Archive for the ‘Gossip Girl’ Category

Stuart Little and the Big Bag of Pills

March 31, 2010

Hey there, Upper East Schemers!

Gossip Girl is increasingly becoming the story of a big bag of pills, I think it’s gotten more screen time and gone to more parties in the last four episodes than Nate, allegedly a star of this fine soap. It’s possible the BBoP is now down the gullets of several models (although really, what goes down a model’s throat must come up) and, unintentionally, J. Humph, because crazypants Agnes is back and bitchier than ever. Her scheme starts out slightly unclear as she makes up with Jenny but then she finds out about Damien in one of those conversations that would sound completely reasonable if you were 15, but when you’re an old like me sort of give you a heart attack:

Jenny: I was dating this guy named Damien, and he was a lot of things… one of them being a dealer.
Agnes: The Sid to your Nancy! That’s awesome!

Oh honey, in faaaaaashun, it’s good to know a dealer, it’s not good to DATE a dealer.

Anyway, this whole “pop-up fashion show” (is that even a thing?) is for Eleanor to pitch to fictional Wal-Mart, which is kind of horrifying. Don’t cheapen your brand, Waldorf! The head of the company is initially put off by Blair’s prostitute friends, but one of the rent-boys clarifies that Mr. Walmart uses a wide stance, so Blair blackmails him, but for naught, since Eleanor comes around to my side and won’t keep her name off her deeee-zines.

So the eeeeeeevil models take the opportunity of a congratulatory toast to slip Jenny three… mystery drugs (unspecified). While she weaves around all blurry and passy-outty (medical term) Agnes decides the capper to the evening will be delivering Jenny to a bachelor party so the groom-to-be can rape her.

This show is so rapey. Nate sees the girls pouring Jenny into a cab and rides off to her rescue and Jenny remembers that she’s totally in love with him. She comes down amazingly quickly heads home to look at pictures of Nate and feel sad, but it seems she’s sad that he’s with Serena not say, terrified that she was drugged and nearly raped. Priorities! Anyway, Eleanor gives her a job, so I guess we’re back to Jenny the fashion designer.

But even more horrifying than the attempted raping… the DJ at the fashion show is wearing the scariest plush mouse head! I can’t even express how disturbing I found this. I said aloud: “Am I dreaming?” And doostyn was all, “Did Eleanor take some PCP from Jenny’s clutch?”

Say no to drugs, kids!

I think that would be just about the most terrifying thing you could see while fucked up.

Some other things happen, like Chuck’s mom was also scheming him, but was his mom after all. This plot was such a dull waste, and although Blair talked a big game all “If it’s WAR Jack wants, it’s WAR he’ll get!” I remember how boring it was last time Blair said that about teacher in Dan’s hot-for-teacher arc.

Blair is forced to admit she has no friends and Serena is being a total asshole about it all, “Blair, can’t you just tell your mom you don’t have friends at NYU?”

Um, no, no one wants to say that, ever. Have a little empathy, Blondie. Also, that entire situation is completely implausible since Blair is beautiful and cunning and, it turns out, the entourage she so richly deserves is at Columbia. Good, Blair shouldn’t have to go to a school Vanessa attends.

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Overheard…

March 16, 2010

…on tonight’s Gossip Girl re: Jenny the pill pusher’s big bag of pills:

Lilly: “No, Rufusss, I did NOT know about a big bag of piiillsssss.”

Also, Dan is gross and should not wear tank tops.

That is all.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: The Sopranos and Gossip Girl

December 4, 2009

All my tv-viewing this week seemed to be about Thanksgiving, which doesn’t seem that notable, just topical, except that some of it was old stuff like the Melrose I posted and the Sopranos episode “He Is Risen” (3×08). Perhaps it’s a testament to the fact that I consume whole seasons of tv shows over the course of a normal week though. Shh. Don’t tell.

