Highlights from Jacob’s Gossip Girl Recap, 3X02 — “The Freshmen”

ashley[“The Freshmen” — Everybody learns things. Blair learns that her mad socialite skillz are useless at NYU. Dan learns that he is the Queen of Awesome at NYU, and also how to give people second chances, but only if they’re being like him. Serena goes crazy again, sort of, and Chuck learns that when Serena goes crazy she can be a massive bitch. Scott the Half Brother, aka Pilot Inspektor, is still using Vanessa, who is also “awesome” at NYU, to get to Dan and the rest of the Humphrey/Van der Woodsen clan. Also, Dan and Georgina hooked up.]

– – –

1. “Serena tells [Dan] once again that he is going to make tons of friends at NYU because A) All freshman are the same kind of desperate and B) It’s NYU. She keeps saying that and he never registers it as a total burn. Like how clueless: “Right, because the world of Greenwich Village intelligentsia is Dan Humphrey’s natural habitat.” (IT IS. YOU ARE THEIR ARAGORN.)”

2. “At NYU, things are similar. Remember unpacking all your stuff at the dorm? Random people’s faces and you didn’t know if you’d even ever know them, or hate them, or what would happen, and everybody’s parents Rufussing around and being awkward, and everybody else being awkward, and nobody knows anything, and everybody’s consulting little pieces of paper? The mad rush of feeling like an asshole, at like the one time in your life where you know everybody’s exactly as lonely and clueless as you are.” [I wish I could go back to college!]

3. “I kind of love how Blair just instantly assumes this is some kind of baroque cat-and-mouse game designed to ruin her social standing; I love even more that it totally is, because that’s how this show rolls. Except I’ll be sad if that’s all it’s about, because Georgina is the Big Guns, and responds with force in kind. The reason she’s coming after Blair is because Blair 1) turned her evil again, 2) turned her fucking crazy again and 3) made Jesus break up with her. I don’t think sinking a couple of saketini parties is going to pay that out. What she should really do is . . . No, it’s too scary, I can’t type it out loud.”

4.“Serena spreads her infinite giant purses all over Chuck’s couch and gives him some ridiculous speech about how she can’t go to college — to Brown — to find herself, because she thinks that college is . . . I can’t figure out what she thinks happens at college. Maybe she thinks it’s a sweatshop or something. “I don’t know what I want to do yet, and . . . Going off to a new place to figure that out?” A NEW PLACE THAT IS CALLED COLLEGE?!” [What is with this new giant purse obsession?]

5. “Seriously at this point she starts taking giant purses out of her giant purses in order to create giant towers of giant purses. I don’t know where they’re coming from. All sides. They are coming from all sides.” [I wasn’t kidding. Apparently they are the number one danger sign.]

6. “Serena looks at the pictures and at him, and they bite their lips at each other adoringly, and she’s so proud of him, and it makes him more proud of himself, because that’s the magic of Serena. Gosh I hope she doesn’t immediately do the other magical thing she does after making you believe in yourself, which is turn your success and your whole life and everything else she touches into total hell.”

7. “I’ve always thought Blair was best adapted for the real world, but only because she’s ferocious and mean; this half-way world of college is going to be her first experience with it, but the fact that they’re hitting her this hard this early in the season means she’s going to be pretty damned awesome at the end of the season. Assuming she, you know, survives. The difference between a Serena (or a Rufus) and a Blair is that being forced into new shapes is the only way Blair ever gets it, while doing the same to Serena is Procrustean, and means chopping off parts one at a time. It’s the reason some of us never finished college: You’re meant to be learning and getting bigger, not feeling caged or chopped at.”

8. “Completely overlooking the fact that once again she has acknowledged that he is a good friend, he immediately explains that it’s because A) He is awesome, B) Pay it forward, C) She is a bitch and D) Would not return the favor, ever. Then he takes away her headband and throws it down the stairwell. Blair is pretty much just entirely broken from this point on.” [Confession: I was on Dan’s side for this little exchange. Blair was SO out of place in this episode (which made the ending with Chuck even more awesome.)]

9. “But I would still like to think that if Dan ran over there right this second and started introducing her to people, and made her drink a bunch of beers really fast, she would mellow out and it would be okay. Tell everybody about her amazing mother, her fashion pedigree; all the things she and Eleanor have done for his very talented little sister: These are the things that will get Blair over the hump, and he’s the best person to explain them. But just by standing there and observing her instead, he’s fucking it up, because if she’s all alone at this party for one second more, that means it’s still Georgina’s party and Georgina is still winning, and that means everybody has to die.”

10. “(All you have to know is that TNG is a TV show where all the real-world parts of Maszlow’s pyramid — food, rent, shelter, money, air, etc. — are taken care of, which frees the people to have adventures. So, pretty much exactly like Gossip Girl, only instead of great adventures like buying clothes and being mean to people and knowing what sex even is, it’s about a lady with giant boobs, and a robot who thinks he’s people. And every week, somebody who is not as nice as them shows up and causes ugliness and trouble, and the boob lady feels feelings and the robot man does not, and then a bald man or a beard man yells a lot, and there is science, and an explosion or an understanding, which is followed by tea. Occasionally a small nerd will do something stupid or turn into God, or his mother will go to Planet Scotland and masturbate on a ghost, but that’s about it. Oh, and Whoopi Goldberg in a funny hat.)” [AWESOME.]

(11. “Word. But I like the idea, this very fantastical idea that going to college is some kind of revolutionary praxis where the things that matter suddenly don’t matter and the lion can lie down with the lamb and whatever. I like that. It’s a very comfy thing, comfy like how senior year is the last time you ever get to feel moral certainty. And it’s true that the world is a lot bendier here, and those first few weeks of freshman year really account for about two years emotionally, so: At this point in orientation week it’s truer than it will ever be again, for any of them, for the rest of their lives. I like that. It means that Blair doesn’t have to be a bitch, and Serena doesn’t have to be a fuckup, and Dan doesn’t have to be Lonely, and Vanessa has her choice of Dans instead of just the one, and Georgie doesn’t have to burn. All these things will resolve, the truth will out, but right now they’re all free, and that feels good.

In theory. In reality, you only grow when the sparks fly, because it’s trouble that bends you into the new shapes. In reality, it’s the people that hurt us that give us the most to work with, by burning off the bullshit. In reality, you got Georgina Sparks staring at Dan like she just discovered something better than Jesus, and the petty bourgeoisie dancing with kegs, and Blair slipping away into the stairwell looking more broken than she has since Chuck said it. Just damned sad.” [I couldn’t resist adding an 11.])

You can find the rest of the recap, here at Television Without Pity.

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