'Gossip Girl': The one with the celebrity cameos
Could "Gossip Girl" be turning into the "Entourage" of the East? It's only a matter of time before more and more celebrities sign up to appear on the show, especially after Hilary Duff and Tyra Banks kicked last night's episode off so well. I'd like to see Matt Damon or Mark Wahlberg try to look as fabulous.
Duff entered the fray as Olivia Burke, a young movie star of "Twilight"-like proportions who is desperate for a normal college experience. She gets a small taste of normalcy when she meets clueless Dan, who is the last person on earth to recognize her, and Vanessa, her new roommate. Olivia becomes Dan's new love interest and somewhat establishes his type: blonds with a trail of paparazzi behind them. This romance, of course, won't last too long, what with a vengeful Georgina waiting in the wings and Duff's real movie career beckoning, but I thought Olivia and Dan make a cute couple, no?
I admit, I had very little expectations when I first heard of Duff's casting. I wasn't too familiar with her body of work outside of her roles in "Cheaper By the Dozen" and "The Cinderella Story" (come on, like you've never "accidentally" landed on the ABC Family channel), but I thought it safe to assume that playing a cute, blond, undercover actress would be a cakewalk for her. And it was! Like Dan, I felt gullible yet charmed. The Duff was sweet, adorable and "refreshingly normal" -- she had me at "I love Godard!"
Banks didn't evoke the same fuzzy feeling, but she definitely left her signature over-the-top mark as a high-strung actress named Ursula Nyquist. Determined to convince Lily that deferring from Brown was a good idea, Serena lands a job in celebrity public relations, and her first task is to prepare a panicked Ursula for her movie premiere. From the weaves and the diva attitude to her breakdown and "America's Next Top Model"-esque heart-to-heart with Serena, Tyra had me smiling with my eyes. It was overacting at its best. Serena, as it turns out, is far too honest to work in publicity, but her knack for quelling diva nerves and giving sage advice in clutch moments allows her to keep her job.
While S takes a stab at the working world, Blair continues the struggle to find her niche at NYU. Despite her efforts, she's unable to meet like-minded elitists (the thought of her expounding the merits of He-Man in the Masters of the Universe club was funny though) and finds herself back to luring freshman at Constance. Oh B, do you really want to be that person who can't leave high school behind you? Blair's meddling poses a problem for Jenny, who, as the newly crowned queen bee, attempts to abolish the school's social hierarchy. Luckily for J, Chuck isn't very happy with B's regression either, and they briefly team up to snap some sense back into her. Swoons all around for Chuck's "I'm Chuck Bass and I love you" speech -- the show is really indulging Blair and Chuck fans with extra helpings of mush.
It's your turn, readers. What were your favorite moments of the episode? Did you enjoy Hilary Duff's and Tyra Banks' performances? Comment away!
-- Enid Portuguez
Photo: Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey and Hilary Duff as Olivia Burke. Credit: CW