More Thanksgiving episodes of TV should involve hijacked turkeys because that’s always funny. The plot of this episode is basically that Tony doesn’t doesn’t want the annoying mobster (the one with the David Spade on Just Shoot me Hair, the one who always says “hooo-er” for “whore” which comes up a lot since he killed one. Fuck it, if I’m going to keep talking about him I should look up his name… Ralphie Cifaretto!) to come to Thanksgiving dinner even though Carmela has invited his special lady, Rosalie Aprile, and even though Meadow has popped an enormous ladyboner for Jackie Aprile jr. Eventually Carmela uninvites them, though Meadow and Jackie hook up anyway after a sexay minor (and totally avoidable) car accident.

One thing I looooooove about James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano is how real he seems and how there are moments that I can’t remember having seen such a familiar real life thing happening on tv as when Tony frantically tears through the turkey bag for antacids and chomps down on like 10 at a time. So. great.

Other things that are realistic but too horrifying for network tv: Gigi Cestone straining to take the first Thanksgiving dump while reading Playboy. It’s like a soft porn including episode of “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” I don’t get the porn in the bathroom thing guys do. The last time I lived with a dude he had an ENORMOUS stack of magazines and some pornographic “classy” wall art. Do guys get so bored while pooping that they need to masturbate? Wouldn’t you worry about creating a horrifying association between sex and scat? Happily (for us, not him) Gigi dies on the can so Operant Conditioning doesn’t have time to take effect.

Season three is interesting. I keep wanting Tony to whack some misogynists, like Ralphie, like he’s a murderous Gloria Steinem, which is unrealistic since Tony is definitely not a role model in the gender equality department. I’m pretty sure that if Dr. Malfi had told him about the rape he would have killed her rapist, and I can see why the show didn’t go there, but that’s some catharsis I could have gotten behind. Also, I’m sooooo tired rape as a plot device. Please imperil your female characters in less sexual ways, I’m over it, I’m tired of seeing it, it upsets me and disturbs me, (although so far I’m impressed that the Sopranos doesn’t seem to have forgotten it happened and has Dr. Malfi going to therapy and being affected for more than just an episode).

On the more current Thanksgiving tip, most of my thoughts on the Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episode are covered in this brilliant offering by the Fug Girls.

This is actually the stage [Acceptance] I’m still struggling with, because I REFUSE to be okay with Serena wearing a men’s figure-skating outfit to sit around the family table and give thanks for, like, boob tape and unavailable politicos who hate their wives.

Friends. It is true. That is exactly what Serena is wearing. I spent the whole episode squinting at the screen and unfortunately at this lovely lady’s crotch to determine whether it was a lace front formal catsuit, and it WAS. Ugh. Fortunately Serena’s hair was in this really adorable updo that I covet more than anything she’s ever done with her hair. But it didn’t come close to making up for the catsuit.

So the A plot is that Serena is a TERRIBLE PERSON. She is helping Trip cheat on Maureen and making this sad puppy face like she’s the victim here even though she is a HORRIBLE CHEATER van der CHEATERSON. JESUS. CHRIST. And all this is happening despite the fact that a) Trip is not cute, b) Trip has crazy bugged out eyes c) Trip has no personality d)Serena has known him for three seconds and e) Nate Archibland, Serena’s childhood bestie with whom she has previously slept (so it’s not a kibbutz syndrome situation) IS cute and is into Serena. Serena thinks she has some sort of get out of jail free card because of something mysterious involving her dad, but she is an adult person now, adults engaging in adultery don’t get to blame it on others. WHY is it HAPPENING?

I have no answers. In other Satanic pairings, Dan is now suddenly in love with Vanessa, which makes me want to hurl. I cannot imagine how horribly self-righteous and Brooklyn these terrible people are going to be when they get together. It’s going to be completely repulsive. They are going to renovate lofts, write poems, and wash their hair with hemp shampoo I just know it and it’s just horrible. It’s such a piss-off too, because one of the reasons I always hated Dan was that he was always moralizing at Serena because of her wealth. For once he has something to *actually* moralize about, and he doesn’t care! Apparently it’s fine to fuck a married congressman but wrong to buy your boyfriend a nice birthday gift. WHY. WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

