Gossip Girl

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"Bitch" by the Plastiscines plays over Queen J and her handmaidens, looking every bit as awesome as a forgotten Warriors clique as they stomp to Cedar Lane for Cotillion practice. GG reminds us of yesteryear -- when the steps were stairs, when the girls had plans beyond getting their knives out; when the dresses were white -- and what Cotillion means: "Couture, quadrilles and cutthroat competition."

The title of the episode -- beyond being a tattoo I may one day get, because it is my fondest wish -- is from a 1970 Jane Fonda drama, from a 1935 book that sets a dance marathon against the yucky world of Hollywood politics. The lady of the story is bankrupt in every way, just completely... She has thrown her sewing machine away, to use the Humphrey parlance. And the MC of the story is the most interesting thing, because he's like a cross between the Curtain Puller and the MC of Cabaret. He's real, but not real; he's completely terrifying in a way only God can be terrifying, in those kind of stories where God pulls the wings off flies. The Gossip Girl, in other words.

I had this very Gilmore Girls idea about dance marathons before I saw that movie. Like how desperation can be sort of funny, and the Dust Bowl is like this but it's okay because of Laura Ingalls Wilder. People whining about their feet in the same way they whine about their periods: The blood, the cramping, the endless cuddling. But that movie is like watching people in wartime, aging in front of your eyes; it's like Fight Club meets Melrose Place. Through that lens, looking for ways to justify your existence is a dance that never ends until you -- or someone you love -- finally kills you. The context for this episode is: So is Cotillion.

So Jenny's being a perfect jerk to her ladies, who have assembled folios and camera photos of probable candidates for her escort. One's too short, one's too tall, none are just right. One particularly hot one goes to York, which Jenny nearly spits on the ground when she names: "That's practically public school!" She spends a lot of time slamming things into her ladies' chests, just like Blair with the books a few weeks ago. I forgot about that, in all the Mean Girl memories: The shoving. The one that Jenny wants is Graham Collins, whom we'll see is -- for once -- believable as "the hottest guy on the Upper East Side."

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Gossip Girl

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