"Gossip Girl" – Episode 16 Television Review

3/31/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

Gossip Girl – Episode 16

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

On "Gossip Girl" this week, Eleanor Waldorf (Margaret Colin) made a return, bringing with her an economical ready-to-wear fashion line and an opportunity for Jenny Humphrey to redeem her bad girl ways. Putting their past behind them, Eleanor offers Jenny a job tailoring clothes for a pop-up fashion show that becomes the center of the episode. While Jenny makes a concerted effort at being the good girl she once was, drama finds her when she least expects it.

Enter Agnes (Willa Holland), Jenny’s former bad-girl bestie – their friendship took a nose-dive last season when Jenny tried to cut Agnes out of their shared fashion-line and Agnes consequently set fire to Jenny’s designs. Even? Maybe not. Though the two aim to bury the hatchet in the name of Eleanor Waldorf, any Upper East Side Queen Bee should know that friendship rarely rekindles so easily.

Agnes spends the episode plotting against Jenny and eventually gets here drugged-up and in a compromising position. Luckily for Jenny, Nate, her knight in shining armor, is always just a few steps away.

Nate rescues Jenny at the height of her damsel in distress scenario and what do we see surface at the end of the episode? Bad girl J is back - excessive makeup and all. We see Jenny’s end of episode smirk hint at renewed romantic feelings for Nate. Only problem is that he is her stepsister, Serena’s, boyfriend. Has Little J become Jealous J? Absolutely. The previews for next week promise claws from the on-again/off-again bad girl of Constance.

I was looking forward to a resurgence of the old-school well-behaved Jenny, but alas that didn’t last long.

Next, we have Chuck, who battles it out this week with his Uncle Jack in an attempt to regain custody of his hotel. In the process, we learn that Chuck’s mother, Elizabeth, is in love with Jack Bass (not even a slightly believable story line). So, she chooses Jack over Chuck--only to find that Jack chooses the hotel over her. In the end, she lies to Chuck saying she is not his mother, when in fact she really is. Chuck is scorned and reenergized for battle. Let’s see what ensues next week. I always look forward to an episode that promises victory over Jack Bass.

In the background is Blair, who, when it comes to Chuck, has matured and learned that her meddling ways won’t do in the real world. So, as she plays hands-off to her boyfriend’s woes, she reveals to her mother that she doesn’t fit in at NYU. Luckily for Blair that her mom’s fashion show introduces her to a set of "Gossip Girl" readers who worship the ground Blair walks on. Where are these girls from? Why Columbia University! Finally, Blair has found a home (and in the Ivy League, where she always thought she belonged). Now all she needs is an acceptance letter.

Next up are Dan and Vanessa, who relentlessly try to spice up their relationship this week with a little role-play action. While Dan was content just being Dan and Vanessa, Vanessa was looking to be swept off her feet. While the sight of these two as a couple is still disturbing to me, I have to interject the following: Isn’t the point of dating your best friend having a comfort level around them that you don’t have with new love interests? I wish Vanessa would just stop whining and appreciate what she has right in front of her.

One of the downfalls of "Gossip Girl’s" predecessor show, "The OC," was that the show had a small cast of which there weren’t enough gripping romantic relationships. "Gossip Girl" has gone down this same path. Instead of introducing interesting new characters, we are stuck with characters that just keep dating each other. An interesting scene was when Dan, Vanessa, Serena and Nate were all in the Humphrey’s apartment for brunch and looking at them you say – wow, they literally just swapped. Serena traded in Dan for Nate and Vanessa cashed in Nate for Dan. In any real-world teenage scenario, these four would not be so chummy and awkwardness would certainly be the word of the day.

I want old-school "Gossip Girl" back with witty banter, the thrill of the chase in romance, and not so much of this trying-too-hard to be adults thing.

Grade: C-

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