Gossip Girl

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
All The Boys Think She's A Spy

PJ's sitting at a poker table on the far wall, with the expected collar-popped polo; the guy behind the bar has a long-sleeved Jersey assassin shirt in the obvious maroon, one guy is kicking serious argyle, and the fourth has a color-blocked golf shirt. All in all they are exquisitely sleazy, but what I love is how separately the get the job done. Plus, the song is so fucking good.

In addition to her Crazy-Person Prom Dress, Serena is also wearing about 30 feet of turquoise beads wrapped around her wrist. It's probably looped around her wrist 16 not-kidding times and makes her look easily twice as crazy. I love that this outfit is happening in the middle of the daytime! It makes me wonder what other basic shit Lily has been doing for her all these years, before she went rogue. "No, that purple dress is only for when you're the Joker's henchwoman, we've talked about this." PJ Buckley serves up some Beefy Douche Guild-required dialogue: "Well well well, Nate Archibald. You looking for a game? I'm afraid we don't have a seat for you."

But oh, because it's not Nate that's playing: It's the Blonde Girl. What? Oh yeah. That's what's going on tonight. "That is," Serena says, looking at everybody but him, "Unless you're afraid to play a girl?" Because what this is about is not his masculinity, but the other three guys' perception of his masculinity. Now, I could tell you about the games boys have to play, but I won't -- because we're all stuck in some white straight boy's sexual awakening 90% of the time we turn on the TV and we're all graduates of the Performative Masculinity School of basic shit -- because Serena's game is, if not more interesting, a lot closer to my heart, and something we never ever talk about.

Here's me: I have more in common with Serena van der Woodsen than Blair, or Dan, or Nate, or Chuck, or even Eric van der Woodsen. He's just halfway through to where I'm at right now. I stick up for pretty girls on this site on the reg, and I always take ten pounds of hell for it, but it took Jennifer's Body -- the best movie of 2009, and I'm not fucking around when I say that -- to really crystallize why: For different reasons -- with ultimately the same root -- Serena's story is closest to my own.

A pretty girl is given the world when she is born, and the price is just a few very simple, very basic, very easy-to-follow rules: Don't upset the boys. Don't upset the girls. Don't upset the men, don't upset the women. Don't scare the husbands -- or the wives. Don't disturb the very tenuous, very-much-living negotiation between men and women that forms the basis of society. Don't ever give a hint of the other advantages that you might be burdened with: It's enough that you're pretty. If anybody ever gets the idea that you have more going on, you will be crucified for fucking with the economy. Be Daisy Miller ("True happiness," James wrote, "Consists in getting out of one's self; but the point is not only to get out -- you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand"), or Daisy Buchanan ("I'm glad it's a girl," Fitzgerald wrote, "And I hope she'll be a fool... That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool") -- or (the extremely fantastic and undervalued) E.F. Benson's Daisy and Dodo. Be that Daisy: Turn yourself into a child, and you can have whatever you want. Be the Blonde. Be the object, and set the world on fire.

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Gossip Girl




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