Gossip Girl continues its tradition of appalling guests ruining holidays at the homes of others, like Cece (whose “heart pumps secrets and gin”) who threatens to spill some secret of Lily’s or Maureen who is there JUST to have a showdown with Trip and Serena. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty tacky. Have your fight at home or Trip’s office. Or Nate, leaking the Trip/Serena make out tape. Thanks to said tape, Lily finds out and takes it! personally! And I’m forced to defend a fucking cheater (which I always hate) because Lily has NO room to judge anyone for cheating or for sleeping with a married a man. She cheated on Bart with Rufus and slept with Rufus when he was married to the HumpMom.

Blair is hilarious. She thinks her mom is pregnant and tries to force her hand by offering her unpasteurized cheese and booze. I love the way she talks. To Jenny: “Where are you dragging me? Haven’t you heard of a whispered aside?…. How do you find having a sibling? Someone whose sole purpose on earth is to compete for your parents love and attention?”

Blair is the greatest ever, though her declaration: “I want pie.” made me worry. Remember the Thanksgiving when Eleanor enabled her bulimia all “Choose a dessert and take it to your room.” and Blair ate a whole pie and barfed? I do, and it was VERY upsetting. But they make up and, as far as we know, Blair doesn’t eat and puke a whole pie. And, in better pie news, apparently Tom Colicchio lives in Dorota’s boyfriend Vanya’s building! JEALOUS.

ANYway. Cute Nate asks Serena not to run away with a married congressman, and for inexplicable reasons, she does not stay and goes with Representative BugEyes. HOTLY, Chuck breaks plans with Blair for the evening in order to stay and comfort a sad but hot Nate. They decide to get drunk, and one thing leads to another. In my mind anyway.

Castrated Queers

November 10, 2009

Tonight’s Gossip Girl, anticipated in the media for its much-hyped threesome storyline, let me down on a note surprisingly unrelated to the players in the threesome (more on that later though): it reinforced the fact that a gay character has been sidelined from the moment they called themselves gay.  I call it castrated queer syndrome.

As with characters ranging from (the original) Melrose Place‘s Matt, to even the recent fairly risque True Blood‘s Lafayette (neither of whom ever came out because they were gay from the start of their respective series, but had or have had no on-screen romantic life or displays of affection) , Gossip Girl‘s Erik pretty much stopped having a life (more specifically a romantic one, but this is a soap, so that’s pretty much all of life for one of these characters) from his first moment of gayness.  They tossed him a boyfriend in an off-camera way that we don’t even know the details of, proceeded to never let them be romantic in any way on screen, and never gave them a storyline until it recently served the purposes of another character.  And in this episode, that lame relationship came to its conclusion (Jenny and friends were mean to Erik and his boyfriend Jonathan, Erik was mean back, Jonathan thought this made Erik a “changed” person for some reason, Jonathan broke up with him), and now Erik is boyfriend-less, yet poised to be in more episodes as Jenny’s foil in her rise from Brooklyn obscurity to Upper East Side queen-dom.  Hmmm…strange coincidence?  I think not.  Erik is suddenly going to be in more episodes, and his sudden singlehood makes it less scary for network television.  Boooooo Gossip Girl!  Booooooo!

You may have tossed us gays a meaty, delicious, sexy bone when Chuck kissed a dude and proclaimed, when asked if it was a big deal, “What, you think I’ve never kissed a guy before?”  But our Pavlovian drooling instincts have subsided and our brains are no longer so clouded (mine always gets a little fuzzy whenever Chuck just appears on camera).  Stop being fucking weenies and give Erik a fucking boyfriend who he fucking fucks, or at least dry humps or makes out with.  I mean, really, it’s not like you can seriously be trying to court conservative parents who decry your poisoning of American youth, right?  May I point again to your November sweeps threesome?

