Last night’s Gossip Girl, titled “New Haven Can Wait,” followed the antics of — let’s face it — the entire class as they went up to visit “Yale.” We’ll take off appropriate points in the recap, but to be fair, we will announce in advance: There is no way for even such exquisite human machines as we to adequately tally the myriad of offenses committed by the CW of the college admissions process, which was almost as bizarre as the choice of Sensitive Touch, “your cosmetic laser,” as a sponsor for last night’s show.
To be fair, in addition, we should also warn you — this is one of two episodes this fall during which we are going to be really unforgivably obnoxious: Daily Intel editor Chris especially, since he actually went to Yale. Daily Intel Jessica’s just making snide comments with a chip on her shoulder like her soul mate, Dan. (For instance, you’ll notice that Chris totally didn’t mention anything about the Skull and Bones at all, isn’t that INTERESTING? Also, Rufus should totally let Jenny drop out of high school to pursue her passion at 15. If only Jessica had that chance! She would have a flourishing career as a professional pot smoker and doodler of sad-eyed fairies, and let us tell you, the world is a lesser place for that.)
No seriously anyway: Chris won’t be too know-it-all-y, like he won’t even deduct for the fact that Columbia was used as a surrogate (schlepping all that crew to Connecticut would be difficult, and exposing all that pricey fashion to the New Haven streets would just be foolhardy). And Jessica will keep the academic insecurity to a minimum. (Though she totally didn’t read Love in the Time of Cholera, is that normal?)
As for the second episode that will instill our know-it-all obnoxiousness this fall? That, dear Upper East Siders, is the one thing we’ll never tell.
As Real As Marc Jacobs Naming a Purse After the Random Trashy Blonde Socialite-of-the-Moment:
• Perhaps the most honest, devastating moment in the entire episode is when Dorota delivers Blair her breakfast in bed on the day of her big Yale interview. Though Eleanor has been very specific about Blair’s breakfast — appetite-suppressing Kombucha, we’ll get to that later on — she’s too busy squeezing more child labor out of Jenny to actually be there for the blessed day. Dorota can’t hold it in and tells Blair, “I’m so proud of you!” A moment of extreme Wasp malfunction ensues, then Dorota holds up the “Page Six” featuring Serena, allowing them to both comfortably retreat into bitchiness. Plus 10.
• Can we just say that Jenny a.k.a. Taylor Momsen is SO genius at adolescent sulk? Possibly that is because she is actually 15 but still. Plus 1.
•: Chuck has some line about creating your own Freshman Fifteen, which we totally don’t hear. Commenters?
• UGH, honestly. Another Audrey Hepburn reference? This time Blair dreams of herself as a pre-reformation Eliza Doolittle, while Serena shows up as a refined version, dressed for the Ascot races. Plus 2 because the show is nothing if not consistent, but don’t think we didn’t notice those peonies on the table, out of season. Blair wouldn’t dream wrong in flowers.
• Regarding her Yale admissions visit, Blair assures Dorota: “If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to give good ‘interview.’” Plus 3, because that “skill” is going to serve her so well when she becomes an assistant at CAA.
• Lily appears in “Page Six” as Serena’s “unidentified friend.” “Page Six” would definitely know who Lily Bass is, but they’d also definitely try to block out any reminder of the fact that the hot eye candy they’re featuring is underage. Plus 2.
• Dan is wearing a fruity Zara shirt to his interview day. Clearly he’s sensed that Yale is looking for something a little, um, more snug-fitting than your average preppy. Plus 2.
• Also, we’d just like to take a moment to appreciate the fact that Dan is still a cocky jerk to Chuck, despite the fact that Chuck caught him red-handed exploiting his dead-mother story. If this were any other teen drama, like if it were Seventh Heaven, for instance, which we’ve never seen but can imagine, then the character of Dan would have repented about that in some way. Like he would have approached Chuck and been all, “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you” or whatever, but in a gruff, ungay way. And Chuck would have rebuffed him and there would have been some kind of misunderstanding, but still they would have given each other backward glances before the commercial break and it would have been clear Dan at least tried and was therefore redeemable. But in Gossip Girl, he just kind of like rationalizes it to himself or whatever allows him to continue to be a douche, just like a dude would in real life. Plus 4.
