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Bates Motel Recap, Episode 9: "Underwater"

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There's just one more episode left of the season, and I have a feeling that White Pine Bay is getting ready to show us its worst - though this week is no cakewalk. Except for Emma.

Corpses and Chronic

Zack Shelby’s corpse is being removed from the Bates House. Again.

“The smell is never gonna leave my brain,” Norma mutters, then IDs Jake Abernathy when Romero asks if she knows who might have left her such an unpleasant surprise.

“Why do crazy people keep gravitating towards me?” she asks, followed by an awkward silence. Not even Norman is going to touch that one.

The next morning, Norman and Dylan are hauling the mattress out to the dumpster. Dylan thinks it’s a waste of money—after all, hospitals don’t dump mattresses every time someone dies on one. He’s grousing about how Norma is going to milk this for the next year when Norma reveals that she's right behind them. She smells something, but it’s not the Shelby juice soaking the mattress: The trimmers are smoking pot on the porch.

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She stomps self-righteously over to the gang, who look like they could be extras from Dazed and Confused, and demands that they extinguish their wacky tobacky.

“You’re kidding, right?” the stoners are aghast. “You know where you live, right? What the local economy is? No one cares.”

Wrong. Norma cares. “No one prepared me for the colossal frickin’ facedive off a cliff that living in this crazy-ass town really is,” she says. “However, what happens on my property is still under my control, and it does not include people in torn jeans with tie-dyed clothing and dirty hair hanging out on my new furniture smoking a doobie. So take that as the law around here, because there doesn’t seem to be much of one otherwise.”

“OK, just chill,” lead hippie “Ra’uf” tells her. Yes, that’s his name.

“Chill your own ass,” she responds, exactly the way your mom would have said it.

Then she turns her attention to Dylan. She wants to know exactly what these wayward group of souls is doing for employment with his company.

“Processing stuff,” Dylan says, lamely.

“What stuff?"

“Stuff.”

Norma puts two and two together. “I hate this place. I hate it,” she whines. “We’re moving.”

Drowning

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A hand with black-polished nails is draped over the edge of a claw-foot tub. It’s Bradley, fully submerged in bathwater except her face. She’s wearing what looks to be a prom dress. She opens her eyes just in time to see Norman as he shoves her head under. She struggles and manages to come up for one last breath, but it doesn’t look good—and then Norman wakes up.

While Norman is just coming around, Emma has been up for awhile. She's at the motel bright and early before school to work on organizing files. Seriously? High school kids don’t wake up any earlier than absolutely necessary, do they?

Norma instructs her to trash everything that isn’t strictly related to the business. She also warns Emma that a group of nogoodniks have been smoking pot at the motel, and if she sees it happening, she has instructions to “Go out there and bust it up immediately."

“Bust it up?” Emma kind of chuckles, then realizes that it wasn't a joke. Norma is about to leave Emma to her strange early-hour organizing party when a man bearing a large bouquet of flowers shows up on the porch. She's delighted—until she checks out the attached florist’s card, which reads “See you soon...”

Norma isn't one to mess with ominous ellipsis, so she calls Sheriff Romero and leaves a message. “Tell him that someone sent flowers to me. The card says ‘See you soon.’” The dubious secretary promises to relay the information.

Now, off to those errands—namely, terrorizing her realtor.

“The motel business sucks, Matt,” she starts off, then lays into him about not telling her about the motel-obliterating bypass when she bought the property. He claims that nothing about the bypass was set in stone when she purchased.

“It was proposed!” Norma insists.

“Lots of things are proposed,” Matt says condescendingly, which is when Norma threatens to sue. She wants her money back, and she wants him to list the motel immediately. But no sign out front. “I still need to earn a living until it gets sold,” she says.

Back at her worthless motel, Norma is cleaning when she sees a black car—likely Abernathy—cruise by slowly outside. She goes back inside and Googles—excuse me, “Wikifinds”—“the safest cities in America. According to Wikifinders, the top cities include Brick Township, New Jersey; Kapolei, Hawaii; and Mission Viejo, California. (That’s not what Forbes magazine says.) 

The door opens and shuts. It’s just Norman, but she tells him to lock and bolt the front door.

