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The Secret Life of Gossip Girl

The idea of home, and finding one’s place in the world, figured prominently in this week’s Gossip Girl. The Bass family hosted a housewarming party in their luxurious condominium, but familial discord hung in the air. Meanwhile, down the street, a riches-to-rags Nate Archibald huddled next to a chilly hearth in his vacant Central Park mansion, with only his bangs to keep him warm. And Chuck Bass? Chuck Bass just tried to find his way. As did the writers, who appeared to have cut-and-pasted portions of The Secret Life of Bees into the Cruel Intentions screenplay for this week’s episode. Was it successful? We can’t really say. But we can say whether it was realistic. The weekly tally, after the jump.

Realer Than a Protest Against “Evil Developers”’ in Brooklyn
• Would Blair really keep saying “crush her” like that? Actually, yeah, she would. Plus 1.
• Eric, in a rare bratty teen moment (seriously, the kid never gives lip. Who is he, Dakota Fanning?), asks “Who watches TV on a TV anymore?” Plus 3, but, oh, sad for us old people who used to have to be sitting down at a specific time and place (Ben Weaver’s basement!) if we wanted to watch Friends.
• When Rufus says, “I’m thinking Wham,” he looks right at Nate’s bangs. Coincidence? We think not. Plus 3.
• Dan’s heart-to-heart with Serena is so dead-on, from when she drops the hint that “the person who she’d most like to talk to, she can’t anymore” to Dan’s adolescent-sage take on Lily: “You ever think your mom acts like she’s perfect because she’s too far from it to acknowledge that she’s not?” And then of course Serena is like, gee, I never even thought of that! You’re so smart. And then Dan shrugs, like, yeah, I’m a writer, you know. Plus 3.
• Serena goes out with the ladies to “1Oak and Bijoux.” Plus 3.
• “What happens at Yale stays at Yale.” Plus 3 for awesomeness, even though (sadly for Chris) that’s not true. The Internet is forever.
• We know they wanted us to look this up, so we did. Lauren Goldenberg, the slut who gave all the boys on the soccer team mono, is Gossip Girl’s script coordinator. Hiiiii Lauren. Plus 1 because it’s kind of sweet and familial how they do that, which is on-theme.
• The details of Blair’s room when we see them in the day are really spot-on. There are little dolls on a bookcase behind her, and a purple fluffy stuffed animal, and those weird pastel box things that every teenage girl has. Of course later on she (Dorota?) transforms it into a full-on sex den with candelabras and actual chilled Champagne, which no actual teenager would ever do. Plus 1 only.
• Blair and the other Girls From the Steps hold a “disciplinary hearing” for a girl called Kelsey. “I didn’t know!” she sobs. “That tights are not pants?!” shrieks Blair. Plus 1.
• “Archibald — isn’t it about time you ended this little bromance?” Plus 1.
• This exchange between Dan and Jenny was worth a Plus 7, because finally someone gave Jenny a line that was funny and observant about somebody else and also because they finally addressed something we’ve been wondering about: “It’s so weird that you’re on a team now,” she says to Dan. “Pretty soon you’re going to have actual guy friends.” “What are you talking about?” he asks. “I have plenty of guy friends.” “Dan, I know that you’re Mr. Soccer now, but you and I both know you prefer to hang out with girls.” (And Plus another 1 for the fact that Jenny barely pouted even once this episode!)
• Serena tells In Style that her mom’s husband was “a raging cokehead and left blow everywhere.” Eric corrects her. “It wasn’t everywhere. Just on the smooth, shiny surfaces.” Plus 1.
• “My my, that girl has gotten under your skin,” Chuck says to Blair. She replies, “The question is, Bass — will you?” Um, EW. But Plus 2 because even Blair has to miss sometimes.
• “Did you have a reason for coming to see me?” Chuck asks. “Because if it was to insult me, there’s a Website you can go to.” Plus 1, because it actually made us wonder if he was referring to Gossip Girl, or whether there was one specifically for Chuck Bass.
• Eric’s boyfriend is cute but not ridiculously cute, which is just so perfect. Plus 2 because the sweet guy is always the one you date second. Also Plus 2 because Serena goes bonkers trying to be nice to this one, and Plus 2 because he’s an Upper East Side gay who is young but already isn’t offended by having to occasionally hide in the closet.
• Blair sends Chuck a text that says she’s “en route to J Sisters.” Awesome.

