Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What I didn't like about the Gossip Girl pilot.

From the comments section of the Gossip Girl recap on the site that must not be named:

Allison says:

. . . I have to say I did not approve of the scene where Serena has sex with Blandy McBlanderson [Nate] being interspliced with the scene where Steff/Chuck is trying to rape her. It's just offensive to parlay glorious bar sex with a frickin rape attempt and that idiot Blair child being over-dramatic about Blandy's revelation of the sex scene. That combined with the other attempted rape (two date rape attempts in one episode by the same guy?!) made me feel like the show was normalizing date rape . . .

For more astute observations on this based-on-a-book television show, you can read my comments here, here and here on South Dakota Dark. I'm funny!

Also, there is no need to euphemistically refer to Chuck's actions in the pilot as attempted "date" rape. He wasn't on a date with either Serena or Jenny when he attacked them. He is an attempted rapist and he should be in prison. That goes for real life attempted rapists as well. Because, as we saw in the show, the attempts don't stop even when the victims fight back, and those are only the attempts we know about.


Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine Avril Morris said...

I didn't even notice the intersplicing of the drunken sex scene with the attempted rape scene. Yuck.

That character of Chuck really freaks me out. There's just no consequences for him; it's like everyone in their social circle accepts who he is and what he does, because he's filthy rich. Is that accurate, in terms of what would happen in "real life"? Maybe it is.

I agree w/ you on doing away with the qualification of "date" rape, both contextually in this particular example, and also in a wider sense. Rape is rape, whether the attacker and victim know each other, like each other, are getting romantic, or not.

Bianca Reagan said...

Rufus schmoofus. The parents are boring. The rest of the characters from the book need to appear. Why accentuate lame ones that no one cared about in the first place?

Bianca Reagan said...

catherine, in the book (I should make a macro for that phrase) Chuck isn't the featured character that he is in the TV show. He's not Nate's best friend; the yet-to-be-seen Jeremy is. Chuck is a European-cologne-ad model who is barely tolerated because his family has money. He's the possibly-gay weirdo with the pet monkey, not Blair's confidant. That's why it's less noticeable in the book that Chuck isn't ousted by the group.

In the show, however, it's glaringly obvious that the (male) producers don't know what they are doing with rapists or Upper East Side New Yorkers. I still can't get over Nate's longing for "USC." As if. At least it's believable for Aiden in South of Nowhere.

Carrie said...

Stephanie: the parents are beautiful but BORING. That's why we hate them!

Catherine: I think that's exactly it with regards to Chuck. It's frighteningly realistic. I know from my experiences on a college campus with a very large, respected, money making athletics department.

Bianca: I think I automatically termed it "date" rape because he more than casually knew his victims and that's how, in my warped mind, I view date rape. Too broad a definition? Probably.

I hope you don't think less of me as a woman because Chuck is my favorite character. In real life, I don't like rapists. On an obviously fictional television show? I'm more conflicted. Chuck is so damn twisted it entertains me. And he'll get his, I'm sure of it. As long as they don't try to make him a likable character, it works for me.

More disturbing is Jenny, who in the next episode is sucking up to Blair and wanting to climb the social ladder despite just being brutally shown just what happens in that world THE NIGHT BEFORE. Jenny frightens me.

Bianca Reagan said...

carrie, I didn't mean your label in particular. That part of my post was actually more in reference to a conversation I had with my Mummy last week. She was helping to coordinate a youth group overnight at her friend's church and they were having a police officer come in to educate the youths on date rape. I asked why they were calling it "date" rape, since most rapes are perpetrated by people you know. She didn't really have an answer for me.

I was also inspired by these two posts on Feministing in August: Call it what it is. and "Gray rape," cont'd....

To clarify, I don't think any less of any of you for the things you enjoy. If you like Chuck the TV show, Pamela Anderson, or Chuck the rapist, that's fine. I am judgmental, and I embrace that fact about myself. However, it is okay for people to have differences and still be friends.

Jenny is a lot cooler in The It Girl, once she gets away from Blair and Serena.

In real life, I don't like rapists.

Hee! Thanks for clearing that up. :)

Catherine Avril Morris said...


I hope you don't think less of me as a woman because Chuck is my favorite character.

I totally get where you're coming from. He's interesting, layered, scary, watchable. TV is totally different from real life. Just like fantasy. :) I fantasize about all kindsa sex stuff that if Erik or anyone ever tried to do to me in real life, I'd knock them out and smack 'em with a restraining order.

(Too much information? Probably.)


More disturbing is Jenny

I've been thinking this same thing. I'm also disturbed that her groovy, accepting dad, either in last week's ep. or in the preview for tonight's (which I DVRed but haven't watched yet)--I can't remember which--was so accepting of her saying she's not OK with the Humphrey family's relative poverty, "...but I'm used to it." What a snotbitch little attitude. And he's her parent, the one who's supposed to guide her and give her self-esteem and the right politics, and yet he just stands there and looks at her all groovily and acceptingly, cuz, you know, she's a teenager, she's got feelings, she's just trying to work it all out...

Still, I'm digging the show!

Catherine Avril Morris said...


If you like Chuck the TV show, Pamela Anderson, or Chuck the rapist, that's fine. I am judgmental, and I embrace that fact about myself. However, it is okay for people to have differences and still be friends.

Yahaha!! I love how you've encapsulated me, Stephanie and Carrie all in one deft move. (Stephanie = Chuck the show, I = Pamela Anderson, Carrie = Chuck the rapist, right? I think that's what I've gathered from our various recent posts and comments...) I also love that you embrace your judgmentalness. I embrace mine as well, and it's so refreshing when someone else does too!! Hooray!

Bianca Reagan said...

That is correct, catherine. I'm excited that you're excited. Too much happy.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bianca Reagan said...

stephanie, did you see Winthrop on 30 Rock? Now that was the hotness, and completely related to the plot.

Purtek said...

I came here via your Feministe "Shameless Self-Promotion" in order to shamelessly self-promote in return and point you to what I wrote about this episode a couple of weeks ago over at The Hathor Legacy. It's almost a 'dos and don'ts' handbook of writing rape scenes. Thought you might be interested. :)

Bianca Reagan said...

Welcome, purtek, and thanks for your comment! I will read through your post and the many comments that follow.