Series of Tubes: “Gossip Girl” Rapid Reaction

I can’t say this with absolute certainty yet, but I’m pretty sure that I just watched the best episode of “Gossip Girl” so far (and not because Jenny was in it for two scenes and didn’t have a plot to herself).

Let’s run down some of the reasons why I loved this episode so much:

-It happened so quickly that I didn’t notice it happening, but somewhere along the way this season, Chuck Bass matured and became the show’s moral compass. That may seem fucked up, but somehow it works.
-I’ve always felt the show works better when there’s conflict between the main characters, but when it’s not forced. All the conflicts that came to a head in this episode happened organically, and over the course of multiple episodes, but now everyone (aside from Blair and Chuck) is at each other’s throats.
-Hilary Duff has been an incredible addition to the cast. I never thought I’d write that sentence, but there it is.
-For two-plus seasons, I hated Dan Humphrey, and through most of this episode, I thought he was a moron (how could he not see something was up with Olivia), but he somehow redeemed himself with the whole “candles in the loft” thing. I’m not ready to say I like the guy, yet, but at least I don’t hate him.
-Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Blake Lively’s “improvement” this season. She’s really “enhanced” her interpretation of Serena, and is “busting out” from the ensemble. “boob job” (whoops, did that defeat the purpose of the innuendo?)

I also want to take the time to address Leighton Meester, specifically her “singing” career. Don’t do it. Look, Leighton, sweetie, lots of actresses have done this before. Just because you can act, and are on a popular TV show or in a popular movie, doesn’t mean you should be a singer, too. Just ask Jennifer Love Hewitt. Or Lindsay Lohan. Hell, take some time during a break in shooting and ask Hilary Duff. You may sell some albums, and get your video played on... well, not on MTV, since they don’t play videos anymore, but somewhere... but if you don’t legitimately have the vocal chops (and based on that clip I saw, you don’t), then your second “career” is gonna get torn apart. And it’s not worth it.