“Welcome to my world, Juno,” he mutters to the stuffed pet under his arm.

Norma spots the strange new addition to the family and stops talking mid-sentence.

“How do you like her, mom?” Norman asks. To her credit, Norma tries her best to be supportive.

“Well, let’s see. Yeah! Yeah, look at that.”

“I had a really good day at school,” he reports, as though he’s a first grader. He tells her about the 4.0. “I really like this school, mom,” he says, subtly trying to convince her that he doesn’t want to move. Norma knows what he’s doing, though, and stops him in his tracks.

“It’s you getting the grades,” she says. “Not the school.”

Norman takes Juno into his room and pulls up the Interwebs to check out his drowning dream on “Dream Daemon.” As Dylan passes Norman’s doorway, he also spies Juno. She’s quite the conversation piece!

“What the hell is that?” Dylan wants to know. “That’s just weird, dude.” Then his eye falls on the computer and he sees what Norman is researching.

“It says here that drowning in a dream can mean you’re feeling overwhelmed in your life. That makes sense," Norman tells his brother.

“Yeah,” Dylan says, dismissively. “Just curious. Who were you drowning in the dream?”

After Norman confesses that he was dreaming about holding Bradley underwater, Dylan looks concerned. “You wouldn’t actually want to hurt anybody though, would you?”

“Of course I wouldn’t want to. I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone. Except you once in awhile.”

They both chuckle. It’s briefly cute, but it’s obvious that Dylan’s not totally buying that statement.

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Downtown, Bradley spots Dylan and walks over to ask if Dylan can get her into her dad’s office to collect his things. He agrees, because why wouldn’t risk your own neck for a girl that you barely know? They give each other googly eyes.

“Well, I gotta go play high school now...” she smiles. More googly eyes.

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Later, over at the weed warehouse, Dylan runs into Gil and takes the opportunity to feel him out about Mr. Martin's office.

“I haven’t promoted you fast enough? You want an office now, too?” Gil tries to sound jokey, but he’s anything but. “I’m not feeling too friendly toward Jerry Martin. His little shenanigans cost me over $100 grand in that warehouse fire. He’s lucky I didn’t get his family to cover my losses,” he sneers. “You want his office? Take it.”

Dylan and Bradley organize a restaurant rendezvous to discuss how they're going to get into the warehouse. Based on Gil’s vitriolic reaction to the mere mention of Jerry Martin, Dylan wants to load up her dad's personal belongings by himself, then deliver them to her. Bradley agrees, but she seems disappointed.

“I just really want to see my dad’s office again. The way he set it up. The way he left everything,” she tells him. Her mom is so freaked out by his violent death that she got rid of all of his things, so Bradley has nothing left of her dad. She was hoping that by visiting his office, she would feel like she was with him again.

The speech moves Dylan, and he agrees.

“You sure?” Bradley asks.

“No. But I’m gonna do it anyways.”

Man on Fire

At school, Miss Watson is effusing over an incredible short story Norman wrote about a man who’s literally burning up on the inside. She wants to help him get it published, promising to help him edit it if he stops by after school. Also, she’s been reviewing his quarter grades, and they’re straight A’s. “I think this school’s gonna be good for you,” she smiles.

When Norman does come by the next day, Miss Watson starts waxing poetic about how he understands things beyond his years, “things about how hard life can be, about how we’re not really meant to be happy.” It’s a little odd—I feel like maybe we'll hear more about her personal life in the seasons to come. She snaps out of her lament and tells Norman to check with his mom to make sure she’s okay with it being published, since he’s still a minor.

Let it Slide

The hippies are singing the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Slide” on the motel porch. I’m suddenly transported back to my junior year of high school and a mixtape I made for an ex-boyfriend. I have a feeling that Carlton Cuse and crew are focusing on different lyrics than I was, though. “We’re gonna let it slide,” lead hippie sings, and that’s exactly what Officer Romero is about to do.

He walks up to the motel, presumably to follow up on the Flowers of Doom, and the trimmers freeze. When Romero asks where they’re working, the guitar player says they’re out at Gil’s dry dock.“You want some veggies?” he asks the sheriff. Norma is peering out between the blinds, hoping that Romero is going to bust them. He is not.

