Gossip Girl recap: G.G.

So Gossip Girl has turned 100. Congratulations, mazal tov, happy birthday. You look damn good for your age.

Or at least Georgina does, in that final-scene “reveal” showing her as the evil genius behind it all. I don’t buy it, for several reasons, the first being that the producers have said that they are planning at least another series. They’re not going to give away the Gossip Girl  identity before time – that would be like showing us “the Mother” in season three of How I Met Your Mother. No chance.

Likewise, dear old Sparks has been screwed by Gossip Girl in the past. Don’t tell me this was a five-year-long plot twist, and that all those past Georgie-scandals were fake outs. It was wrong on the end of Lost, and it won’t do now.

No, my theory is that since Nate killed the real Gossip Girl, Georgina’s found a devious way to impersonate her. Next week, I reckon we’ll see the real one wreak revenge.

But more importantly, next episode we will see the fall out from the predictable “Blair chose Dan over Chuck” twist. To cut a long wedding story short, she confessed her love to Chuck in the bridal room, it was caught on camera and then broadcast as Blair got close to saying “I Do”. The sap that is Louis the dull bought her apology – or so it seemed – but in a pretty good plot twist it turned out he was going to make his princess live in a loveless marriage so the media didn’t smell scandal.

Because, yeah, that worked so well for Charles and Diana.

A shame it took one of his (presumably) final episodes for the writers to give him anything resembling a backbone.

Anyway, his last dance confession sent Blair bolting into the arms of Dair (who, appropriately, looked more like the chauffeur than the socialite’s latest love interest). Cut disaster when lovestruck (delusional – hello, they are siblings!) Serena finds out. Yay.

Georgina’s return was predictable – so much so that she quipped about the gang’s annual reunion – but underused. Her snarky moments were with Rufus and Lily, not Chuck or Dan. It was always so enjoyable to watch her decimate Dan with a  withering stare.

As for Nate – poor, dateless Nate – ole dimples was quite perturbed to see his childhood sweetheart walk off into the sunset lit palace. At least until he found a new blonde to lust after. Pity that his waitress-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks is actually the real Charlie Rhodes, meaning that he’ll soon be dating his ex girlfriend’s cousin and the woman a more recent ex impersonated for several months.

I can’t wait to see how an intellectual mastermind of Archibald’s stature digests all that information.

It was certainly a blockbuster episode, but it was a little bit lacklustre. Bring back old school Gossip Girl, with real schemes that Blair could be proud of, passive aggressive rivalry with Serena and hardcore mummy issues. Not to mention, why so little Dorota and why no classic Blair put-downs to the minions, dressed up so cutsey-like.

Either way, let’s hope episode 101 sees the return of bolshy bitchy manipulative Blair, instead of sappy bridezilla. Let’s see Dan remember why he hated Blair so much for so long – surely a Vanessa or Jenny cameo could do that? Let’s see Chuck get a storyline that doesn’t involve Blair or a canine, and let’s see Serena get rejected by a guy and have it stick.


Gossip Girl recap: The end of the affair

So Gossip Girl has seen in the new year with a host of deja-vu dalliances with pseudo-siblings, another convoluted plot that makes little sense and a Serena wearing far too many sequins.

At the end of the last episode we were left on a clifferhanger. Would Blair and Chuck survive the story of the princess and the paparazzi? Of course they would.

But Chuck’s near miss is just the excuse Blair needs to place another obstacle on the road to Happily ever after with Chair. She promises him upstairs that she’ll never leave Louis if Chuck survives, then is pretty much screwed when her wish comes true. It’s nice to know that fear of God, rather than passion of even interest in The Most Boring Character Ever (aka the prince).

So it was another scene at Chuck’s, with lots of unrequited love and tortured looks. Given that we know Blair gets to a wedding episode (if not past the vows) it’s clear this saga is going to run and run. It’s a shame. Bring back the bitchy sniping of the Chair of yesteryear.

Meanwhile, over at Nate’s Serious Journalism Job, he and Serena are trying to work out whether to use all the info the erstwhile Gossip Girl tipsters have sent them – Nate having put the kibush on her. Serena’s attack of a conscience isn’t going to last long; she comes to the deep realisation that it’s the misunderstandings about society gossip – not the gossip itself – that cause trouble.

But she shouldn’t worry about being Gossip Girl’s gatekeeper for long. Our trusted friend hasn’t gone very far; in fact she’s still digging up dirt, including the juicy tidbit that the crash car had its breaks tampered with (obv, oldest storyline in the book) and that it was actually booked for Nate. So who is out to get ol’ dimples? Gramps? Juliette? La Hurley? My guess is cousin Tripp, although there’s word that Georgina is back later this season, and murder is totally something she’d be down with.

Meanwhile Gossip Girlers, meet the real Charlie Rhodes who, contrary to my expectations, is not fat, deformed or a bit of a nerd. She’s a Juilliard student, with a wallet-photo-cute relationship with Mommy Dearest. Lily hasn’t figured it out yet, but it’s a matter of time.

And then, in proof that all good teen drama relationships must come full circle, we have the first suggestions of a reunion relationship. Sure, I’m sleeping with my sorta-sibling is the first excuse Serena could think of, but there was a look after that kiss. Given that the writers need to move Dan on from his ridiculous Blair rut (I really miss their sparring and sarcastic jibes. Friendship doesn’t suit them), a blast from the past is more than likely on the cards.

The Granville Gunman and Twitter

If, as I do, you live on a small and rather insignificant road in suburban north London, it’s not an everyday occurrence to see said location being reported as the scene of a crime. Especially not when the situation involves a stand-off between a gunman and armed police officers.

But today my little tiny road got its five minutes of fame. It started with a tweet from Barnet Police, a tweet that piqued my interest.

Within minutes, Twitter (albeit a limited number of geographically concentrated users – it’s not  a huge road) was abuzz. The police followed up with an explanation: “Police had reports of a man believed to be in possession of firearm. Police are trying to bring this to a peaceful conclusion.”

The Shomrim, the Orthodox Jewish security network, swiftly added this detail: “Armed Police are restricting access. Avoid area if possible”.

And then the rumours went a-swirling, some factual, others totally nonsensical. According to various sources, including local press and interested onlookers, the lone gunman was in his mid-50s and recently unemployed, on the 14th floor of a block of flats. Residents were being evacuated, or refused entry to the road. There were police helicopters, television crews, and this little gem, courtesy of the Times Series newspapers; ““He put a bottle of Jack Daniels, a tin of spinach and a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale down and said ‘There’s a little present for ya’.”

A few hours later, there seemed to be no clear resolution. I headed home, wondering whether I’d be allowed back into my flat, visions of various police dramas running through my head.

As it turned out, all was quiet on the Granville front, although the road was awash with policemen and, curiously, a fire engine. A police officer at the other entrance to the road said it was fine to go through. I asked whether there was any update and unsurprisingly, he remained tight-lipped. But minutes later, safe in my building, Barnet MPS tweeted again:

And so ended the drama of the Granville Gunman (as I hashtagged him), though the police will no doubt release more information in due course. A bit of excitement for the residents on a cold January afternoon, but nothing serious.

But the incident offers yet more proof of Twitter’s influence. As a journalist, I’d probably have found out about this sooner rather than later, even had it not been for Barnet police’s tweet. But most members of the population don’t have access to police press departments and many, if not most, don’t follow the local media religiously.

Social media does many things – and certainly, as today’s events demonstrated, it can misinform or spread panic – but as a way of getting information to the public promptly and efficiently, it’s pretty darn effective.