Gossip Girl recap: I am Number Nine

What if Sorkin wrote Gossip Girl (a girl can only dream)? That was basically the focus behind this episode, as Dan and Serena pouted about plans to Zuckerberg Inside all the way to the Oscars.

His book would be the Social Network, take two. Only with more parties, champagne and overly coiffed society girls.

Except between Serena’s inability to understand how the industry she is supposedly so expert in works, and Dan’s ego, the project is a goner.

“I’m done,” Dan wails, as if dropping out of the top ten of the bestseller lists means he is to be chained to a rock for all eternity and pecked at by bitchy columnists.

While Dan’s rise and fall was no shock, there’s no way in hell a poseur like him wouldn’t have secretly been thrilled that Sorkin was planning to write the script. He might not have watched West Wing – too mainstream – but Dan was blatantly into the woefully misunderstood intellectual supremo that was Studio 60.

Unfortunately, Liz Hurley’s character has gone from farce to worse. I have no issue with Nate and the cougar as a storyline (except that we’ve been there, done that) but she’s a cartoon character.When she gets all overexcited about how she’s going to destroy society one scandal at a time, I half expect to see animated dollar signs flash over her eyes.

She’s what teenage boys imagine successful businesswoman are like, and there’s no way in hell she’d have built a media empire when she was off in the back all the time doing the dirty with her staff.

Anyway, now she’s got Nate (be gone, random media celeb plus one) and she’ll be damned if anyone stands in the way of her teenage romance. Adorable. Or the opposite.

Meanwhile, the prince got some backbone.

Nah, just joking. He wouldn’t know what to do with a personality.

But he tried to pay Chuck’s therapist to spy on him and reveal the secrets of Chair, which backfired spectacularly with the sort  of party-showdown that back in season one would have prompted a Gossip Girl blast, but is now so routine that nobody even chokes any on their champagne.

It was quite dull (not exactly a plot worthy of his fiancée) but it prompted Chuck to see the light and apologise to Blair for his past misdeeds. Is that a rift in an engagement I spy. Gawd I hope so.

But despite the groom drama, Blair is all set for bridesmaids after hosting a minions-of-old gladiator contest. She ends up going with Ivy, which means she must have what Lily on How I Met Your Mother has – pregnancy brain.

As if Queen B would let another Van der Woodsen (even a fake on) steal the limelight on the big day.

Not a great episode. The prince storyline is really done to death, as is Liz Hurley. What happened to college bitchiness, friends their own age and, hell, people who drank something other than champagne.

The great thing about Gossip Girl was always its ability to balance high drama with biting social satire, to show the divide between rich and poor and to show rich and pretty teens playing havoc with people’s lives, consequences be damned. Right now, it’s just a soap, and a bit tired at that. News of Georgina’s return couldn’t come at a better time.

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How I met your mid life crisis

 Among the various shows anointed as successor to Friends, only one has come close.

 That show is How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom which takes an irreverent look at – you guessed it – a group of attractive chums living in plush Manhattan apartments, complete with plenty of dating, drinking and dumb jokes.

 For five series now, viewers have been following the life and loves of the fivesome, hopeless romantic (and hubbie of the ‘mother’ in question) Ted, comedy cute pairing Marshall and Lily, cynical Canadian Robin and strangely endearing womanizer Barney.

 We’ve followed them through bad relationships and good, marriages and mysteries, trips to bars (well, just the one) and trips to Minnesota. We’ve watched Marshall stab his fiancée during a sword fight, Robin reveal her embarrassing teenaged pop career, Barney try every bad chat-up line on the planet (and get away with them), and seen several aspects of a fantastic concept called the Slap Bet.

What we haven’t seen is the Mother. Which was OK for the first few series, but has now gone well past the point of gripping and reached the territory of ‘I want to throw something at the TV every time you give us a spoiler involving an umbrella’.

 This season has been worse than ever, with constant references to her (including a very sneaky episode when we met her roommate in the form of a Rachel Bilson cameo), but there’s been no juice.

We know it’s not Stella, Robin, Britney Spears or any other of Ted’s increasing list of loves, but that’s all we know.

 And the thing is, it’s getting old. How I Met Your Mother still delivers (this week’s episode on ‘hooks’, or people who you keep around ‘just in case’ was pure genius) but not always. The jokes are getting rehashed, the teasers frustrating.

 In short, it’s having a mid life crisis.

That’s OK though. So did Lost, in Season 3, when the writers put Sawyer and Kate into cages for what of a better plotline. But then they set an end date for the series, and suddenly we were back on for gripping action and suspense being built up into Something.

 So, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. You’ve done well, creating a comedy that actually brings laughs and scripting a group of actors who can act. It’s been fun.

 But for crying out loud, work out where you’re going with it.

 Because if we get to season 8, and suddenly Ted reveals ‘so, kids, in the summer of 2012 I gave up the hunt and adopted you’, there are going to be a lot of broken television sets out there.

Watch a very funny scene from the latest episode below:

How Gossip Girl met your mother

This week; what if Gossip Girl met How I Met Your Mother?

It’s safe to say that if this particular mash-up happened, one of the two shows wouldn’t have aured for very long. Four seasons and counting with no word on Ted’s wife to be. Not in Chuck and Blair’s universe.

Dorota would clearly have been dispatched, stat, to do some digging.

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