Friday, 11 April 2008

'May I admire you again today..?'

I'm still not quite sure about Gossip Girl. The best bits deliver flashes of the John Hughes films I rented compulsively as a young teen. Snooty-turned-sensitive queen bee Serena Van Der Woodsen is embarking on a fledgling relationship with outsider Dan Humphrey. His family are sorta kooky and don't quite fit in. She's the princess of the populars. It's love arching, like a giant preppy Alice band, from one side of the tracks to the other, don't you see. And doesn't it remind you of anyone?

In part then, Gossip Girl is a third-rate Pretty In Pink, with less OMD and a gender switcheroo (although John Hughes completists will recall that he ticked that box already with Some Kind Of Wonderful). And so if Serena and Dan are the new Blaine and Andie, where is GG's linen suit-clad baddie to equal the marvellous, malevolent Steff? Praise the lord for the best thing about the whole programme, the decadent, callous and fabulously dapper Chuck Bass, who is determined to destroy everything that is true and pure and right and good and poor and ugly and badly dressed. He is truly James Spader with magnificent eyebrows.

Chuck, I'm so glad you're here, as your male co-stars are painfully lacking in… oh, everything. Chace Crawford, as Nate, is apparently cut from the same highly flammable, manmade cloth as Zac Efron. You imagine if his underwear was to be removed, there would be nothing more than a smooth mound of rubberised plastic where his manitals should be. And should you happen to shine a bright light into one beautiful bland ear, it would come straight out of the other, as strong and unbroken as the beam from a lighthouse.

Then there is Penn Badgley. By far the best thing about him is his name, and that is not a quality to be applauded in a heart-throb. As the lovable, verbally incontinent, slightly bumbling geek Dan, his character would ordinarily be catnip to me. Instead, every time I look at him, I think of Paul Cattermole from S Club 7. 

But Chuck… he has panache. And he has purpose. And that purpose, other than pure evil, seems to be to dress like a member of the cast of an extremely wealthy am dram production of The Boyfriend, all paisley, pastels, linens, scarves and stripes. I cannot wait till he has a scene at his home, as I am convinced he will have a wonderful line in smoking jackets and other silky lounging attire. If I was head of the network, I would be greenlighting the production of Dress Up Chuck dolls, the kind I was enamoured of when I was too young for John Hughes films.

Outmoded now, of course, in the digital age. But, metaphorically, already top of my Christmas list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

uh-uh. The best thing about Penn is his cheekbones. Screw you. I get the whole bad boy appeal, but looks wise Chace and Penn are both prettier than Ed. :P