Last night’s episode of Gossip Girl blissfully had nothing to do with today’s presidential election. Sure, it was a little weird that the CW’s Upper East Side was entirely unaffected by the concerns of blue states and red states. And yeah, Vanessa totally would have tattooed the word “HOPE” onto her face if this were real life. And the centerpiece of the New York Philanthropical Society gala would totally have been universal outrage at Obama for planning to “redistribute the wealth.” But that was kind of nice! And anyway, underneath the tulle and the tight casing of the leggings and the makeup everyone had pasted on like trollops, the emotions — the plotting and the grasping and the need to appear perfect, the desire, above all, to succeed — seemed parallel to the desperate, endless campaigning we have witnessed over the past two years. Or at least every day in New York. Jenny may have “alienated everyone in her life,” Dan says, but at least tomorrow: “She’s going to be in the New York Times.” Oh, Dannykins. Has sucking in your cheeks for two straight years affected your brain? Ruining a charity event with a bunch of teenagers in tutus is how you end up in the Post.
More Realistic Than Karl Lagerfeld Inviting a Rich 17-Year-Old to His Birthday Party
• Multiple Project Runway references, including a “spotted” on Gossip Girl of Jenny at Mood. Plus only 2, because while Jenny would totally go there, nobody who sends tips to Gossip Girl would have. (Oh, and plus 5 for that fucking stupid Kenley cap. Jenny is so going to the hate-cry place.)
• Emma’s little pretend goody-goody outfit is Blair circa 2007, but with a half-sleeve we’re not sure B would approve of. Plus 3 because almost.
• Plus 1 for Serena’s cute little white bolero jacket, which somehow still makes her look topless.
• The beatific stoner grin, like sunshine on a cloudy day, that spreads over Nate’s face when Dan reminds him that he hooked up with the Yale TA was either a triumph of acting or Chace Crawford actuallydid forget that plotline. Either way, Plus 1.
• “They call him the de-virginator,” Emma says of the lacrosse captain. “Oh my God, stop your mouth from moving,” Blair replies. “But now that I finally have the night away from my mom and dad, we’ll see who’s first [to lose her virginity]!” Emma shoots back. “We’re saying TTFN to my you know what.” “Or maybe we’ll see how your mom feels about your little clearance sale, little Lohan,” Blair threatens. Plus 3 for the zingers, B, but a teenager’s V-card never comes at a bargain-basement price.
• Emma says, “So I checked out Gossip Girl and I’m thinking we hit Socialista before we get to Beatrice.” A very high-school plan. Plus 2. (Also plus 1 because her “hot slut” outfit involved spaghetti straps.)
• “Why do you keep eating those pot brownies, Manny?” Agnes asks. “You know sugar makes you spaz.” Plus 2 because Agnes totally wouldn’t figure out that pot brownies make you chilllll.
• “Emma, I was thinking,” Blair suggests. “Where is the glory in bedding down with some dirty Manhattan hipster who’s probably filming you on Nanny Cam?” Plus 2 because, ew, yeah, and “smile!”
• Chuck, regarding the benefit: “The only thing I like that aged is my Scotch.” Emma: “What, it’s old people? Blaire told me it was all hot guys!” Chuck: “Sounds to me like you’ve been taken for a ride.” Emma: “How about you take me for a ride instead?” Chuck: “Looks like you just hooked yourself a Bass.” Us: “THE GIRL IS STILL WEARING SPAGHETTISTRAPS.” Plus 3.
• Rufus trying to get Jenny arrested is a classic dumb parent thing to do. Of course, in the heat of the moment, he would forget that she would get an actual criminal record. Plus 2.
• Emma’s mom appears actually hypnotized by Serena, despite the fact that she has said exactly nothing. “I had no idea you would be such a delight,” she says. Plus 1, because pretty people win.
• Oh! The Baby Gossip Girl that takes a picture of Nate and Jenny kissing is the same weird Serena Munchkin who accosted Dan and Serena in the park! Plus 1 for not forgetting that New York is an island where you see the same strangers all the time.
• We love how Jenny, the 15-year-old, keeps saying this is her “only chance” to become a designer. So accurate. Plus 2.
• Jenny wears one of her baby-doll dresses with no bottoms to a black-tie gala. Plus 2.
• “Just so you know, there are a few things that I consider sacred,” Chuck says. “The back of a limo is one of them.” Plus 2 because while it’s so true that he would treasure those spots on the upholstery, it’s still like considering that bush in your backyard where you first got to second base “sacred.”
• “This is Stewart, he’s in love with me,” Agnes explains matter-of-factly. Plus 2, because models really do get to say stuff like that.
• Emma to Blair: “But you’re perfect!” Blair: “True!” Yes! Plus 3.
• Muffy’s Muff Gets Stuffed. Best Gossip Girl headline ever. Plus 5, also because Blair calls her a lacrosstitute.
• During the fashion show, Bart looks totally appalled, but Lily loves it and does that funny middle-aged white-people dance. You know, the one Barack Obama did on Ellen? Plus 3, because those events are totally boring and Bart probably gets philanthropic awards right and left.
• Sure, we suspected the various women answering Aaron’s phone and kissing him and getting on his motorcycle could be signs that he was trouble — but this is television, and often there’s an explanation for that sort of stuff: He could have been running an outreach program for Ukrainian sex slaves, for instance. However, we knew for sure Aaron was trouble when we heard him say this line: “I could explain who Tamara is and why she was at my apartment last night, but the fact is, you feel something or you don’t. If you’re looking for an excuse to keep us apart, that’s fine.” This deft undermining — rather than giving the girl what she asks of him (an explanation), which would, as he perceives it, give her the upper hand, he flips it around by making her call into question what is wrong with herself that she needs one. Aaron = Classic emosogynist. Which is so realistic. Plus 10.
