When Carrie Bradshaw met Blair Waldorf…

As Gossip Girl heads towards its fifth season, even the most dedicated of fans must be coming to the realisation that this show cannot go on for ever.

Let’s face it, there are only so many times you can pair the same couples before each episodes feels like a horrible deja vu trip.

There has to be a limit to the number of times Serena can get pregnant / be drugged / fall for a bad boy / show her cleavage in an inappropriate situation.

We’ve already done murder, suicide attempts, kidnapping, fake cousinry, gay teen and fairytale endings.

Short of a nuclear apocalypse with Nate coming over all Jack Bauer-esque, or a plane crash which sends Blair into the hands of the Others and follows her struggle for supremacy, the show must not go on.

But it appears that even when the inevitable occurs, we will still be able to follow the exploits of a group of genetically blessed and deliciously caustic New York yoofs. Step in to scene, Sex and the City (the new class). According to Deadline:

“The CW has emerged as the leading candidate for The Carrie Diaries, a TV series project based on Sex and the City author Candice Bushnell’s recent book about Bradshaw’s high school years.

“There are no deals in place, and talks are in preliminary stages, but I hear that Warner Bros TV would produce and Gossip Girl executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are being courted to shepherd the project through their Warner Bros TV-based Fake Empire banner. Former Sex and the City writer/producer Amy Harris, who is writing for Gossip Girl this season, will likely pen the adaptation.”

So, another scandalous show to attract the wrath of parental watchdogs. The fact is, most adult Sex and the City fans probably don’t want their favourite women tampered with.

I read The Carrie Diaries and it was bad. Really bad. Absurdly bad. And unless this show is set a couple of decades ago (i.e. without Blackberries, social networking and with pre-Hillary Clinton views on feminism) – a concept which would probably alienate plenty of viewers, I can’t see how this would work.

And yet. Gossip Girl is aimed at teenagers (I know, I buck the trend, what you gonna do?) so the demographic this adolescent SATC will be designed for probably won’t remember Carrie et al.

Sex and the City is the preserve of those of us born in the 1980s and before – the kids of the late 90s and the noughties probably haven’t been allowed to watch the reruns yet (at least, I seriously hope so).

Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda to rise again? If Josh Schwartz is on board, don’t bet against it.

Christine Largarde: Well done, little lady

Let’s discuss something that would never happen.

Say Mexico’s Agustín Carstens had been chosen as the new head of the International Monetary Fund. Would we have seen a nice graphic about other influential men?

Of course not. After all, there are just too many to count.

Nobody would even suggest it.

But The Times greeted Christine Largarde’s selection as Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s successor with oodles of praise for the new “First lady of finance” and a delightful sidebar of other “Women at the top”. Incidentally, all they could come up with was Hillary, Oprah, Angela Merkel and Irene Rosenfeld.

Well done, little lady, screamed this article and many others. You’ve overcome all the obstacles, risen against the odds.

You can wear a bra and still rule the world. You go girl.

Now, I’m well aware Lagarde is the first woman in charge of one of the post-war financial institutions. That is an achievement, and it’s not wrong to discuss the implications for the so-called glass ceiling.

Still. There’s no need to be quite so patronising about it.

There’s no need to mark the success of one individual, who happens to be female, by making her a poster child for every other successful woman out there.

Can’t we judge each one on their own merit, and acknowledge that just as some will succeed, others will fail. And that their gender has nothing to do with that.

Because if the glass ceiling had really and truly been smashed, we wouldn’t need a list of successful women just like Christine to illustrate it.

Gossip Girl recap: Empire of the Son

Oh, My, Gossip Girl.

They’ve done it, they’ve really done it. There’s no going back. Blair and Dan have locked lips. Things will never be the same again on the Upper East Side.

Whether or not Serena and Chuck walked in on the darling Dair clinch, (and my money is on not – they are going to draw this drama out for a good few more scenes at least) the basic balance of the Gossip Girl universe is no longer. Let’s refresh.

First, the boring stuff. Lily could be facing a spell in the pokey after confessing (valiantly, of course, to save Chuck’s empire – not because she has seen the error of her ways. As if) meaning Ben is off the hook, Rufus will be a house-husband without a wife at home and Daddy Van dW is back on the scene. His cryptic final comment to Rufus about CeeCee’s imminent arrival?

Basically rich person code for, this is gonna be one hell of a media shit storm, and you Mr Humphrey don’t even have the PR savvy of Charlie Sheen.

Theoretically, Lily’s confession means Serena is free to have her wicked way with the ex-con. Except, obviously, because there are now no obstacles in the way, she’d lost interest by the time he announced his departure to “open his eyes” and move on with his life, sans the blonde who screwed it up in the first place.

But I did enjoy the scene in the DA’s office when he and Lily waxed lyrical about Serena’s feelings for him.

Because, if you’re trying to wipe clean the record of a bloke accused of molesting a teenage student, you’d be totally open about their current relationship status.

And of course, now Ben is bye bye we’ve got time for Serena to be chock full of righteous indignation about Blair playing date the ex. She’ll get over it, but Chuck? Who has just learnt that his departed daddy wasn’t just a regular mendacious mastermind, but basically the guy Machiavelli got his theory of power from.

Reckon it’ll take him a little while to adjust to Blair and Dan “Brooklyn leper” Humphrey (you can just hear him, sneering it), so guess we’ve got an infamous Bass breakdown to look forwards to.

In other news, Nate’s role has basically been reduced to a) looking cute with dimples and b) looking pensive with dimples. Him with Raina is basically the equivalent of Hillary Clinton shacking up with one of the hotties of the Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign

I expect the relationship to implode when she realises he still thinks there’s a little man talking to you inside the television.

Here’s not to you, Mrs Robinson

It’s been a bad week for political wives.

In Northern Ireland, Mrs. Robinson jokes are enjoying a comeback following the revelations about the First Minister’s spouse Iris and her affair with a teenager.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, former presidential candidate John Edwards’ wife Elizabeth has been outed in a new book on the 2008 campaign as “an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman.” 

Today in the Times though, Melanie Reid struck up a defence for Iris Robinson, calling on us to “be celebrating Iris for her modernity, her spirit, her black lacy underwear and her sheer chutzpah in breaking centuries of convention.”

Reid said she is “a feminist icon” for breaking the mould, and went as far as to say ‘Atta girl”.

Excuse me? Let’s just refresh. Leaving aside the alleged political misconduct, this is Reid’s description of a woman in her mid sixties who has had three affairs, one with someone young enough to be her grandson. The two apparently got close after the boy’s father died.

Reid’s stance – that Iris is some 2010 incarnation of girl power – is appalling. Feminism is many things, but it is not this.

If Iris was a man, we would, quite rightly, be railing against a pervy middle-aged politician for sleazy antics with a teen.

Continue reading