And, as promised, about that:  disgusting!  Gnatalby predicted the mysteriously sexed-up Dan Humphrey would be involved, and she just had to be right, didn’t she?  Hilary Duff’s character Olivia kissed a girl and she liked it (even though it was Vanessa…more disgustitude), but apparently it’s not her boyfriend (who was in the room, hence the three of the -some) she has to worry about minding it; in the promo for next week it appears she minds it once she realizes she’s not leaving for filming a movie like she thought at the commencement of the menage a trois.  This looks to be a dull plot, like most involving Dan and Vanessa, and I hate that the writers played it safe by having a girl threesome with a guy planted firmly in the middle.  I hope we don’t learn the details of the threesome because Dan is gross, but I’m betting he was the beneficiary of the whole thing, and that the kiss we saw between the ladies was as far as anything between them went.  That’s not shaking things up, Gossip Girl, that’s a mainstream, heterocentric fallacy that needs to die.  For the sake of my continued viewership and your continued exisitence, kill these impulses to write stories like these in the future, and resist the urge to continue the castration of the one true queer you have.  You don’t want to piss the gays off, and if you haven’t already castrated the off-camera, behind-the-scenes queers to the point of not caring, you might wake up one day to no wardrobe department (in addition to the approximate brillion percent of the rest of your creative force…there’s got to be at least one gay writer in the room who is sick of this shit too) if you continue down this dark, gay-sexless path.

Putting the booze back in booze tube*

October 8, 2009

I LOOOOve Gossip Girl, so it pains me to say this, but MAN waas it bad this week. And the badness could be laid at only one person’s feet: Tyra Banks.

I find that I have to defend my love of Gossip Girl again and again and I’m happy to do so here: the show is wittily written, well directed and, I’d usually add, well acted. While the problems of the upper side (who’s eating on The Met Steps where) are generally far from mine, the acting is usually good enough to transcend my suspension of disbelief, but Tyra Banks and Hillary Duff acting in an Oscar-bait serious film together? In which Tyra sings? Sorry but even my generous standards are tested.

The problem that Gossip Girl has set up, is that the celebrity world exists alongside our world and works by its rules, and Tyra, as supporting actress doesn’t quite work.

And the setup itself is annoying, we all know, as viewers, that the challenge for the producers of the series is to keep Serena out of Brown and in connection with her NYU friends. Dispensing with her PR job is like dispensing with Nate as Vanessa’s boyfriend. No one thought it would be longterm, so why put the rest of us through it?

*Because I’m drunk you see!

Stay out of it, Nick Lachey

September 27, 2009

One of my favorite things to notice on tv shows is when people from real life are involved with fictional characters in some way, because for me, in a weird way it becomes part of their biography. Most recently I was reminded by Kevin Smith’s appearance on the season four finale of Degrassi, in which he becomes somewhat involved with Caitlyn Ryan, but my favorite examples are, unsurprisingly, from my most cherished trashy network: the CW.

Last season on One Tree Hill, Nick Lachey came to town and it was revealed he had had a total tabloid fodder relationship with Brooke Davis during the skipped years. What would Vanessa Minnillo think if she knew?

Now on Gossip Girl, an inexplicably lower rated show despite the fact that it’s actually, you know, good, Lily van der Woodsen made a sex list for Rufus, and it contained some famous faces, including Trent Reznor. Mmmmm.

Inexplicably not on the list, but we know it from the first season, is that one of Lily’s former conquests is French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

I would give wikipedia a shiny dollar if these facts were included in their bios. You know, personal life: “once linked to utterly FABULOUS socialite, Lily van der Woodsen!” But I guess wikipedia doesn’t get that excited about things.

OMFG! GG Chat!

