Gossip Girl: Double Identity

Happily, I’m no expert on Parisian morgue body identification. But I am fairly sure it doesn’t normally involved an outfit of sparkly jacket, electric blue clown trousers and an up-do that could double up as St Paul’s Cathedral. But as I said, not an expert.
Why the morgue? Despite Blair’s prediction, it’s not a skanky dive. Rather Serena (with Blair still living it up in fantasy-France) gets a call from Lily regarding the police.

Naturally with her criminal history she assumes it is about her (with that hair the mug shot will be interesting) but turns out it’s about fake Chuck – now to be referred to as Chake.

Because the alternative would have been problematic . Think.

Across the Atlantic Nate and stalker-blonde are getting close, now that he has “little black booked [Serena] away”. In fact, she even volunteers to be his life coach. With his inability to use the brain the writers once-upon-a-time pretended he had, and her SVdW obsession, what could possibly go wrong?

Really though, he should realise something’s up when SB volunteers to change baby Humphrey’s nappy. On what amounts to a first date? Hello, totally against The Rules.
In fact, she and Nate get embroiled in a convoluted plot to “take Dan out of the equation” vis-a-vis Serena. Ergo, drama and a mildly amusing tiff with both the boys wearing different variations on the same checked shirt. Outcome: Danessa are on, Nate and stalker-blonde are go.

So Serena goes from two boys to no boys in the space of one episode. The situation undoubtedly confuses her, given that she distinguishes Nate and Dan as “shoulders” and “nice shoulders”.

 The real drama, as ever, is with Blair, who amidst frolics with her prince, has a meet-not-so-cute with Chake. Instead of throwing a “Hey. Would’ya look at that. You’re not dead” shindig for him, she comes to the obvious conclusion that she is being stalked. So Serena plays good stepsister and goes to find him herself.

Because if you were AWOL, an idiot blonde with absolutely nothing between her ears is who you’d want on the trail.

But Chake, with his own stalker-blonde (is this a new Gossip boy accessory? Like the omnipresent waffle of season three), isn’t playing ball. In fact, he’s playing someone else entirely; with grand plans to do a Mossad-in-Dubai and play pass the passport.

So Serena teams up with a comedy cop and plays Cluedo in Harry Winston. But rather than deal with the drama, Blair busies herself trying on tiaras.

It can only be a matter of time before Messrs William and Harry get Blaired.

When she finally comes to her senses, it involves (what else) a race to the station in a flowing red ballgown. Only it’s a different, softer Chuck Bass – apparently being shot made him Eat, Pray and Re-evaluate – and the reunion is a bit crap. Conclusion, Chair is off.
Oh, and obviously Vanessa is a baby whisperer. Vom.

Gossip Girl: Belles de Jour

It couldn’t have been a more dramatic previously on Gossip Girl. Which was apt, because it was a pretty dramatic opener for Season Four.
We rejoin our cast of fashionable folk in Paris, a city of paintings, pavement cafes and pretentiousness – in other words, a Paris dreamt up in a writers room in Manhattan.
Yet while we are far from New York, when it comes to Serena and Blair we’re back to the good old days. S is slutting it up (bartenders, waiters, guys with Vespas – she’s as discriminating as ever) and B is, well, not.

But of course, summer must come to an end.

Blair is off to Columbia, while Serena is off to Brown and out of Blair’s jealousy zone. Right? RIGHT?

Well, no. Despite being possibly the most ridiculous and brainless blonde ever to grace TV screens, S has been accepted to Columbia too. Columbia alumni include both Roosevelts and Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so clearly it’s just the place for our Serena.
Maybe the admissions officer drives a Vespa.

Of course, the college clash creates a typical B versus S bitch fight, played out in their tried and tested passive aggressive boy rivalry. In a nutshell: Blair meets a man over a Manet who has almost as appalling an accent as the fake British prince / duke / random aristocrat from season two.

He’s a Grimaldi, Blair discovers – European royalty. History suggests this will end well. History is right.

Prince turns out to be more pauper, with the real deal Serena’s date for the night. With the inevitable consequence of Serena being pushed into the fountain. Been there, seen that.

Back in America, Nate, in his bid to become the male Serena, is working his way though a veritable yellow pages of one night stands.

They are all hideous caricatures of women, necessitating a particularly hammish meet-cute with a blonde-with-book. Naturally, she’s the new woman in Nate’s life, and just as naturally, she’s stalking him.

Why is that most stalkers look, well, like stalkers, and on Gossip Girl they look like they have stepped out of America’s Next Top Model?

Dan meanwhile, is doing the Dad Thing. Which, because this is an in-no-way-plausible teenage drama, is actually going OK.

Shocking, given his Gina Ford of choice is Nate – who, come to think of it if current behaviour continues may find himself in a similar predicament.

In case he isn’t aware of how insane the situation is, Vanessa is back from saving the world to tell him. Complete with even more hair extensions and some choice ‘wacky’ traveller bracelets.

 She sums up the crazy in Dan’s new baby-centric life with the phenomenally Gossip Girl term ‘George-gina’. A euphemism I am certain will soon make it into the OED.

