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'Gossip Girl': The heat is on!

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Gg_lThe temperature outside may be falling, but last night’s sultry episode of Gossip Girl shot the heat in my apartment to a broil. Apparently, it’s 50 degrees warmer in the Upper East Side than the rest of New York. There was lotsa gyrating. Lotsa (talk of) sex. Lotsa blow. Smarmy business investments. It was almost too much to handle.

We’re still talking about high schoolers here, natch. So Dan and Serena, still basking in puppy love, concern themselves with what teenagers naturally fret about the most — when (and where) they’re going to do it. Two things I have to say about that: one, I loved how Serena made absolutely no attempt to pretend that she wasn’t promiscuous — that her lack of chastity wasn’t even in question. Second is that Dan’s earnest self-education in the language of love results in him Googling “sensuous massage.” Seriously? I just noticed last night that our cute Williamsburg hipster has no friends, but the thought of him attempting the Kama Sutra’s one-legged-downward-facing-dog position with Serena on their first try when he’s still a virgin is not only painful, but possibly injurious (especially if he fell asleep while studying the how-to’s, tsk). Obviously, Dan’s not going to approach his younger, repeatedly attacked sister for elaborations in sexy time, but the dude really needs a pal. And to stop saying “Sex is an art. You don’t rush art.” That alone is enough to turn any girl away.

There were four story-lines roped together, concerning two couplesand two parent-child dilemmas. It was probably the most complicatedepisode yet, and outside of the pilot, GG’s best. Blairchannels her inner Dita von Teese as a burlesque dancer at Chuck’s newpet project. But despite big talk of “I’ve got moves,” B’s techniquesstrangely consisted of no more than turning her head over her shoulder,pursing candy-red lips, and occasionally touching her inner thigh.C’mon girl, bring it! I really wanted to see B. lash out all ofher unbridled emotions, because you know that she keeps them maskedbehind her usual Madeline/straitjacket attire. Ostensibly, this is whathappened with Chuck later during the limo ride back home. (You couldalmost see the words “Score!” run across his face as therecently-burned Blair shimmies her way to him.) These two were a matchmade in bad-behavior heaven.

Speaking of our UES hyena, what was up with him last night? DidChuck Bass drink too many Red Bulls, or what? First, he stumblesred-faced into his father’s office with a briefcase in tow, wearing astrange assembly of stripes and polka dots, jeering something about aplace that “makes money by itself.” I was shaken by his sudden burst ofenergy. I also didn’t know what was more unfeasible — that investing ina souped-up strip club is a worthy business proposition, or that theactor who plays Mr. Bass is supposed to pass off as Chuck’s father? TheBasses look about as much alike as Rufus looks old enough to havefathered his two progeny. Also? Chuck gets wasted after his servantAlfonso serves him Bellinis with his afternoon sandwiches, which meansthe boy’s a lightweight. (He-he.)

The last thing I’ll touch upon is Nate’s naivety. The wholesituation is pretty hair-raising, pretty yikes-y. His mission to rebel against the hypocrisy of the UES only leads him tochurn things into a bigger mess.  Nate’s brown-nosing father is acurmudgeon, to be sure, but he’s also luckless in life, it seems. Ijust can’t shake the idea of actually turning my dad into the cops —who, by the way, rather unrealistically happen to be just around theblock. So I’m thinking that producers are alluding to deeper secretsbehind the Archibald family. Like, does anyone else get the sense thatNate’s über-WASP-y, ultra-in-denial, Laura Linney-lookalike of a motheris scared witless of Nate’s dad — and is also maybe the victim ofabuse? I feel uncomfortable just watching her on screen.

Okay PopWatchers, what did you think? What’s up with the bevy oflove connections? So far I’ve counted about 10 past or concurrenthookups where the people at least kiss, and this is just from a pool ofabout 15 recurring characters. How are they going to keep the heat up?Do you think it’s too early for Serena and Dan to go all the way? Whywon’t home-girl Vanessa ever just go away? Stop breaking and entering,girl — it’s kind of illegal. Also, anyone else feel like the Archibaldfamily stone is played up a bit much? I don’t care how gorgeous orimposing a ring is — fact of the matter is, it’s still just a rock. Anddoes Blair’s mother really not have enough faith in her to think thatshe could have other potential suitors?

Originally posted November 8 2007 — 8:14 PM EST

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