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September 20, 2010

Gossip Girl 4.1: "Belles de Jour"

Apparently I have more Gossip Girl thoughts to add to the liveblog. Read on!

First, a shallow observation: Was it just me or were all the guys looking really hot this episode? Nate, Dan, even Rufus. The hiatus was good to them. I mean, not that they're usually ugly or anything, but they seemed even more attractive than normal.

Let's go plot line by plot line here . . .

Georgina: what is she UP to? I'm assuming Dan's not really the father, of course. (And I loved that Rufus is suspicious of doctors in the paternity test thing. Continuity from last season's fake illness plot! Overall, I liked how Rufus and Lily were responding to this, although Lily was slightly quick to embrace Georgina.) Did Georgina just not want the baby but not want to give it up for adoption, so she decided Dan was the best of her options for where to leave him? Since it's her, I'm assuming there are some sort of evil machinations going on, not just cold feet about the baby. Who was she speaking to in Russian?

Nate: he's so adorable and means so well, but I wish they would give him some plots that didn't revolve around his cluelessness. For one thing, anyone who spent his whole childhood and early adolescence in such close proximity to Blair should be used to watching for signs of extreme drama and diabolical plots. I like how it seems that he was the one person Dan was talking to, though. I love their bromance, especially since Nate and Chuck are kind of over for the moment.

Juliet: Mystery! What is she up to? They were obviously trying to make us think she was Gossip Girl, but that's way too obvious. She was clearly researching the group and trying to infiltrate it. Was she trying to get to Nate for some reason, or was she using him to get to someone else? Nate would be the obvious pick in a quest to get access to Chuck or Serena, say. Maybe even Blair. The book Juliet was reading when she met Nate was The House of Mirth, and the main character is named Lily Bart - that CAN'T be a coincidence, what with Lily and Bart Bass. The book is about Lily's downward spiral as she makes choices that strip her of her money and social status, so that could easily be an analogy for whatever Juliet's plot turns out to be.

Blair and the prince: such an interesting echo of the Marcus situation. At first I was annoyed that she seemed to be regressing and worse than ever with her snobby class issues, but the more I think about it, the more I think that is in fact how she would respond to the loss of Chuck. She let down a lot of her defenses in order to love him, and now that he's gone she's desperately clinging to all her rules of how things are supposed to work because that's the only way she can continue to function.

Blair and Serena: At heart, this is the relationship that the show is really about. But I thought they made that a little too explicit in this episode, with them actually talking about their rivalry, etc. I find it more believable when they can't really acknowledge that, because they know they need each other so much.

Chuck: I love love love the "Henry Prince" thing, on two levels at least. One is that the play he was looking at was Henry V, which is about the debauched prince growing up and becoming a real leader, and that's so perfect for both what Chuck was trying to do most of last season and what his story will probably be this season. The other is that I love that Chuck starts calling himself Prince right when Blair is literally looking for a prince. This is how they work: Blair is a dreamer but she gets paralyzed by trying to make things play out the way they do in her fantasies. Chuck sees a lot of the same dreams, but he's willing to just do what it takes to make them happen regardless of how things are "supposed" to work. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it ends up being bad. But in this case - Blair wants a prince? Chuck IS a prince, just through the power of his mind. And it doesn't matter that he isn't actually, because what Blair can't admit to herself is that she doesn't actually need a prince - she just needs
Chuck. So in a way he's not lying. He's being what she needs, even if she can't really see it yet.

And non-plot lines: Has Eric dropped off the face of the earth? At least they mentioned Jenny. I don't really miss Jenny, but I miss Eric. And I thought even parents as oblivious as Rufus and Lily should have noticed that Dan and Chuck were MISSING FOR MONTHS. For one thing, you'd think Dan would have called one of his parents the first time he was alone with a crying baby. Oh, and Vanessa! She was being all reasonable and had some good lines and I do not like this. If I can't hate Vanessa, my worldview is shaken.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2010

Gossip Girl Season Four Premiere Liveblog!

My cousin Liz is joining me to liveblog tonight. Please feel free to join in and add comments!