September 15, 2009
eww
why is the van der hump
into vanessa?
I hope it’s just a scheme
granted, he’s half humphrey
but he’s also half lily
5:28pmDustin
nice one
did you get all that i typed to you?
ethnic love spell?
5:28pmNatalie
NO
5:28pmDustin
proletariat skank?
that business?
damn
5:29pmNatalie
I just got “nice one”
5:29pmDustin
i hate facebook chat
5:29pmNatalie
me too
5:29pmDustin
i was going to record our convo for the blog
5:29pmNatalie
feel free
5:29pmDustin
ok i’ll try to retype
clearly vanessa exudes an ethnic love spell/stench that renders boys bad decision-makers
5:30pmNatalie
hee
5:30pmDustin
let us not forget chuck’s indiscretion with our little proletariat skank
5:30pmNatalie
although… is vanessa “ethnic?”
5:30pmDustin
is what i believe i typed
5:31pmNatalie
ugh, that was the worst
5:31pmDustin
oh working class
before ethnic
and i assumed
is she not?
5:31pmNatalie
blair should never be in the same fuck bracket at vanessa
5:31pmDustin
i thought that’s why dan found her interesting, at least partially
b/c he’s so ‘different’ like that
5:31pmNatalie
I don’t know
5:31pmDustin
and from brooklyn
5:32pmNatalie
hmmm possibly jewish
her last name is Abrams
5:32pmDustin
oh yeah that’s not very ethnic-y
i thought she wasn’t white
although with this cast it’s hard to say
5:32pmNatalie
was vanessa bleating about hannukah at christmastime?
5:32pmDustin
what a not white person is
5:32pmNatalie
heh
5:32pmDustin
got her bleats all run together for me…
er, god
5:32pmNatalie
true
why is blair in this repulsive hat?
5:33pmDustin
i don’t know why she’s hiding her face
5:33pmNatalie
I know
it’s like a glorious sunbeam of cunning
5:34pmDustin
that hat looks like it belongs on an old lady, it’s all limp like it’s been worn by one for dozens of years too
5:34pmNatalie
wait… the jockey
is named… Nacho?\
I find that so offensive
5:34pmDustin
are you saying you didn’t enjoy the film nacho libre
for that reason
5:34pmNatalie
hee
5:34pmDustin
b/c you really should look past the cover of books natalie
5:35pmNatalie
otherwise it was precisely my sort of filmD
Doostyn: so vanessa has almost-dreads…guess she spent her summer not showering
maybe that’s what you do when you’re a brooklynite
Gnatalby:  so gross
Chair’s [Chuck+Blair] love game seems problematic
Doostyn: maybe for those who are in it
for those who are watching it’s just fine
better than fine
it produces slobbering contement not unlike having a labotomy
a sexy labotomy
Gnatalby:  too true
eww
why is the van der hump [Lily and Rufus’ kid, half Lily Van der Woodsen, half Rufus Humphrey] into                                        vanessa?
I hope it’s just a scheme
Doostyn:  clearly vanessa exudes a working class ethnic love spell/stench that renders boys bad decision-makers
let us not forget chuck’s indiscretion with our little proletariat skank
Gnatalby:  ugh that was the worst
Blair should never be in the same fuck bracket as Vanessa
is vanessa “ethnic”?
Doostyn:  i assumed
is she not?
i thought that’s why dan found her interesting, at least partially
b/c he’s so ‘different’ like that
and from brooklyn
Gnatalby:  I don’t know
hmmm…possibly jewish?
her last name is Abrams
Doostyn:  oh yeah, abrams, that’s not very ethnic-y
i thought she wasn’t white
although with this cast it’s hard to say
what a not white person is
Gnatalby:  was vanessa bleating about hannukah at christmastime?
Doostyn:  god her bleats all run together for me…
Gnatalby:  true
why is blair in this repulsive hat?
Doostyn:  i don’t know why she’s hiding her face
Gnatalby:  I know
it’s like a glorious sunbeam of cunning

Doostyn:  that hat looks like it belongs on an old lady, it’s all limp like it’s been worn by one for dozens of years too
Gnatalby:  wait… the jockey
is named… Nacho?
I find that so offensive
Doostyn:  are you saying you didn’t enjoy the film nacho libre
for that reason?
Gnatalby:  hee
otherwise it was precisely my sort of film
omg
serena in a flowing dress
astride her steed
gossip girl is like, its own fan fic

How Not to Apologize for a Raping

August 24, 2009

Oh man. Blake Carrington and Krystle. Last season Blake raped Krystle because he was mad at her for taking birth control, but she forgave him after he gave her some sparkly jewelry and flowers. She has lately returned to his bed because she feels super sorry for him after he “accidentally” killed his son’s gay lover.