“No, I’m good. Thanks.” He almost cracks a smile, then heads inside to chat with Norma. It's not good news: he has no leads, because Jake Abernathy doesn’t exist. All of the information he gave when he registered was completely fake. Romero asks to dust room number nine for fingerprints, but Norma’s already cleaned it, and now there are a bunch of stoners in there.

“God knows what they tracked in with them," she moans.

“It’s sort funny how you went into the service industry,” Romero says, wryly. “You’re don’t seem very keen on serving anybody.”

“I’m as keen as I need to be,” she responds, and asks what he intends to do about Abernathy.

The answer? Nothing. He has no leads, no evidence, no license plate, no locations he might be going. To appease her, Romero says he’ll have her house patrolled on the half hour.

“Let me know if anything else happens,” he says, and walks out the door.

After a moment, Norma thinks of a good retort (isn’t that always the way?) and flings the door open to yell after him, “Oh, like what? Like he digs up a couple of more dead people and puts them in my bed?”

“Yeah, like that,” Romero deadpans. “Goodnight, Norma.”

The stoners are baffled.

This is Emma on Drugs. Any Questions?

Earier in the day, Emma caught one of the trimmers smoking weed on the porch. When she goes to "bust it up immediately," he asks if she wants some.

“No, I don’t want some," she says. "Do you want me to blow up?”

“You won’t blow up," he assures her. "I’ve seen smokers with O2 tanks in Vegas. You know, playing the slot machines...” He chivalrously offers Emma some “killer” weed cupcakes instead. She declines and asks him to put the joint out so she won’t get fired. He obliges, then watches her walk into the office, intrigued.

The cupcake magically appears on the reception desk later. There’s a card attached that says “Emma - Hope I didn’t get you in trouble. Gunner.” He's signed it with a peace sign, obviously. After she answers a wrong number phone call from someone looking for “Dave," she decides to give the laced cake a go. And man, does she dig in with gusto.

Upstairs, Norman is at his laptop, presumably working on his story about the man living in a constant state of internal combustion. Norma enters and announces that she’s found them a beautiful little cottage in Oahu.

“I won’t do it,” Norman tells her. “This is just another of your stupid ‘starting over’ ideas and I’ve been through enough of them. I like it here.”

Norma, unfazed, insists that they will be able get jobs in the hotel industry now that they have experience.

“We’ve been open for three days,” he hisses.

“They don’t have to know that,” she shrugs.

“No matter where we go, things will always be the same. Because you do things that don’t make sense. YOU. You’re crazy!” he yells. After a brief pause, he apologizes. “I’m sorry mother. I didn’t mean that.”

Comic relief! Emma appears out of nowhere and reports that there may be video monitoring equipment in the office. She felt like she was being watched, which made her nervous, so she came up to see Norma(n).

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“Have you ever thought about how long those stairs are? I just kept climbing, and climbing...” she says in a dreamy tone of voice.

“Oh my God. Are you high?” Norma asks.

Emma is still carrying on about the stairs. “Like it was an escalator. That you climb. One more step just kept coming out of nowhere like I was in space or something...”

She then confirms that she got baked on baked goods.
“I heard it’s fun, but I’m not having any fun yet. When does the fun start?”

To help counter Emma’s bad reaction, Norma tells Norman to get her some toast and juice. Will that really stop a bad high? Norman doesn’t seem overly concerned about Emma’s condition, high or otherwise. What he is concerned about, however, is about apologizing for his little outburst. “Mom. I’m sorry. I don’t think you’re crazy.”

“Get the toast,” Norma snaps.

Inappropriate Relationships x2

Dylan and Bradley have just jumped down from the rafters into Gil’s warehouse when someone starts shooting at them. Lucky for Dylan, it’s just Remo—but he isn’t impressed that Dylan has a stowaway. He’s even less pleased when he realizes who the girl is.

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“You got any idea what kind of a position you put me in, bringing her down here?” he asks Dylan. Dylan promises that they’ll be no more than 10 minutes; Remo reluctantly gives them the go-ahead.

Bradley immediately tears up when she sees her dad’s office.

