In case you missed last week’s column (and, if you did, shame on you), my life now has purpose. I have decided to seek out television shows I would not normally watch and give them one shot to win me over. Last week, I took a look at the new 90210. This week, I watched Monday night’s episode of Gossip Girl.
Clearly, the writers of Gossip Girl knew I was coming because they named the episode “The Dark Night,” which played right into my Batman-fandom. Plus, the entire show takes place in New York (a.k.a. Gotham City), so I held out hope that Batman would show up to kick some pretentious trust-fund baby ass, but sadly it was not to be.
Here’s what happened instead …
Gossip Girl – “The Dark Night”
(The CW – Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Going into this week’s episode, I knew absolutely nothing about Gossip Girl except that the kids today seem to love it. Having watched only one episode, I’m still not entirely sure what was going on, but I’m going to do my best to recap.
As far as I can tell, Gossip Girl is actually the name of a blog that shares the exploits of the main characters in the show. The blog is written by an unseen character and excerpts from it are revealed via voiceovers (done by Kristen Bell).
In this episode, some chick named Blair is throwing a fancy party that all of her snobby rich friends show up to. However, the party is interrupted by a citywide blackout. Shenanigans ensue.
The entire plot of the episode is rather ridiculous, so instead of giving a detailed summary of everything that happened, I’m going to start by sharing the five most unbelievable plot points of this particular episode:
1. The entire Gossip Girl website makes no sense. Perhaps they have addressed this in other episodes, but it’s very unclear how the unseen narrator is able to know intimate details of these character’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, Veronica Mars was a great detective, but she wasn’t omnipotent. Besides, why is 28-year-old Kristen Bell so interested in the lives of snobby teenagers? I haven’t seen an adult this obsessed with teenage girls since Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused.
2. Blair is dating a smarmy British nobleman and she asks him to ravage her as if she was Keira Knightley’s character in Atonement. The British guy actually responds with: “You’re a delicate little flower, nothing like that tart Kiera Knightly.” He wants their first time to be special. Forget the fact that it’s hard to believe that a British nobleman would be dating a random high school girl from New York; no guy in the history of the world has ever turned down sex because he wanted the first time to be “special.” The Smarmy British Nobleman is the type of purely fictional character that only exists in romance novels and chick flicks. He might as well have been riding a unicorn the entire time.
3. A rich high school kid clad in a Hugh Heffner-esque smoking jacket hires a variety of international sluts to come over to his apartment and bang him. However, he can’t get it up because he’s obsessed with Blair. The dude is in high school – at that age, a strong gust of wind can give you a hard-on (or so I’ve been told). Outside of a severe medical condition, there is no way he wouldn’t be able to get it up. (Of course, during the blackout he and Blair end up pawing at each other. The smarmy British dude walks in on them right as the lights come back on and she tries to pretend like she thought Smoking Jacket was actually the British guy, which thankfully he isn’t dumb enough to fall for.)
4. A bitchy fashion designer fires a blonde intern after overhearing the intern badmouth her dress. Then, the two of them are left alone during the blackout and magically the fashion designer decides to listen to the advice of the little blonde intern and thanks her for being so honest. It’s a pretty astounding 180 in the span of a few hours.
Random Side Note: Earlier in the episode, the blonde intern hit the clichéd high school girl trifecta – she was shopping, had her cell phone up to her ear and was gossiping about boys.
Gossip Girl‘s Zac Efron
5. The show has the prerequisite preppy looking kid with a bowl cut (on 90210, I referred to the character as Smallville, so to change things up, I’ll refer to Gossip Girl’s douchey bowl cut as Zac Efron). Zac Efron is in love with a brunette girl, but is man-whoring himself out to The Duchess (the mother of smarmy British guy) because he needs money.
Brunette girl finds out that Zac Efron is sleeping with The Duchess, but is strangely okay with it because she understands why he is doing it. Then, The Duchess tells Brunette that if Brunette doesn’t break things off with Zac Efron, she will go to the FBI and tell them where Zac Efron’s dad is hiding. Because apparently his dad is wanted by the FBI. Brunette breaks things off with Zac Efron.
I would point out that Brunette could have told The Duchess that if she did go to the FBI, then Brunette would go to the police and explain that The Duchess was paying a high school boy to have sex with her (which I’m pretty sure is still illegal), but what’s the point? This entire plotline is ridiculous.
There was also a subplot involving the chick from Accepted and some other douchey guy getting trapped in an elevator and being forced to confront the problems in their relationship, but I didn’t feel it was ridiculous enough to make the unbelievable list. Sure, its clichéd, but it’s more within the realm of possibility than anything else happening in this episode.
Unfortunately, the fact that the whole show was implausible and over the top wasn’t my biggest problem with Gossip Girl. What really bugged me was that the show didn’t have a single likeable character. They all came off as whiny, spoiled brats who craved drama and had no issues with infidelity. Perhaps we are supposed to relate to unseen author of the Gossip Girl website who is serving up a big bowl of schadenfreude by sharing all of these character’s dirty little secrets, but as I mentioned before, the narrator comes off like a creepy stalker.
Say what you will about the new 90210, but at least that show has the Wilson family acting as its moral compass. Gossip Girl just has a bunch of rich assholes.
Final Thoughts: Clearly this show was not meant for me. Unless Batman actually does show up to beat down all of these spoiled brats, there is no way I will be tuning in again.
– XOXO Joel Murphy
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.