Friday, December 18, 2009

My favs of 2009: Part I.

It's December, so that must mean that every critic in the world is publishing their "Best of" lists for 2009. And this year, we're also getting "Best of the Decade!" lists! Oh joy! Look, I don't know what the best is [I'm not a critic in real life, I just play one this blog], I just know what my favorites were. My favorites probably aren't the best, considering I blog mostly about Gossip Girl. So with that in mind, I'm just going to do two lists mainly based on the stuff I blog most about on here - my favorite songs, and my favorite TV episodes. [I don't go to the movies that often, and when I do my friend DL has the tendency to chose terrible movies to see, so I'm not gonna bother blogging about those even though movies would complete the "Best of" trifecta.]
2009 was a pretty shitty year by all accounts, but some good things came out of it. Shakira howled like a wolf, someone got run over by a tractor on Mad Men, and Lady Gaga wore everything ridiculous under the sun. Let's discuss - in two parts, with music first - shall we?

Part I - My Favorite Songs of 2009:

1. Empire State of Mind - Jay Z and Alicia Keys
This is everyone's favorite song of 2009, right? Even if you don't live in New York it's impossible not to get swept up in the "If I can make here, I can make it anywhere" sentiment when Alicia hits that soaring chorus, and even if the verses aren't Jay's best rhymes ever they still hit some high points - my favorite is that "Yo momma's just like a bus route, errybody ride 'er" joke. [That "welcome to the melting pot/ corners where we sell pot" line is pretty uh, dope too, if you'll pardon the pun.] When Pitchfork wrote this song up on their own Best Of 2009 list, they described it as "schmaltz, but transcendent schmaltz," and I think that's pretty accurate. Considering 2009 basically sucked for everyone, singing along with this anthem about that magical city where dreams can still come true was probably what we all needed.

2. Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
This is my personal favorite from Merriweather Post Pavilion, the album that came out six days into 2009 and then owned every album that had the audacity to come out after it. [Considering people have been saying since last January that MPP is the album of 2009, its cliched by now to sing its praises. But damn, considering the frequency with which I still listen to it, it's just fucking good.] Even though it features AC's trademarked wall of noises and static this song can't help but remind me of simpler times - of "sweet summer nights" spent wandering the close knit neighborhood I grew up in, where people waved at me from front porches, boys honked and yelled from car windows and my best friend and I went to the corner store for ice cream. And considering AC features a dude who goes by the name "Panda Bear," I guess I have good reason to feel all warm and fuzzy.

3. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
For a long time I wasn't sure how I felt about Lady Gaga, but I think I am finally starting to warm to her. Before, for all her talk about "art," I never thought her songs were anything to exactly write home about - they were ridiculously catchy sure, but not necessarily as game changing as she [and her lap dog Perez Hilton] claimed. But with this song her music finally caught up with her aesthetics; I think Gaga is the only person who could have a song that has "Gaga Gaga oh la la" as a chorus, wear a flaming polar bear rug as a cape in its video, and still have it be a monster hit. Then she sang this song on Gossip Girl which automatically endeared her to my heart, and then she released that Christmas Tree song which walks the fine line between stupid and stupid genius. Now if only Perez would just stfu about her, maybe I would be a full fledged Gaga fan.

4. 1901 - Phoenix
I never really listened to Phoenix until I happened to catch them on an episode of Saturday Night Live last spring, and suddenly, like the rest of America I was sold. There are songs that may take a listen or two or five to get you on board, but then there are songs that you love instantly and 1901 was one of those. Sometimes when watching a band live, especially for the first time and with a unfamiliar song, its hard to get into the performance. But the first time I heard 1901 it sounded just like the recording I would later download - and I mean that as a vast compliment. It only proved that Phoenix were such competent live performers watching them was like some sort of chastisement saying so, why haven't you listened to us before? But now I do thanks to 1901, a song which I can only describe as joyous, the kind that makes me smile because "past and present they don't matter, now that the future's sorted out."

5. Never Forget You - The Noisettes

This song isn't exactly earth shattering, it's still sort of riding the wave of throwback sound from the UK made famous by Winehouse/Duffy/Adele, but that doesn't mean its not good. Growing up in Detroit Motown has a special place in my heart, and more than any song by the W/D/A triumvirate I can imagine The Noisettes coming across my television screen in black and white circa 1963 on American Bandstand with this song. Plus, any song that opens with the question "What you drinking?" is totally fine by me. Also, can we discuss Shingai Shoniwa's gravity defying hair?!

6. Stillness Is The Move - The Dirty Projectors/ Solange
Basically all you need to know about the original Dirty Projectors version of this song is that it has lots of crazy high notes, the music video features a llama, wolves, and girls dancing in harem pants and most importantly, in the words of my brother, it has a beat that is "deck." Basically all you need to know about the Solange cover is that it too has lots of crazy high notes, it throws in a Erykah Badu sample for good measure, and after listening to it you'll never know this song wasn't meant to be a slow jam. And basically all you need to know about both? They're awesome.

7. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' - Bob Dylan
In this day and age all you have to do is be mildly successful for about a year or two or appear on American Idol and people will start bandying the word "icon" about to describe you. But my boy Bob has been around for five [FIVE!!] decades, and is about to enter his sixth showing no signs of calling it quits. Of course he ended this decade on a wacky note, releasing an album of Santa themed polkas essentially, but when you've been around for 50 years I think you've earned the right to pull some ridiculous shit. But earlier in the year he released Together Through Life with this as its first single, a sort of crazy accordion jam that makes me think of little cafes on the Mexican border and warm sun on my face. But in typical Dylan fashion the lyrics are bleak, a contrast which makes me think this song would be the perfect theme to a movie adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy Border Trilogy book. All The Pretty Horses was already ruined with Matt Damon, but I read somewhere once that a version of Blood Meridian was in the works. Now seeing as Blood Meridian is one of my favoritest books ever, I am sure I will decry whatever version comes out as inadequate, but having this song in it would probably help.

8. Treat Me Like Your Mother - The Dead Weather
Jack White has always had a fascination with the familial, incestuous and Oedipal - there was after all that whole situation where everyone though Meg White was his sister, but turns out she was his ex-wife [oops!]. The un-honed and cacophonous sound of the White Stripes merely re-enforced the illusion that Jack and Meg were just kids banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, so did the fact that they released playground ready anthems like We're Going To Be Friends. But its actually this song he recorded with his side project that might be the culmination of all of that - its a duet between Jack and Alison Mosshart, with Mosshart chastising him for lying, basically saying if you can't look your mother in the eye and lie, you shouldn't be able to do the same with me. And if that wasn't Oedipal enough, the video features the pair mowing each other down with shot guns. Creepy? Yes. But creepy in a rocking way? Also yes.
Also, their "surprise" concert I caught over the summer was awesome [Honestly, it was a ton better than I thought it would be after hearing their first single] ; but then can you beat front row with PBR in hand at a Jack White concert in a Detroit dive?

9. Ambling Alp - Yeasayer

What's an "Ambling Alp"? Hell if I know. But I do know this song is awesome, trippy, and strangely inspiring. In the song's music video nearly every face is somehow distorted, reinforcing the idea that the only people with real identities are those who follow the maxim "Stick up for yourself son/ Never mind what anybody else done." And considering 2009 was a knock out, drag down year its something we could all hear - especially since the song further encourages us to "Raise your head and wear your wounds with pride." It's like the dudes of Yeasayer dropped some acid [which let's be honest, they did], watched some uplifting WWII movie, and decided to write a song about it. They also could have read some Tolkien, seeing as the video features a psychedelic Ringwraith and Mount Doom [No for real, it was filmed on a volcano]. There's also yellow goop. Excellent.