Blake: That night that I forced you, the night that I… wanted you to have my child… that was even a bigger mistake than you thought. The last reward that I need is another child. And you were quite right to be angry with me.

“That time I wanted you to have my child” is the greatest vague euphemism for rape I have ever heard. I’ve been thinking a lot about rape on tv shows. This is one of the most realistic scenarios I’ve seen yet. Television rapists nowadays tend to be very different from real life rapists. In a post about Law and Order: SVU, Melissa McEwan notes that if the show reflected reality, it would be pretty boring:

The problem with L&O:SVU is ultimately this: If it reflected the reality of sexual assault, it would be a “boring” show. Woman gets raped; it’s her boyfriend. Woman gets raped; it’s her male lab partner. Girl gets raped; it’s her stepdad. Woman gets raped; it’s her male date. Girl gets raped; it’s her male teacher. Girl gets raped; it’s her dad. Woman gets raped; it’s her male boss. Woman gets raped; it’s a guy she met at a bar. Woman gets raped; it’s her male coworker. Boy gets raped; it’s his male scout leader. Girl gets raped; it’s her male soccer coach. Woman gets raped; it’s her ex-boyfriend…

We’d have to go on a long way like that before we got to a female assaulter or a false accusation. It would even be awhile before we got to a stranger rape on the street (or in Central Park, ahem); women are three times more likely to be raped by someone they know than a stranger, and nine times more likely to be raped in their home, the home of someone they know, or anywhere else than being raped on the street.

Fantastical, larger than life shows like Law and Order: SVU or Nip/Tuck or even Beverly Hills: 90210* have long acted as if violent stranger rape is the only kind of rape that exists or is worth talking about, particularly because it’s very easy to identify as rape, and it doesn’t lead anyone to any uncomfortable places. If one out of four women is raped in her life (which I’m sure is a conservative estimate given how often rape goes unreported) not only do you probably know a rapist, you have probably dated one, are friends with one, or are related to one. And no one likes to think about that.

So we’re good at not identifying rape. Last year on Mad Men, in one of the saddest, hardest to watch scenes I think I’ve ever seen on television, Joan is raped by her fiance. In his recap for TWOP, Couch Baron initially called this a “borderline rape.” Similarly, a recent discussion about Weeds on Shakesville revealed that even among very media-savvy feminists it’s hard to identify rape for what is, and instead recontextualize it as “a bad date” or “rough sex.”

Similarly, Gossip Girl opened with Chuck Bass attempting to rape Jenny Humphrey on the roof at a party, when he is interrupted by her brother, at the time, this was clearly understood as rape, and Chuck, in fact apologized for it to Jenny midway through last season. But as the show progressed Chuck became something of a fan favorite, especially in his relationship with Blair. So the next time Chuck raped someone, even though he had been widely understood to already be a rapist, Chuck and Blair fans (of which I am one, actually, Chair forever!) found it difficult to call a rape a rape. During a blackout, Chuck takes advantage of the darkness to pretend to be Blair’s boyfriend and have sex with her while she thought he was someone else. When confronted, Blair said that she knew it was Chuck all along. But the rape victim’s state of mind isn’t what determines whether something is or isn’t rape. Chuck intended to mislead her as to his identity in order to have sex with her, presuming she would not consent if she knew the truth. Attempting to shortcut someone’s ability to consent IS rape.

There’s a very similar scene on Nip/Tuck, actually, in which Christian believes that Liz, his friend who is a lesbian (I point this out, because it is very clear that they have no prior sexual history which could confuse the matter, AND he has a big reason to believe she wouldn’t consent– she doesn’t like dudes), is asleep, and he begins to have sex with her. Of course it turns out later, she likes it. Very few of my tv watching companions understand this to be a rape scene. But Christian waited until she was asleep in order to have sex with her, assuming she would not consent. Attempting to shortcut someone’s ability to consent IS rape.