Posted by Kat at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

Guest Post: A Defense of Vanessa Abrams

In celebration of the premiere tonight, I'm turning the blog over to my cousin Liz, also known as the one Vanessa Abrams fan on the planet. Note: Please do not take this as an endorsement of her ideas. I still hate Vanessa, don't worry.

This post came about after I answered affirmatively to an on-line poll that 'Hey! I like Vanessa!' and the results still showed 0% for that option. "Statistics don't lie," I thought. "I literally am the only one." I mentioned it to Katie, and she invited me to explain. At her request, here are the reasons I really like Vanessa.

She encourages her friends to do what they want to do. Not what she wants them to do, and definitely not what their creepily controlling relatives want them to do - what they want to do, and what's in their best interests.
Along these lines, she's an incredibly loyal friend. Just think of her entire relationship with Nate. For a long time Vanessa was the only person he could really talk to about the situation with his family, even though he'd known Chuck, Serena, and Blair since they were all kids.

She's the only one of the Brooklyn kids who's remained unimpressed by the Upper East Siders' money and status. I think it's pretty fair to say that Dan drank the Kool-Aid, and Jenny's just run completely off the rails. They all started the show as misfit outsiders, but Vanessa's the only one who's held onto her initial skepticism and stayed level-headed.
More specifically, I appreciate Vanessa's skepticism of the UES kids' overly complicated schemes. Nine times out of ten, Vanessa is the one advising Dan, Jenny, Nate, and even occasionally Serena that they should just come clean. Even though, in spite of her protests, she always ends up supporting her friends' machinations - without which, let's be honest, each episode would last approximately seven and a half minutes - I appreciate that somebody tries to be the voice of reason.

She became friends - real friends - with Serena. Jump on into my way-back machine, if you will, to recall the very beginnings of DAN + SERENA 4-EVA <3 <3 <3 ZOMG. Vanessa's BFF, with whom she was completely smitten, started dating a ditzy, leggy blonde Amazon who'd run around acting cutely confused about how often she managed to completely screw things up for other people. At Dan's request, and for the sake of their shared history, Vanessa genuinely befriended that chick. If that's not completely amazing friend love, I don't know what is.

The way she slept with Chuck. I admit, maybe this isn't about my fondness for Vanessa so much as it's about my happiness that a female character on television was shown to have gotten what she wanted out of a one-night stand (wasn't it her, rather than Chuck, who stipulated that they never talk about it again?) and then gotten on with her life, with no lovesick mooning about and no all-encompassing regret.

I'll admit to feeling a little nervous about the coming season. I know Vanessa's not the most popular character, and I hope it won't affect the plotlines the writers come up with. I was super disappointed that she initially wanted to turn down the CNN offer for Haiti in favor of staying with Dan, and I'm still figuring out what to make of this.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2010

Gossip Girl Season Four Trailer!

I will go ahead and agree with Everyone Else on the Internet that Gossip Girl had some serious issues last season, but this promo makes me rather excited for September . . .

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2010

Mysterious Gossip Girl Pictures Spark Questions

Gossip Girl season four filming is well underway, and these pictures started popping up yesterday. In case you can't be bothered to click but are still vaguely curious, the pictures show Dan and Vanessa standing around on a sidewalk. With a baby carriage. Holding a doll. Now . . . okay. There are so many questions here I'm not even sure where to start.

1. Okay, first of all, I'm going to go with the assumption that this is in fact a picture from filming, and so refer to the people involved by their characters names. Because if it's actually just Penn Badgley (and why can I never remember whether there's an e in his last name or where it is?) and Jessica Szohr standing around with a doll in a stroller, that brings up a whole host of other questions that I don't even want to get into.

2. The folks who posted it at TV Fanatic are asking why Vanessa's there, as Georgina is the one who's theoretically pregnant with Dan's baby, but that part doesn't seem that mysterious to me. Of course Vanessa is the type to fall all over herself being helpful and supportive and stuff while actually undermining Dan's self-confidence at every turn. I mean, that's basically the entire purpose of her character, right? That'll fit right in with this baby drama plotline.