10. She Wolf - Shakira
I actually like the idea of werewolves as allegories for the parts of our Selves that are Other, whether it be tendencies towards animalistic violence and forbidden sex, or a fascination with the supernatural and death itself. I also like it when Warren Zevon sings about them in London. I don't like them when they become nothing more than an excuse for that ripped 13 year old named Taylor Whathisface to run about the Pacific Northwest wearing only denim cutoffs. But lucky for us, this song is more Angela Carter and The Company Of Wolves than Twilight; more about releasing the fierce wolf like power within than succumbing to the lupine sex appeal of some scruffy shirtless guy [Not that that never happens, even to the best of us]. Plus, its kind of insane that this song became a huge hit - Shakira uses a word as big as "lycanthropy," makes a complex metaphor involving a coffee machine, and she howls. And as if that wasn't enough, in the video she pulls a Grace Jones and dances/contorts in a golden cage with a snazzy "Do Not Feed The Animal" sign behind her. In other words, thanks for reclaiming werewolves from the sanitized teen set Shakira. Someone had to do it.

Runners up:

Heavy Cross - Gossip
Earthquake - Little Boots
Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Glee: Midseason Report Card. [Cuz it's high school, yo!]

So I think when Glee returns in April I might start blogging about it and since the fall finale just aired I figured I would make a test run at it. That would officially make this a GG + G blog, and for the two [literally] people who read this blog, I think they are cool with that.

You know who else is cool? Mr. Schue. Yes, like Emma, against my better judgment I am in love with a married man. Oh wait, a married fictional man. Guess that makes my obsession worse.

But my Glee obsession on the whole is pretty bad, so maybe by writing blogs I can get it out into the open and you know, see how crazy I am. And then maybe I'll go to therapy. At the local community center. See you there Terry!

So to reign this obsession in, let's start dissecting it. Because that's healthy right? The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, correct? Because like Terry I know I used to be a different person, but then Glee danced into my life and now I'm totally alright with listening to covers of classic rock songs performed by a bunch of TV choir geeks over and over on my iPod.

This week's episode, Sectionals, was the perfect storm of everything that caused the obsession to form in the first place: earnest heartfelt moments that weren't cloying, stupid catchy songs made even more catchy, hilarity [in the form of that Ohio Vice Comptroller or whatevs who had to appear at that "fool event"], and most importantly, Mr. Schuester running in slow motion.

So I'm pretty jaded, like for real. I hate Christmas and jolly good cheer and stuff and the other day when a Hindu friend yelled at me for hating on the holiday season I thought I would give it another go, since if he likes it maybe I am missing something. I decided to watch It's A Wonderful Life for the first time since I was about 12, since I always had good memories of watching that with my dad around Christmas. But the whole time all I think was man George Bailey gave up traveling the world and college for freaking Bedford Falls and all he gets is some annoying kid named ZuZu, and all this movie is doing is reinforcing the hetro-normative domestic circle at the expense of the Self and blah blah blah grad school ruined my life and by the time it got to that big climatic scene when everyone in town shows up with a basket full of money the only thing going through my head was....damn, George Bailey's life sucks.

Oh, but then wait! I heard Mercedes tear up [girl has piiiiiiiiiiipes!] And I'm Telling You and my hardened heart thawed a little. And then Rachel sang Barbara and our little Gleeks put aside their differences and worked it out to to the Rolling Stones. And my heart warmed over a bit more. And then! Then! The Glee kids put on a special performance for Mr. Schue, to thank him for all the hard work and dedication he put into making them the team they are today. And then a tear fell down my stone cold face, because I have had teachers like Mr. Schue believe in me even when I didn't and that has meant more to me than trite Christmas cheer ever could. So yeah, Glee, you made me cry. Are you happy now!? Unlike Sue, guess its a good thing I didn't have those tear ducts ripped out. Apparently, I can still use 'em.

But aside from getting caught up in the happy warm fuzzy feeling Snuggie fest, I think I do need to take Glee to task a little bit here. As much as Glee encourages us to ignore stereotypes - omg! It's totally cool if the jock sings and dances you guys! - it more often than not falls into them itself. Of course Mercedes sang And I'm Telling You, because what self respecting black diva wouldn't? And of course the Jewish girl with the big nose sang a Barbara song, because obviously that's what she's been practicing in front of the mirror since she was four. That's like if I was on Glee and was only allowed to sing Bobby Vinton songs because I'm Polish American. [Though a Glee cover of My Melody of Love would make my LIFE.]

I understand that comedy works best when there are easily recognizable stereotypes to play off each other, but now that we've established everyone's niche in the club I think we can expand a bit. Why does Mercedes always have to sing Jennifer Holliday, Jazmin Sullivan, Beyonce or Jill Scott songs? Wouldn't it be kind of awesome if she covered, oh I don't know, a Feist song? [That sentence is ridiculous actually, and I can't believe I typed it] But if Glee is going to continue beyond one season and remain interesting, Mike and Other Asian Guy need to say actual lines, and the musical choices need to stop being so formulaic. I mean, it was kind of crazy seeing Mr. Schue perform Bell Biv DeVoe and Young MC songs, but that's what made it awesome. I think Glee needs to remember its own advice, when Mr. Schue told everyone that mash ups were great because the further apart things are, sometimes the closer they become - like chocolate and bacon. So shake it up Glee! It will be like that time David Cook sang Mariah Carey on American Idol and it was kind of excellent:

[Ahahahaha this is like the only American Idol performance I know. Also, isn't it weird to hear Mariah speak coherently?]

But of course, this same thing is also sort of the pull for Glee - everything happens like its supposed to. And in a world where crazy wormhole looking things suddenly appear over Norway, that's kind of comforting. Nothing happened in the finale that you couldn't see coming from a mile away, but occasionally its a nice change of pace for the non cheaters to win, for the guy to get the girl, for the outcasts to find acceptance amongst each other. None of this stuff is a guarantee in real life, so to have it happen once a week on your TV screen is like yeah, getting all nice and warm and cozy in your favorite Snuggie. I refuse to own a Snuggie out of principle, but I imagine that's what it feels like.

Of course New Directions had to win Sectionals, because otherwise they wouldn't advance to Regionals, and then this season's plot would be dead in the water. But I would hate to see them keep winning, because then what's left for future seasons? If they win Regionals would next season just focus on getting to Nationals? It's like how J.K. Rowling couldn't have every Harry Potter book end in the ultimate goal of winning the House Cup a] because Harry got too old for that noise and b] it would get redundant and boring. She had to invent stuff like the Tri-Wizard Tournament to keep our interest. So in this ill-conceived metaphor, what's gonna be your Tri-Wizard Tournament Glee?

Now don't get me wrong, I freakin' love this show. And you know you only show such concern for people you love, and want to do well. My love for the characters and the cheesy musical numbers override any complaints I might have [for now anyway]. It's not like Ryan Murphy is gonna read this blog, unless he obsessively Googles himself or something, but a few more quick suggestions for the rest of this season and the next.