“Everything’s just how he left it,” she says. Dylan asks if she wants a minute.

“No. I like having you here,” she says. She searches desk drawers for a meaningful gold pocketwatch, but finds a stash of love letters instead. I caught a glimpse of the line, “My one and only Master”—was Bradley’s dad in on the sex slave trade, or is he just a bit 50 Shades?

The letters are signed “All my love, B,”—and “B” isn’t Bradley’s mother. Bradley drops the letters and runs out of the warehouse.

Dylan picks up the letters and I think he takes them, then runs out after Bradley.

“People are complicated,” he tells her. “He’s still your dad. He still loved you. I know that he had to love you, because who wouldn’t?” Oh, what a line. She thinks so, too, and they hold each other tight.

At home, Norman’s holding someone too. Norma came in and asked if she could sleep with him, because she’s understandably still freaked out by rotting body in her bed and her weirdo sex slave ringmaster stalker.

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Norman agreed and offered to sleep on the floor so she could have his bed, but Norma wouldn’t have it. And that’s why they’re now cuddled up close in his tiny twin-size bed. After reminiscing about the sleepovers they used to have in her room when Norman was just a tot, Norma puts an arm over his chest. She apologizes about her latest moving kick. “It’s alright mother," he assures her. "I’m sorry I said you were crazy. You’re not crazy.”

She kisses him and snuggles into his neck. It’s ... not normal.

Norma's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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Back at school, Norman has changed his mind about having his story published. He doesn’t think his mom would approve. There's no point in even asking, he says. “She wouldn’t get it.” A beat later, Miss Watson wants to know how the therapy is going.

“I went once,” Norman shrugs.
Miss Watson sighs, then suggests that perhaps Norman doesn't really need to tell his mother about publishing the story.

“That doesn’t seem right,” he says.

Miss Watson gets weirdly close—personal space, lady—and says that she’s had a lot of troubles in her own life, so she can see when things aren’t fair. “What I’m saying is that, what is the likelihood she’ll ever know?”

Real estate agent’s office. Our pal Matt sees Norma coming and tries his best to avoid her, but it’s too late. She wants an update on the open house, which is when he lays it all out for her.

“There’s not gonna be an open house. I looked into it, and there’s no market for your property, not with the new bypass road going in. I can’t get you your money back.” In fact, he’s not even sure he can get half of her money back. He advises her that it’s probably just best to walk away.

“Are you kidding me? I will sue you!” she yells at him.

“Uhh, you can,” Matt smirks. “But I’m 30,000 in debt, I live with my girlfriend, and my mom owns my car, so...” Norma shows him the business end of her purse, smacking him with the full force of it. Repeatedly.

Then she goes outside and gets in her car, where she has a ticket. Could this day get any worse? Oh yeah, it could: “Jake Abernathy” is in the back seat, and he’s got a gun to her head.

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Turns out that he’s been searching for $150,000, the cash Shelby owed him from the last batch of girls. It’s gone missing, and none of their mutual contacts has it. That leaves one person: Norma. He wants her to bring him the money tomorrow night at midnight. (A flair for the dramatic, I think.)

Norma agrees—and maybe she’s just playing along, but she seems genuine. Did she really take the money? Whether she did or didn’t, she’d better show up with the payout, because Abernathy isn't playing.

“I know where you live,” he tells her. “If I have to go to your house, I’ll kill your sons first. And then I’ll kill you. Goodnight.”

I do so prefer that my murderous blackmailing sex traffickers are polite, don’t you?

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Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
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XOXO: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Gossip Girl
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Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Ten years ago, Gossip Girl became appointment television for America’s teenagers—and a guilty pleasure for millions more (whether they wanted to admit it or not). Like a new millennium version of Beverly Hills, 90210, the series—which was adapted from Cecily von Ziegesar’s book series of the same name—saw The O.C.’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage trade in their west coast cool for New York City style as the show followed the lives of a group of friends (and sometimes enemies) navigating the elite world of prep schools and being fabulous on Manhattan's Upper East Side. In honor of the series’ tenth anniversary, here are 20 things you might not have known about Gossip Girl.

1. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LINDSAY LOHAN MOVIE.

