GOSSIP GIRL Goes to College - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GOSSIP GIRL Goes to College

September 22, 2009 by  

Welcome to Blair Waldorf’s worst nightmare.  Pay back certainly can be a bitch, and so can Blair.  But it seems college isn’t exactly what Queen B had envisioned.  I mean, no one even wears headbands.

Yes, our Gossip Girlers left the Upper East side to embark on the next step of academia – college.  Well, at least most of them did.  Serena, who has been having a bit of an identity crisis (again), opted to defer her first year of Brown to stay in Manhattan and get her life back on track. Right, that’s a smart idea.  Her first order of business – moving in with Chuck Bass. Oh Serena.

These days NYU is the place to be.  Blair arrives on her first day with Dorota in tow, determined to pick up where she left off at Constance. Gift bags to fellow unsuspecting freshman are delivered and the under-cutting of the girls in her dorms begins.  But when it’s revealed that Georgina Sparks in Blair’s new roomie, all best are off. I mean how can one concentrate on becoming the social queen of NYU when she lives with a Jesus-lovin devil.

The games begin early on in this battle royale of bitchdom. Blair organizes a swanky sushi party in the common room, but Georgina (and new buddy, Vanessa, who also lives in the dorm), trumps her with pizza and movies. Score one for Sparksy!

You know Blair Waldorf has hit rock bottom when she needs to leverage the sudden popularity of Dan Humphrey just to attend a rooftop party.  Yes, things have changed.  Dan Humphrey’s accomplishments and reputation seems to have preceded him at NYU and he suddenly finds himself Mr. Popular. Many a social agendas changed based on where Dan Humphrey and what he was going to do. Enjoying this sudden surge in confidence, Dan takes his social collateral out for a spin.  When Blair publicly humiliates Georgina in an attempt to sabotage her party, it’s Dan that turns the table, taking over the mic at the party and putting Blair in the social doghouse.

But never mistake confidence for wisdom.  Dan’s little Norma Rae moment didn’t stop him from making a big mistake during his first week of college – I mean, he did hook up with Georgina Sparks.  Ew.

If I didn’t know better, I’d be thinking that Georgina isn’t the only one looking to smooch up with Dan lately.  Vanessa’s new boy toy, Scott, certainly has showed affection (bordering on obsession) for Dan.  But of course it’s less of a man crush as it is brotherly love.  If Vanessa was slightly annoyed at Scott for steering her in the wrong direction when it came to professors, what’s she going to think when she finds out her new boyfriend is using her to find out more about his long lost, half brother.

Columbia University doesn’t start for another week, which works out perfectly for Nate as he can stay holed up in Bree Buckley’s…um, apartment, yeah apartment, for the week.  The seven day sexathon was all about Romeo getting to know his Juliet without any interference from the Montagues and the Capulets. Unfortunately for us all, not even a scandalous affair with the daughter of his family’s arch rival can make Nate Archibald interesting. How about less time with Bree and more time with Chuck.  That boy never has a dull moment.

Hilarious to think that Chuck Bass is just a few months out of high school.  College might not be necessary for Chuck (or so he thinks), but succeeding to please his dead father is certainly at the top of his course catalog.  Chuck develops plans to turn an old bank into a speakeasy, but when Serena sabotages his plans, not once but twice, Chuck wants nothing to do with his step-sister.

Serena, oh Serena.  Or should my lament be ‘writers, oh writers’. Two steps forward, to steps back – no, not a Paula Abdul song as much as it is the story of Serena van der Woodsen’s life.  Ever since she was rebuffed by her father, Serena has gone off the hinges.  Taking scandalous photos, vying for the attention of the paparazzi, hooking up with Carter Bays?  It’s all in attempt to get the attention of dear old dad.  Right, because that’s what the guy wants – a floozy alcoholic socialite to take care of.

I know Serena’s struggle to be good is at the core of her character, but it feels lazy to keep bringing her back to this place.  The only thing we’ve seen Serena do since she returned to NYC back in S1 is go back and forth with Dan, and go back and forth with her bad girl ways.  What the writers don’t give us are insights into Serena that make us sympathize with her.  Yes, this latest slip is related to her daddy issues, but since all this stuff was forced down our throats in just an episode or two, why should we the audience even care?

GOSSIP GIRL is navigating some tricky waters.  The transition from high school to college has never been an easy one on television.  GOSSIP GIRL was never really about high school, so it has that going for it,  but keeping the relationships between the characters plausible when they are clearly going in different directions might be more difficult than it would seem.

Right now the writers have me with the exploration of the demise of Blair Waldorf, but I’m going to have little patience if we don’t see character growth as a result.  If the next few weeks (or whenever Michelle Trachtenberg returns to “Mercy”) are all about the power struggle between Georgina and Blair, it’s going to get old quick.  How about Blair learning a little bit about herself and others. I know it’s crazy, but it’s college.

Oh and Dan – you should have followed your gut.  Despite her sweet facade, Georgina is still rotten to the core.

Thoughts on Blair’s fall from grace?  The return of Serena’s bad girl ways?  Dan Humphrey’s new hair?  The comments are open for you to share YOUR thoughts on last night’s GOSSIP GIRL.



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