Posts Tagged ‘Gossip Girl’

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.


The SLAT Custody Battle is no Kramer vs. Kramer is All I’m Saying

March 17, 2010

Last week’s SLAT was excruciatingly dull. It was pretty much just people having conversations with one another.

This week’s was ludicrous, and wonderful.

Adrian captures line of the week early with the irrefutable: “When people have something in common, like a common hate, what you do you call those people? FRIENDS.”

But then Adrian also gets worst comment of the week (it’s like the EGOT of SLAT to get best and worst) by going all Rielle saying: “Amy, accept responsibility because if you had had sex with Ben I wouldn’t have been able to get him to have sex with me.”

Little known fact: men are like baby ducklings. Once they imprint on one lady’s shame-cave they can never have sex with anyone else EVER.

Ben's lucky he wasn't exposed an olden time animal behaviorist for his first.

In the running, from the same convo, was Amy telling Adrian she thought that she and Ben would be each others’ first time. The premise of the show you are on is that you got knocked up after a one nighter with some other dude while cashing in your v-chip, keep up Amy!

Jack told Madison he wouldn’t turn her in (for offering him a bejammer in exchange for favorable character witnessing for Amy) if she did it with him (although then he said he was kidding, but I think he was kidding in the Nelly way: unless you’re gonna do it.), to which doostyn says: “!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blackmail rape! In high school! This show is so two faced: like it can be juicier than Gossip Girl, but would never claim to be.”

The A-plot of the episode is that Amy and Ricky are finally going into mediation for their custody battle. It’s funny because normally when dudes whine about custody I’m like “Whatever dude, it’s the only thing in the patriarchy that actually benefits women, so go cry about it in your money bed and enjoy seeing only people with dicks on C-SPAN.” But I despise Amy so much that I’m forced to take Ricky’s part, even though he makes it hard for me by insisting on having custody of the child on a day he works all day and plans to leave him with his parents. It makes NO sense, therefore, that Amy can’t have John on Saturday, I don’t care how involved Ricky’s foster parents want to be.

My favorite moment was Amy’s Kimberley Shaw and her Glorious Alter Egos rage freakout on the bench after Ricky left. What was that about? Whenever Amy shows strong emotions I want to laugh. I’m so mean.

I find Grace’s romantic storyline troubling, since I don’t buy Ben as a romantic lead. And Grace is all “You should get custody of John too, since you were there for Amy all those months after she gave birth.” Yes, Grace, let’s give THE WHOLE TOWN custody of John. Everyone can have him for 5 minutes a day, problem solved!

Everyone makes character witnessing videos for Amy and then Ricky, and most of them are mired in high school issues, which I’m sure was like, so thrilling for the mediator. The greatest part about that was that Amy has a little epiphany and realizes she should let Ricky see John, and the mediator is like, “That’s nice, but it’s still my decision, not yours, and you are now legally required to let Ricky take John on the weekends.” FACED!

I can’t stand Ashley’s fug boyfriend, and, good news, she seems to have nothing but paper thinly veiled contempt for him. Still, condommania continues as Ashley is grilled about why, as the sister of a teenager with a baby, she keeps condoms. Apparently her icky boyfriend has had sex before and would like to do it with Ashley. Like everyone else on this show, they seem set to do it after Leo and Betty’s wedding. Because, as doostyn notes: “Nothing says let’s fuck like the origin of bed death. Besides, wedding sex isn’t something you plan, it just…happens.”

(Now you can fill in a wedding sex anecdote about either of us bloggers you deem appropriate. We’ll never confirm or deny.)

Dating never looks anything but excruciating on this show. If I were an alien learning about human culture from broadcasts of SLAT I’d think romance was a punishment for terrorists.

Doostyn says: It would be excruciating to date on that show. You’d have to gossip with your parents– and possibly other people’s parents– about every kiss and fondle, and the school counselor would call you in and you’d be like “Aaaagh what is blossom doing here” and then she’d say your date was a disaster of genocidal proportions so she’s making you go to the school dance with your great grandmother.”

And just to cement all the horror of the last hour, the show leaves us by suggesting that Adrian is pregnant. Noooooooooooo.