I read on EW that both Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are dying to get Bruce Springsteen's music licensed, and I can't stress how much I support this idea. I mean, I love pre-Kabbalah Madonna and all, but well, she didn't write Thunder Road if ya know what I mean. Aside from my deep abiding Boss love, I'm pretty obsessed with this idea because I'm convinced that Mr. Schuester needs to sing Backstreets. I mean, at its most base level, its about breaking up with a girl named Terry! Look, when the song contains lyrics like"Blame it on the truth that ran us down, you can blame it all on me Terry/ It don't matter to me now" how could Will not sing it?! If Matthew Morrison can competently cover the Thong Song, he can cover Bruce. Plus, can he wear a tight white t-shirt while he does it, like the beginning of the I'm On Fire video or the Born in the USA cover? Thanks in advance.

Also, I know I just said 2 secs ago to avoid stereotypes, but could someone please sing Rosalita to Santana? I know singing to her a song about young love with a lovely Latin lady would be ridiculously cliched, but since its fucking Rosalita, I'll let it slide. And based on this last episode it might be Brittany singing it to her, so in that case, I think we can safely say that would rise it to the level of legendary:

Oh and lastly, when are Matt [Shaft] and Mercedes gonna hook up?! I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen since when she got up to sing her solo this episode he was making all sorts of crazy facial expressions at her which I can only construe as love. Also, I really want to hear him speak. Especially since the actor who plays him Tweets stuff like this:

DijonTalton Ok.. So I'm starving... Heathy or Greasy guys? DijonTalton Ok guys... Greasy won!! Eating Wienerschnitzel

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gossip Girl: Ghosts of Christmases Past.

So after last week's snoozefest [seriously, does anyone remember what happened?], this week's installment was the kind of Gossip Girl I live for: an episode so deliciously terrible it reaches the heights of the sublime.

Ghosts? A dead mother's return? Teenage drug dealing? A Chappaquidick-esque car accident? Pot secretly stashed in the book I hated most in high school? Chuck Bass sharing his "feelings"? Dan sharing his feelings? Nate punching someone in the face? Serena laid up in hospital bed? A girl named Willa trying to be seductive while wearing a gold lame blouse? A spin of Empire State of Mind which currently has 98 plays on my iTunes? Yes, yes, and more yes!

So let's start by discussing said strangely attired Willa and her sudden lust for Danny Boy. I know Dan's guns have been growing by the episode, but seriously girl you need to chillax. Seducing some guy you just met by showing him a sex tape of yourself under the guise of "performance art" while you wear a hideous outfit doesn't work, does it?! Oh who am I kidding, the sex tape masquerading as "performance art" is probably Adam Lambert's favorite form of seduction! Anyway, on to matters that aren't two weeks old, Dan decided to get it on with Willa despite the fact that she was crazy - "actresses are crazy!" Nate told him - but sexy time was interrupted by a phone call which told him his sister by marriage who he used to bang was in the hospital. It was just as well since Dan was only lowering himself to Willa's level because he couldn't get Vanessa, but once at the hospital and overcome by "Life is short!" thoughts Dan decided it was time to spill his guts to V. Because its been you know, a whole week, so Dan must be in luuuuuuurrrrrrvvvvvve. But alas, Vanessa didn't return his sentiments [she's still convinced that Paul dude is straight. Ahahahahaha], and once again poor Dan found himself a Lonely Boy.

Also having love troubles were Lily and Rufus, who have been far too happy for far too long. Ever since the lamest twist of fate ever, when Maureen ended up with Lily's super secret letter from Daddy Van der Woodsen because she had the same coat as Lily, the coat closet in the Van der Humphrey household has been in an uproar. Of course Lily was never able to locate the letter because Maureen, who is actually probably the smartest person on this show, was planning on using it to blackmail Serena to get her to back off of Tripp. Once Lily got wind of The Situation [a phrase which I now think is trademarked by MTV], she decided to lady up and tell Rufus that she had a secret meeting with Serena's father, but in true soap opera fashion was interrupted by the hospital calling to say her daughter had been in a car accident. Whatever Lily did when she met Serena's father probably wasn't as bad as we think it was, mainly because it never is on Gossip Girl, and also because once Rufus sleeps with that co-op board lady in retaliation that will be the real problem. Also, is it just me or does co-op lady look a disturbing amount like Vanessa's mom?! I hope it comes out that Rufus is attracted to her because he and V's mother once had a fling and he's really V's father and that's why he was cool with her practically living with them all these years, and oops Dan, you're in love with your sister again!!

Lily and Rufus were so distracted by their marital issues they didn't realize their daughter was off committing the dual crimes of rocking some hideous coats and selling drugs. As soon as Eric wondered where Jenny had gotten all the money to pay for those new purses I knew her drug dealing had finally begun, and man, was I excited. The title of the first new episode when GG returns in March [damn Olympics and American Idol!], is "Jenny, Full of Grace" which only means this storyline is about to go front and center. I hope Little J tries drug smuggling and ends up in jail!! That would be really spectacular, seeing as if she was locked up we wouldn't have to deal with her annoying self as much.

Speaking of annoying, the whole Serena Forays Into Politics As A Mistress storyline seems like its on its way towards being wrapped up. The storyline didn't annoy me as much as Serena did, because every time I thought she couldn't get stupider, she did. When she was being a whiny little bitch because she didn't have coffee or cable at a country cottage I wanted to literally shake some sense into her and then yell at her to put on a damn shirt because its December. For what it's worth Serena, my family's cottage doesn't even have really great phone reception and sometimes my mom and I go to the local Wal-Mart for entertainment because all we have at the cottage are VHS copies of Air Force One and Dirty Dancing, Trivial Pursuit and the beach, but that doesn't help come February. So quit your bitching and read a book! Or smoke one too, I guess that's cool.

Tripp choosing his career over Serena was inevitable, but running into a pack of wolves was not. I mean, seriously, wolves?! They have those in Nassau County?! I would say it seems a mite too soon to be copping the whole Chappaquidick situation, but then that shit actually happened forever ago, so have at it writers. And it was the exact same situation: Congressman runs off bridge, injures girl, leaves girl and calls someone other than 911 first. Ooops! But if history has taught us anything its that stuff like this won't stay secret for long, especially since Tripp and Maureen's "cover up" was shoddy at best, because come on, Nate figured it out. Nate has been really freaking me out lately - he was actually funny in that scene in the coffee shop with Dan using lifelike expressions and everything, and then he went and clocked Tripp in the face! Emotions!? You don't say! But either way, it's clear the jig will soon be up for Tripp and Maureen and he can say bye-bye to being on a committee with Barney Frank.

So I have to give Gossip Girl credit where credit it due: it takes balls to play the "car accident card" twice. You play the car accident card when you need a major plot point, but don't have time to develop one, since an accident will throw everything into a tizzy and it can come out of nowhere. Car accidents are usually reserved for season 6 when you are running out of ideas and need to shake things up, or for every other episode of Grey's Anatomy. But because they're such a cheap trick, you can really only respectably pull it once. But oh no, not with Gossip Girl. This show had the guts to use it as a plot device not once, but twice, and in back to back seasons. And not only that, the second accident was on the anniversary of the first! When you do something that unbelievable and insane it's just awesome, so you go GG. Well played, well played.