Originally, the plan for adapting Gossip Girl wasn’t for a series at all. It was supposed to be a feature film, with Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino writing the script and Lindsay Lohan set to star as Blair Waldorf. When those plans fell through, the producers approached Josh Schwartz—who was just wrapping up work on The O.C.—about taking his talent for creating enviable high school worlds to New York City’s Upper East Side.

"The books are a soap opera, and TV makes a lot of sense," executive producer Leslie Morgenstein told Backstage of the decision to go the small-screen route. "When we made the list of writers who would be the best to adapt Gossip Girl for television, Josh was at the top of the list."

2. PENN BADGLEY INITIALLY TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF DAN HUMPHREY.

Barbara Nitke - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Though he was hardly a household name when Gossip Girl premiered, Penn Badgley had been acting for nearly a decade—and had a lot of experience working on first season TV shows that never took off—when he was offered the role of Brooklyn outsider Dan Humphrey, and his initial response was: thanks, but no thanks.

“The reason I turned it down initially was because I was just frustrated,” Badgley told Vulture in 2012. “I was frustrated and I was broke and I was depressed and I was like, ‘I cannot do that again. I can't.’ … Stephanie Savage, the creator [of Gossip Girl], she said to me, ‘I know you might not want to do this again, but just take a look at it.’ And I actually was like, ‘I appreciate so much that you thought of me. I just don't want to do this. Thank you for understanding that I wouldn't want to do this.’ And then they couldn't find anybody for it—which is weird, because a million people could play Dan Humphrey—and she came back around, I was about to get a job as a waiter, and I was like, ‘Okay.’”

3. ULTIMATELY, BADGLEY PROBABLY WISHES HE HAD FOLLOWED HIS INITIAL INSTINCT.

Badgley told Vulture that, “I wouldn't be here without Gossip Girl, so I will always be in debt and grateful. And I've said some sh*t that ... I don't regret it, but I'm just maybe too honest about it sometimes.”

But executive producer Joshua Safran had a different view on the situation. “Penn didn’t like being on Gossip Girl, but …. he was Dan,” Safran told Vanity Fair. “He may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was.”

4. THE CREATORS GOT THE IDEA TO CAST BLAKE LIVELY FROM THE INTERNET.

According to Vanity Fair, when it came time to casting the show’s main roles, they cruised some of the online message boards related to the Gossip Girl book series to see which actors fans of the books were suggesting. One name they kept seeing for the role of Serena van der Woodsen: Blake Lively, who had starred in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. “We didn’t see a lot of other girls for Serena,” Schwartz said. “She has to be somebody that you believe would be sitting in the front row at Fashion Week eventually.”

5. LIKE BADGLEY, LIVELY WAS ON THE VERGE OF QUITTING ACTING.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

Like her onscreen (and eventually off-screen) love interest Penn Badgley, Blake Lively was also considering leaving Hollywood when Gossip Girl came calling, so she turned the producers down.

“I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,’” Lively told Vanity Fair. “Then they said, ‘OK, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we promise you can go.’ So that’s why I said, ‘OK. You know what? I’ll do this.’”

As for that going back to school and life going back to normal? “When they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing,” she said.

6. LEIGHTON MEESTER DYED HER HAIR TO GET THE PART OF BLAIR.

Because Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen were both best friends and occasional enemies, it was important to the show’s creators that the characters did not look like the same person. That fact almost cost Leighton Meester the role of Blair.

“She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable,” Schwartz recalled of Meester’s audition. “But there was one problem: she was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.’” (Sounds like something Blair would do.)

7. THE NETWORK WORRIED THAT ED WESTWICK LOOKED LIKE A “SERIAL KILLER.”

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Ed Westwick, who originally auditioned for the role of Nate Archibald but ended up playing bad boy Chuck Bass, almost didn’t land a role on the show at all. Though the show’s co-creators, Schwartz and Savage, loved the darker edge that Westwick brought to the group of friends, The CW worried “that he looked more like a serial killer than a romantic lead.”

