Gossip Girl: "Seventeen Candles"

Speaking of narcissism and bourgeois entitlement...

As many of you already know, Gossip Girl is my new favorite TV show. But I was troubled by this evening's episode, "Seventeen Candles", because I am afraid that it may have just jumped the shark. Why? Well for those of you who watched the show, you will know what I'm talking about when I say just these two words: Guitar Hero. I'm sorry but did watching Blake Lively jam to "Free Bird" while playing guitar hero just totally kill the character's believability? The show may have recovered were it not for the very fake scene toward the end when Serena and Vanessa began bonding over... Guitar frickin' Hero.

Now, I imagine that if Monkey ever bought me guitar hero for Chanukkah (hint hint), I would probably enjoy it. But that doesn't mean that I want to watch people taking it seriously on TV! And who wrote this episode? Skynyrd? Warrant? It's bad enough that the actors playing seventeen-year-olds are between 20 and 22 -- which is still good by 90210 standards -- but they now remember the 80s, and have the musical sensibility of a guy in his early to mid-30s?
OMG ;<>

Anyway, getting back to the episode:
Jenny and Dan's mom's head is creepy. She looks like an alien fetus with a blonde wig. I wish they would bring back Annie Camden instead. Now, that's a woman what looks like a mother.

I was never invited to parties in high school. Did I miss out on sashimi?

Did you know that "Token Black Girl" and "Token Asian Girl" who sit around and offer moral support to Blair and Serena but never are incorporated in the plot actually have names? (They're Isabel and Kati, respectively.)

Now, for those of you who do watch Gossip Girl, I just wanted to mention that I find it refreshing in its insistence upon stasis. For example, I would like to briefly address its major differences with one of the greatest primetime soap operas ever: Melrose Place. Melrose Place owes much of its success to its ability to keep suspense going from episode to episode by undermining the notion of character. The characters got chained to the monster truck wheels of the plot and, as a result, seemed to end up splattered on a variety of carny rides. There was no need for motivation, because actions prevailed. Thus, you never knew when so-and-so would break up with what's-her-face to begin sleeping with the doctor guy, before going on a psychotic murderous rampage and killing Jim-Belushi's-TV-wife chick. Or whatever... as you can tell, its been a while.

Now, after a couple of episodes of Gossip Girl, one of my friends said "Well, what's going to happen now, since Dan and Serena are already together?" -- as if this were supposed to be some kind of Scully-and-Mulder or Dempsey-and-Makepeace type of show. No, the genius of Gossip Girl is not that it's about anticipating what's not going to happen, but rather hoping that things stay the same. The suspense of Gossip Girl rests on the ability of the character's to stay the same. Thus, each episode reveals their attempts to minimalize plot in order to maintain what they have, rather than pursuing change.

Dan has to keep his new squeeze while not becoming like Nate and Chuck. Blair has to show emotion, but remain solidly unsympathetic. Chuck has to be the bad guy in every episode. And Nate has to be the pouty, misunderstood rich kid. Serena has to balance glamorous with sensitive. In a way, each character is yearning for adulthood, and yet incapable of maturing, because the trappings of adulthood are already theirs. Perhaps this conundrum of stasis is best embodied in Dan and Serena's failure to consumate their relationship in the previous week's episode.

In fact, is Gossip Girl the new Bugsy Malone?

Okay, ASM, I'll let you on the computer, now...

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