Recapping “Gossip Girl”: The Age of Dissonance
I have so many questions as I sit, rapt, through the intro to Monday’s night episode of “Gossip Girl”: Would Dan boink Ol’ Teachy McTeacherson again? Would Serena’s breasts push free of their restrictive corsetry and finally take over the entire screen with their golden magnificence? Would Chuck take his custom-made Saville Row pants off and dance for me and me alone? I’m totally stoked to see all the children dressed like wee Edwardian fops for the dress rehearsal for the senior class play, The Age of Innocence. The boys’ hats give me a La Belle Epoque girlboner, and the girls’ wee lacy gloves look like delicate spun sugar. Also, Nate’s bitchy backstage dig at Jeremy Piven is priceless. “I can’t believe Chuck actually got a doctor to diagnose him with acute stage fright,” he cattily whispers to Dan. “Should’ve gone with mercury poisoning!”
Granted, all is not perfection in the land of fin de siecle fashion. Blair’s blackly-black dress is somewhat Vivienne Westwood-meets-Goth-Big-Bird, but I’m of the opinion that Leighton Meester can make anything look perfect. And her horrified reaction at learning of Nelly Yuki’s acceptance to Yale is as satisfyingly overdramatic as Penelope’s disgusted reaction at realizing that she is dressed exactly like Dorota, if Dorota were employed in an 1890’s brothel.
Then Professor Dumbletits makes her dramatic return, sweetly stepping past a crowd of bitchtastic teachers in the nearly-empty auditorium at Constance. Her demure berry button-down top and charcoal gray pencil skirt shout, “I’m totally not dating a student!” but the mean, Talbots-clad teachers know better. They chatter and smirk, which is exactly what real teachers do when one of their own does anything remotely entertaining (I should know—I taught high school before deciding to dedicate my life to recapping CW teen dramedies.)
Inexplicably, Vanessa is flouncing about with the mini-camera she bought on layaway at Circuit City. She wants to make her Vimeo (she’s too alt for YouTube) documentaries about Nathaniel and his ascot. This chick is supposed to be homeschooling, but she’s never at home and she’s always at someone else’s school. Granted, she’s the most beautiful creature in this cast of beauties, but I really wish the writers would give her something interesting to do. Like maybe she could kill someone, in the drawing room, with the candlestick. The prissy, flouncy director of this high school crap-fest, Julian, looks like he could use a good bonk on the noggin.
Carter Baizen, a.k.a. Sebastian Stan, a.k.a. Leighton Meester’s real-life boyf, is totes backsides! AND he’s sitting with Elle, a.k.a Hailey, a.k.a. the “Eyes Wide Shut” chick who we presumed dead. Also, she was totally nakesies all the time on “The L Word”! Upon Chuck’s arrival, she leaves the table, maybe because she is a lesbian? Ah, but when Chuckles arrives home, his underfed, under-dressed supermodel is waiting for him. And she needs his help. Something about leaving the country, escaping from the baddies who are after her, blah blah blah. Then she and Chuck have sex, because.
Teachy McTeacherson awaits Dan in her oddly ginormous sex lair (don’t private school teachers make crap money?), as she’s left him a key to her abode in a secret sex note. But through her sexy sex door tromps none other than angry Rufus Humphrey! The music of Lincoln Hawk swells as he narrows his eyes at the sensibly-dressed schoolmarm and tells her to stay away from his boring, boring child.
Actual humor (not hilarity, but I did actually laugh) ensues when Serena hides a Bluetooth device in her perfect eardrum so that Vanessa can feed her smarty-pants literary things to say to impress Julian.
(Oh, did I mention that someone is feeding lots of embarrassing secrets about Blair and Serena to “Gossip Girl”? Well, someone is doing that. Probably Miss Shinyapples, the teacher-temptress.)
Okay, in the number one gross out scene, itself a nod to “The Age of Innocence,” Dan kisses the teacher’s wrist, and then humps her on a couch, in the wardrobe closet. Which is generally a bad move on the evening of a school play, when the wardrobe closet will presumably be used with frequency, but whatever. These two crazy kids are in love! They can’t be stopped!
Later, Dan realizes that Miss Primsy is the one behind the mean GG notices about Blair and then everyone flips out onstage and has an argument. And Nate gets to act for real! And he says “asshats!” And Nelly Yuki is funny! And NY Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood loves it! (No, really, he has like six lines in this thing and it is delicious.) And then Dan confronts Miss Twinklesnatch in private, and she’s all, “Yeah, I leaked those rumors to mess up Blair’s life, so?” and Dan is all, “Eff you!” and then he does the only good thing he has done in this entire series: tells Blair about sexing Rachel in the costume closet.
Then everyone is friends again, and everything is okay, except that Blair may be lapsing into alcoholism and isolationist friendship policies a la the Chuck Bass of yore. Oh, and Chuck has decided to finally declare his love or something, but oh noez, she’s out with that dastardly bastard Carter Baizen, and they’re probably going to make sexytime and give each other weird sex diseases. Because Blair has decided that not getting into Yale is her karma, and sucking face with elitist jerks is her dogma, or something.
Oh, and Miss Cliffsnotesexypants is gone, back to the cornfields of her native Iowa, where she’ll ride tractors instead of 18-year-old boys…..