Friday, September 21, 2007

Reviewed and/or Abused

Welcome to the first installment of "Reviewed and/or Abused" where I give my opinions on last night's television. Now today's edition is a treat because I will in essence recap the episode and review it. In the future, however, for the most part, they'll simply be reviews, because a.) I don't have time to recap all the shows I watch, b.) I fear losing my 3 person audience. But yay for todays edition!...

--the new flashy production from Josh Schwartz, creator of such gems as The O.C., and the new fall series Chuck. Honestly if it weren't for the fact that Kristen Bell is the voice-over for the show it would't be on the tivo list...Wait, did I just hear something? Was there a collective "Aha!" or was that just me. Nope definately an "aha". You just realized that you finally recognized that voice put couldn't place it. Am I right? Yep. I tend to blow people's minds with my knowledge. It's a gift really. Just to set your brain on fire I'll give you a little more. Patrick Dempsey does the Mazda commercials, John Krasinski did the AppleTV commercials, and Julia Roberts once upon a time did AOL.

Now for those of you who don't know Gossip Girl is based on a fictionalized series of books by God knows who about rich, snotty kids from Manhattan. Or as I like to call them, the friends I wish I had. As the story unfolds we learn that the true main character, Gossip Girl, is omniscient ( om*nis*cient |ämˈni sh ənt|:adjective knowing everything : the story is told by an omniscient narrator.). Why thank you MacBook dictionary/thesaurus widget, I couldn't have said it better myself. We never see her, but we know she exists, is the go-to girl for any scandalous information regarding the upper east side prep school elite, prossibly carries around a t-mobile sidekick (product placement alert!), and has an uncanny ability to snark like Veronica Mars. Oh, Veronica...sniff... I don't know how to quit you!. Let's remember the snark for old time's sake shall we...Veronica: You want to know how I lost my virginity? So do I. Tear!

As Veronica, er, Gossip girl, narrates the story we meet some part-time model looking chicks who as it turns out, are the main eye candy for the show. There's Serena, the former bad-girl who just returned from boarding school. EX-ET-ER, We Are, EX-ET-ER, We Are! Actually we have no idea what boarding school she just came from but I thought I'd give a shout-out to my friend. Anyway, she's back and apparently this is some huge news because she never told anyone why she left in the first place. There's Blaire, her former BFF. Daughter of a fashion designer and like the numero uno at school ever since Serena dissapeared. And yes, she looks familiar. She played Carrie Bishop in season 1, episode #14 of Veronica Mars titled Mars v. Mars. She was the girl who took the fall for her friend who was sleeping with the cute history teacher. Remember that one? Veronica only realized she was telling the truth when she noticed the black satin sheets on the professor's bed. Yeah, that was creepy.

Um, where was I? Oh yeah, whatever, like I've said, Blaire is rich, anorexic, with an overbearing/clothing designer mother, and a boyfriend Nate, who looks like Ian Somerhalder from Lost, but not as female-looking. They've been dating since pre-k but haven't sealed the deal yet. Why? Hmm, could it be because Nate is secretly is in love with Serena? Or is it because Blaire took a cue from Vanessa Hudgens and would rather just send pictures. Oh, SNAP! Time will tell.

Re: Nate, he seems nice enough. He's waited an eternity to bed his girlfriend and has aspirations to go to USC, but if his father has his way, he's going to Dartmouth. Bummer. Also appearing on my tube is Chuck, Nate's best friend and resident skeeve. I can't tell if he's part Asian or not. And sadly this is what distracts me anytime he's on screen. Chuck's parents own a fancy hotel, where Serena just happens to be living as her mother renovates their apartment. What are the odds! And finally rounding out the upper crust are Serena's brother, Eric, who apparently tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists, (it's to early to make an Owen Wilson joke, right? Yeah, I'd better not), Serena's mother, Lilian Van Der Woodsenwaldenheiferveisenmarkenson, a woman who married three times and made her fortune on divorce settlements, and the token Black and Asian hanger-oners friends of Blaire who do nothing but wear outfits that would most assuredly land on a "what where you thinking" list. You know, if the girls were real.

On what I can only assume is the "other side of the tracks", the lower West Village, which in reality is more akin to "the other part of Manhattan where I'd have to sell my eggs, part of my liver, my knee cap cartilege, and some hair follicles daily to pay partial rent which inevitably wouldn't be enough so I'd have to make my living on the streets with the code name, Desiree, to make it work" we meet Dan and his sister Jenny, spawn of Rufus, a has been singer in an early 90's band. Now, I'm not one to meddle with show casting but really? The guy who plays the dad, is like 24. Was he in the 7th edition of Menudo, as the 5 year old member? Is this the early 90's band we are referring too? Because if not then wow. In any event, Rufus now owns a small art gallery where one can only assume he sells art that depicts his feelings on such riviting subjects as his idol, Chayanne, the playboy of Menudo, and world peace. Coincidently he used to have a "thing" with Lilian Van Der Woodsenwaldenheiferveisenmarkenson. Uh I smelling some half-siblings plot twists a-brewin? Apparently she ended it by ironically nailing the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails. Interesting. What I would have given for a cheesy backflash to that scene. That's the real Gossip Girl story there. I digress.

