‘Gossip Girl’ Exceeds Our Expectations … Again!

Photo: Courtesy of the CW

Last week's rerun night of Gossip Girl gave us a glimpse into what our world would look like if the WGA writers continue to strike and stop producing new episodes, and we don't have to tell you: It looked bleak. Very bleak indeed. Instead of staying home and shooting up with our CW drug of choice, we went out, got drunk, made asses of ourselves, and woke up on top of our blankets still wearing our clothes from the night before, covered with sweat-soaked makeup and glitter. Which is why we savored every precious moment of this week's episode, from the opening bars of Aqualung's theme song to the glorious conclusion at Victrola, the burlesque club that Chuck wants his father to invest in. Why is Chuck interested in a burlesque club, specifically? Because like a high-school girl on Halloween, Gossip Girl loves nothing more than an excuse to don a skimpy costume and slut around. But you can only slut around so much, dear readers. If Gossip Girl wants to continue our relationship, it needs to play by our rules. And what does that mean? Making every effort to represent the city of New York as accurately as possible! Only, without the ugly places and poor people and boring parts.

And so! On to our Einsteinian comparison between the real, the unreal, and the crap that made us groan out loud to our gay friends in the living room.

You know our normal point system, right? The show get points added for everything we deem realistic in an episode and gets points deducted for everything we find absurd (which isn't really appropriate, as the absurd bits are what make the show so radiantly spectacular, but anyway). This week's ratings will be a little skewed, as they get approximately a billion trillion kajillion extra points for having the scenes filmed at Victrola actually take place in THE BOX. New York's most mind-wreckingly hot club is already at a point where they let high-school dramas from B-level networks shoot in their interior? That's the best news we've heard all week, even better than when we realized that Nate was going to betray his dad to the police over an eight ball and a bitch slap. Plus 20

As real as a Vanderbilt heirloom engagement ring!
• While explaining his passionate wish to get his dad, Bart, to invest in Victrola, Chuck waggles a New York Observer profile of his father, "Bad Bart's Big Deal" in Blair's face. The paper is spot on: There's a Philip Burke–looking illustration of Bart in the middle, and the rest of it is actually the September 11, 2007, edition of the real paper, you can see the headline "Ground Zero Is Rebranded With Tribeca Patina" on the side. Plus 15! They've never tried so hard! We're so proud! Seriously, we're weeping. It's embarrassing. Christ. Minus 1 for making us love too much.
• A whorey Observer reporter flirted with her interview subject to get ahead? Eh, we'll buy it. Plus 2.
• We were going to say the football sheets on Dan's bed are unrealistic — Dan is 18, he's a cool Brooklyn aesthete, maybe he would have moved on to, like, K-Mart Nautica Collection navy blue? But then we remembered that a few years ago we slept with a guy who had A-Team sheets. And a twin bed. And he was 25. Plus 5, because grown-up sheets are too much of a hurdle for some dudes.
• Also, Dan's sex music is Elliot Smith. Plus 10
• Serena and Dan awkwardly (and painfully) make out on the steps of their high school and grind as if they are in the bedroom, even though people are watching. Plus 2, because the uglier the high-school love is, the more accurate.
• But then in other scenes we see how Serena is when she's in the bedroom. She throws Dan around, she grinds like a subway pervert, she tosses her head around like a porn star, she even does that thing where you claw senselessly at a boy's chest. Man, she really is a whore. Plus 2 for consistency, though. Minus 1 for making us nervous about Blake Lively.
• Nate says to his mother: "You look down at the floor every time someone tries to tell you the truth." So Waspy and realistic! We even do that. Plus 2. Oh, and later, when Blair asks Nate to tell the truth about whether he loves her, HE LOOKS AT THE FLOOR. Plus 5 for a subtly repeated trope! I learned it from watching you, Mom!
• Everything that happens with Chuck and Blair in the limo scene is spot-on. Plus 3 for the awkward way she drunkenly slides across the seat toward him to start making out, Plus 3 for the fact that one always hooks up with someone highly regrettable after getting dumped, and Plus 3 for the fact that nobody ever loses his virginity to the person he wants to; it's always by accident with someone you never expected (or even particularly wanted) to.

Total 65! A record!

Faker than buying cocaine from a dude in a suit
• See above. We once saw an episode of Law & Order: SVU where dudes in suits sold yey to other dudes in suits. We didn't believe it then, and we don't believe it now. Minus 3.
• Okay, so Vanessa sneaks in while Dan and Serena are making out, which brings to bear the question we've been wondering since she first stepped foot through his window. What if he were masturbating?? This is high school, not Clarissa Explains It All; you can't just sneak through a boy's window without warning if you don't want to see some frighteningly awkward hunching maneuvers and a flash of low-grade Internet porn. Minus 5.
• Aha! Only a few minutes later, Vanessa comes in and Dan is looking at porn. Except he's still not masturbating. Not to be vulgar, but in what world would that happen? Minus 5, for willfully and repeatedly ignoring the libido level of a high-school boy. These creatures will hump APPLE PIES, people.
• Even if they aren't coming through windows, people are always doing the "pop in" on this show. They're showing up unannounced at galleries, slipping into apartments unnoticed, swinging by randomly in Town Cars. This is New York, not Everybody Loves Raymond; you can't just go wherever you want and expect people to be there to receive you. They're not going to be at home, they're at Starbucks, duh. Minus 6
• Nate's dad's excuse for using drugs is one that a child would give: "He offered me a pick-me-up, I didn't even like it!" First of all, wouldn't the guy in the D.A.R.E. ad would have said, "I was afraid at how much I liked it"? And second of all, don't adults have better excuse tactics? It's been their jobs to lie to kids for decades! Minus 3.
• Um, yeah. IN NO WORLD WOULD JENNY EVER TELL BLAIR THAT NATE KISSED HER. Minus 6. We could tell we're really involved with the show when this made us so angry and confused.

Total: Minus 28.

Total Total: This week, reality comes out on top, just like Serena. But if next week Lily and Rufus hook up, then things could really take a nosedive. Share your complaints/observations/suggestions in the comments!

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