Or (doostyn again): “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! Kill the evil spawn! I’m assuming it’s ben’s. I guess it could be Ricky’s, so might not be AS evil, either way, it’s wrong.
Me: No, apparently the condom broke with Ben.
doostyn: Ewwwwwwwwww
me: and Adrian’s late.
doostyn: Ben splooge: the only thing worse is a Ben baby.

(Note: welcome, influx of SLAT googlers querying “Who did Adrian have sex with after the mother-daughter dance” the answer, I hope you will be dismayed to learn, is Ben. EW. Also, I’m amazed as this implies that SLAT picks up new viewers every week, which is pretty discouraging. RuPaul’s Drag Race is on Mondays, people! Watch that!)


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.

Don’t Lemon Your Life

January 17, 2010

The star of NBC’s Thursday night was definitely 30 Rock. We got two of them!!!

Highlights of the episodes? Liz’s New Year’s when her cousin Randy from a rural coal-mining town came out “and ol Liz Lemon had a little something to do with that.” Namely she lurched over a couch announcing “Randy’s gaaaaaaay everybody! He’s gaaaaaay.” Hey, who has a camera in my apartment? So Randy comes to live with Liz. “What better place to live now that I’m a homo, is that the one we call ourselves?”

Jenna meets James Franco’s manager who wants to arrange a relationship with a “real human woman,” which turns out to be Jenna, and turns out to be hilaaaaarious. Like Jenna, I am starting to fall for James Franco, and I don’t care who knows it, we’re in love! (Seriously, I just saw Milk last week, and he can even work a 70s porn ‘stache! (More on ‘stache later.) Also I cried and cried like the hag I am, and I’m man enough to admit that.) The ‘razzi will call us Jam-by, which might be confusing when we go to Jamba Juice,* but which is a lot better than Joostyn, which sounds like an anti-Semitic slur.

Speaking of, “In German class Mr. Kreuger always chose [Nancy] to sort the students. He was eventually arrested by Israeli commandos.”

Jenna and James (“James” according to the tabloids) ultimately break up (“You’re being such a non-pillow right now.”) which leads to Liz picking James up at a club and having a threesome with James and Kamiko-chan, James’s real girlfriend the body-pillow.

Tracy’s pick-up crisis is amazing:

Tracy: Hey baby you new here?
Virginia: This is my first show.
Tracy: And before this were you an ass scientist? Because your ass blah blah blah you get the point.

Ha! I have been trying to make a pick up line with “You must be a child molester cuz…” for years and I can never come up with the punchline. I know this would probably be WAY too offensive to ever be funny, but the lead up popped in my head at one point and I just need to complete it to finally end that mental loop.

Tracy: So what’s your name?
Virginia: Virginia…
Tracy: Virginia?!? But that’s going to be my daughter’s name. Are you also someone’s daughter?
Virginia: Uh yeah.
Tracy: Is every woman someone’s daughter?
Virginia: Of course.

Now, this is like, the most patriarchal reason to respect women– because they’re another man’s property– but for Tracy Jordan it’s a start.

Tracy blames Kenneth, Dot-com, and Grizz for his unhealthy attitude for women.

Tracy: Grizz– when was the last time you told your fiancee you loved her? Since the phone call I interrupted to make this announcement. Kenneth– your haircut is disrespectful to lesbians. Dot-com, do you ever read books by women?
Dot-com: George Eliot was a woman.

In part two, Jack and Liz has a fight over who get to keep Danny because Liz is finally getting some secret underling action, but Jack how has something arguably more precious: a buddy who doesn’t talk about Quidditch at sports events. Twofer cracked me up because I have always had the same big problem with the game: If the Snitch is worth 150 points, why does anyone bother with the quaffle?

Jack and Liz grossly nearly bond about “taking your reward” from the young people who lust after your power. Not any more attractive on a woman (even one as comely as Liz Lemon) than on a grizzled old patriarch, I have to say. Liz has Danny acting out her fantasies through TGS sketches… Chips cop and Grizzly Adams. Jack gets Danny to dump Liz by claiming he is in love with Liz, but he has a little help from Liz’s new grown mustache. I continue to entreat the tv gods, do not, under any circumstances, get Jack and Liz together. That must NEVER happen.

Jenna has an audition for Gossip Girl… MAKE IT HAPPEN TV PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I would love a crossover of these two shows. Jenn believes she will be playing Blair’s friend “Tartine” but she’s really up for the part of the mother. I refuse to relate Liz’s comments about Madonna’s aging process, out of respect for her Madgesty, but Jenna decides to emulate Madonna rather than Meryl Streep.

