September 22, 2009

The Gossip Girl Feminist Index - 3.2, "Heart of Darkness"

Okay, so last night's episode redeemed Gossip Girl for me in a big way. I knew it would get better when they got to college, and it did. The only thing that was awkward was the parallel storyline between our Columbians, Bree and Nate. I'm sorry, but it was just too disjointed from the rest of the plot. Yawn! I could have cared less, and that's as someone who loves Joanna Garcia too, so I wonder what the rest of you must have thought. Can Nate just transfer to NYU or get written off altogether? It would make things easier. Now let's put our feminist thinking caps on for the index!

Plus 5 Points to Blair for realizing she ought to live in residence, despite what her boyfriend tells her. I like a woman who thinks for herself.

Minus 20 points for the REASON Blair wants to live in residence, which is, becoming Queen. I'm sorry, honey, but uni is too big for one dominant social leader. If you want to plan parties and exclude people, why not just become a socialite like Serena and forgo higher education altogether?

Plus ten points to Dan for taking a lit course that features heavily on the "scorned women." I like a man who isn't afraid of stories about women emasculating him. College Dan is kind of sexy to me, don't you think? It's like those boys in high school, who never quite fit in, but get them into a uni classroom and all of a sudden their knowledge of Proust and Said is suddenly sexy. Boys like Dan look hotter next to big limestone buildings and inside anonymous lecture halls. Dan is all brooding intensity, and that's exactly the guy you all of a sudden want to fool around with when you get to first year. The era of Nate is dead!

Plus 25 points to Serena for having the self-reflexivity to defer Brown. She's right, she doesn't know what she wants to be and going there to make her mother happy just isn't a good enough reason. Serena asserts her own agency here, and that's just so feminist-sexy.

Minus ten points for Serena being too cowardly to tell her family (except for Chuck) about her decision, then sabotaging Chuck's meeting, then reaping revenge on him when he gets mad at her after she has sabotaged said meeting. Seriously, Serena, it's NOT ALL ALWAYS ABOUT YOU! Rank tabloids might care about your nude sunbathing photos, but your brother is trying to close a business deal and for once in your life you might not need to be the centre of attention.

Minus ten points to Blair for exporting her classist remarks (though admittedly VERY WITTY) to uni. Blair's judgmental and classist digs were cute in high school, when the victims of her tongue-lashings were always almost as privileged as she was (if not more so). Making fun of other Constance girls and telling them they were dressed like Jessica Biel in 2003, or their outfits smacked of white limos and new money was funny because it was hyperbolic and generally untrue. Even Little J, who was the poorest kid in school back in the day, was still the very upper-middle-class daughter of a former rock star whose Brooklyn pad, I am sure, would retail for at least 4 million dollars. But, at NYU, where the pool of kids is bigger, there are indeed what Chuck refers to as "public school girls." They don't need to hear how it's "bridge and tunnel" to go to a club in New York on the weekend, because these girls are probably all too middle-class even to live there. The classism is insensitive and silly. Unlike at Constance, these girls can't just go buy a new Prada gown if Blair tells them their new Nanette Lepore dress is "too Bloomie's, not enough Bendel's." Still, Blair will learn. Blair's classism is a defense for her insecurity. She is scared she's not smart enough, or thin enough or pretty enough, but the one thing Blair knows she does have is that she's rich enough. It's a mask, and I'm confident that as Blair gets more confident, she'll need the crutch of her wealth less and less.

Minus 5 points to Vanessa for convincing Dan the two of them should give Georgina a second chance. Seriously, V, are you stupid? G. is still a sociopath - meds can't cure that! I know G. goes off the deep-end because she only has, like, a three-episode story arc. Dude, she has to be crazy!

Plus ten points to Serena for apologizing to Carter for using him as her fellow saboteur and admitting she wants him romantically. I love how the girls on this show are, more often than not, the pursuers. It's great to see teenage girls taking the lead instead of feeding into stereotypes about girls needing to be passive and wait for boys to approach them. I mean, you can't get much hotter than Blair and Serena, and yet they are always the ones chasing the boys instead of just waiting to be chased. Troubling courtship-based gender roles is feminist-sexy too! Now, if only Serena would wear clothes that actually fit, I would find her even sexier. That, and I think she should learn how to act. If she does not learn how to act, the minute they cast someone who larger breasts, she's screwed. Her breasts are the only thing Serena really brings to this show. I mean, she can't even modulate her voice! One day, your perfect 32 C's will sag, Serena, and then you will have to learn how to use inflection!

Overall Score: Plus five points.

General comments:

Seriously, Georgina's wardrobe was boring. I know we're at college now, but do we have to walk around in black tanks and big earrings all the time? I guess the fashion porn will have to come from Little J now, but we didn't even see her at all this episode. Not that I missed her, either. She's really boring, like Serena WITHOUT the breasts. I mean, she cannot act (She just always sounds irritated and petulant). This show really just should be all about Chuck and Blair, with a little bit of College Dan thrown in. College Dan is sexy!

PS. There still is not enough Chair softcore porn. One short-lived public make-out scene is not enough! The writers have GOT to work on this. And what was with the cuddling in bed scene where Blair climbs in with Chuck while he sleeps, and Chuck wakes up momentarily to hold her hand and tell her everything is alright now that she's here, then GOES BACK TO SLEEP. Chuck Bass would NEVER got BACK TO SLEEP when a hot girl enters his bed. Chuck Bass would all of a sudden be wide awake and ravishing Blair. Even a normal guy would do that, so Chuck Bass, the horniest muthafucka ever, would totally be all up in Blair's business the moment she crawled in. He could have AT LEAST kissed her hello!

PPS. To my own personal S., good luck with everything today! You can call me whenever you want for any reason, and I'm making an extra effort to blog a lot this week for your benefit, as you told me last week's tally just wasn't good enough.

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