Gossip Girl

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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All You Need Is Kill

Eric's looking at Facebook and all the friends he made in Japan while Jenny (who is fantastic in this scene) and Rufus (who is Rufus in this scene) crack lovingly unrealistic -- but very good, I think, for the world and teens watching this show -- post-millennial PFLAG jokes about his whorish ways. Eric, troubled by something onscreen, frets about unfriending Ryuichi, while Rufus is concerned: Wasn't the boy he met named Hideo? Jenny and Eric explain that Hideo was a man-friend, while Ryuichi was just a boy. A boy who, like Hideo and their friends, has "a fondness for bathhouses and group photos." Eric, you are your sister's brother.

Jenny about gags at the bathhouse orgy pics, and we say Sayonara to Ryuichi-san. "Hideo was supposed to be my rebound from Jonathan. Now I need a rebound from Hideo. It's a vicious cycle!" Rufus, who should really be wearing an apron right now but instead is looking fetching in a gray v-neck sweater, assures Eric that there are "tons" of boys who'd "love" to go out with him. And as silly as that is, there's an uncomfortability to this scene that's, like, extradiagetic -- the scene supplies the weirdness to this situation that the characters do not -- that actually makes it work.

But again, heightened reality, and Eric van der Woodsen is one of the five kids on TV whose sexuality is brilliantly not an issue, and this is an amazing way to make the point. Especially after all the gorgeously partisan sniping over the last few episodes about the basic brainless inhumanity of current conservatism. Which, don't get me wrong, but in real life I'm aching for a William F. Buckley figure to fix the Right, so much so that I was honestly hoping that trashface girl Nate dated would be a conservative voice -- take it where you can get it -- and I think maybe the best way to bring the Right's brains into alignment, rather than sticking with the Palin-style/Frank Luntz/marketing genius/emotional appeal/racism/proud+stupid platform we're working now, is to get as nasty as them. Just for a little while.

Anyway, poor old Jonathan and Eric are the only boys of St. Jude's who are even out, which is a funny statement considering the amount of Belle & Sebastian cocksucking I guarantee goes on at that school, but then there's that Peter Carey Petersen-inflected word "out," which implies an either/or, which is not how things work at St. Jude's and never has, any more than you could find one straight man, by American standards, in the whole of the Home Counties. Or Austin. Honestly when I hear the word "out" it seems antiquated, do you know what I mean? Like when my cab driver asked if I was "Family" and I was like, "You mean like in high school? Like a Friend of Dorothy? Okay, Armistead."

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Gossip Girl

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