“He's menacing and scary, but there's a twinkle in his eye,” casting director David Rapaport told BuzzFeed. “You want to hate him, but you would also probably sleep with him. He's one of those guys you hate for always getting away with things, but you also want to hang out with him and see what he's up to next. He's the guy that's going to give you a joint for the first time or get you drunk for the first time, so you know he's wrong for you, but he's fun.” Fans clearly agreed.

8. WESTWICK CHANNELED HIS INNER CARLTON BANKS TO PLAY CHUCK BASS.

In order to perfect his posh American accent, Westwick—who was born in London—looked to another iconic American television character for help: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro). “There’s a slight thing in Carlton Banks,” Westwick told Details Magazine in 2008, “that kind of über-preppy, that I did pick up on.”

9. GRETA GERWIG AUDITIONED FOR THE SHOW … IN OVERALLS.

In 2015, Golden Globe-nominated actress Greta Gerwig—who just wrote and directed Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan—talked to HuffPost Live about the mistakes she made early on in her career as an actress. “I have had moments when I was starting out when I was auditioning for things like Gossip Girl," she said. “And they would look at me like, 'Why are you wearing overalls to this audition?' And I'd be like, 'They said she was from a farm!' and they would be like, 'Well, this is Gossip Girl.’” (The role she was auditioning for, Eva Coupeau—a love interest for Chuck—eventually went to Clémence Poésy, who played Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter movies.

10. BLAIR WALDORF HAD TWO MOMS.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

In Gossip Girl’s pilot episode, Blair’s mom—popular women’s clothing designer Eleanor Waldorf—was played by Florencia Lozano. In episode two, and throughout the rest of the series, Eleanor was portrayed by Margaret Colin.

11. IT WAS ONE OF TELEVISION’S FIRST STREAMING SUCCESS STORIES.

Years before House of Cards changed the way we watch, and even define, “television,” Gossip Girl served as a sort of precursor to the streaming generation. While the show’s Nielsen ratings were mediocre, New York Magazine reported that, “New episodes routinely arrived at the No. 1 most-downloaded spot on iTunes, and then there were the hundreds of thousands who were downloading free week-old episodes on the CW's site. Even executives at Nielsen threw up their hands and admitted that Gossip Girl appeared to be speaking to an audience so young and tech-savvy they hadn't really figured it out just yet.” (Lost and The Office had followed similar tracks.)

12. THE SHOW WAS BANNED BY SOME NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS.

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

According to Vanity Fair, some of the elite New York City private schools that might have shared some similarities with the show’s fictional Constance Billard and St. Jude's banned their students from watching it. (Which, the outlet noted, “only served, in all likelihood, to make the students want to watch it more.”)

13. THE SERIES TURNED ITS CRITICISMS INTO A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

Even by 2007’s standards, Gossip Girl—for a show about high schoolers on what was mainly known as a teen-friendly television network—seemed to relish in pushing the boundaries of what might be acceptable. It didn’t take long for parental advocacy groups like the Parent Television Council to take very public, and vocal, issue with the show's in-your-face sexuality. When it was criticized as being “mind-blowingly inappropriate” and “every parent’s nightmare,” the show turned those critiques into a marketing campaign to help promote viewership.

14. A WRITERS STRIKE HELPED THE SERIES GROW ITS VIEWERSHIP.

While the show struck a chord with certain audiences immediately upon its release, the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America Strike proved to be a boon to the series. “The CW, because they couldn’t just run repeats or game shows, [Gossip Girl is] all they had,” Schwartz told Vanity Fair. “They kept re-running the show during the strike so more and more people were watching.” Which led to even higher ratings when the show returned for a second season.

15. DESIGNERS WERE BEGGING TO SEE THEIR FASHIONS WORN ON THE SHOW.

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Just like New York City itself, the fashions in Gossip Girl essentially served as another character. According to a 2008 article in The New York Times, “Merchants, designers, and trend consultants say that Gossip Girl … is one of the biggest influences on how young women spend."

“When we came back with Season 2, so many designers were lining up and wanting to be a part of it,” the show’s costume designer Eric Daman told Vanity Fair. “They wanted their stuff on either Blake or Leighton.”