Faker Than In Style Planning an Article on Anyone Not in the Entertainment Business
• Gossip Girl’s homepage at the start of the episode wonders whether Chuck is “the new LonelyBoy.” No. Minus 1.
• Dan tries out for soccer? What? Everybody knows senior year is way too late to try a new sport (even though Dan was hilariously stupid describing the mechanics of the game — it was like he was reciting the Skeleton Song). Minus 2. Plus, Nate would totally play lacrosse, duh. Minus only 1, because at least now every gay man in the world can incorporate Chace Crawford’s face into their requisite soccer-player fantasy.
• It is statistically impossible for Bart to have dated “half the models in Manhattan,” as Serena says he did. Even if at one moment in time he did sleep with “half” the models in New York, the rotation of models in and out of the city happens at far too a rapid a pace for that “half” to be present now, or at any given time. According to our calculations, a new model arrives in New York approximately every 0.0668 seconds. Each model is out of the city, on average, two days a week. Thus, u = v+w/ 1 +vw/c2. Impossible. Minus 2.
• Lilly is wearing sequins at breakfast. Minus 1.
• When Nate goes to the hot-dog cart to get water, Dan calls Jenny and manages to explain everything about Nate’s homelessness. Granted: The Central Park hot-dog guys are not the speediest at customer service. But the lines aren’t that long. Plus, wouldn’t he have just talked with Jenny on the way to meet Nate? Minus 2.
• Since when is Vanessa allowed to wear something strapless and shiny? Minus 1. Also, she is too poor to afford that necklace. Minus 1 again.
• When Chuck drops by, Blair just happens to be lounging about in lingerie. Minus 1, because we thought we were past this.
• Okay, let’s talk about Chuck’s dalliance with the Brooklyn Inn. When he first gets there, someone throws a tomato at him, which no one in Brooklyn would ever actually do, because those tomatoes are from a farm upstate and cost $14. So Minus 1 for that. But then when he goes back a second time, he is warmly welcomed by the owner, an old-timey black man — Arst? Ernst? Vanessa mumbles — who has all kinds of old-timey stories about Joe Kennedy and the olden times and whose appearance is always accompanied by jazz, pretty much exactly in the same way that a gong always sounded when Long Duck Dong appeared in Sixteen Candles. Arst/Ernst takes a shine to Chuck right away, not just because of his stylin’ wardrobe but because “he knows people.” Because he is soulful. “You would have fit right in,” he tells him, and Chuck’s heart swells instantly, because everyone likes to be accepted by the People From the Neighborhood. “That’s possibly the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” he says. Chuck belongs with those people! Except then Vanessa tells Arst/Ernst about his bet with Blair and they shun him, because you don’t mess with the People From the Neighborhood. One question: Why is there an old-timey black man running the Brooklyn Inn? All that’s ever there is skinny white hipsters. Minus 10.
• When Serena came to the party wearing the suit that Bart bought her and no shirt underneath, we were immediately like, “Ha, Serena showed up topless, Bart is going to freak.” And when Lily and Bart looked all panicked, we thought, “Bart is going to steer her out of there by the elbow and tell her to put on a camisole or something, like, now. But instead he just goes, “You look nice.” Huh. We can’t decide whether to take points off for this.
• The most annoying thing about Serena blowing up like that in front of In Style is that In Style totally wouldn’t have appreciated the awesomeness of it. Like even if Bart hadn’t gotten the story killed, they wouldn’t have published it. They would have just like done a spread on Blair’s headbands or whatever. It should have been the Observer. Minus 2.
• Okay, Nate living by himself in the mansion with nobody knowing about it would probably never have happened. First of all, “Page Six” would have been all over the house getting repossessed, and even Nate isn’t dumb enough to just like leave the “seized” sign on his doorstep. Minus 2. (Plus, even rich boys with man-bangs have mothers. Or at least Dorotas.)
• Okay, so we were a little surprised at how aware Vanessa was when she decided to blackmail Blair, even if it was a little random. But we went with it until Blair deleted all of the pictures in Vanessa’s phone and then somehow the problem was all solved. How come every single other person on this show knows to make backup copies of everything incriminating except for Vanessa? Minus 3, because in an earlier episode she did make a backup video of one that Chuck gave her ten thousand dollars for. She clearly wouldn’t forget that trick.

Okay, put your points in the comments! We’ll tally them up at the end of the week!

The Secret Life of Gossip Girl