With 90210, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries on the air (the latter of which I plan to write about by pairing the first two episodes), the CW seems to have finally settled into its groove of airing addictive, soapy teen-centric television that’s imminently watchable. This week’s season premiere of Gossip Girl wasn’t as OMFG as certain episodes in season one or two, but it was a well structured, well told 42 minutes of television.
And it has the bonus of not sucking like last year’s Hamptons-set season openers. The showrunners figured out that GG simply doesn’t work without NYC, so I’m very thankful that the majority of this episode occurred within the limits of the city that never sleeps. I mean, after all, the Humphreys aren’t even living over the bridge in Brooklyn anymore. They’ve spent the whole summer shacked up at the Bass der Woodsen home, tending to matters while Lily is away caring for her ailing mother, CeCe. (In other words, Kelly Rutherford is on maternity leave, so they’re killing CeCe for no other reason than that. I just hope she miraculously survives so that Jenny can have that stupid Cotillion Cece bought her a dress for.)
Serena, on the other hand, has allegedly been spending the summer Eat, Pray, Love-ing it at an Ashram, but we know from Eric and Jenny’s fussing over gossip magazines that Serena is up to something else entirely — she’s actually spent the summer trying to find her father. Of course, rather than normal methods of tracking someone down using various PIs (she only hired one) and other professional people finders like, say, bounty hunters, Serena is trying to force her father to notice her by partying it up across the European continent and having her photo snapped doing as many ridiculous socialite things as possible. Searching for daddy is a good quest, but I have to question Serena’s methodology here. She’s been tabloid fodder for years and that hasn’t drawn the attention of Mr. Van der Woodsen. Why would it change now? All I can hope is that this plotline somehow gets her kicked out of Brown so she can rejoin the others in the city. As I know from a classmate who “left” that school, the door to Brown doesn’t swing both ways, if you catch my drift.
Meanwhile, Nate Archibald continued his attempts to piss off his family by turning down his political internship and touring Europe for the summer. He met up with Vanessa for those Prague peroghi, but otherwise spent the entirety of his trip fucking around with JoAnna Garcia’s Bree Buckley. It takes these two wealthy morons the entire summer to figure out that they’ve actually been sleeping with the enemy as they are the scions of two rival political families. (Shockingly, the Archibalds are Democrats. Does that seem right to anyone?) How do you spend an entire summer with someone and not learn their last name? Surely, he could have looked on the plane ticket she was using as a bookmark. Baffling.
Chuck and Blair have settled into a happy routine of keeping their romance alive by playing games with each other. They both pick a target for Chuck to seduce, and then Blair arrives just in time to humiliate the target of Chuck’s affection. These two are just a step away from attending swingers clubs together or practicing some BDSM. Actually, I’d love to see them engage in the latter. I just imagined Chuck Bass in a leather mask and ball gag, and it was really funny.
And then there’s Vanessa, who’s been paling around with Secret Brother Scott, the missing Hump der Woodsen, complaining about missing her nouveau riche friend Dan, chilling at a totally different coffee shop, wearing a lot of boho Anna Sui (hello, Target tie-in!) and, evidently, not combing her hair much. (Seriously, V, how dare you show up at a polo match with your tresses only a twist or two away from being dreads. Not cute.) She’s mad at Dan for his change in circumstance, which Dan insists is stupid, and it is, only Vanessa doesn’t see it that way because she’s embodying someone from a Jane Austen novel. This, however, is all a good opportunity for Secret Brother Scott to get closer to the Hump der Woodsens, attaching himself to Vanessa as her plus one for the aforementioned polo match and going so far as to shake his father’s hand.
The final element to this story is Carter Bayson, whom Serena apparently slept with during her European vacation, but for some reason doesn’t want to admit. So she tells her friends that Carter has been stalking her, which gets Blair to slap him with a restraining order at the polo match, only for Serena to lead Carter on a chase through the woods on a stolen stallion so they can fuck like dryads. Serena makes bad decisions. She’s very bad at being a human being. Just be a person, Serena! Tell people things! It will make your life a lot easier!
- Okay, GG wardrobe department, you can’t feature three different rompers in one episode. JoAnna Garcia’s yellow one was passable. I’ll even give you a pass for Jenny’s polkadot one. But Serena’s brown, skin-tight romper? No. That thing is hideous. I get that this is a trend, the romper/onesie, but it needs to happen sparingly. And tastefully.
- I will be happy if I never see another maxi dress ever again, as well. NOT EVERYONE CAN WEAR A MAXI DRESS IN THE SAME SCENE!
- So, thank you thank you thank you for Blair’s incredible 30s-inspired polo outfit. That mint green dress with the square back and flutter sleeves is one of the most inspired pieces of clothing I’ve seen on television since Pushing Daisies went six feet under. The pink straw cloche was also a great touch.
- “Now take your American Girl hair and your poreless skin and get out!” — Blair
- “Well, that’s not fair. Everyone goes topless on Valentino’s yacht.” — Jenny
- “I’m not Chuck Bass without you.” — easily the sweetest thing Chuck has ever said. I melt.
- Favorite scene? Chuck and Blair doing a little restaurant-based foreplay roleplaying. So cute.