Rufus, sporting a dashing new haircut, is missing his psychotic daughter (guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder) and being left out of Lily’s life again. And Dan’s, although Georgina clears up baby-gate for him soon enough (then ups and leaves Dan holding the baby).

What is preoccupying Lily is Chuck, last seen stabbed in fake-Prague. He’s in financial trouble – this show being all about the politically resonant storylines.

So Lily gets all Harriet the Socialite and starts digging – suspecting something is up from the “second class train tickets” charged to his card. Turns out he’s gallivanting around Europe in Shakespearean tragedy mood, and what do you know, he’s headed to the same place as Blair.

Though Lily thinks he is dead, which means we may still get the answer to that age-old question; who exactly would come to Chuck Bass’ funeral?

Lots of new haircuts, same old angst. A fine return, on balance, though one criticism. Katy Perry? On the Soundtrack? Josh Schwartz, I expected better of you.

Gossip Girl recap: Last Tango, Then Paris – the season three finale

They say you don’t get something for nothing, and as a new soul was brought into the Gossip Girl world, another was set to depart, in what was an explosive and unpredictable season finale.   

Blair misses out on her Empire date (Photo: J Lipman)



XOXO season three, bring on season four.     

 First up, the new arrival, as Dorota has her baby girl and Eleanor fawns over showing the maternal urges she never showed her own daughter.  

It was perhaps a less glamorous occasion than the usual soiree to unite our little cast, but it did the job, with the maternity ward the scene for more than a few showdowns.   

 As you’ll remember from last week, Jenny has disowned her Barbie dream house lifestyle and run away, although not too far, as she ended up crashing at Nate’s. Nothing happened – with them. It was apparently a less innocent affair for (still sort-of siblings) Serena and Dan, who woke up hungover and in denial about the somewhat amorous night before.   

 “It meant nothing” they protest to each other, Ophelia style.   

Well, whether it did or didn’t (and the longing glances and near-miss kisses of the rest of the episode suggest the former) it makes little difference, because Jenny helpfully papped them and sent Gossip Girl the incriminating evidence.   

 Cue Nate and Serena break-up. Sob. It had to happen, because it is a well worn TV rule that a happy relationship does not good ratings maketh.   

Plus, their pairing was never that great. The whole ‘he’d been in love with her since ever’ thing sprung up out of the blue, and given their collective IQ barely reached my age, their dialogue was never particularly engrossing.   

 Besides, judging by how well-thumbed Chuck’s Black Book of random dial-a-skank girls looked, Nate will get over it.  

Which is more than you can say for Blair and Chuck, whose relationship has finally died (and is possibly not the only one).  

 Blair pretended she wasn’t going to the Empire State Building for a glorious reunion with Chuck, but we all knew she was. But, darn it, Dorota’s waters broke, so she got held up.  

Leaving Chuck feeling like, well, he’d just been stood up at the Empire State building.  

 Add a glass of liqueur and that’s everything you need for a true Chuck Bass self destruction. Which he did with absolute aplomb, taking little J down with him.   

Ooh, how adorably fitting that she lost it to the guy who tried to date rape her when she was 14.   

 Hence, his subsequent reunion with Blair was doomed, with Dan defending his sisters honour (as if she has any left) with a right hook, just as Chuck pulled out a diamond (engagement?!) ring.   

 It looks like that relationship is over, with Blair trotting off to Paris for singledom, shopping and Serena time. If only we could all indulge in that particular form of therapy.   

 As for the corrupted-innocent Jenny and her little dreadlocks too; it’s been well-publicised that Taylor Momsen is leaving the show at least temporarily, to pursue her singing career. Just as Jen Lindley was once shipped off to Capeside to stay with Grams, Little J has been shipped off to Hudson to stay with her mother, complete with perfectly colour-coordinated group hug at the station.   

 One imagines there will be guest appearances, but given she’s managed to destroy the relationships of every main character on the show, maybe the writers have just run out of storylines.   

 Only Eric seems upset about her departure – despite, earlier in the show calling her ‘crazy’. Which has to hurt, coming from the kid who tried to off himself before the show even started.   

 In other news, Vanessa and Dan are kaput. She’s in Haiti, being holier-than-thou, so hasn’t got access to Gossip Girl. But Nate, always the good Samaritan, fills her in on the Serena and Dan situation, and she stops returning his calls.   

Which is obviously preposterous. As if Vanessa would go to a country where she couldn’t check Gossip Girl.   

  A full show, you’d agree, and a more-than-acceptable season finale. But wait; there was more. Two twists at the end, and top marks to anyone who saw them coming. Is the end nigh for Chuck Bass? As he lay in a pool of blood, shot by the Czech muggers who tried to steal the engagement ring, you wonder if he was thinking of his contract.   

 And the best ‘what-the’ moment? We’d had Georgina (the original she-devil) popping in throughout the episode, but I just thought that was about observing tradition – wouldn’t be the end of a season without her.   

 Turns out no, and there was even a reason for her sporting the disturbing Russian get-up including fur coat and oligarch-wag hair-do. Remember early on in the series? When she was a student at NYU?   

 Go on, think back, I know it’s been a long year and a million Gossip Girl relationships have been and gone. Think.   

 It was about nine months ago…