This was a return to the GG of old. One big party, major drama, and a few sub-plots involving Chuck and Nate on a boys weekend, and Serena finding out that while looks do get you anywhere in life, they don’t always take you to a very good place. Also, the remarkable revelation that Jenny’s middle name is Tallulah (as in…’she was a showgirl’). So, So appropriate. Oh, and of course, the event that has been scandalising parents…a certain Ménage à trois!
First stop, Jenny, who is becoming ever more of a caricature. As this weeks’ reality vacuum opens, she’s scouting out potential dates for cotillion on Facebook and rejecting them for ‘practically going to public school’. But don’t fret; if she can’t find Mr. Socially Acceptable, she plans to steal one of her lackey’s partners. Snobby and savvy, all in one scene.
Though you can kind of understand it given that as Blair says ‘this is not like your wedding day. Cotillion only happens once’. Karma being what it is, Jenny gets a touch of comeuppance minutes later for not having spent her formative years learning ballroom dancing, like all the other Park Avenue princesses. You can take the girl out of Brooklyn…
Blair, still on the outs with Serena (as Nate asks with a resigned expression, what are they fighting about this time?) is planning to forego cotillion. But as Chuck wisely remarks, ‘a cotillion without Blair Waldorf is like Tour de France without Lance Armstrong’ so she steps up to the mark. But before that, lets take a moment for some Eric appreciation. He’s acting as date to some random dateless girl, underlining exactly why so many girls have the fantasy of a GBF (gay best friend, for the uninitiated – other inspirations are Stanford from Sex and the City, or Will from Will and Grace).
But then, just when you’re ready to love him forever, he does a bit of a bitchy thing and tells the very-eligible Graham that Jenny is taken for the dance. In fairness, he’d just promised Jonathan as her date, but come on – even Eric knows the hot straight guy will still beat the GBF in the social pecking order. inevitably she finds out, gets angry at Eric and then sacks Blair as her mentor. In retaliation, Blair plays Frankenstein with some random frizzy-haired charity case to turn her into a swan, stealing away the handsome prince and leaving Jenny sans escort for the big event. At least she’s wearing a great dress.
But, as GG excruciatingly quips ‘nobody puts Jenny in the corner’ and she debuts arm in arm with, OMG, a college guy, none other than Nate Archibald. Can this finally be the resurrection of the long teased Jenny and Nate relationship? Its certainly the end of one, as Jonathan and Eric part ways, leaving Eric fuelled up to take Jenny down. Excellent.
Chuck, in the mean time, is spending his weekend ‘watching women with tramp stamps work out their daddy issues’, but not for his own benefit, mind, but for Nate. The sacrifices these Manhattanites make for friendship, I tell you. However he still finds time to deal Blair and Serena’s latest catfight, by locking them in a lift together to have a heartfelt chat and make amends. How adorable. I give it two episodes.
Big episode for Serena. Demands for the elders of GG. PLEASE stop handing Serena out jobs like they come from the bargain bin next to the till at a pound store (mind you, she’s the new ‘media relations rep for Congressman Tripp – is that what Monica Lewinsky was? – because he has a crush on her, which is really only a glorified version of her last job as professional girlfriend).
Bizarelly, in between that she was supposed to be a mentor at cotillion? Hello, reality calling. How does a girl who, in just eighteen odd years on the planet, has been implicated in a murder / sex scandal, been arrested at the behest of her own mother and played a starring role in ‘pyramid fund schemes; the teenage years’, make a good role model to anyone? Except, maybe, Jenny (who was supposed to be her mentee), herself so far down the scale of moral degradation.
And its almost, but not quite, farewell to Hillary Duff. ‘Do you think you can get brain damage from learning too much too fast?’ she ponders in a fit of existential musing, stressed out by some previously unheard of concept called studying. Dan, typically, gets it wrong. ‘You’re the one who wanted the real college experience,’ he replies.
Oh Dan. Are you so clueless that you are unaware of the precedent set by the Olsen twins for celebrity studentage – i.e. roaming around the city with huge sunnies, a straggly do, bohemian outfits and a giant latte?
Luckily, she doesn’t have to worry. Endless Nights 4 is calling, so the poor dear might just have to abandon ship for Hollywood. What a loss. Vanessa makes one of the wisest comments yet; ‘college is about more than just classes’. True anywhere, never more so than on GG, where we are yet to see any of them spend time in a place of learning. So to send Olivia off in style, Dan and Vanessa take her on a whirlwind tour of college ‘experiences’ involving shots and dancing in fountains.
And, lest we forget, the steamy threesome that has been so-talked about (and will mean there can never, ever be another series of Lizzie McGuire), which was mostly unremarkable except for the fact that Dan and Vanessa got cosy!! Oh, and Olivia’s movie got tanked (did the producers realise Twilight already had the lock on the vampire / high school market?). So, she’s staying.
Can’t wait for the awkwardness.