the greatest show of our time

Gossip Girl Recap: The Zip Codes May Be Different, But the Douchebags Are the Same

Gossip Girl

Yes, Then Zero
Season 5 Episode 1

Gossip Girl

Yes, Then Zero
Season 5 Episode 1
Photo: Giovanni Rufino/© 2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
"Yes, Then Zero" -- Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf and Hugo Becker as Louis in Gossip Girl on the CW.
Photo Credit: Giovanni Rufino / The CW
© 2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Giovanni Rufino/© 2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Summer is over, and on last night’s season-five premiere of Gossip Girl, we got to see how our favorite Upper East Siders used the last few months of permanent vacation to grow and change. Serena’s internship on a Los Angeles movie set has led her to believe that she transformed herself from an “It girl to a working girl,” and although she has taken to covering her boobs with chunky necklaces, her obliviousness to the double meaning of her own comment lets us know she is still the same person on the inside. Meanwhile, Chuck has discovered a new life philosophy called simply, “Yes,” that allows him to “take all opportunities that present themselves,” which so far seem to include pleasuring pairs of twins with orchids, wearing debonair scarves, and engaging in wildly self-destructive behavior. So, same as his old philosophy, then. Nate seems a little hazy on his story line until he meets a cougar grifter and remembers that’s the kind of thing he’s into; Blair may soon be undergoing a change that no amount of chunky necklaces can hide; and Gossip Girl, for her part, got a new aerial camera and insisted on showing us a bunch of upside-downy shots that made us nauseous.

And now, onto our Reality Index!

More Real Than Dan’s Sad Stubbleface
• Blair has a giant picture of Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated wife of Louis XVI, in her bedroom. Sigh, foreshadowing. Plus 3
• At the end of last season’s finale, Chuck and Nate spun the globe and apparently ended up in Chiang Mai, where they promptly met up with people exactly like them for a game of poker that culminated in Chuck’s winning Allegra Versace’s yacht, docked back in exotic Los Angeles. Plus 10 for deft highlighting of Gossip Girl’s existential core: That while one would think having limitless funds would expand one’s world, it really just makes it smaller.
• He won Allegra, too, “but that’s another story.” Plus 2
• Jenny has now been banished to noted fashion school St. Martin’s in London, where she will remain quietly forgotten unless the actress playing her seriously gets her shit together and makes up for whatever she has done to the show’s producers. (See also Brenda Walsh, Beverly Hills 90210, who attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London from 1994 until 2010.) Plus 1 for trying.
• Eric and Jenny kicked Rufus out of all of England because he didn’t know who Sarah Burton was. Plus 3, because they kind of have a point.
• Of course Nate has a medicinal marijuana card. Plus 2
• One of the kinds of medicinal marijuana Serena and Nate buy is called Blueberry Headband. Plus 2
• Nate: “I love Gail.” Plus 10
• The stuntwoman tells Chuck to be careful on Mulholland Drive because, “people write songs about wiping out on L.A. roadways.” I mean, you know it’s got to be serious if people write songs about it. Plus 5 for L.A. people.
• Dan is playing on the Artists & Writers softball team. This is an actual annual event that’s been going on in East Hampton for over 50 years, although over time the teams have gradually expanded to include other professions in order to accommodate the people who can actually afford Hamptons real estate. It is likely that it may have to be renamed “Trustafarians & Dilettantes.” Plus 10.
• Eleanor: “Testing a good man who loves you never ends well.” Sigh. Plus 5
• Dan asks Prince Louis if he can get Vanity Fair to kill his story, because as with Snow White, only a real live actual royal would be able to get through to editor-in-chief Graydon Carter. Plus 5 because hahahaha Vanity Fair, you’re so silly with your royals, hahaha, sob.
• Oh look! It’s adorable L.A. rock duo Jenny and Johnny! Plus 5
• “People like me don’t write books, they’re written about,” —Chuck Bass. Plus 10
• Jay McInerney turns up at A&W with a dual purpose: to move the plot along by telling Dan he read a story by an anonymous author with his same worldview and initials–imagine that!--in an upcoming edition of Vanity Fair, and to drop names like “Wharton and Wolfe,” so that people think this show is still smart. Plus only 1. Is McInerney the only famous writer they can get? Who will they turn to next? Sloane Crosely??
• “We’ve been waiting longer than a Terrence Malick movie,” Eleanor complains to Blair. SMART PEOPLE, ARE YOU STILL OUT THERE? THE WRITERS OF GOSSIP GIRL ARE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU. Plus 1
• Nate arrives back at the home of the cougar/con woman who seduced him and gives her a speech about how he is only “now starting to realize who I am.” Plus 7. Because yes, he’s a man who loves con women and cougars.
#8226; The people on Serena’s set know her for her work. “My my, if it isn’t New York’s Finest,” says the star of the movie. Plus 2
• Marshall gets really upset and self-righteous about potentially losing a job whose main responsibilities include “Drop dogs off at groomer.” Plus 4
#8226; Ha, what a bitch this seamstress is. What, does she double as an obstetrician? Have years of altering dresses given her an uncanny ability to tell the difference between an early first trimester and a few too many carbs? What on earth makes her feel comfortable accusing a woman who swears she is not pregnant of lying about it? Oh, wait, is that a French accent? Plus 10