As if the car crash wasn't enough ridiculata for one episode, we also got Bart Bass' ghost! [A scientific equation: Car Crash + Ghosts + Chuck Bass = AWESOME] Ghosts never come across right on TV, but since no one had sex with Bart a la Izzie and Denny on Grey's, I'll deal. The scene where Chuck relived his father's death when he went to the hospital to visit Serena was actually moving, and a tear almost [almost] formed in my jaded eye. I like that Chuck and Blair bonding showed that he has grown a soul, but at the same time, I kind of miss me some devious Chuck. Strangely, out of all these kids, Chuck might have become the most mature - and I think its because he grew up fast after Bart's death, so it was a nice contrast to see his moment in the hospital realizing this juxtaposed against Serena's stupidity in landing her there in the first place. Hopefully this means that Serena will give up her immature ways and stripper ensembles soon as well, but only time will tell. And like devious Chuck, I might miss a hot mess Serena to make fun of.

Oh and Chuck might still have mother! Who kind of looks like Dorota! I CAN'T WAIT FOR MARCH!!!11

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The only time anyone associated with GG will be better than anyone associated with MM.

So in the battle of blondes from TV shows I am obsessed with hosting SNL, Blake Lively is the clear winner. Several weeks ago January Jones tried her hand at live television, and man, was it painful. Like, don't even bother looking it up on Hulu. But Blake was surprisingly...good?
I mean, I guess I should have known, Serena can be pretty unintentionally funny most of the time. And in the opening monologue she even made fun of the fact that she is a perpetually inappropriate dresser!! Though come on, that dress she's wearing is actually conservative by Serena's "winter clothes" standards:

Blake was probably also helped by the fact that there was actually mock worthy stuff going on in the world this week, so thanks Tiger Woods!!! [Yeah, sorry Tiger, until someone else fucks up you're going to get made fun of a lot] And of course since Blake is blond she gets to play his wife, just as of course since Keenen Thompson is the only African-American man on SNL he gets to play Tiger:

And I really don't have words for this sketch, except that its funny and even though she's not wearing pants I think Blake might be more covered up than in some of Serena's ensembles:

And I would say this send up of Gossip Girl is pretty good - because obviously if Blake Lively is hosting you need to send up GG - but it is NOTHING, and yes I do mean NOTHING, compared to the supreme brilliance that is Jersey Shore.

So this is satire:

And this is real life. Can you tell the difference?!

This Week's Playlist.

1. Give It Up To Me - Shakira
2. My Melody of Love - Bobby Vinton
3. Stillness is the Move - The Dirty Projectors [Also the Solange cover!]
4. What Would I Want? Sky - Animal Collective
5. Crazy In Love - Beyonce
6. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
7. Nothing Like You [Hoochie Coo] - BlakRoc
8. Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen
9. Rockferry - Duffy
10. Mixing Up the Medicine - Juelz Santana


Okay Imeem: The whole time I was making this playlist, an ad was staring me in the face saying that I could buy Catch and Release on your website for only $4.99, yet there were only like 2 BlakRoc songs posted - and none of them were Nothing Like You [which is the first single!]. Get it together!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gossip Girl: Bad Romance.

Heaven help me, but I like that damn Lady Gaga song [Though I don't quite understand why she's wearing a latex Max from Where The Wild Things Are outfit in the video. Maybe its because her new EP is called The Fame Monster, so now she's all about running with the wild things? Whatev, I don't want to think about it that hard]. Of course now this blog will pop up on Perez Hilton's Google Alerts since I managed to say something positive about Lady Gaga and he will read it and get all misty eyed and preachy about her "art" and continue to live vicariously through her since she has the discernible talent to become more famous than he ever will. Even if that talent is doing the Twist in a latex Where The Wild Things Are Halloween costume. For real. Watch the video.

Anyway, it was appropriate that Lady Gaga -somewhat inexplicably - showed up to lip-synch her newest single as "Bad Romance" really was the theme of this episode. Dan and Vanessa? Say it isn't so!! A Tripp/Serena/Nate triangle? Suck on that Parents Television Council - that threeway would involve cousins!! Jenny and a Belgian drug dealer? Hahahahahaha I'm laughing at her melodramatic downward spiral already.

This episode opened with a James Frey quotation in the voice over [?!?!!], which makes me believe more and more that all I need to do to get famous is to write some crackpot book full of lies to get on Oprah and even more importantly, on Gossip Girl. Sigh. But the point of this strangeness was to illustrate that the truth, especially as we remember it, is actually all relative - wait? is that a theme verging on Mad Men territory!? - and that all threesomes don't take place in porn slow motion with wind machines for the girls' hair, even though Dan Humphrey's hormonal brain would like to believe as much. His Big Man On Campus attitude following his dual lady conquest was quickly stifled by Nate, who rather hilariously and therefore uncharacteristically, chided Dan that the third person is always supposed to be a stranger [Chuck Bass is his best friend, he knows things]. Good advice Nate!

Too bad Dan got that advice too late, as things between him, Vanessa and Olivia was awwwwwwkward. Dan remembered their threesome as his crowning glory, Olivia remembered it as a Dan/Vanessa twosome she happened to witness and Vanessa remembered it as....? Did they ever show a Vanessa flashback? [They might have and I missed it, as I tend to block anything pertaining to V out] But the incident that Dan thought upped his stud quotient actually left him sad and alone - Olivia didn't want to be his girlfriend anymore, and Vanessa didn't really want to be friends. Olivia thought the deep-seated feelings between Dan and Vanessa finally came out and alas, we all knew this would eventually happen. So let's just get this thing over with as soon as possible, so everything can end up like it does in the books with Dan being gay and Vanessa being bald. Dan tried to repair his friendship with V by suggesting they attend a Morrissey concert together, with apparently is something they started doing together when they were 7. At first I thought what kind of 7 year old goes to a Morrissey concert, but then I realized that yeah, if there was any 7 year old who sat in his room and wept to William It Was Really Nothing it was probably Dan Humphrey.

But Olivia put the lid on those sweet vegetarian emo dreams for D and V, and enlisted Dan to write the script for a cabaret performance she was attending. Dan of course had to agree because he was thinking of applying for the play writing program at Tisch and writing this play for other theater kids would give him a leg up. Or something. Blair was also involved, as she is desperate to be accepted by anyone and the theater kids were the next group she tried to infiltrate. GG has done this Shakespearean show within a show conceit before and Blair always shines, so girl needs to get herself into Tisch. If Lady Gaga can do it, I think Blair Waldorf could too! So Dan wrote a Snow White musical using the songs of Lady Gaga to illustrate our culture's obsession with fame. Or something. Its seems pretty ludicrous that Dan could successfully find a way to utilize Love Game and the phrase "disco stick" considering a few weeks ago he was all like "I have no idea who that Olivia chick is! Even though she's in the biggest movie franchise ever!" But I'll let it slide because it gave Blair the chance to act like the Evil Queen she is without pretense and Dan the context to kiss Vanessa on a Betty Draper-esque fainting couch.

But it was all for naught, as Olivia left to go work on some terrible sounding movie, graciously stepping aside so Dan could get it on with her former roommate. Though she left with the menacing promise to "be back next fall," so see you soon Hilary Duff! Nevertheless, Vanessa claimed she didn't have feelings anymore for Dan [FALSE.] and left to be with some theater dude who was obviously gay. So yeah, if this show follows the books' trajectory I guess that's the same thing as being with Dan anyway.

