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'Gossip Girl': The beginning of a bad romance

November 17, 2009 |  6:54 am
Gossipgirl_ladygaga Dan in love with Vanessa, Serena involved with a married man, Jenny flirting with a drug dealer -- it was as if Monday night's "Gossip Girl" episode was written specifically with Lady Gaga's song "Bad Romance" in mind. Where shall we begin?

After the overhyped threesome, the show had to address the fallout of putting Dan, Olivia and Vanessa in the same bed together. Dan was obviously stuck in the middle, a predicament that was completely lost on him for a good half of the episode. Like any guy, he reveled in the memory of the moment (that opening scene managed to straddle both sexiness and hilarity -- no pun intended), unaware that he had broken the cardinal rule of three-ways. As Nate and Blair pointed out, the third person is supposed to be a stranger, not your best friend.

Olivia and Vanessa were determined to play it cool despite the glaring awkwardness and the power struggle that would inevitably take place. Since Vanessa rarely provokes a conflict, Olivia led the charge and did what a jealous girlfriend would do: lie, manipulate and cajole. She smartly used a prestigious acting club's event and Dan's desire to apply to the school's playwright program to steer him away from V, but even she knew all the deception in the world wouldn't be enough. Dan has feelings for Vanessa and the movie star just couldn't compete with that.

The whole dating-your-best-friend story may have worked on "Dawson's Creek," but there's something just wrong about putting Dan and Vanessa together. They're too alike in nature and sound -- one can only take so much flat, sardonic delivery. They each need equally witty partners with more energy and charisma to balance their tendencies to shrink into the background. If there was to be unrequited love between the two, however, I'm glad the show chose Dan as the subject. The tables have turned and he's back in secretly pining mode. I'm looking forward to see how Dan will approach it this time -- Vanessa is definitely a departure from Serena.
Speaking of pining, who was rooting for a Nate and Serena hookup? I certainly was. It would have been a better idea than her hooking up with Tripp, a man who possesses the sex appeal of a carrot. I've almost had it with Serena. She's become a complete glutton for punishment and it's difficult to have any sympathy for her. It would be easier if, like Blair, she had a goal in mind, but it's not clear if she strives to learn or achieve anything other than fill the daddy void. "Gossip Girl," give Serena some purpose beyond looking hot and messing up -- there are enough of those characters on "Melrose Place."

Jenny, on the other hand, is still young and has some leeway in the hot mess department. Bored and lonely at the top, she decided to play tour guide to a diplomat's cute son named Damien. It turned out that Damien is actually a drug dealer, a revelation that excited rather than repelled Jenny. Thankfully she has Chuck as the omnipresent big brother, though he probably can't stop her from pursuing this new curiosity. Jenny as a drug mule? A spinoff is beckoning.

Lastly, we had the rousing Lady Gaga performance, which pretty much consisted of her writhing atop a ladder in a flowing red dress. She looked fantastically ghoulish and completely uninterested that a party of college kids was watching her. Ah-mazing. 

What did you think of the episode, readers? Do you think Dan will divulge his true feelings for Vanessa or keep it buried? Are you happy with the direction Serena is taking?


--Enid Portuguez

Photo: Special musical guest Lady Gaga on "Gossip Girl." Credit: The CW