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Finally the forgiveness to go along with the forgetting

April 22, 2009

Gossip Girl can often be predictable and surprising at the same time. I find the predictability comforting and the surprising aspects exciting.

This week, the show finally dug up a moment I had decided I would try to forget. And unlike most people in denial, I’m glad that they did.

In the first few episodes of the show, Chuck Bass was the resident slime ball. I started watching Gossip Girl when it first aired and I think it’s reasonable to say that he was one of the reasons that I didn’t sustain interest in the show. When he attempted to force himself on Jenny in the pilot, I was disgusted. There wasn’t one redeemable quality about this character. A few episodes later, I dropped the show out of boredom and a disconnect with any of the characters.

But after the first season ended, I kept reading positive reviews. I couldn’t believe that people were raving about this show after I had tried so hard to like it, without success. So I decided to try again.

I jumped back in, skipping four or five episodes. What I found was Chuck Bass slowly transforming into a tortured bad boy, a la Logan Echolls in Veronica Mars. I didn’t want to like him at first. I had trouble resolving the character I saw and the one that was portrayed in the first few episodes. But like a virus, his charm slowly took over. And by the end of the first season, I was completely converted to the Chuck Bass fan club.  To allow for my fuzzy feelings about this character, I just chose to forget the incident from the pilot ever happened and thought it wise that the show did too.

I was wrong.

This Monday’s episode finally revisited the situation. Jenny actually confronted Chuck about that night in a very satisfying confront your attacker moment. In typical Chuck style, he seemed to brood over what she said without reaction. But, in a later scene, he apologized to Jenny for his behavior in a way that only Ed Westwick could sell as genuine through his drunken stupor.

Now I realize that this works for me because I want to like Chuck Bass. But I appreciate the character showing remorse for his actions and the show not sweeping something as important as sexual assault under the rug.

And you have to marvel at the fact that this character survived a pretty big redemption arc without losing the aspects of himself that make him who he is: a scheming, selfish, conniving, injured boy.

And still, after all this, a mother chucker.

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