3. My actual question: Why is Vanessa in New York at all??? Didn't they convince us to keep watching by promising tell us they were sending her off to Haiti for a while? Please don't tell me she's not actually gone. Next thing I know you're going to be telling me Little J isn't really gone either. Nooo.

4. Why does the stroller hold a doll and not a real baby? TV Fanatic assumes the doll is a stand-in because we didn't actually need to see the baby in this scene. But I'm wondering whether it's one of those fake practice baby dolls. Walking around with one of those to "learn" to be a father would totally be a Dan thing to do. And then he'll leave it with the prop guys and it will accidentally end up in a guillotine and - oh, wait, that was that other Dan, on Studio 60. Never mind.

5. OH GOD. This isn't a question, but rather a horrifying thought that just occurred to me - PLEASE NO ONE GIVE THIS POOR CHILD TO RUFUS AND LILY TO RAISE. They have messed up at least five children between them already. Stop the madness!

(6. Did you notice my clever pun in the post title? Did you? Hee.)

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2010

Gossip Girl Season Finale Liveblog

Good evening, Upper East Siders! Everyone settling in for what promises to be an exciting - and upsetting - finale? My dinner is mainly comprised of lettuce and grapes, coincidentally, so Blair would approve. Ready? Here we go.

9:00 Previously, about a million completely ridiculous things happened. Please don't remind us, Gossip Girl. Jenny, what's weird about you wanting your life to get back to normal is that when you had your old life all you ever wanted was the new one. Chuck, you're lucky you're you because no one else could get away with this "At 7:01 I'm closing my heart to you forever" nonsense. And yes, that Gossip Girl blast does say "Empire State Building of Mind." Sigh.

9:01 Is the song in the background "You Really Got a Hold on Me"? I think it might be. Notice how we're starting in Grand Central, just like the pilot? Oh look! It's Georgina.

The van der Humphreys are eating waffles. OF COURSE THEY ARE. I'm not sure Lily is the best person to ask for advice about raising teen girls.

9:02 Eric, as usual, is the one reasonable person here.

Did Jenny finally actually sleep with Nate? They're both awfully clothed for that. How long are they going to drag out this Jenny-has-sex thing? (Wait, don't answer that, because I think I know the answer and I don't like it.)

9:03 Chuck is very dapper for so early in the morning. Bringing them breakfast in bed. HEEEEE.

9:04 Dorota is ridiculously pregnant. Blair is already all frenetic-crazy. Dorota is a Chuck/Blair shipper. Hee. Blair is dragging poor pregnant Dorota on her date. Really, if everyone on this show listened to Dorota and Eric, things would be a lot more reasonable. But then, there would be no show.

9:05 Georgina has randomly shown up at Chuck's Home for Wayward Girls. Of course she has. I think I like her better on Mercy. Chuck's being harsh, but I'm glad at least one person recognizes none of them have any reason to trust Georgina.

9:06 Dan and Serena are in his bed, also fully clothed! And - oh, Jenny. She takes their picture, of course, and this might actually be the most realistic version of her plan to break up Nate and Serena we've seen yet.

9:07 Dan looked at Serena's ringing phone and saw it was Nate and for a second I thought he was actually going to answer, but luckily, not even Dan is that dumb. I mean, when your ex-girlfriend/stepsister is sleeping in your bed and her boyfriend calls, you don't answer. Wait, is Serena putting her underwear on? So wait, they . . . kissed? Is that all? Why were her pants off?

9:08 "Do we have to tell anyone?" No, Serena, you do not have to tell anyone that you kissed your stepbrother. Why on earth would you tell anyone? They are so emphasizing not telling anyone that obviously they will both immediately tell people. She leaves and... goes in for another kiss. Yeah. Guys. You're not very good at this.

Gossip Girl breaks out the Faulkner!

9:09 That moment of Chuck and Nate looking at their phones and then at each other was classic. Dan, you should not need to see the coffee cup emblazoned with "JENNY" to know who did this. Who did he think was in his house?