• Thank God at least Nate wants to go to USC. What, did Yale suddenly become the only school in America? Even the most successful private-school students know they have to diversify — not all of them will get into the same school. At least someone’s parents would force them to apply early to Harvard. Plus 2, because clearly Nelly Yuki is in Cambridge with her parents this weekend.
• Citing some family connections, Chuck calls Yale Nate’s “safety school.” Plus 1, because that’s always the case with some kids. But Minus 1 because didn’t we already learn that Nate’s dad, El Captain, went to Dartmouth?
• Blair calls Brown “an enclave of trustafarians and children of celebrities” who “major in drum circles and semiotics, whatever that is.” Ha! So true. She also spits out stereotypical private-school phrases, like “Everyone knows that the only real Ivies are the holy trinity: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton,” and “Have fun in Providence, you know, maybe you can get your hair dreadlocked while you’re there.” Plus 3 and a virtual high-five to Blair’s writers! Can’t one of the other characters rent them for an episode or something?
• Also, bonus for undermining “knowledge is power” for a generation of tweens. Power is tits and hair extensions, kids. Live it. Plus 1.
• Dan gives the most obnoxious, pretentious interview ever. Plus 3. Those secret-society kids who beat him up and humiliated him were probably sent by the admissions director.
• Of course that old perv of a professor would get all giddy about Serena, who is by the way wearing a boob tray and jeans. And later a midriff-baring dress that has totally GOT LYCRA in it. This is how Jessica got through college, incidentally. Plus 3.
• Chuck: “What’s your answer to the dean’s question?” Serena: “Uh, yes.” Ha, slut. Plus 1.
• Someone calls Nate Archibald’s dad the “modern Milken.” Plus 5, because clearly at least someone who writes for this show was born before 1985, which makes us feel moderately less pathetic. But then, isn’t Mike Milken kind of still “the modern Milken”? It’s not like he’s dead. It’s only been like twenty years. There you go again, Gossip Girl, picking us up and knocking us down again.
• Nate asked Dan, “Do you ever get tired of carrying around that chip on your shoulder?” Ooh, he got in his one zinger! What’s he going to do for the rest of college? Plus 2.
• Did Dan say “synonymous sex” just then? It sort of seems like he did. Plus 1 because he is that flustered. By the way, is it bad to swallow the bits of cork in wine?
• The Yale admissions office is on Hillhouse. Plus 1.
• The freaky girl in the floral-print dress at the dean’s reception is a freegan. Durh. Plus 2. She’s also a Wiccan, but that’s 8 percent less funny to say out loud.
• Blair once tackled Chuck Schumer’s daughter at the Harvard-Yale game because she was wearing a Harvard sweatshirt? Touché — both of those chicks, and their dad, went to school in Cambridge. Plus 3.
• During their awesomely girlish fight outside the dean’s office, Serena finally says to Blair what we’ve all been thinking: “I really hate that stupid headband!” Plus 5. (She also said something about a “chicken wing” that sounded great, but we couldn’t hear it.)
• “Great Hoaxes in Archaeology” is a Yale course. Plus 5!
• Lily says to Rufus, “”Eric has a new friend. So I hear.” Plus 2, because it’s about time. Eric, like all gays, knows only too well that you’re only allowed to partake in the delicacy of sweet teenage fruits when you are one yourself. He’s got to take advantage! And Plus another 2 because Lily would, of course, refer to his new beau as a “friend.”
• OMG DID NATE AND DAN AND THAT GIRL HAVE A THREESOME?!! Plus 10.