After Jenna accepts her age (thanks to Liz accepting her ‘stache) she gets the part on Gossip Girl:

Tartine: Oh mother I can’t believe you’re dying of old age!
Jenna: Don’t… cry for me, Tartine. I’ve had a full life… Oh the things I’ve seen! The first Clinton administration… the Nagano Olympics, Microsoft Windows 95! but… I’m 41 now, time to die.”

The funniest bit of both episodes is absolutely Tracy’s belief that the yogurt establishments “Tasti D-Lite” (I shudder at this spelling) and “Pinkberry” are strip clubs.

*Did Jamba Juice pay for this placement? I can’t imagine they’re too thrilled about being associated with “ice-cold diarrhea.”

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.

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.

Aim Higher, Marissa Cooper; audience of O.C.

September 20, 2009

Doostyn: “I am not going to use my alcoholism as blackmail to save my marriage”
I feel like the o.c. has gotten a little nutty, i’m watching the end of the 3rd season.
Gnatalby: Heh. Yeah, the OC’s fall from grace is remarkably fast.
Doostyn: Everyone is just being a fucking idiot all the time to create drama. I hate when soaps create dramatic tension that way. Like i kind of like it when melrose does it, but that’s b/c melrose is bad, so i’m watching it expecting that. The o.c. is good and well written, it’s sad to see it like this.
Gnatalby: I know. it’s crazy. Do you recognize kaitlyn cooper? She was jenny humphrey’s friend agnes, the model who burned her crap.
Doostyn: Oh i didn’t notice that. I think you told me that though. She wasn’t on very many eps this season. Is she back for the 4th?
Gnatalby: Yes. She’s like… ambiguously evil. Like SLAT, which is a comparison you never want to have made, the OC has a hard time being consistent about how popular its characters are. Like, kaitlyn at one point is like: “Now that marissa is gone, I will rule the school!” And I’m like, “Expelled alcoholic trailer trash dating marissa ‘ruled the school?'”
Doostyn: Yeah what school? Harbor? Marissa was pretty unpopular there. I hate kirsten now too. She’s just irritating, and I used to like her.
Gnatalby: But wasn’t she hilare drunk at caleb’s memorial?
Doostyn: Yeah i liked drunk kirsten. But recovering alcoholics are never as good as their previous selves.
Gnatalby: I liked that julie’s plan to off caleb was poisoned margars.
Doostyn: Even julie is boring now, dating summer’s dad. Uh oh, ryan atwood is about to get in a fight, surprise surprise.
Aaaaand punch number one. Ooo furniture breaking! (he’s beating up… worschack is it?)
(trashy guy who stole prom after party money from taylor)
Gnatalby:I thought it was volchak, but I could totally be wrong.
Doostyn: Oh is worshack like on some other show from the 70s?
Gnatalby: I kind of forget what all happens
Doostyn: i think that might be my confusion
Gnatalby: It’s funny because at some point the kids all arrange for marissa and ryan to bone, allegedly for the first time, and I was like “Uh… whaaaaaaat?” Like, the fact that the kids on the show treat marissa and ryan as the super couple when clearly summer and seth are better is just baffling.
Doostyn: Yeah marissa and ryan are not a great couple. Like i don’t even care what breaks them up any more. summer and seth breaking up at the end of season 3 b/c of the college acceptance non acceptance thing was sort of dumb and obvious and tore them apart for no reason, but i was way more compelled than by the numerous times ryan’s fists go a-flailing for marissa’s honor.
Gnatalby: Totally
Doostyn:I think a lot of it is because marissa sucks
Gnatalby: I loathe her so much
Doostyn:But mischa barton is at least a terrible actress, so it can be fun to watch.
Gnatalby: and I can’t believe she’s the star of another show. Who watched the OC and thought: yes, she can carry a show.
Doostyn: Yeah what show is that? Something about models…
Gnatalby: the beautiful life
Doostyn: Yeah i am not going to watch that b/c it has her. I think lots of fans of the o.c. would feel the same way.
Gnatalby: The only thing to love about marissa is her alcohol problem.
Doostyn: When she prevented the rape in the van at volchak’s party i was like “ok, that’s cool,” but then when she broke up with him she was like “I always wanted to be a disney princess” or some bullshit… rather than “Some guys were going to rape a girl at your party douchenozzle.”
Gnatalby: Oh no, it’s better than that… she says she wants to be Liesel and have a guy like Ralph, who is, BTW a NAZI.
Doostyn: Oh yeah!!! Sound of music! Hahhahahha, I didn’t even think of that.
Gnatalby: Like, way to aim high.
wait… who was trying to rape whom?
Doostyn: Some random dudes were trying to rape some random drunk floozy and friend of volchak’s named heather i think after an all day party where marissa wakes up drinking a beer (which is also kind of awesome).
Gnatalby: Totally. I love tv alcoholics though sometimes I become concerned by how little they drink, compared to say, us. But not on the OC, where kirsten coolly drinks like 8oz of vodka at a time. Like allison on the ‘place, kirsten should look into mixers.
Doostyn: Bree drinks a fair amount i guess, according to lynette’s shame parade of her bottles. Although in that scene i remember being like “How much time do those bottles cover…” which then made me think “is that the normal reaction most people have or do they just think, yep, a CLEAR alcoholic.”
Gnatalby: Heh, right. I mean, IIRC it was like, 12 bottles, which didn’t seem thaaat bad to me. Unless it was like, two days. But if it was like, a couple of weeks?
Doostyn: Ok time for vh1 divas. i’m glad paula abdul is able to embarrass herself on anther venture
Gnatalby: Some show recently featured a paula abdul dream sequence involving paula being surprisingly harsh. Unless I dreamed that…. why can’t I remember? oh, right, drop dead diva. thank god I didn’t make that up. all my tv runs together
Doostyn: Oh god she’s a mess. There are men carrying her up stairs which is not a dance move. just laziness/
Gnatalby: That’s like my 21st b-day. And every subsequent birthday.
Doostyn: and she was lurching like a mad/drunk/pilled up woman towards the crowd. I was a little frightened she was going to plunge into them.
Gnatalby: Awesome. Maybe it’s best that paula leaves the walking to others.
Doostyn: yeah she’s really good at being carried. She should stick with it. Ok so she’s like “I’m paula abdul and THIS IS NOT AMERICAN IDOL!!!!” Then immediately follows with: “I’m so proud of MY kelly clarkson. and MY jennifer hudson. and MY jordin sparks.” and then: “I practically breast fed them!”
Gnatalby: Who is proud of jordin sparks?? And HA. Can you imagine what would happen to you if you breast fed from paula?
Doostyn: The jonas brothers are proud of getting beejamers while on tour with jordin sparks in the erotica i write. You would be so high. It might be nice. I’m not saying i would drink paula abdul’s breast milk, but i might consider a synthetic version.