9:13 Blair looks a little surprised/confused when Serena says Jenny is obviously behind the photos. A little role reversal there, no?

9:14 "Are you friends with Vanessa?" I love that Dan has to ask this. Also, guys, the more times you say "meaningless," the less meaningless it gets.

9:15 Why do they keep being so surprised that an unsupervised grounded girl isn't just staying where she's told? Have they met Jenny? And wow, Chuck telling someone to stop playing games? Hee.

9:16 Nate! You are in no place to question "We just fell asleep talking" here! You just did the EXACT SAME THING!

9:17 Blair/Jenny smackdown! Yay! Wait, Nate and Serena is "mythic"? I'm not sure that means what you think it means, Blair. But I love Blair in scenes like this. She's really at her best here. "Signs are for the religious, the superstitious, and the lower-class." Also, she was rather smiling as she was damning Chuck Bass to hell, no?

9:19 Blair's going to go meet Chuck! Wait, Dorota's water broke! Of course it did. Blair was so smiley a second ago. That was great.

9:24 Yes! Shipping Jenny off to her mother! Best idea Rufus has ever had! The city's all she has? What does that even mean?

9:25 I don't think I want to know about Cyrus's birthing coach experience. Wait, why is everyone showing up at the hospital? This seems a little excessive.

9:26 I think I'm on Nate's side here. He is right.

9:27 "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" is kind of an odd song choice for labor and then Blair trying to find Chuck. And was Nate's phone a piece of product placement for something that actually looks really clunky to use? Huh.

9:28 Facial expressions like that are why I always end up a little in awe of Leighton Meester. And now is when I start saying "NO NO NO NO NO" as this inevitable Chuck/Jenny thing finally happens. Chuck is actually being really believable here, though.

9:29 Chuck: "The world you're looking for only exists from the outside. The only reason I survive in it is because I always knew it was empty." That might be the most true thing anyone's ever said on this show.

9:33 Oh, CHUCK. Oh, JENNY. Stop. Please. Stop. They're not stopping but at least we don't have to see them, for the moment.

9:33 And we're at the hospital, and Dan is inexplicably the one staring at the babies. Okay, Serena and Dan are actually pretty adorable together, I have to say.

9:34 Why are they letting Georgina stare at babies? Her evil might rub off. Aw, the baby's name is Anastasia. Cute. Anyone else get the impression that Eleanor's more excited about this baby than she ever was about her own?

9:35 Does Dan actually think he and Vanessa are happy? Hmm.

9:36 Okay, as much as I hate this whole Chuck/Jenny hookup, Chuck is actually being fairly tender and considerate here. And... of COURSE Blair shows up. Sigh.

9:37 Don't LIE, Chuck. Lying to Blair never ends well. And - you didn't expect to see her ever again? REALLY? What about the fact that all your friends are in common? That's a little unrealistic there, Charles. Oh, the look on Chuck's face when he sees the flowers is that amazing one he pulls out for moments like this. Aww.

9:38 Chuck was so completely happy for a second there until he remembered about Jenny. SIgh. And... Jenny's gone. What happened with the bed? She was doing something, but it wasn't clear what.

9:43 I really can't bring myself to have much sympathy for Jenny. She totally knew what she was getting into. How much do they spend on eye makeup for this girl, I wonder?

9:44 I do like how quickly Eric figured out what Jenny's "mistake" regarding Chuck was. And hey, Jenny, I know you wanted it to be special and all, but you got Chuck in his bed. That's saying something. Blair got the back of a limo, after all.

9:45 I do not approve of these car dealership ads popping up on the screen during episodes. I'd rather watch more actual commercials. Of course, I fast forward through the commercials, which I suppose is why they're doing the pop-up thing.

Eric: "Jenny's here. She needs help." Dan: "You're just now realizing this?" HEE. That was a nice little brotherly concern moment there, boys.

9:46 I'm not convinced Nate would ever think to start a sentence with "I find it in my heart to..." It's just taking a break, Serena? Are we going to do this whole "on a break" thing? AGAIN? Nate's being a little harsh here, but also totally within his rights.

