But then I remembered that the strings/actual song part of this song happened on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack, which -- intended or not -- actually makes a whole other set of points entirely: firstly that the forced shallowness of society and aristo politics was not exactly invented by Edith Wharton and the French have been acting like dickholes longer than there's been a New York City, and secondly that the curious steampunky "time as a color" thing I love so much about this show didn't start with this show (Julie Taymor and Sally Potter, Antoinette and of course Cruel Intentions, which pretty much invented the genre) and God willing won't end there, and thirdly there's, well, I don't know if you remember what happened to Marie Antoinette, but it was not that awesome for her personally, and if this show and Age Of Innocence have anything in common, it's the overhanging fear that this has all happened before and it will all happen again and eventually the revolution will come down and Serena's going to pay for being rich just like Dan always wanted: with her blood.)
Nate looks so dazzlingly fine in his costume that you don't notice the blatant expository nature of his speech, which answers the question: "I get why Jenny's here, because she's this clothier brownie that cobbles shoes all through the night, but why the eff is Vanessa here?" Because she's making a documentary about the staging of the play. Which is just so Vanessa it makes me want to bite through my own tongue, but her thinking is basically sound: mainly that this episode is an ever-reflecting house of mirrors in which children of privilege who live and die by the sword of gossip are in a play about the same thing, and we're watching a television show in which beautiful rich young people are doing a play about the same thing about the same thing about the same thing.
"Wealth, privilege, atrocious acting," Vanessa says about the play within the show within the thing, and the infinite regress blows his mind so bad he's like, "Turn off that camera!" and bats at it like a kitten, and then changes the subject to how The Age Of Innocence may well be "one of the most beautiful books ever," but is more importantly the most boring book ever, and Vanessa gives a straight-faced gross Vanessa speech about how "the simple act of unbuttoning a glove expresses the character's inner passion" -- because she doesn't even know how gay they both constantly are, in different ways -- and he's like, "I'll express some passion all over your face" just to shut her up. And meanwhile, your boyfriend is watching you watch this show and going, "All they do is try on clothes and unsuccessfully try to get with the same people over and over and the guys don't even know how gay they are..." It's like The Mouse And His Child up in here, which leads me to wonder: are we in fact a TV show for future people?