• Jenny runs away, suitcases in hand, and winds up uncomfortably lugging them somewhere near the BQE. The lugging part of this resonated with us for some reason, despite the fact that she probably could not have carried all her clothes and a sewing machine.
• Nate has girl handwriting. Ha! Plus 2.
• Emma and Elizabeth’s name is Boardman. Plus 2 because we’re sure the real Boardmans loved that.
Faker Than Nate Mailing Jenny a Letter
• New York Philanthropic Society is not real. Also, there were no actual socialites in this episode, which was a disappointment. When is Muffie Potter Aston going to show up in this thing? Minus 5.
• Emma’s parents stay at the Palace? Minus 2, because, come on. Is there no other hotel in the city? And another minus 1 for her mother just deciding to trust some random girl whose name she doesn’t know with her daughter for a night. We don’t know how unrealistic this is, but if the girl was fine on her own (with the concierge watching over the security camera, of course), what exactly is Blair going to add?
• Blair is reading In Style. Damn those bitches and their product placement! Minus only 1 because Blair might read In Style if all of the copies of Vogue in the world (American and otherwise) spontaneously combusted.
• The camp that Serena and Aaron went to in Switzerland is called Camp Suisse. Um, sorry. They couldn’t have thought for one more second about a name? Minus 1, because there’s probably a Camp American somewhere in the Bible Belt. Maybe Bristol Palin’s kids will go there!
• Let’s get into this scene at 1Oak. First of all, there is no way there would have been that many people there at that time, which we know from Gossip Girl’s Coppola-esque cross-cutting technique was approximately when the charity ball was just getting started. But 1Oak doesn’t open until at least eleven, and charity galas for old people usually end around then. Secondly, while weird coincidences do happen in real life — this guy that Jessica used to work with once ran into his dad at a swinger’s club, true story — we sort of can’t believe Emma’s mom would have gotten into 1Oak. She is way, way too old, and not in a Demi Moore kind of way. And even on the very, very slim chance she had gotten in, wouldn’t she and Emma have noticed each other? The place is not that big. However! The amount of references, in the three minutes they are in there, to old dudes who prey on younger women — like Chuck calling Serge Humbert Humbert and Blair saying she lost Serge and Emma in “a crowd of identical couples,” culminating in a totally gratuitous cameo by owner and actual Ashley Olsen dater Scott Sartiano, whose role consists of unctuously offering 17-year-old Serena a table — totally mitigates any points that we might have taken off, owing to the fact that Sartiano has no idea he is being made fun of and in fact, if we were feeling generous, could push this into the plus column. But we’re not. So: Even.
• Jenny is wearing ten pounds of red lipstick, but when Nate kisses her, it doesn’t smudge at all. Minus 1, because she would have looked so much guiltier and dissolute running after Vanessa with Courtney Love face.
• We get that Aaron is a plotline, or is at least going to be a plotline at some point, probably in like the next episode because he is signed for only five. We even appreciate how he has kind of floated around the edges of the past couple of episodes without making out with or even having a real conversation with Serena, because that is exactly what happens when you think you might be about to have a thing with someone and then it ultimately doesn’t happen, because if it was going to, then it would have happened already. But what is not realistic is how Serena keeps mumbling to herself about him using the name of that stupid caterpillar. Seriously every five minutes she’s like, “Well played, Cecil.” And “You got me again, Cecil.” Who is she, Dr. Claw? No one actually talks aloud to themselves like that, even if they have done some drugs in the past. Minus only 1, because the other parts are totally realistic.
• Let’s talk about this fashion show. (1) It would have been shut down by security after two seconds. (2) Were all of those accessories from Hot Topic? (3) The old people would not have been delighted, they would be having heart attacks. Granted, the sound quality was appropriately bad and some of the clothes were cute (and Agnes was clearly the focus of attention), but still, minus 5.
• Jenny “pulled” a suit for Nate on her way out. Um, no way can she also do menswear and would have a suit lying around. Minus 3.
• Wait: So Dan gets so worked up about Jenny ruining her life because he sees her lugging a rack of clothing out of the apartment that he runs and tells his dad about it, but then he sits through all of breakfast with Rufus before telling him that she cleared out her room and took off to become one of the Beautiful Children? Minus 3.
• The author of the fake “Page Six” is a person called Matthew Beebe, instead of Richard Johnson. We assumed this was yet another person who worked on the show, but the only person with that name on IMDb is the “wheelchair camper” from Addams Family Values. Minus 1.
• Serena pops out to meet Aaron and the new butler, Mr. Buckman, in a silk teddy and high heels. We mean, she is basically naked. While obviously Serena is kind of a ho, we feel that some kind of, “Oops I’m naked” comment was warranted there. Minus 3.
• Aaron wouldn’t have a land line. Minus 2.
• A couple of things about Yale. It’s “Bulldog, Bulldog, Bow Wow Wow,” Blair, not “Rah Rah Rah.” And the course catalog is small and blue, not big and yellow. (And no two popular girls have ever giggled on a bed together flipping through it in skimpy outfits, in all of history.) However, we’ll only take away a minus 4 because of this Blair line, “”Princeton is a trade school. There is only Yale.”
You know the drill! Add your points in the comments section and we’ll tally them at the end of the week. And try not to repeat a point someone else has already made — let’s have some creativity, people. Pretend you’re Dan. Or Jenny!