Veronica Mars has the best and the worst depictions of rape on tv. The first season did something amazing and subtle. We find out, first episode, that Veronica was raped, she doesn’t know by whom at a party where she was drugged. One of the season’s big mysteries is who raped her. It’s nice to see a rape survivor who is completely proactive about solving the case, who doesn’t turn it over to someone else to save her. What she learns is that she was drugged by accident, when a drink spiked for someone else was handed to her, and that her drugged ex-boyfriend, with whom she was still in love joined her in what he thought was consensual, but secret sex. It was an upsetting, deeply conflicting solution to the seasons mystery. Without a pervasive rape culture, Veronica never would have been raped. If no one thought it was acceptable to drug a woman’s drink to get her to have sex, she wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. But the person who had sex with her in no way intended to rape her, and was also drugged against his will. Both Veronica and Duncan, in this scenario, were victims of rape culture, which was a powerful, profound, and very complex situation for a tv show to take on.

Of course, the second season fucks it all up and ruins the awesome completely. Because it turns out that Duncan was not the only person to have sex with Veronica that night. Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas secretly master-minded the whole thing and raped Veronica. In the season finale, there is a suggestion that he raped Veronica’s friend Mac, which is denied in the third season. (He takes her clothes, and when she’s found she cries, “He took everything.” Which I thought meant he raped her, but it turned out I was wrong. I know, first time for everything.) And the third season opened with ANOTHER rapist, who rapes Mac’s roommate Parker, and later nearly rapes Veronica. It was incredibly sad to have such a subtle, feminist show morph into procedural levels of sensationalism. I mean, seriously, Two out of three protagonists were raped with the third only narrowly escaping? Our plucky heroine is nearly raped twice? What is the purpose of that? Veronica was an amazing heroine. I would have loved her even without the writers putting her virtue in jeopardy every six seconds. (And at this point, I’d ever prefer if Veronica were nearly the victim of multiple murders, so great is my distaste for depictions of rape for edginess. Newsflash, by definition, nothing that happens to a quarter of all women is edgy.)

I suppose my concern, at the end of the day, is that these rapes are made so sexy and titillating that rape takes on the shape of being a crime about sex, rather than a crime about power, and it’s confusing. In Dynasty, Krystle forgives Blake, but they both call it rape. On General Hospital, Laura marries Luke. But they still called it rape. But 20 years later it’s hard for people who write about tv and committed feminists to consistently identify rape as what it is. We know from advertising how persuasive a medium tv is. I feel it’s a distinct possibility that the relentless sensationalizing of rape and its divorce from reality have affected our judgment negatively and profoundly.

*In the first season Kelly tells her friends at a sleepover that her first time was rape, and she was raped by a friend from school, but this instance is overshadowed by the 9 million strangers who stalk and rape or attempt to rape Kelly over the run of the show.

Lily, Hams, and the gang

May 12, 2009

Thought stream during this week’s episode of Gossip Girl:

 

Enter Lily’s mother during Lily-purposefully-throws-Serena-in-jail-not-for-a-crime-but-to-teach-a-lesson drama.

Mom to Lily:  “She [Serena] called me.  Isn’t it ironic?  If only she knew…”

Serena all novocaine-y can’t-move-mouth face and standing right there in front of them:  “Hi grandma…”  How was she supposed to not have heard this?  Does she  not know what’s going on because she was force fed PCP by a cell mate named Hams and subjected to Hams’ special brand of woman love while in jail, or does she just not care?  Hams couldn’t resist that piece of UES ass, so I’m going with drugged-out lady love.

***

Phone conversation between B and S:

B: “Why are you still in jail?”

S: “It was my choice.”  Oh how very martyr-y of you Serena.  Why don’t you go on a hunger strike while you’re at it.  (It is bikini season!)

B: “Oh god you’re not going to come out of there with a mullet and a girlfriend are you?”  Hams totally had a mullet in my mind’s eye.  Blair and I think alike, I can’t help it, I’m just as pretty and smart as her, it’s not my fault, don’t hate me.

