Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Gossip Girl: If I Were A Rich Man.
Okay, so, I am going to come clean and tell you that everything I know about the world I learned from either a musical or Wikipedia. So obviously, immediately after watching "Seder Anything" I broke out my Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack and got a hardcore craving for potato pancakes because all us Eastern Europeans, Jewish or not, love those things. [Fried potatoes with sour cream? What's not to love?!]
But since I can't make potato pancakes as well as my mother and/or any of the Polish restaurants back home - I can have some in like, a month! - I will have to settle for dissecting this entire Gossip Girl episode through Fiddler on the Roof lyrics. Because that wouldn't be lame at all.
Well, somebody has to arrange the matches/ Young people can't decide these things themselves.
Indeed it seems poor Blair can't continue her life without a college matchmaker, the latest in a long line being Cyrus who, thanks to a favor owed to him by an old friend he saved in Vietnam, offered to hook her up with an interview at NYU. Blair refused at first, crying that ''Just because I lost Yale does not mean I'm wasting my time at a non-Ivy reading Beloved six times and experimenting with lesbianism.'' Touche Ms. Waldorf, touche.
And Granddaddy Vanderbilt was terrified that Nate had actually dared to decide something for himself, choosing Columbia over the family approved Yale. Hey one of my roommates is going to Columbia next year Nate! Maybe you'll see her there! But Nate's grandfather sucked Blair into a deal to get her a better socialite standing if only she could convince Nate that Yale and Bulldog Blue were a perfect match for his skin tone. Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Find me a find, catch me a catch!
And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix/ Preparing me to marry whoever Papa picks? /The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!/The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!
Nate was his cousin Tripp's best man because it's what Grandfather ordered, and bride Maureen only had bridesmaids chosen from a preordained list. A list which of course, stretched to include Blair when she agreed to sway Nate to the Vanderbilt ways. And then Nate finally decided to up and grow a backbone [Where did that come from?! These characters have no consistencies whatsoever.] and berate his Grandfather for turning in his father to the authorities. Though of course, it turned out that a high society rehearsal dinner is not the best place to go against tradition, but Nate's awkward toast lead to a happy reconciliaton between him and his Grandfather when he learned everything was done in the interest of him and his mother. All together now: Awwwwwwww. Not so happy for Blair though, when everything blew up her face. That will teach you B to stay home and eat brisket with the fam like a good girl.
L'chaim, l'chaim, to life,/ It takes a wedding to make us say, "Let's live another day," / Drink l'chaim, to life!
So the south of Spain is ca-ra-zay. I get that S. When I was in Barcelona I fell asleep on the beach on my stomach and woke up with the worst sunburn ever on my back right across where the main strap of my backpack went. Awesome! And The Powers That Be decided that there was something in the Mediterranean that would cause me to become knock out drop down sick and I spent about a day and half laying on my bunk bed in my hostel listening to a recurring screech from a neighboring apartment building that my friends and I could never determine if it came from a child or a cat. Like I said, crazy!
But enough about me. Let's talk about you, Serena, and how you pulled a Speidi and had a super top secret non wedding in a foreign Spanish speaking country! Wasn't that fun?!
But I also drank a lot in Barcelona S - thanks to my hostel, which sold a liter of Heineken for 3 Euros - so I can understand how you and Gabriel might have ended up doing something in drunken stupidity. Gabriel claims that you two actually aren't married, that he doubts he was sober enough to even pull in an actual priest to the church...but hey, wouldn't it be awesome if he actually wasn't sober enough to realize that he had pulled in a priest?! And when you two crazy kids discover that you actually are married, Dan The Cater Waiter can serve at the reception!
Because of our traditions we have kept our balance for many many years. /Here in Anatevka we have traditions for everything, how to sleep, how to eat, how to work, how to wear clothes.
Poor Cyrus - who is awesome btw, and should be in every episode - no one wanted to eat his bitter herbs at Seder. Everyone was too worried about who was fake married, fake dating, and faking cater-waitering to care about the delicate line up of traditions for Cyrus' Seder dinner. I think everyone would have been less crabby if Cyrus would have just let them eat and broken out the brisket sooner, or maybe the simple answer would have been to actually invite some Jewish folk. Next year Cyrus, next year. PS - where was Aaron Rose?! Has your greasy and skeezy son finally decided to stay in the RI? Because the only thing this dinner needed was one more of Serena's men.
This dinner scene was one of the best of the season - witty, quick, and it actually made me laugh out loud. The repartee between all the actors was surprisingly good, considering I had my doubts about Penn Badgley a few weeks ago. Though playing Flo Rida's Right Round in the background during this scene was an odd soundtrack choice, considering it was a Seder dinner and that song is clearly about blow jobs.
Dear Lord, you made many, many poor people./ I realize, of course, it's no shame to be poor./ But it's no great honor either!/ So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?
If anyone is the Tevye of Gossip Girl, its clearly Dan who had suffer the Upper East Side equivalent of pulling a milk cart this episode - being a Cater Waiter At A Seder! Poor guy! A high schooler with a shitty first job! You don't say?! And as Karen told me, the most uncomfortable moment for poor Dan was when it dawned on him that Serena thought it was more embarassing to be fake dating a waiter than it was to be fake married.
So to earn money to pay for Yale Poor [wordplay!] Dan served matzoh and glasses of what I can only assume is Manischiewitz like it wasn't his job, pretending to be simply helpful to Eleanor, and not actually hired help [My dad doesn't drink, except for Manischiewitz. I don't understand it, but there is always a bottle in our fridge.] Of course, as with all plans, it blew up in his face.
Dan did an admirable job maneuvering the Seder table with a wine bottle, but it would have been much more impressive if he had done this instead: