Spring has sprung on the Upper East Side, and for the students at Constance Billard and St. Jude's, that apparently means dressing up in absurd, neon-colored outfits. Seriously, in that orange trench coat Chuck was wearing he looked like Kathie Lee Gifford on the fourth hour of the Today show. Even Serena, with her leather boho chic, was wearing bright-orange fingerless gloves. It was like the United Colors of Benetton, except with few to no minorities. But spring doesn't only mean questionable sartorial decisions for our heroes. It also means the SAT: studying for it, stressing about it, and publicly drugging their best friends so that they can't take it. Which brings us to this, our weekly evaluation of what was real on Gossip Girl, and what was so ridiculous even Georgina Sparks wouldn't put it in one of her orifices.
Realer Than a Brooklyn Dad Thinking That Collarless Shirts Are Still "Hip"
• Okay, we found the SAT studying pretty believable. Sure, in our recollections, nobody studied for them while in bed and someone was always cocky enough not to study at all, but generally it was real. You're not supposed to cram on the night before the test, but everyone does anyway. It makes people do weird things, and after it's done, people like Dan always talk about how they blew it even though they totally think they aced it. Plus 5.
• They exclusively refer to Nelly Yuki by both of her names, even when addressing her to her face. Plus 3, because in high school Asians are always two-namers.
• When Blair is talking about her friends' talents, she says: "Hazel, you're just along for the ride, okay?" So true. There's always one friend who awkwardly isn't looking at the same levels of schools. Plus 2.
• Ooh, new Sex and the City ad. Plus 1.
• Okay, we love how on TV people sit down for one drink and it always automatically cuts to them being drunk. Like, Serena has one Cosmo (more on that later) and then we cut to her being a whore. Because, let's be honest, that's exactly how it happens in real life. At least, the way we remember it. Plus 2.
• Serena can never solve her own problems. She always calls Chuck, Dan, or even Blair to help her out. So real. She's pretty. Other people fix things for her. Plus 2. This will either end up with her turning into an exact replica of her serial-marrying mother, Lily, or with her turning into a junkie.
• Georgina lolls about her apartment in peep-toe booties. So offensively hot right now. Plus 1.
• On their first night out together, Georgina and Serena end up using fake accents and names at the club and thinking it's hilarious. So high-school outrageoussssss! Plus 1.
• Okay, we need to discuss the moment when Vanessa and Nate end their date. First of all, it was totally awesome that for a minute there, Nate thought Vanessa lived in the coffee shop. For the record, we did too. Plus 2, especially since it delayed the inexorable introduction of Vanessa's inevitably paint-spattered studio apartment. Then, Nate did that thing that all attractive boys do when they want to kiss you. All they have to do is get their face near yours, not even saying anything, and you have to kiss them. It's like a law of nature. Plus 2. And another Plus 2 because nervous Vanessa is making wry commentary throughout the whole thing. We'd deduct points for Nate somehow being able to register her for the SAT within the five hours after this moment, but it was kind of an adorable twist.
• OH MY GOD SHE SLIPPED SERENA A MICKEY. At Spice Market, no less!! We'd also deduct points for this (who slips her friend a mickey? What does that even accomplish??) except that it is the best thing that has happened on a teen show since Emily Valentine tried to torch herself and the school parade float at the same time. Plus 10.
Faker Than an Image-Conscious 14-Year-Old Eating a Hot Dog (and Bun!!!) From a Street Vendor
• Okay, so there were some things that were problematic with the whole SAT setup. For one, Serena winces when she drinks coffee while studying. Hello, Serena loves coffee. She is totally that girl who prances around all day with a venti soy latte. You simply can't wear skinny scarves and not. Minus 2. Also, there are multiple opportunities to take the SAT. Not everyone would be taking them at the same time, and there wouldn't be the same "do or die" sense of finality to it. You can take them into the fall of your senior year, people! Over and over — with averages. We thought that was how rich, stupid people were supposed to get into Ivy League schools in the first place! Minus 2. (At least, that's how it was when we took the SAT. But that was back when your score was out of 1600, and we were having a lot of trouble with this whole 2400 concept. How are we supposed to know whether we are smarter than our kids if there isn't the same metric??)
• Problematically, Nelly Yuki has her sights set on Yale. "What are the odds of them accepting two girls from Constance?" Yale-obsessed Blair whines. Is that a joke? Four or five girls a year get into Harvard from schools like Spence and Chapin. It would be a slap in the face if they didn't accept more than one. Minus 4. Plus, can we talk about this whole Yale thing? Why does she want to go to Yale so badly? She's not in an a cappella group, she's not a homosexual man, and she most certainly isn't a theater dork. Wouldn't she rather go to Princeton with all the other whities? Minus 3.
• Did Isabel make a joke about booking a flight to Tel Aviv in reference to going to Brooklyn to study at Jenny's? Is that a joke about Kati fleeing the country? Or about the Humphrey's living in war-torn territory. Either way, not clear, and probably offensive. Minus 2.
• Jenny goes to "lurk outside of Dalton" to find a preppy nice boy. Dalton? They're rich, sure, but we thought you wanted somebody from a good family. Minus 3.
• Georgina drinks Cosmopolitans? She has her own coke dealer. Crazyface is not drinking Cosmos. Minus only 1, because come on, it's kind of funny.
• Nelly Yuki likes Flo Rida? No, no, no. Not someone who describes a concert experience thusly: "We were waving our hands in the ayer like we just didn't cayer." Minus 2.
• A word on the fashion errors in this episode. Minus 5 for the bizarre color scheme. Minus 1 for rampant overuse of blush. What, is it extremely windy everywhere? It's a private girls' school, the headmistress wouldn't let them run around looking like Bai Ling. And that outfit Blair was wearing, the one with the cape? We understand she may have been trying to cover up the whole argyle-over-gingham mess beneath it, but really? Was she getting ready to ride to the Old North Church in case the British came? Minus 2.
• Nate's dad going into rehab was "on the front page of every newspaper in the city"?? We didn't get to see that in an episode? Robbed! Minus 2.
• We kind of liked how Blair and Dan became sort of allied at the end of the episode, around Serena's SAT absence. And we also love the way Blair looked in that skinny cream blazer. At first we couldn't figure it out, but then we realized what was different. She wasn't wearing a headband! She looked lovely. Except hello, of all the days not to wear a headband? False, friends. Minus 1.
• We were unsure whether the writers could top the whole mickey thing, but then the end of the episode made us literally clap and bounce in our seats. Georgina finds Dan in the park (Minus 2, by the way, you can't randomly find someone in the park, and where the hell did that dog come from?) and introduces herself. We have to give this another Minus 2 because Dan would clearly be too worried about Serena to flirt with someone else. But the moment when she said, "I'm Sarah, by the way" may have been the best one of the whole series.
Total: Minus 34.
In the end, this episode landed on the side of fake by just one point. But it was more than made up for in awesomeness. And, it was all worth the teaser for the next episode, during which we will learn what the hell it is that Serena and Georgina did together that was so bad (our money is on it being, um, Nate). "That's not the only thing that's coming out," the voice-over warns. Yaaaay! Three snaps up, in a circle!