Faker Than a “New Haven” Without Black People or Gays
• Okay, let’s get these Yale/college issues over with quickly. The dean of admissions doesn’t have a pre-application private reception. Minus 2. (Chris would have blackmailed a secretary with eighteenth-century ceramic cats to get in if there were.) Also, no one would have handwritten Serena van der Woodsen an invitation, especially not in fifth-grade-girl handwriting. Minus 2. Dan is worrying about his “ecru”-shaded résumé, which is hilarious — but one doesn’t send a résumé with one’s college application. One tries to fit all the quasi-made-up clubs one joined in high school into the ridiculous small box supplied on the application. Minus 2. You don’t need two references by famous writers to get into Yale — you don’t even need one. Minus 1.
• This deserves a separate point. Serena is a terrible student. The show talks about this incessantly. Much more famous kids than her want to go to Ivy League schools every year (hello, Haley Joel Osment??). They wouldn’t be so gaga over her, no matter how shiny her hair is. Minus 3.
• Also, secret societies don’t recruit freshmen, they’re only for seniors (Minus 5).
• Serena’s picture is way too big in “Page Six.” There’d be a homophobic Sean Delonas cartoon occupying half that space. Minus 2.
• Why is Vanessa the boss of Rufus? Jenny should have had the shit grounded out of her after last episode. Minus 3.
• Blair’s essay is titled, “On Being Blair.” Minus 4, because obviously a tutor would have written it for her and known better.
• Blair’s meltdown in front of the director of admissions? Including the kiss? She’s too composed and clever for that. But we totally would have done it. So only Minus 3.
• We understand why dim bulb Nate could only think of Dan’s name when it came time to pretend he was someone else. But why would he adopt his entire identity? He could have just said he was a lacrosse player and that chick wouldn’t have asked him what he thought about anything, much less Gabriel García Márquez. Minus 2
• Even Serena knows better than to wear a skanky-ass top like that to a college interview. When she bent over, it was like you were looking down the return shoot at a bowling alley! Minus 2.
• Where did Chuck get hookers in New Haven?? Minus 5. And since when are there that many straight guys in a room at Yale? Minus 5.
• There’s no “Mike’s Bar” in New Haven. All college bars have ridiculous Irish names, or at the very least something with the word “keg” in it. Doesn’t everybody know that? Minus 1.
• Blair would have known better than to have Serena talk about Peter Fairman, the dude she “killed,” at the admissions event. Remember when Blair got her to admit (falsely, in defense of suicide-ridden Eric) that she was in rehab at the beginning of season one? Serena totally turned that around into the best college bait, ever. Obviously she would turn this around, too. Minus 5, because “I killed a dude” is the only better college-essay topic we can think of than “I went to rehab at 16.”
• Blair would not have thrown that clutch. Minus 3, because Serena’s extensions would have never gotten out of the buckle clasp.
• Since when is Jenny so eager to pimp out her dad to Lily? She’s like 14, and her parents just got divorced. Even though she wants to keep her job, she has to still harbor the vain hope that her parents might get back together. Or at least Dan and Serena! It’s idiotic hopes like that that get kids through puberty — like the idea that pets go to Heaven and your parents aren’t going to incinerate your stuffed animals the minute you go to college and turn your room into a “den.” Minus 4.
• Chuck sics the Skull and Bones on Dan instead of Nate, but how did he know where Dan would be? Minus 1.
• Dudes, it’s a college campus. Dan would have been tied up naked. Minus 3, for their sakes and ours.
• The TA lady knows how to untie a knot because “my mother was in the Navy.” No. Minus 1.
• Nobody, not even Blair and Serena, has hair that looks that good after a fight. Blair didn’t even use her Mary Janes to try to poke Serena’s eyes out! Minus 3.
• Blair’s hat totally clashes with her dress in the final scene. Minus 2, because, like, barf.
Okay, anybody out there know anything about Skull and Bones? Because Chris isn’t talking. Put your pluses and minuses in the comments and we’ll tally it up at the end of the week.