Total: 100

Faker Than Jenny’s New Academic Career
• Serena allegedly wrote a “thoughtful comparison between the book and the script” of the Beautiful and the Damned. LOL. ROFL. DOIABILSH. (Doubled Over In Agony Because I’m Laughing So Hard. Duh.) Minus 10
• Holy shit, this Sofia Vergara underwear for Kmart commercial is terrifying. What is she doing? Getting into other peoples bodies through their underwear or something? Ahhh what is going on?! No Points
• Really? Must Elizabeth Hurley wear actual leopard print in her role as a predatory cougar? Minus 5
• Related: No points, bold of them to show that little spot with Eric Daman so we can see who’s responsible for the dress made out of grandma’s chintz curtains.
• It’s kind of a crime that Alec Baldwin wasn’t in that Artists & Writers softball scene. Minus 5
• Rufus: “I’ve been trying to tell Andy Cohen, he should do the Real House Arrests of New York.” As if Andy Cohen would be resistant to that suggestion. Minus 5
• This whole thing between Serena and Marshall is ridiculous. Marshall would never confront Serena about trying to steal his job to her face, or challenge her overtly, and Serena would never say, “I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble,” to their boss unless she actually was trying to get him in trouble. This is Los Angeles, and theirs would be a tactical, deadly war of passive aggression. Minus 8
• Vanessa sold Dan’s novel for just $10 grand? She’s not only a raging psycho, she’s a crap agent. Minus 5
• Okay, so for a little while it seemed last night that last season’s cliff-hanger finale — the mystery positive pregnancy test — was going to be solved in the most facile way ever. When Dorota said, “Baby No. 2,” I nearly threw the remote across the room, until I remembered it was my apartment and I’d have to pick it up. But by the end of the episode, questions were raised: Is Dorota just covering for Blair? Is it possible that Blair is pregnant and it’s not Louis’ and that Chuck Bass Is Her Baby Daddy (shout out to our commenter of the same name!) Or is it Dan? Is that what happened that night that Dan refers to so mysteriously? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and look at the facts.

Signs Blair Might Be Pregnant
1. She turned down a glass of prosecco, and Dorota looked weird about it.
2. In one scene, she was pictured eating something. (Blair hasn’t eaten since season one!)
3. Dorota doesn’t need to read What To Expect When You’re Expecting: She had a baby, she already knows what to expect.
4. In this episode, Blair was way more dramatic than usual, even by Gossip Girl standards. She was pitching fits about peonies and threatening to call off her engagement over stupid crap. She was threatening to run away to Amagansett in that outfit.. In fact, that entire outfit might have been put together as a sign to show her hormonal insanity! (In which case, sorry, Eric Daman for what we said above!)
5. Blair’s one-liners also weren’t as sharp as they usually are. “Hand-me-downs are for charity and second children”? “Los Angeles is a plastic surgery layover, not somewhere you live”? Please.

Signs Blair Might Not Be Pregnant
1. If Blair knew she was pregnant, wouldn’t there have been at least one scene where she stares beseechingly into a mirror?
2. If Blair knew she was pregnant, and was in total denial — like the kind of denial that women go through where they disguise their whole pregnancy in baggy clothes and then try to throw the baby in a Dumpster or leave it on someone’s doorstep — then that would actually be really interesting. And this is still the CW.
3. Once past the initial excitement of figuring out who the father is, a pregnant Blair would be a really boring story line.

No points for these, just speculating, and please add your theories in the comments.

Total: 38

This week’s tally lands solidly on the side of reality, in large part owing to non-resolution of the baby mama drama. Next week: Is Blair knocked up, or are French seamstresses just not used to women who get fat?

Gossip Girl Recap: The Zip Codes May Be Different, But the Douchebags Are the Same