“The Wild Brunch”
September 25th, 2007
Truth be told, I missed the first fifteen minutes of Gossip Girl’s second episode. And yet, I feel entirely able to provide my opinion of tonight’s sophomore episode of the drama series, which is not a good sign. Suffering from a case of the post-pilot doldrums, “The Wild Brunch” was not quite as wild as we could be expecting, although the brunch was supposedly excellent.
[Edit: I have since watched the opening minutes (Which was not 15, the episode was extremely short), but I was impressed by what we saw of Dan/Jenny’s simpler life and the entire post-date wave sequence. It was charming, although the lack of charm in the rest of the episode is still an issue stepping forward. Amber over at The Gall of It All has her own snarky observations, including ones on fashion which I clearly can’t speak to.]
The problem with the episode is that there wasn’t any real advancement of the characters within the story. Jenny remained a young girl trying to break into the it crowd, Dan remained a smitten male unable to fit in with Serena’s friends, and the Blair/Serena war remained as one-dimensional as it was last week. It was everything you could assume would happen after last week’s premiere without any element of surprise.
The episode started with the fallout from the Kiss on the Lips party: Dan decides to stalk Serena, Blair is angry with Serena, Nate wants to talk to Serena, Serena is dealing with her overbearing mother, and Jenny makes an excuse to go see Blair and get herself trapped in the middle of the feud. And our event of the week? Brunch. It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but you get a good meal. In this case, a meal with erotic living sculptures.
The episode wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t contain a redemptive element: Dan and Jenny, our upper middle class views into this society, spent the episode desperately trying to become part of the high society that is really not all that interesting. The central conflict between Serena and Blair is too simplistic, lacking anything other than the appeal of two teenage girls getting into catfights.
As long as the show gets caught up in these ideas, and ignores the more traditional and less snobby of its elements, I don’t know if it will be able to keep my attention. We knew that Serena would end up ostracized, and that Dan’s foray into her life would end badly (at first). We knew that Nate would continue to pine for Serena, and that Chuck would continue to be his damaged self. We’ll have to wait for the weeks ahead to see just how far they will take these characters out of their archetypal modes.