16. IT SPAWNED ITS OWN CLOTHING LINE.

To capitalize on the show’s influence in the fashion world, Daman and designer Christine Cybelle (a.k.a. Charlotte Russe) created a Gossip Girl-inspired clothing line.

17. KRISTEN BELL PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE SERIES, BUT WAS NEVER CREDITED.

Though viewers had to watch all 121 episodes of Gossip Girl to learn the identity of the titular tattler, Kristen Bell provided the voice for “Gossip Girl” for all six seasons, without credit. And while she sort of hoped that the finale would have revealed that she was indeed “Gossip Girl” all along, that ending was not meant to be. “I’m sure that it would’ve been really cool had I got to play some vicious part and actually come out as Gossip Girl, but I think it was appropriate for one of the main cast members to have surfaced as Gossip Girl,” she told Perez Hilton.

Though she was a key part of the series, she didn’t learn GG’s true identity until the very end of the show—and she was surprised. “I don’t know that I ever forethought it being Dan,” she admitted. “That was a bit of a shocker!" (If it makes her feel any better, Badgley reportedly didn’t learn Gossip Girl’s identity until that scene was actually shot.)

18. JANUARY 26 IS "GOSSIP GIRL DAY" IN NEW YORK CITY.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

At least it was in 2012, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed January 26 “Gossip Girl Day” in celebration of the show’s 100th episode. “I don’t have a whole lot of time to follow what New York magazine has called ‘The Greatest Teen Drama of our time,’” Bloomberg said. “But I am interested in finding out who the real Gossip Girl is—Serena’s cousin, maybe? And I don’t see how Blair could marry Prince Lewis while she is clearly in love with Chuck, although she and Dan became pretty close when they interned at that fashion magazine. And I just wish that Nate and Vanessa had been able to work things out, I guess Nate was preoccupied with everything that was going on with his father and Jenny and, I mean, it was a tangled web, I guess Dan would have ended up making their relationship impossible anyway, but I’m just a casual fan.” 

Super-fans of the show can still take a Gossip Girl tour of New York City.

19. IVANKA TRUMP AND JARED KUSHNER MADE A CAMEO.

Over the full course of the series, plenty of familiar faces popped up, but two in particular seem kind of funny in retrospect: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner played themselves in a club scene. (Ivanka was apparently a huge fan of the series.) “They did it for the money,” a chuckling Schwartz told Vanity Fair.

20. IN AN ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE, SERENA IS A SERIAL KILLER.

In 2002, von Ziegesar published a bloody take on her famed book series with Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer, which she said she’d love to see adapted. "I took the original text of the first book and whenever I saw an opportunity, I layered in this story of Serena coming back from boarding school as this coldblooded psychopath, which, to me makes total sense,” von Ziegesar told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s sort of like the Ryan Gosling of Gossip Girl world. She has that deadpan style, doesn’t seem to have much personality, and she’s really gorgeous, but then underneath she has this kind of scary ability to kill people. So she’s murdered people up at boarding school. She’s always had this dark side and everyone is a little bit scared of her.”

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17 Painless Facts About M*A*S*H
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In 1968, surgeon H. Richard Hornberger—using the nom de plume of Richard Hooker—collaborated with writer W.C. Heinz to create the book MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, based on his experiences with the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. Two years later, Robert Altman used the book as the basis for a movie about the fictional 4077th unit (he cut the number 8055 in half.) Two years after that—on this day 45 years ago—M*A*S*H came to life again in the form of an 11-season television series that culminated in the most-watched series finale in television history. Here are some facts about the show that won't get you a Section 8.

1. ALAN ALDA AND JAMIE FARR SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMY.

Alda (Hawkeye Pierce) was in the Army Reserve for six months in Korea. Farr enlisted, and was stationed in Japan when Red Skelton requested his services on his USO Tour through Korea. Wayne Rogers (Trapper John McIntyre) joined the U.S. Navy for a time as a ship navigator. Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut) served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

2. MCLEAN STEVENSON AUDITIONED FOR HAWKEYE, AND COMEDIAN ROBERT KLEIN TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF TRAPPER JOHN.

Stevenson was convinced to take the role of Lt. Colonel Henry Blake instead. As for Klein, he denied a claim that he lived to regret the decision.