9:47 Oh! Oh! Chuck's proposing! And . . . Dan ruins it. Of course. GAH. "Go. And never come back." Leighton Meester's acting the hell out of this. I don't really think this is all Chuck's fault here. Jenny was certainly willing, and knew more or less what was going on with Chuck and Blair, right? But it's still nice to see Dan being all brotherly.

9:48 Serena, correctly, takes in the whole scene and immediately zeroes in on Blair. Because Blair is the only person Serena can consistently bring herself to care about, regardless of what else is going on.

9:49 Okay, I get that Blair sees this as a huge betrayal, but she and Chuck were broken up. And I think Chuck is being completely honest when he says he didn't care if he lived or died at that moment. I mean, it wasn't the best decision he could have made, but I don't think it's quite as awful as the show seems to be telling us it is.

9:52 And Jenny's off to Hudson, claiming it was her idea. Um? Nice parallelism to the pilot with Jenny and Dan coming home from Hudson.

9:53 Jenny is really obnoxious telling all these people who love her that there's nothing left for her in the city. And Eric is being adorable. And I'm starting to get worried, because we have seven minutes left and Georgina hasn't done anything yet.

Blair's point about how life is kind of like summer for Serena is pretty brilliant. Wait. WAIT. Wasn't it snowing last episode? Why is it suddenly summer? What is this, New Hampshire?

9:54 I like Blair's implication that Serena has something worth writing a memoir about. Hee. I like this idea of them in Paris. Could be fun. "As long as we have each other, we're both going to be okay." That's where this show begins and ends, really.

9:55 This Dan and Nate apology call is completely adorable. I love their scenes together. Hee, Chuck's in Prague! Nate has Chuck's girls! Nate, you will never be Chuck, but it's cute to watch you try. (Tip: Stop with the plaid shirts.)

(And I just got a text saying "WTF???!!!!!!" from my cousin Liz. Now I'm scared to finish the episode.)

9:56 Blair is wearing some sort of sailor dress. Awesome. No! Dan! You don't need to search for "www.airfrance.com"! You know the URL! You can type it in! It drives me crazy when people do this. At least he seems to be back to using a Google clone rather than Bing, though.

9:57 Did he really just buy a ticket that quickly?? I could get behind Dan trying to get Serena back. That could be interesting. OMG. As soon as Georgina says "Looking for you," I think I know what's going on. Hah! I was right! And, um, that's quite an outfit there, Georgina.

Hm. I am not as shocked or upset about this as others seem to be.

9:58 OMG! Never mind, clearly CHUCK GETTING SHOT is what people are upset about! Oh. Wow. Okay.

Verdict: Not as shocking as The Vampire Diaries finale, but pretty good. Hmm. I will have to contemplate.

Posted by Kat at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

Gossip Girl Season Finale Liveblog Tonight!

Attention Upper East Siders! I'll be liveblogging the Gossip Girl season finale right here, tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern. Come join me!

Posted by Kat at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2010

The Most Incredibly Exciting Week Ever

Okay, that may be overstating things a little, but seriously, folks, there's a lot of exciting pop culture stuff going on in the next week or so. Here's a rundown of the things that interest me. (Notes: All times are Eastern. Here's an explanation of "upfronts".)

Thursday, May 13
8 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries season finale (The episode description promises death and destruction. Damon says he wants to eat cotton candy and steal Stefan's girl. Yes, please!)
10 p.m.: Private Practice season finale (Okay, I'm not actually that excited about this, but apparently a main character will die, so there's that.)

Friday, May 14
Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet come out. No, I'm not expecting cinematic greatness from either, but as I am a fan of Matthew MacFadyen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and laughably bad historical movies, in the former case, and Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, silly Taylor Swift songs, and Italy, in the latter case, I am looking forward to both of these.