***

IT’S THE 80S, DO A LOT OF COKE AND VOTE FOR RONALD REAGAN!

I think Lily’s sister’s corpuscles are being caressed with cocaine when we first meet her.  

Lily’s sister is playing The B-52s’ “52 Girls” when they’re in the car together.  This song is awesome, one of the best of the fanny pack rubik’s cube MTV (wait what decade is this again) era.

Oooo and New Order!  Lily’s 80s years had a conveniently fab 80s soundtrack.

Oh nevermind, “Saftey Dance.”  Lily’s 80s years are suddenly a little mainstream and party standard.  Psssssssssssshaw.

Depeche Mode.  I’m warming up to your 80s cool factor 80s Lily.

OH NO THAT 80S BEEEEEEETCH DID NOT JUST CALL 80S LILY VALLEY TRASH!

***

Blair looks so very pretty pretty in a tiara.  Pretty pretty…

***

I totally missed it and rewinding isn’t helping.  What did Chuck do to Blair and Nate’s limo?  How did whatever he do to the limo help her have a perfect prom? Did he fill it with his naked self?  Naked Chuck Bass is going in my perfect prom scrapbook now.

***

Oh no.  Are Blair and Nate too beautiful and perfect to be together?

***

Yes.  They are.

***

High school boyfriends should be broken up with in almost all cases.

***

I hope Blair and Serena, once in college, aren’t “sisters” anymore as they grow apart and one of them becomes a gorgeous, talented, cunning co-ed who gets what she wants and the other becomes a binge-drinking orange-tanned walking syphylis bomb and then Serena (she’s the orange one in this fantasy if you haven’t figured that out yet) drowns in a pool of Bud Light and self-tanner.

***

So this episode was meant to introduce us to a spin-off, and Lily might have been an okay show.  I did like the actors in it (nice casting on Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy as Lily’s dad, so good to see those Brat Packers getting work on teen soaps these days).  But it seems like it could have easily been an overly-stylized dud too.  So sad for all of humanity that we’ll never know (Gnatably informs me it’s been canceled before it could even really begin other than being introduced during this episode of GG,  and so now it just seems like this episode has very elaborately produced flashbacks).

Hey There Upper East Schemers

May 6, 2009

Two quotes from last night’s Gossip Girl stand out, both involving characters directly questioning the internal logic (or lack thereof) of the show:

Lily to Serena re:  Gabriel’s Ponzi scheme:  “This is an adult scheme.”  Lily says this to her daughter as justification for why Serena should not get further involved with the recovery of the money that’s been fraud-ed away.  Obviously funny, because most of the scheming on the show is something we’d typically see more on adult-centric soap operas, but a big underlying premise of the show is that we’re to believe, because most of these characters are from UES blue bloodlines, their lives are unusually accelerated.  And it’s not like Lily is totally unaware of her daughter’s other adult-ish schemes/tribulations (seriously Lily, thinking you played a part in someone’s death because they overdosed on cocaine when you were sharing it with them…that wasn’t adult?  You weren’t admonishing Serena for pursuing adult affairs then, just reassuring her that random cokehead’s heart was bound to explode anyday and if it didn’t happen with Serena it would have happened elsewhere).

Second quote-  Nate to Serena, Blair, and Chuck as they plan how to set-up Poppy to get some stolen money back:  “Are you sure we shouldn’t just call the cops?”  Of course you should, except you’re rich and well-connected, and as we’ve learned from the rich and well-connected that populate this show, when you have the time and resources to investigate/perpetrate schemes yourself, why not?  It’s fun!  Also, later in the episode Nate circumnavigates the usual law-and-order system to try to use his family connections to get Serena out of jail.  Who’s a big fan of law enforcement now, you silly floppy-banged pothead? (Silliness aside, I’d totally S his D.  And no, I don’t mean Serena his Dan.) 

Not sure if the characters temporarily forgot what world/show they live in or if the writers meant to point out how ridiculous these “teens” lives are, but these two moments were hilarious either way.