You know what? If you told me, "Blair manages to turn Serena's caring, delicate probing about the Chuck sex into a violent assault on Serena's character," I would say, "That sounds really contrived." But somehow, the writers conspire to make this episode's first few moments, in which precisely this scenario plays out, bizarrely effective. And honestly, the whole episode is similarly complicated and multivalent. Once again, out of the park. Best show ever.
WATCH as Lily barfs with horror after being roped into a Humphrey Thanksgiving! ENJOY seeing just how nutty and drunk and slutty -- and happy -- Blair and Serena got on Thanksgivings past, not to mention how Serena totally went after Nate once upon a time, freaking Blair out! WONDER at Blair's Dad's total gayness! ENVY the clothes everybody is wearing! CHECK OUT good old Eleanor as she totally gives her gay husband away to a male supermodel like he's yesterday's smoked turkey! LOVE awesome Dan as he charms Lily out of three quarters of her mind and all of yours! REMEMBER how boring the Humphreys were even before Alison left! EXPERIENCE how boring the Archibalds will always, always be, even after the Captain succumbs to a sucking-related infarction and then refuses to die! RELIVE the time Blair ate something! Plus ERIC!
Alison, Rufus, and Lily do a complicated pretense at hiding their history, which lasts five seconds before Alison finally shows some chops and shit gets real. Blair throws predictable but enjoyable fits about her gay dad, and then throws the Mia drama. (And props to Meester, as usual, for making flesh-and-blood of something we all got bored with around Season 8 of Diff'rent Strokes.) Equally real and wonderful Serena comes running at the first sign of relapse and drags B to DUMBO for Humpsgiving, being rewarded with a very sweet little kiss. Aww. Then, gay dad asks for a divorce, the Humphreys do a bunch of footballing and smiling, and the music hits an all-time lameness low. Also: slim-to-zero amounts of Gossip Girl herself. Ugh. But next week? Looks like Blair nails every boy...in the whole school! SLUT SPIRAL! YES!
GG leaves us to our own devices over autumnal shots of, one presumes, Central Park: "As per Gossip Girl's Thanksgiving tradition, I'm trading my laptop for Stovetop, and for the next 16 hours, the only thing I'm dishing is seconds. When the cat's away, the mice will play. Have fun, little rodents." And as long as we've got the room to ourselves, let's talk about the strike for a second, because this show -- in addition to being, in all likelihood, the best television series ever created -- is also an object lesson in why the strike is necessary. This show gets abominable ratings, by the old system. As lately as last summer, this show wouldn't have lasted six episodes. It can't even hold onto its lead-in, ANTM (itself another object lesson in why strikes matter), by the old measure. And yet it was the first freshman show of the season that got a full pickup. Why? Because it's overwhelmingly downloaded, DVR'd and watched en masse or online. It's from the future and it comes to us in future ways. I myself watch it live, then again twenty-four hours later at TV Night, a tradition stretching back at least five years that usually includes somewhere between ten and twenty of my closest friends, week in and week out. The fact that this wonderful show gets to continue is proof of the suits' developing sensitivity to the online model. So you've got me, getting paid to talk to you, about a show we both love -- a show that shouldn't even exist, by all measure. All of us on the internet.
When we talk about the strike, we're talking about shows like this, or Battlestar Galactica, or The Office, shows that grow and flourish precisely because the networks and their systems of measure are slowly adjusting to the realities of technology. The amount of money generated from timeshifted and online viewing is ridonkulous, but because the internet is so "new" and "magical" -- and let's be fair, also because the RIAA fucked themselves so bad back when the internet changed everything about the music industry -- the AMPTP gets to have it both ways. They get all the money from all those diverse ways we have of watching this show, so they keep it on the air -- but at the same time, throw up their hands and say they're taking a bath on it, while giving no money to the writers that created these stories we love so much. This show lives on the internet and outside the Nielsen standard, but because the AMPTP chooses to dismiss the new models as witchcraft in their rhetoric, they get all our business without handing anything over to the people who made these wonderful characters live and breathe. Make no mistake: if they weren't making cash hand over fist on this show, we wouldn't be watching it right now, and you and I would have nothing to talk about. Come the fuck on.