Gossip Girl – “Seventeen Candles”

“Seventeen Candles”

November 13th, 2007

It has been too long since I’ve checked in with Gossip Girl, a show that has done a fine job of developing a series of likable characters and storylines with its early season episodes. It really hasn’t done anything noteworthy, but the show has embraced its guilty side to deliver a series of enjoyable pairings that have the intrigue ratcheted and the drama at a high point.

It should be less enjoyable: this week, Blair’s birthday party offers the weekly outlet for the show’s drama, a large gathering at which relationships come into greater focus. The result is wholly predictable, with the characters acting as we’d suspect, but it still popped off the screen. The show’s broad strokes could use some work, but as long as the core storylines work themselves out I’m willing to stick around until the candles are blown out.

After last week’s limo soiree between Chuck and Blair, the deneoument remained strong. The two have great chemistry, and I like that Chuck’s characterization in this episode was actually empathetic: he was afraid to face Nate, jealous when he was looking to return to her, and selfish in his attempts to win her over. It was a realistic portrayal of his character, and while “winning” the girl will have certain ramifications it felt like his sleaziness was counter-balanced by a certain level of humanity.

And I think that Dan and Serena are being treated with as much of a realistic brush as you could really expect. Vanessa remains a bit of a one-dimensional element within the story, but I think that it at least presents a realistic and non-sensationalist wrinkle in their future. The two have some basic level chemistry (Although they make out more than is really necessary), and the show doesn’t appear to be over-stepping that with their current relationship.

Admittedly, the rest of the show isn’t really doing much of note at the moment. Jenny’s walk with Nate is far too creepy considering she’s 14 (Come on, show, just don’t go there), his father’s storyline lacks any sort of punch thanks to his blank stares, and the parental storylines in general just aren’t hitting the right note at this point. The Humphrey Parents getting back together, however briefly it may last, just doesn’t feel worth our time. But, as long as the core relationship storylines avoid unfortunate tropes I think the show as a whole remains worth the time.

Cultural Observations

  • Guitar Hero (II) was fundamental to the episode’s storyline, but Serena really can’t claim to be so good at the game when she’s playing on Medium (Even if she’s playing Guitar Hero II’s signature song, Freebird). I’m on Medium myself, and would never claim such a thing.
  • I’ve got to be honest: while the resemblance might be fine, Dan and Jenny’s mother is kind of boring.
  • I’m curious to see what Serena does with the knowledge of Blair and Chuck’s relations – clearly she won’t start telling everyone who cares, but it will definitely be an interesting test of the depth the character has.

1 Comment

Filed under Gossip Girl

One response to “Gossip Girl – “Seventeen Candles”

  1. Thank for the good work

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