Monday, May 17
9 p.m.: Gossip Girl season finale (Blair responds to Chuck's ultimatum and, as usual, Jenny does something that makes us want to kill her. Necessary preparations: watch An Affair to Remember; buy scotch.)
10 p.m.: Castle season finale (I'm rather hoping this will see the end of Anders Demming getting between Castle and Beckett, but we'll see. It's too early in the series for Castle and Beckett to get together, anyway.)
Muse's new single, "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)," is released. (On a Monday? Yeah, I don't know.)
NBC and FOX Upfronts

Tuesday, May 18
9 p.m.: Neil Patrick Harris guest stars on Glee. Joss Whedon directs. (I don't need to explain why this is exciting, do I? Didn't think so.)
11 p.m.: Bradley Whitford on Chelsea Lately
The Demon's Covenant, the second book in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon trilogy, is released.
The third album of songs from Glee comes out.
ABC Upfronts

Wednesday, May 19
8 p.m.: The Good Guys preview episode (If you're unclear on my feelings about this, um, head over here.)
Google I/O 2010 begins.
CBS Upfronts

Thursday, May 20
8 p.m.: Bones season finale (They're saying it's going to be shocking and polarizing, again. So I'm a little worried. But at least no alternate realities this time!)
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy season finale
10 p.m.: The Mentalist season finale
Google I/O 2010 ends, so we'll hopefully have an Android-as-hotspot announcement by then.
CW Upfronts

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2010

The Hottest Characters on TV Right Now

I'm sure you've all noticed that I enjoy making lists. The other night while I was doing dishes or something, I started absentmindedly creating a list of the top five most attractive characters currently on TV. I was somewhat astonished that I got stuck at four. I can come up with these four who stand out, and then the next tier has 15 or so guys and I simply cannot decide who to elevate. Of course, if I were to wait a week or so, this problem would go the other way, because The Good Guys would be out and I'd probably want to include both of the male characters from that. But anyway! Here are my top four, at the moment, and than an incomplete list of honorable mentions. (Caveats: the order among the four changes based on my mood. As usual, I am judging by looks, personality, and whatever else, not just looks.) And hey, how about a quote from each? Because if there's anything I like almost as much as lists, it's quotes.

1. Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (Ian Somerhalder)
"It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl."

2. Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight (Frederick Weller)
"Here's to the best friend I've ever had, could ever hope to have, a girl for whom no man will ever be good enough, I hope you know that... I love you and I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness."

3. Seeley Booth from Bones (David Boreanaz)
"I'm the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I want to give this a shot."

4. Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
"You and I are magnetic. You can feel it. Our pull is as undeniable as ever. I love you. Saying it was hard, but I did. And I've never looked back."

Interestingly, two of those (Marshall and Booth) are in law enforcement of some sort, and the other two are . . . very much not. One could even call them criminals. If one wished.

Honorable mention: Robert McCallister and Justin Walker from Brothers and Sisters, Rick Castle from Castle, Will Schuester from Glee, Will Gardner from The Good Wife, Derek Shepherd and Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy, Raylan Givens from Justified, Patrick Jane and Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist, Adam Braverman from Parenthood, Pete Wilder and Sam Bennett from Private Practice.

Posted by Kat at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2010

Incredibly Important Things Happening Today

Okay, that's almost entirely tongue-in-cheek. But! Today:

1. Supposedly the Lady Gaga/Beyonce "Telephone" video is being released around 11. I'll try to find a link for you at lunch.


2. Gossip Girl comes back from hiatus tonight! Honestly, this is about the only thing that got me out of bed this morning.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2010

"That whore could be [his] mother!"

Okay, here's the deal. I'm past even calling Gossip Girl a guilty pleasure. At this point, I honestly think it's good, and I'm impressed with the way they took a series of books that aren't good and made them into a show that's much more complicated than the books ever dreamed of being. The show is basically a nineteenth century novel transplanted into the twenty-first century Upper East Side. The extreme soapiness cloaks the actual depth and complexity of the characters and issues. (The show is a lot better written then the books, too.)

Anyway, all this is by way of saying that the show has, sadly, been on hiatus, but it's coming back on March 8, and here's a promo:

One request: Let's just do away with Dan and Vanessa, okay? Can't we send them off to, I don't know, Hamilton or somewhere?

Posted by Kat at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

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