New York has ceased to be a character on GG. I started noticing the huge lack of NY scenery last season, but it's getting worse now. Gossip Girl is losing everything that made it different and a step above the average teenage drama. Obviously, I'm feeling peeved at this show. I'll stop there because this is getting too long. I just want the writers to wake up and take things a bit more seriously -- this show was once compared to Mad Men. I can't imagine that happening now. xoxo