While one threesome was falling apart, another one was shaping up across town - Serena! Nate! Tripp! It was pretty great when Nate called Serena out on her slutty ways, bringing up the fact that she's running after a married Congressman when she was just all up in Carter Bazen's business a hot second ago. The fact that Serena shows up to work for a Congressman in an outfit that has both shoulder pads and a hemline only 1 inch south of her crotch is ridiculous, so someone had to try and set her straight. Nate and Serena have been on the outs lately, so he was surprised that she showed up asking for advice, but I mean hello, what other one of her friends has already had an affair with a married person?!

Nate's adorable little tactics to keep Serena away from Tripp until he left for DC - ice cream in Central Park and a drunken bender - of course backfired in the end. Several shots in Nate revealed he still had feelings for Serena, which I believe because he doesn't have enough thoughts in that pretty head of his to drive them away, and they almost made out. Until -gasp! - Tripp walked in! Nate's mother had revealed it was actually his own wife who almost ruined his campaign and, wtf how does Nate's mother of all people know this?! I hope in upcoming episodes that little piece of info is revealed to us, because it really, really doesn't make sense. Kind of like how Nate is now suddenly living in Chuck's hotel. He goes to school right? Or was that all some sort of ruse?!

But let's get back to this love game [Lady Gaga hahahaha]. As soon as Tripp revealed his marriage was on the rocks Serena was more than ready to hit that. Which, sigh. Get it together girl! Sleeping around your little Upper East Side circle is one thing, sleeping with a married Congressman is another. I am at least comforted by the fact that the political scandal which is about to break will probably be awesome with Serena all over the news and tabloids. Maybe her dad will finally appear then! Whatever, so long as she gets rid of that weird Princess Leia braid she's been sporting lately.

And lastly, let us discuss Little J and what appears to be her upcoming transformation into a druggie at the hands of some dashing European dude! I am split on this development: we already had the whole "Wild Jenny" story arc before but it was really her just acting immature about wanting to drop out of Constance, while if she actually does develop a drug habit it could be serious business. I would say good thing she has a former rock star dad to help her through this, but he didn't know what gonorrhea of the throat was, so maybe he won't be so helpful after all.

I kind of love when Chuck Bass tries to actually be a good brother, like when he attempted to rescue Jenny from the clutches of European Dude and his blue pills. I mostly loved his appearance though for his brilliant quip: "Dude, I’m Chuck Bass. Even Europeans must know what that means." [Heart.] But no matter what Chuck says, Jenny is clearly enamored with The European and his whole bad boy image. She's obviously just a lonely teenager who has alienated her only real friends, Eric and Jonathan, and thinks that dressing like Courtney Love and dumping yogurt over people will earn her acceptance. Obviously, its going to be hard for her to resist the thrills of The European and his sneaky toy boat maneuvers. Look out Little J!

I'm going to allow the development of this Jenny storyline for one reason, and one reason only. I'm banking on the fact that it's going to yield a hilarious and classic scene like this:

Actually, I think Jessie Spano pretty accurately sums up how I feel about this whole new Jenny scenario: "I'm soo excited....I'm sooo excited...I'm sooo...scared!!!"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This Week's Playlist.

1. Heartbreaker - Mariah Carey
2. Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year - Fall Out Boy
3. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves - Cher
4. Fell In Love With A Boy - Joss Stone
5. Borderline - Madonna
6. Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
7. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart - Alicia Keys
8. I Cannot Tell What This Love May Be - Gilbert & Sullivan
9. I Hate People - Jemina Pearl
10. Somebody to Love - Leighton Meester ft Robin Thicke

nov 1a

Also, it should be noted that nowhere on imeem has anyone [including Alicia Keys herself!] yet posted Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart! Wtf, that song is quality bitches:

Oh. Crap.

So Leighton Meester just released her music video for her new single Somebody To Love, and I watched it. And, oh crap. I think I like the song. I mean I like it in that "Oh noes this song is terrible. And annoying. Which means its the perfect combination to get hooked in my brain and I'll listen to it over and over and hate myself the entire time" sort of way. Kind of like with that damn Whatcha Say song - I only felt slightly better about that because with that big honkin' sample it was practically an Imogen Heap song anyway.

Supposedly this song is by "Leighton Meester ft. Robin Thicke" but I think Leighton sings more on Good Girls Go Bad, so between the two songs I'm still not exactly sure what she sounds like. Also I kind of love the opening lines: "Paris, France to Michigan/ London town and through Berlin." Look, I'm from Michigan so I know that one of those things is not like the other, but I can't really think of anything else to rhyme with Berlin myself, so I guess I will let it slide.

The jewelry Leighton rocks in this video is pretty out of control, but its nothing compared to that hat she's wearing when she's inexplicably sitting in the back of a limo. Also, is she wearing a jumpsuit with side cut outs and harem legs and glitter? That's in style now?! I really, really don't think my boy Tim Gunn would approve [though that jumpsuit does have more imagination than anything anyone has created on this season of Project Runway so maybe that fact alone would get him excited].

And Leighton's wearing those really long acrylic nails that I hate, you know those kind that the lady who is cashing you out at the supermarket is wearing and the whole time you are running through your debit card all you can hear is her tapping them impatiently and you're all like, hold your horses lady its the card machine that's slow not me and would you please stop tapping those nails because that sound is really annoying? Yeah those. Dolly Parton also wears them, but she wrote Jolene, so its cool.

Anyway, here's the video. And the hat and nails:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gossip Girl: Party In The USA.

Like, OMG you guys! It's election night! I haven't been this excited since, you know, election night last year when a tear might have formed in my eye when my boy Barack won! But who cares about that history making nonsense when Tripp Vanderbilt is running for Congress, Nate has actual lines to say, Blair got a face full of cake, and drunken celebrities and call girls were running about! USA! USA! USA! USA!

In a completely stunning turn of events, this episode focused on Nate and featured Vanessa heavily...and it wasn't annoying! Gossip Girl really has never had an episode like this - one could even say it was "Micheal Mann political thriller-esque" - but it worked surprisingly well. This episode drove home the point that our little GG-ers are growing up and moving out in the real world, where stuff has actual consequences besides who gets yogurt dumped on them while they sit on the MET steps. [My favorite Micheal Mann movie though is The Last of the Mohicans, so until Daniel Day Lewis is running about the Upper East Side, I don't really care if Plastered Patrick gets cast in his movie]

Of course the kind of consequences these characters deal with are pretty ludicrous - most 18 year olds don't have to worry about the success of their new hotel, political careers, telling embarrassing stories about their boyfriends on national television, or keeping their jobs at a high powered PR firm. But this is Gossip Girl, so its not like I show up expecting real life or anythang.

All that stuff is pretty ridiculous, so it was kind of refreshing to see Serena push Blair into a cake, because immature 18 year olds do shit like that. [At least it wasn't a slushie!] Also, it was just kind of funny to see Blair with red, white and blue frosting on her face. Anywayz, Serena and Blair each told the other one they were immature, and they were both right - each lady still has a lot of growing up to do. Blair thinks she's moving on up because she's in college and she's going steady, but everyone knows she secretly wishes she was still in high school where she had minions at her beck and call. Blair is basically a terrible friend as evidenced by the fact that she can't make any at NYU, and sooner or later she's going to have to learn to be selfless once in awhile. But then again, she managed to snag Chuck Bass so what do I know. Serena on the other hand, thinks she's big and bad because of her real life job - until Blair reminded her that she's essentially a working girl of another kind, seeing as she's getting paid to give Patrick "the girlfriend experience." She also dresses regularly like a prostitute, and she doesn't even get paid for that! Good thing an actual call girl - named Brandeis?! - was at the party so Serena didn't have to feel too bad about herself!