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.

The Sovereign State of Michigan’s Gift to Creepdom

July 28, 2009

The Sovereign state of Michigan’s gift to Creepdom: Hi.
Claudia: Mmmhmm.
TSSMGC: Haven’t we met somewhere before? I guess you’ve never been to Detroit.
Claudia: I keep hearing a lot about it.
TSSMGC: Want to hear more? The real inside stuff? I mean about what reaaaaally goes on in Grosse Pointe?
Claudia: Not particularly.

So say we all! Detroit, as anyone from there(ish) knows, is nothing to brag to strangers about. That’s why there aren’t a lot of tv shows set there. Or movies. (Although now that we have cheap filming, more and more!) Why not try a line with better rates of success like: “Do you like my hairplugs? Realistic, right?” Or, “I just bought Hitler’s Yacht!”

Dynasty is interesting in that it’s odd to watch a movie [ed. note: uh, show. What up booze!] from before the backlash against feminism (as so nicely illustrated by Susan Faludi in 1991). This character had an argument with her husband about going back to work in which he was all: “But we have enough money!”

And she was all: “Um thanks, I still want to work, though.”

Also, marital rape is acknowledged as a thing that’s real! (Though, alas, quickly forgiven when an apology and flowers show up. Gross.) It’s so strange that so many shows seem so much less progressive now. (Like Gossip Girl suggesting Blair might ‘have Chuck’s baby’ um no. She might have had Chuck’s abortion though.)

I’m learning so much about early eighties politics though, particularly about the oil industry. Apparently the leftist position of the time was: Don’t drill abroad, drill here at home!!!

Where was Sarah Palin??

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.