Monday, November 3, 2008

Gossip Girl: The Cartoon Season!

I find the New Cartoon Version Gossip Girl very entertaining.

I do, however understand that especially for younger viewers, seeking refuge from all the vaguely ominous tectonic plate-shifting going on in the economy in escapist cartoon fiction about the decadence and depravities of fabulously wealthy people, that the presence of characters who are not fabulously wealthy, and in the case of Nate, even a classic Reversal of Fortune, might be a total buzzkill, but just as painters use contrasting colors and light and shadow to give life and depth to even the blandest still life, all that fabulous wealth and privilege would not glitter so brightly if it were not juxtaposed with characters who have jobs and bills and tiresome concerns that are unrelated to being Queen of the exclusive private school or personal vendettas - in fact even those Golden Ones, the story shows us, have their secret demons of growing up motherless, one way or another, which is the Tie That Binds Chuck and Serena, though neither are aware of it, at least not consciously and/or not yet.

And I suppose the moral of last night's episode is supposed to be that their particular shared malady can put even the most relentlessly superficial of uber-privileged scions and scionettes at risk of Reform.

Make no mistake. That glint in Chuck's glowerings was indeed the germ of Reform, as we see that even with Blair, he is after a declaration of the L-word now, no longer satisfied, nor can he even be placated with a simple romp in the V-word, going so far as to announce that he is cutting Blair off from his P-word unless she complies.

We are even encouraged to suppose that his interest in Vanessa is born of respect for her noble qualities, as he finds himself inexplicably and mysteriously drawn to these curious characters who, although they themselves have nothing, are putting forth all this effort to save a historic building in their seedy little hood.

Does Nate also suffer from Motherless Childhood Syndrome, then? Because last week we saw him dipping a hesitant toe into the austere waters of Reform, and this week we see him presented with a big platter of The Poor Who So Gladly Share What Little They Have.

Even those who groan inward and outwardly at this development will be obliged, on further reflection, to acknowledge that they would not really want to see poor Nate trying to maintain basic hygiene in public bathrooms once whatever is left in the mansion's pipes runs out, nor grubbing around leftovers on sidewalk cafes or worse, dumpster diving, where he might be seen by a proprietor who recognizes him, or seized by law enforcement.

Hmm, now that the Barty Bunch has experienced the Miracle of Instant Healing, it would not be unthinkable that they might take in the newly-urchinized Nate, so that his Reversal of Fortune will not have to suffer the added indignity of a reduction in bedsheet thread count.

We must remind ourselves again that this is the Cartoon Version, and it is only to be expected that the Theme so clumsily drummed out and manifest in the Message of Dan is that it is those trite and homely old values like family and friendship, kindness and True Love and all-around Other-Directedness that Really Matter, not Jewelry and glittering soirees and couture gowns (the bestest of which, we are also not-so-subtly instructed, are in fact the creation of one of the show's tiresome old poor people)

At least the writers had the presence of mind to reveal the mantra that unlocks the Secret of the show's True Meaning, if we we will only remember to bob our heads back and forth just a smoosh as we continuously chant it: Tights are not pants.

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