Who did need to feel bad about themselves this week was Dan, who got a lame nickname from Jimmy Fallon of all people which makes it even lamer, and who forgot his one month anniversary with Olivia. Jimmy Fallon has been all about the TV guest appearance lately, as he also appeared on 30 Rock last week. It should be noted however that he only tweeted about being on 30 Rock, so clearly he was prouder of running at Tracy Morgan/Jordan with an axe than he was about coming up with the nickname "Bathroom Boy." As he should be really, because this whole storyline was undercooked and kind of pointless. I thought Olivia had revealed something deep and dark about Dan, but it turned out to be something stupid. And didn't we see their first date? And wasn't it nothing like Dan described? This Dan and Olivia relationship has about as much continuity as Serena's personality [so in other words, none].

But the real star of the show was Nate, who spoke more lines this episode than the entire two previous seasons combined. But come on, it was obvious that Nate didn't stage that fake drowning to up Tripp's poll numbers because that would have required brain cells that kid clearly does not possess. Just setting up Vanessa with the fake NY1 lady probably took up his "thinking quota" for like, the year. But I think Tripp will bring a lot to the show actually - even though the fact that he is a Congressman at 26 is insane - especially if the whole Serena dynamic gets played up. Nothing spells scandal like having an affair with an under 21 socialite! Also, was it just me or did it seem like Tripp's crafty wife was kind of macking on Grandfather? Double scandal!

Speaking of scandal, Chuck Bass put the Vanderbilt campaign headquarters in a suite that had a picture of woman's crotch in panties hanging on the wall. This is why I love the man.

So next week is the much hyped - and apparently indecent! - threesome episode. Whatever, Parents Television Council you should know by know that Gossip Girl scandal is scandal-lite. Also, that teenagers don't actually watch Gossip Girl as much as gay men and 20 something girls do [I mean I think at least. I don't know any teenagers, except for the ones I watch on Gossip Girl. And my brother, but he doesn't really count.] But I can tell already it probably won't live up to the OMGolly! hype because the promo doesn't feature Britney's 3. I mean, really?!

There is a hit song about threesomes and you don't use it to promote your episode about a threesome?!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The night I saw Jay-Z in concert and almost died in a parking garage.

I am super white, but 99 Problems is seriously one of my favorite songs. I don't even own a car [I am a fan of public transportation, which makes me even more white], so I'm not going to get pulled over any time soon because 'I'm young and I'm black/ and my hat's real low.'
Okay so one time my friend and I drove past a bunch of police officers who were standing inexplicably along the side of the highway, just as the 'in the rear view mirror was the motherfuckin' law' line blared out our open windows. The police officers looked slightly taken aback, and for a second we felt like badasses. Of course, at that moment we were two girls from Detroit driving through rural Canada so in that situation we actually probably were.
But that was sort of the point of the whole evening I spent with Jay-Z: it doesn't really matter who you are, all you need is some swagger.

Jay began the evening with a performance of Run This Town complete with Rihanna's disembodied voice, and followed that up by telling us all that he was essentially drunk. A thunderstorm had grounded his plane on the runway in New York [because of course Jay-Z would fly to Providence, even though its only a 3 hour drive], and he told the audience that "Good news is, I still got here. Bad news is, I passed that time having a couple shots. Know what I'm sayin'?" Yes Jay-Z, I know what you're saying considering in the break between opening acts I waited for roughly 40 minutes in line to buy a $7.50 rum and coke, even though I had spent the previous hour pre-gaming with my own bottle of wine at my friend's apartment. I even put up with this girl who came up to me when I was next in line at the bar and who said in the most condescending way possible, "Sweetie, would you mind buying me a beer?" Yeah I do mind Sweetie, considering I just waited 40 fucking minutes for a drink which I am sure will be watered down and not worth what I am paying for it, as will all the other people in line behind us who, like me, do not appreciate you just waltzing up to the front of the line. Said girl then tried to flirt with my friend to see if he would be into buying her a beer, but seeing as he's not interested in the ladies, she was effectively shut down. Score! So long story short, yes Hov, I know exactly what you're sayin'.

So after all the drunks in the audience loudly cheered the fact that they had dropped $45+ to watch another drunk rap, Jay launched into D.O.A. while funny looking skull and cross bones that looked like belonged on a Hot Topic t-shirt danced across a screen in the background. Of course I could have died happy if I saw Jay-Z perform 99 Problems live and nothing else, but I also obviously wanted to hear some of the other greats. And the set list did not disappoint, if I could have made up the list myself I don't think it could have been any better. In addition to 99 Problems, there was among others, Izzo, Can I Get A... [or as a friend excitedly exclaimed, "He's doing the Rush Hour song!!!"], Jigga What, Public Service Announcement, and the last song before an encore, Dirt Off Your Shoulder. About three-quarters through Jay returned to do more songs from The BluePrint 3, bringing out a few special guests in Memphis Bleek, Swizz Beats and Pharell [N.E.R.D. was the opening act, even though they weren't billed at all!]. While bringing out his guests was decidedly cool, this section of the concert lagged a bit mainly because after hearing all those hits that you know all the words to and loudly sing along with, some lesser known new album tracks can be kind of a drag. Since Pharell was in the house I kind of wish he and Jay had done Change Clothes together instead of their new song So Ambitious, but hey, you gotta try to sell new records. The exception during this section was Empire State of Mind, which is my favorite song off the new album, and from the crowd's reaction probably a lot of other people's as well. After the song, Jay introduced his back up singer Bridget Kelly, who sang all of Alicia Keys' parts live, and who could probably give Alicia a run for her money. A hundred bucks Bridget has a record deal within the year.

After a short break Jay returned for an encore filled with even more hits - Lucifer, Hard Knock Life, and even his verse from Swagga Like Us. He performed these songs in a sort of medley style, which he abruptly stopped when his band started the intro of Big Pimpin'. Why you ask? Oh, because in Jay's words, "We just can't do Big Pimpin' like its any old song! It's a cultural phenomenon!" He then encouraged the audience to wave something, anything above their heads - Jay waved his jacket, and I waved my iPhone. Like I said, I'm super white. Then came Encore, because if you have a song called Encore and don't perform it during an encore, that's just extremely lame. Next came the "I'm HOVA bitches and I can talk about whatever I want for however long I want" portion of the program, during which we were treated to boasts about record sales [please, like you thought it would be a rap concert without that], an inspirational speech about how it was us young people who had finally elected a black president, and most entertainingly, Jay sent a camera man into the audience so he could comment on audience members' fashionz and generally good-naturedly mock people. He ribbed on a older man asking him if he was old enough to have seen Frank Sinatra in person, and even brought a young kid named Angelo on stage who even though he looked to be about 6 was still probably cooler than I'll ever be. The evening then ended with a performance of Young Forever, and with its "Life is short, but art endures" message it was the perfect song to go out on - whether its just a concert, or as it might finally turn out, a whole career.