So Jenny and Dan, Serena's sure to be half-siblings, are social outcasts. Why? Because they live in....ewwwww...the West Village. Just ridiculous. Plain ridiculous. Dan has had a serious crush on his sister that he doesn't know he has yet, Serena, for like ever. When he found out that she was back, all he could do was stare at the Gossip Girl blog to find out more information (Just like you check out this blog for all things bad-ass, right?). Cute. Or Barf. Pick your poison. His real blood sister, so far, Jenny on the other hand, has become Blaire's lachey in an effort to finally gain membership into the cool gang. This episode's scheme is to stuff envelopes for a party that weekend. Hello, evite anyone? Save the trees people or Al Gore's gonna come and hold a mind numbing lecture in your town! There goes 6 hours of your life.

As the story progresses, Blaire, weary that Serena is back, decides she's finally going to unlock her chastiy belt. Nate decides he's going to dump the bitch and go after Serena, Chuck continues his Asian deflection, Serena begs Blaire to be friends with her again while downing martinis at the main bar in the hotel on an empty stomach, Jenny makes her own dress for the party (who is she, Andy Walsh from Pretty in Pink?), and Dan goes to the hotel to see if he can catch a glimpse of his crush. And...break.

When we come back, a drunk and abandoned Serena (Blaire went to do it) is getting hit on by Chuck, but is too hungry to care. He, aware of this offers her grilled cheese in truffle oil in exchange for her company in an empty kitchen. Serena, weighs her options, pictures Chuck playing pokemon, considers him harmless because of said image, and agrees. Meanwhile, Blaire, with her frilliest virginal attire awaits her knight in shining armor, with massage oils, birth control pills, and some champagne. Nate arrives and as some new band Josh Schwart's wants everyone to dig plays in the background, a montage of forced sex, no sex, and real sex occurs. Forced sex= Chuck/Serena (almost really because she manages to escape). No Sex=Nate/Blaire because Nate in what I like to call bad timing, confesses to Blaire that he and Serena had sex last year (cue panting and sweating on the open bar at Chucks hotel). Whoopsies. As Serena leaves the hotel she bumps into Dan and drops her t-mobile sidekick! Dan, ever so gallant picks it up as she leaves and stares with puppy dog eyes.

So yeah, what we can gather at minute 32 is that Serena and Blaire were besties, she got drunk one night with Nate, had sex, then got the hell out of dodge without telling anyone. So when we come back, Blaire, originally pissed, gives Nate another shot. Nate sadly asked for another shot cause his Dad made him, something about doing business with her mother. Chuck continues to look Asian. Dan, ever the gentleman returns the phone to Serena and scores a date out of it. And poor Jenny is still working on that dress.

When the party actually arrives Jenny gets hit on by Chuck and ever the freshman thinks nothing of him asking her to go out on the roof to talk. Does she ever watch tv? I mean seriously. Idiot. Dan's date with Serena, which entails going to see his Dad's band play, LAMO, gets interrupted by Jenny sending an SOS from the roof. When she had the time to do this I don't know, but I've suspended belief for television before so no judgment here. As they reach the party, everyone including Blaire is all like, "OMG what is she doing here!" C'mon, really? Is that all they've got. Is this a Josh Schwartz show or not. Hangs head in dissapointment. Nate, seeing Serena, gets all sad and ditches Blaire at the part to take a walk. Hell, why not just call a damn cab and call it a night. You obviously don't want to be there. She obviously knows you don't want to be there. And while I'm at it, neither of you want to do the other anymore so why extend the farce. High school relationships are only as valuable as the sex you acquire from them, non? These are the questions I want answers to.

So as the episode comes to a close, Dan saves the day with an unconvincing punch. Serena is impressed with the sibling love, and Nate is off somewhere getting mugged.
And scene.

Overall here, I wasn't impressed. Like I said to my friend the other day, there was no chispa. There was no "Welcome to the OC, bitch". No reason to root for these characters, hence no real reason to continue watching. However, having said this, I can't abandon ship yet. It takes awhile for a show to fall into it's groove and I'm giving Josh Schwartz the benefit of the doubt. I know he's good for it. Don't disappoint now, Josh, ya hear.

What were your thought on the episode? Leave a comment below.


Jas said...

That show is the suck.

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