TV Recap: Gossip Girl - The Age Of Dissonance

I don't remember ever watching an episode of Gossip Girl in which the characters were so universally annoying; I felt like I was watching 90210 or something. It's school play time at Constance, and of course it's nothing like any school play you've ever been in. They have ridiculously intricate costumes (designed by Little J, natch) and they've hired an up-and-coming Broadway douchebag to direct.

It's been so long since we've gotten a new episodethat I had completely forgotten how ridiculous it had gotten before hiatus. Dan and Serena boringly broke up for the fiftieth boring time, and now she has a crush on the aforementioned d-bag director. Remember when Serena used to be fun? When she was the girl that you wish you could hate, but she was kind of cool, so you ended up liking her in spite of yourself? Well she's dead. Dead and cremated with her remains stuffed in tacky and overpriced Balenciaga bag.

She's become a complete parody of herself. She's gone from falling for cute but awkward artistic types, to artistic types who are more and more self-absorbed and dismissive of her. This time, in her quest for her crush, Julian, Serena disposes of all pretense of being Serena van der Woodson and just flat-out tries to Cyrano her way into Julian's heart by putting Vanessa on the other end of an earpiece feeding her lines about pretentious old movies.

Fortunately for the viewing audience, Julian turns out to be gay, thus effectively ending Serena's misguided courtship (hopefully). This admission was one of the few things I actually liked about this episode, because when he, Serena, Nate and Vanessa were all out to dinner, I thought he was totally giving Nate sex eyes-- and I was totally right!

It seems as though Nate and Vanessa's relationship gets tested in every single episode. This time it was because he thought Julian was trying to steal Vanessa from him because she likes Bette Davis or whatever. In fact, he got so fed up with Julian that he completely lost it in the middle of the play, breaking character and basically telling the guy to suck it.

Everyone else in the play had also been having a rough week, so things just devolved from there and ended up in everyone breaking character and sniping at each other. It was easily the most enjoyable part of the entire episode.

What was not enjoyable was Blair's comeuppance. Ordinarily, I would be all for an evil character like Blair Waldorf getting smacked in the face by Karma, but she's so much fun that I hate seeing her not get her way. Yes, what she did to Rachel at the opera was mean, and the very idea of hazing a teacher is completely inappropriate, but Blair loves Yale! Plus, she only got detention; it's not like she was expelled or even suspended. FREE BLAIR!

Besides, Rachel is awful. She's pretty much the worst teacher ever. It's bad enough that she's barely off the bus from corn country and she decides that having breakfast with students off school grounds is a great idea. But to go and actually sleep with a student? That's just reprehensible. And to light candles for a tryst like he's your boyfriend or something? Well, that's just delusional.

Plus, in addition to her little To Catch a Predator audition, she's actually feeding information to Gossip Girl? She's so threatened by a high schooler that she's spreading secrets online and ruining peoples' futures? Worst. Teacher. Ever. She seriously could not have gone soon enough, and I look forward to never seeing her again.

Speaking of never seeing people again, we had a really boring B story with Chuck this week, in which he got snowed by a prostitute from that creepy Eyes Wide Shut club. He thought she needed help, but she really only needed a rich sucker like him to give her money. Chuck was sad, but I guess the whole point of this story is to make him realize that he misses Blair? I don't know. I honestly didn't get that at all from the story, but he did show up at Blair's house at the end of the episode, so I guess that's what was going on.

Unfortunately, Blair is rethinking her entire life (no!) and how she's a bad person, so she's not there. Instead, she's nursing a martini in one of the billion upscale bars that serves minors on a very open and casual basis. She could clearly use a pick me up, which is fortuitous, because in walks Carter, one of Chuck's oily enemies, there to pick up the pieces and to throw another wrench into the Chuck and Blair relationship.