Overall, Jay-Z is a very consummate live performer - I don't think he would have had as long a career as he has had if he wasn't. One of the things I enjoy about Jay-Z's music is that a lot of songs have a rockin' edge to them, and with a live band with horns and electric guitars behind him this was even more evident. In contrast, when I saw Kanye's Glow In The Dark Tour, it sounded like he was rapping live over pre-recorded backing tracks, mainly because his songs were carefully arranged to fit into a narrative. With Kanye I was more aware that I was watching a "performance," since with the combination of elaborate sets and narrative it was almost akin to watching a rock opera like Tommy. But with a minimal set, a live band and frequent breaks for witty banter, Jay just seemed like that guy you gave 20 bucks and a case of beer to and invited to rap at your house party. That isn't to say one style is better than the other - I enjoyed both concerts immensely and think each style most definitely has merit - but Jay's concert was just a good old fashioned time. Jay was also surprisingly easy to understand - every word out of his mouth was as clear as it was recorded [every once in a while he would throw out an acapella verse, and in those cases the words were even more pronounced]. But this clarity just encouraged everyone to sing along louder, increasing the party atmosphere even more. 24 hours later and my throat is still scratchy - I may be a white girl who wears plastic glasses but that didn't stop me during Izzo from yelling out "Vamoose son of a bitch!" with the rest of the arena.

Indeed, an evening with Jay-Z will increase your swagga exponentially; I not only told off annoying beer girl and I can count on one hand the number of times I have told off anyone, but a friend managed to elicit cheers in the parking garage after a rather spectacular maneuver. Predictably, an arena parking garage after a concert is a giant clusterfuck and an unnecessarily large SUV tried to cut off the car I was in and nearly nailed us - seriously, I was sitting in the passenger's seat and that SUV's grill was all up in my grill. In retaliation, my friend in the car behind us entered into a game of chicken with the SUV to see who would get to go next in line, and amazingly my friend managed to pull off the victory, earning him cheers from a bunch of people watching the incident go down. So if my Asian friend who wore a sweater vest to a rap concert and owned a giant SUV in his little Toyota isn't the perfect embodiment of Jay-Z's "fuck critics you can kiss my whole asshole" ethos then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Week's Playlist.

1. Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
2. Fireflies - Owl City
3. Earthquake - Little Boots
4. Hard to Handle - Otis Redding
5. Doesn't Mean Anything - Alicia Keys
6. Lion In A Coma - Animal Collective
7. The Twist - Chubby Checker
8. We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service
9. People Have The Power - Patti Smith
10. Metal Guru - T. Rex

oct 2

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gossip Girl: Wedding Bell Blues.

So do you think in 1986 when Star Power was released Kim Gordon thought "Hey 23 years from now I'll be singing this song on a campy TV show beloved openly by teenage girls and gay men, and secretly by 20-something girls who should have something better to watch?" Probably not, but then in 1986 I didn't think I would be blogging about said campy TV show, because well, I was a year old. I had other priorities.
But investing Kim Gordon with some internet-given power to perform marriages a la Joey from Friends and then having her marry Rufus and Lily was basically pure genius. So did the "Sonic Youths" as Dorota so charmingly put it, lose some indie street cred by appearing on Gossip Girl? Maybe, but the whole "I ironically love Sonic Youth ironically appearing on Gossip Girl, which I ironically love anyway" apparatus is tricky, so in the end they probably come out even.
But do you know who I love un-ironically and unequivocally? Georgina. Girl is INSANE, and I say that with all the love in my heart. She sent Dan a fucking e-card, like it was 1998. And then proceeded to blackmail Vanessa into convincing Dan to dump Olivia because she was "dating Orlando Bloom." False obviously, but apparently Georgina has some experience in getting people to dump celebrities, which come on, is awesome.
Meanwhile, while Georgina was being awesome, Carter and Bree were being ZZzzzzZZZzzzz, over some "family honor" bullshit. I'm just going to talk about them now and get it over with, because those two are boring as hell and I'm super glad Nate finally broke up with Bree even though I have the sneaking suspicion we're not done with her just yet. Carter's "big secret" was that he had hooked up with one of Bree's cousins in the hope that saying he would marry her would get him some ca$h from the Buckleys to pay off his gambling debts, but then he jilted her at the altar. Not as juicy as I had hoped, but whatevs, there's already one love child running around this joint. Bree then brought some of her beefy Buckley cousins with her to enact some Texas-style vengeance, with a bit of encouragement from Chuck who has always had it out for Carter. The episode left it up in the air as to what would happen to Carter, but my guess is that he's laying on the side of the East River with a broken jaw, a bloody nose, and some serious bruising. [But Chuck also left him a plane ticket, so maybe he managed to escape.]
But the whole Carter/Bree smackdown wasn't nearly the most exciting thing going on, because Rufus and Lily were getting married! After a ridiculously manufactured fight! And Georgina was going to crash it! And Blair and her minions planned the entire thing in a day! [I buy that more than the whole Carter debacle actually.] And Serena wore something almost appropriate! And Jenny sewed a wedding dress in one night! And the Lincoln Hawk Love Baby finally came clean! And I think Blair has a crush on Dan! Let's discuss, shall we?
Lily was all huffy that her former rock star fiance allowed her daughter to forgo Brown while she was off having a baby and getting a nasty divorce IRL, and taking care of her mother in the reality of the fictional universe. So when Rufus showed up at the Brooklyn loft which still inexplicably exists to escape the wrath of Lily, Dan and the rest the Van der Humphreys decided to pull a Parent Trap to get their respective parents back on speaking terms. This move obviously failed, because NO ONE SANG LET'S GET TOGETHER! An amateur mistake really, so here's a primer kids for when Rufus and Lily inevitably get divorced:

But not all of us can be Hayley Mills -or gah! Lindsey Lohan - so Rufus and Lily had to patch it up all by themselves, with no help from their spawn. Their first attempt at a wedding ceremony was ruined by both Lily's cold feet and the appearance of Georgina, who revealed the news that Scott was the LHLB as casually as if she was reading the weather report. And everyone believed the crazy girl with no hesitation, which is ludicrous, but par for the course on this ludicrous show. Scott went from being Vanessa's bf who also happened to be a Lincoln Hawk fan, to brother of dead love child, to oh wait! the love child himself - and of course, no one thought this was strange. What was strange was that Lily consented to running around Chinatown in her wedding dress looking for Scott even though a few scenes earlier she had chastised Rufus for not remembering she was Lily Bass and that there were "expectations" that would go along with another one of her weddings.
But Rufus and Lily caught up with Scott just as he was about to get on the Chinatown Bus back to Boston, and embraced him as a member of their family, which already includes such a motley crew of children one more random can't possibly hurt. The Van der Humphrey-Bass-"Addlers" now includes Rufus' two children Dan and Jenny, Lily's two children Serena and Eric, the adopted Chuck, and the biological son Scott. And essentially Vanessa too, because the way she acts you would think she was a clingy desperate orphan. And just to review, Serena and Dan slept together, Chuck almost raped Jenny but now they're cool and she went with him on a "date" to make Blair jealous, Vanessa slept with Chuck twice, Vanessa dated Scott, oh and Chuck tried to get Serena to get it on with him in a kitchen one time.
Yet as fucked up as this family is, it appears they all care for each other in their own fucked up ways, whether its Chuck pushing Carter out of town because he worries about him dating Serena or Lily actually agreeing to get married in a dress Jenny sewed in one night, and well, its actually kind of sweet. Three-quarters of the characters on this show are now related, and the other quarter are either friends and/or significant others of the core family, a fact which I hope gets played up the rest of the season. But these new bonds made Rufus and Lily's ultimately simple wedding ceremony in the old Brooklyn loft all the more poignant, and I hope their next step is to adopt Nate because that last shot of him looking all lonely and scorned was just sad.
And then Sonic Youth played, because apparently Lincoln Hawk had once opened for them and it was a memorable night for Rufus and Lily, but that's just ridiculous because its like saying "Hey remember that awesome night we had after we watched the Gin Blossoms open for Sonic Youth?!" Sigh. But whatever, it'll be fun watching Rufus and Lily get a divorce.

