Imagine if you will a story about how virginity is important for some reason, which -- since it totally isn't -- needs to be concretized by making sexual intercourse not only deadly but exquisitely painful (in fact, makes you a literal monster if you do it) and thus something to be avoided at all costs, but is also the only thing that matters, such that consummation is no longer the point of sexuality but in fact the endless forest-lying moments just before consummation: that somehow not fucking is the new fucking. Just imagine.
And imagine please that if you really looked at it, or watched the movie -- where it's made perfectly clear, and played by brilliant and skeptical homosexuals to boot -- you realized that no matter how sexy and yearny it is, these two bitches are totally disgusting and creepy-obsessed and willing to do fucking horrible things to themselves, each other, and everyone around them, just so they can stay at this nowhere point where they're not fucking, or even admitting they want to, but also all they're doing is fucking. But not physically, like, they're fucking each other's bloody brains. Maybe a very nice, very hot guy named Nate or Jacob gets in the middle of it, but doesn't really care or matter at all, because he is a werewolf or like a prostitute or whatever kind of minority.
And so but the girl wants to be annihilated, which is gross, and the boy wants to annihilate her, which is slightly less awful but still awful, but they love each other so much they can't back off, and simultaneously love each other so much they can't give in, so they just spin out in these separate desperate angry orbits of sexual inversion, getting crazier and crazier to the point where they fuck each other's uncles on NYE or, I don't know, have a spine-eating devil baby that sparkles and can read minds and is named the stupidest thing you can think of, and still 99.9% of the fanfic is about people tying up and buttfucking Jasper, for some reason.
Anyway, about that ugly, but Jenny can explain Blair and Chuck better than I can, for all my two years' experience: "Bella's so in love with him, even though he's a vampire. Maybe it's because he's a vampire, I don't know. But the thing is, his family doesn't suck the blood, so it makes her feel safer, but the problem is... Is that Edward, the more he falls in love with her the more he wants..." Lily's desperate to shut her up, as the phone's ringing, but they play it so naturally and lovingly that it's like a mother and a daughter. Even though Jenny's just fucking with her to stall for Rufus's stupid proposal plan, it still seems really genuine. And that's just beautiful, because it's Kelly Rutherford reminding you of all the good things about Lily, just when you need to remember them most. You can see her doing this exact same patient honey I love you please shut up please shut up thing with any of her kids: Serena talking about some prince or pop star taking her as his muse, or Eric same thing, or Chuck all excited about a million-year-old scotch, or Dan talking about whatever the fuck, Godard, or Rufus talking about anything whatsoever.
So it's Dan on the phone talking about whatever the fuck, Godard or Godot, asking why Rufus is getting dividends, and Lily says she took care of it so quit, and he's like, "Then what is Serena still 'taking care of' at the Russian Tea Room right now?" Because every episode's gotta have a Vanessa, I guess. I never thought I'd miss her quite this bad. Come back, Vanessa! (OW! I just got smacked by myself of the past!)
Once again, like getting off the elevator for the twentieth time today, we cut to Serena answering the phone all "WHAT?" Lily tells her to stop whatever she's doing immediately, but Serena just can't do that. "You can smile at Poppy all you want, Mom, but I'm not like that. It's not right." Lily tells her to shove "right" and "wrong" because Lily's in charge and this is not Serena's call, which I can't entirely disagree with again except for the actual morality and the fact that it's happening, and then just so Serena understands this isn't one of those "bendy world" times, tells her it's "nonnegotiable" just as Serena spots Poppy arriving, and hangs up.
Meanwhile, Rufus is lighting his stupid candles for his stupid drama event that nobody cares about, because God forbid Rufus ever just come across and say something without setting the scene, it's sort of one of the things I love best about him, and Lily makes a secretive phone call to hopefully fuck up whatever Serena's probably pulling off, while Rufus jerks open a random drawer looking for silverware and finds a random folder that just happens to contain the details of his separate $5K/mo payout for being a male prostitute of Lily. This is exactly why Bart had a vault; now we know.
"They say that numbers don't lie, and money talks..." GG says, and Sherilyn sits down with Poppy as the plan is go, and a crafty smile meets a sneaky crazy one: "But can G still speak P's language?" Commercial, and then Sherilyn's sipping Russian tea and gushing wide-eyed and asking Poppy if she's a Carrie, because she herself is a Charlotte -- I'll spare you the Jungian essay on why that's not only relevant but completely true, because I've talked about it before -- and Poppy nods uncomprehendingly, as though she's been so busy learning to be a cat burglar supermodel socialite that she managed not to see that show, and Serena watches them.
Chuck joins Blair at the bar, talking about how Poppy's arrived; B's stressing and Chuck tells her she needs a drink. "You're too late!" she says in this adorable chirpy/mordant fashion I can't really describe, and earns a laugh. "Wow... That's the first true laugh I've gotten out of you in a while," she says, plans in her eyes. He sits, and she asks to speak first, because they both know this is one of the real ones. Just like that the burlesque ends, the clothes come off, and they agree to act like grownups. It's completely smooth and practiced, natural, but still monumental. I can't explain it, but there's a sudden very true feeling that shit's going down.
It might sound like a conversation they've had before, and it's most certainly a conversation they'll have again, but there's something in their eyes. It's in the highwire tension of Blair's hesitantly defiant smile. It's most painfully in Chuck's smirk, his loving, dismissive, hungry, amused, angry, aching grin: trying to be so ironic and above it and been there that he can somehow contain it all, all the enormity that will follow. Just in the curve of his smile. We were talking two nights ago about Roseanne, how it's a different show when you go back as an adult, because you realize Becky and Jackie are the most annoying characters because they're the most honest actors: it's hard to catch an actor really informing and living their characters because the point specifically of acting is making you not notice.
It's a manipulative, repetitive relationship, this Chair: sure. And shippers want this simultaneous change and not-change I will never understand, because it's logically impossible that you get what you want -- resolution of conflict and simultaneous continuation of conflict -- which is what shipping is all about. So I can understand getting bitter or bored. What gets me personally every single time is the performances: it's not possible for them to get bored in a scene any more than it is for me to disengage from it, because they're both determinedly, even recklessly, in that moment. (You have to be reckless to play Chuck Bass, he's more dramatic just sitting there than even my drama queen ass manages to be in the middle of a crisis.) It's in the blood, or at least the scarf: there's so much hilarious wonderful bullshit in this show, it's such a farce and spectacle, that it's impossible for me to imagine trying to be honest in these performances, and they keep doing it, and watching people do it is breathtaking, both in the s