P.S. Am I the only one who noticed that Blair was hovering around Dan a disturbing amount this episode? I'm totally going to call that the rumored GG threesome is going to be Chuck-Blair-Dan right now, because ever since Dan murdered her headband I am like 70% sure Blair has had a thing for him and his plaid shirts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This Week's Playlist.

1. Sandcastle Disco - Solange
2. Alone - Heart
3. Somebody to Love - Glee Version
4. 3 - Britney Spears
5. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
6. American Boy - Estelle ft. Kanye West
7. Cold Summer- Get 'Em Mamis
8. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
9. Death Letter - The White Stripes
10. My Love Is Your Love - Whitney Houston

october list

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gossip Girl: She Works Hard For The Money.

Last time I went to visit home I ended up watching an episode of America's Next Top Model with my mom [my parents don't have cable, so our choices were limited], and to my surprise my mom was pretty well versed in the Tyra insanity. "I love this show," she said, "All the girls are so stupid. Don't they realize it's just Tyra insulting them for an hour? You look so...interesting! Your forehead is so big! Your eyes are too far apart but that will photograph well! Don't they understand they are letting themselves get insulted by Tyra Banks!?"
That's sort of what this episode of Gossip Girl was like, an hour long commercial for ANTM during which we were all too stupid to realize we were getting our intelligence insulted by Tyra Banks. But we played along because dealing with Tyra meant we also got to see Serena become a working girl in dresses 40 inches too short [yeah not that kind of working girl, but from those dresses you'd be surprised], Dan start to date a "movie star," Blair devolve into a high schooler, and most elusively, a Jenny storyline! It's kind of like when Tyra tells you your eyes point in different directions but its totally cool because you've won the photo shoot challenge anyway and your picture is going to hang in that crazy model house for a week. Yay! I'm smiling with my eyes!
Speaking of modeling photo shoot challenges, Rufus could have won one this week with his impressions of Lily. Those were some crazy poses sir, and also crazily accurate. The scene with Rufus and Serena was kind of sweet; Serena has been gallivanting around the world trying to find her father, so its a shame she doesn't yet realize she has a good one right in front of her in Rufus. Of course, Rufus was counseling her into making terrible life decisions but when you leave a washed up rock star who loves to make waffles with an 18 year old blond, what do you expect? [Side note bracket: This weekend I arrived at a party just in time to hear my friend drunkenly rattling off about how she had recently encountered Blake Lively in the flesh: "She just looks really normal ya'know? Like, she has meat on her bones! I didn't want to feed her a cheeseburger or anything! I kind of don't hate her!" Now said friend was in the process of being ushered out the door by her more sober boyfriend so I have no idea if she saw Blake in New York, or if GG was actually filming here at Brown because who knows maybe Serena magically decides to come see what she's missing. But I haven't seen Emma Watson yet either, so I hope GG wasn't filming up in my hood and I missed it, because between those two my inner paparazzi is seriously sad.]
But Lily came home only to hear that her eldest daughter had deferred Brown for a year, and was appropriately incredulous at Serena's declaration that she would be finding a job and doing something productive with that time. It was a sentiment to which Lily rightly said,"I love you Serena, but you've never worked a day in your life." Bazinga! So armed with a recommendation from Anna Wintour [uhhh....what!?] Serena set out to find a job as one of those socialite girls who happens to land the plumb fashionz job simply because everyone wants her to be seen wearing their dress. But the economy is tight for everyone, so poor little S didn't get hired anywhere. Ouch!
This leads me to my most awesome idea ever: why isn't Serena on the The City?! So much room for meta cross-over potential! And don't even tell me The City is "real" and Serena is not, because The City is not real. Note this clip as socialite Olivia Palermo tries to get a job at Elle, using no more credentials than basically the fact that she's famous:

Now note these scenes as Serena tries to pull basically the same maneuver:

Come on MTV & CW! Make it happen! Everyone wins: Serena gets a "job" and people maybe start to care about The City because let's be real, its just the sucky cousin of The Hills. At the very least, let's have a Kelly Cutrone guest appearance!
But I guess my City dream has to die because Serena landed a "job" with a PR firm - by pure luck of course - whose main clients happen to be Ursula/Tyra and Olivia, Dan's new crush, Vanessa's new roommate and star of a vampire movie series that somehow managed to sound more shitty than Twilight. Serena ran into Olivia and her PR girl KC at lunch, because its not like 8 million fucking people live in New York or anything, you can obviously meet the entire cast of Gossip Girl within about 2 hours.
Both Ursula/Tyra and Olivia had a movie opening the next day, a movie inexplicably about the French Resistance - so is the French Resistance the new "thing?" Because my friends and I made a point to go to the French Resistance exhibit at the New York Public Library this summer, and I hope that means we're cool, but it probably just means we're over educated grad students who got needlessly excited about seeing an original photo of Althusser. Anyway, someone had inexplicably cast Tyra Banks [because honestly, "Ursula" was basically Tyra Banks] as Josephine Baker, and Tyra was all excited about her "acting" in the movie, but her big scene got cut, and Serena was hired to control her diva ass.
Meanwhile, Dan, who never sees movies, watches TV, reads the newspapers or goes online, had no idea who Olivia was when he met her at the coffee cart. Olivia saved him the embarrassment of having to dig for change to pay for his coffee and just did it herself, because she's basically like Emma Watson who has more money than God but is going to college anyway. Admirable! Of course there were mix ups and confusions and blah blah Dan was roped into going to the movie premiere by Vanessa, yada yada yada, not important, and by the end the jig was up. But because Dan is totally in awe of how "normal" Olivia is the two crazy kids are going to try and make it work, but we've already established last week that Dan is totally into the crazy psycho bitches so dating a movie star who pretends to be normal folk is right up his alley.
In addition to all this movie star nonsense there was some shenanigans back at Constance Billard, like people actually still care about that place, concerning Jenny and her hesitation to become the new Queen. Other than the fact that Jenny wore a leather vest to private school, who cares when you have Tyra Banks throwing dresses and crying in the bathroom? Blair went back to Constance to try and straighten the hierarchy back out, because no one gives a hoot about headbands in college and her life was empty. Sad really, that Blair Waldorf was throwing sleepovers for high schoolers because she didn't feel accepted anywhere else, but in the end Dorota and Chuck straightened her out and she found some NYU minions to rule over. The best part of this disposable storyline was that Blair spoke Polish to Dorota, and that no one cared Chuck using Jenny as his date was creepy because you know, they're kind of brother and sister.
Also, in a very disconcerting moment, Nate Archibald actually made a lifelike and somewhat hilarious facial expression of disbelief after seeing clueless Dan with Olivia. Emmys, meet Chace Crawford.