3. LARRY GELBART WROTE THE PILOT IN TWO DAYS FOR $25,000.

The veteran screenwriter had been living in London after growing tired of Hollywood, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to adapt Robert Altman’s movie for television audiences.

4. KLINGER WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE IN ONE EPISODE.

The cast of MASH
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

He was also supposed to be gay. Jamie Farr’s character was changed to a heterosexual who cross-dressed to try to get himself kicked out of Korea. Allegedly, the Klinger character was influenced by comedian Lenny Bruce’s claim that he got discharged from the Navy for claiming to have “homosexual tendencies.”

5. ONLY THE NETWORK WANTED THE LAUGH TRACK.

Gelbart and executive producer Gene Reynolds were against the canned laughter; unfortunately CBS knew of no other way to present a 30-minute “comedy.” Gelbart and Reynolds did manage to get the network to agree to take out the laughing during the scenes in the operating room, and as the seasons progressed, the track got quieter and quieter. In the U.K., the BBC omitted the laugh track entirely.

6. CBS DIDN’T WANT ONE "UNPATRIOTIC" EPISODE.

An episode where soldiers stand outside in the freezing cold so that they can make themselves sick enough to be sent home was rejected by CBS. That soldier tactic was apparently actually used during the Korean War.

7. THE WRITERS CAME UP WITH AN INGENIOUS WAY OF DEALING WITH SCRIPT COMPLAINTS.

After growing tired of having to listen to cast members’ notes about their scripts, M*A*S*H writer Ken Levine and his fellow scribes changed their script on two occasions so that the actors were forced to pretend it was parka weather on 90- to 100-degree days on their Malibu ranch set. They took the hint and the “ticky tack” notes stopped.

8. WAYNE ROGERS WAS ABLE TO LEAVE THE SHOW BECAUSE HE NEVER SIGNED A CONTRACT.

Rogers was threatened with a breach of contract lawsuit. The problem was that he had never signed a deal, objecting to the standard contract given to TV actors when he had started playing Trapper John, particularly the “morals clause,” which he considered antiquated. Rogers said that aside from missing the cast—and his friendship with Alda in particular—he had no regrets about leaving the show after season three.

9. ALDA WAS THE ONLY ACTOR WHO WAS AWARE OF HENRY BLAKE’S FATE UNTIL MOMENTS BEFORE SHOOTING THE FINAL SCENE IN “ABYSSINIA, HENRY.”

Alan Alda in MASH
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Gelbart and Reynolds used the opportunity for McLean Stevenson wanting to leave after the third season to “make a point” about the “wastefulness” of war, and decided to kill off Henry Blake. After distributing the script without the last page and shooting all of the scenes written therein, Gelbart asked the cast to wait a few minutes before the start of the end-of-season wrap party and gave them each one copy of the final page, where Radar enters the O.R. and announces that Henry didn’t make it.

Larry Linville (Frank Burns) immediately remarked that it was “f***ing brilliant.” Gary Burghoff (Radar) turned to Stevenson and called him a son of a bitch, because he was going to get an acting Emmy for the episode. (He didn’t.) They then shot the scene in two takes. Gelbart and Reynolds claimed they received over 1000 letters from people upset over the ending. Reynolds also claimed that CBS was so unhappy with the decision that in at least one repeat airing, they cut out the final scene.

10. THE WRITERS RAN OUT OF NAMES.

During season six, there's an episode that features four Marine patients named after the 1977 California Angels infield. Throughout season seven, the patients were named after the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers. Ken Levine didn’t just use baseball players' names though; in “Goodbye Radar,” Radar’s new girlfriend was named after one of Levine’s former lady friends, Patty Haven.

11. THE SERIES LASTED MUCH LONGER THAN THE ACTUAL KOREAN WAR.

The series spent 11 years telling the story of Army doctors and nurses dealing with a three year, one month, and two day war.

12. ALDA CO-WROTE 13 AND DIRECTED 31 EPISODES OF THE SERIES.

That 31 count includes the series finale. Alda was the first person to ever win an Emmy for acting, directing, and writing on the same program.

13. A METRIC TON OF FUTURE STARS MADE GUEST APPEARANCES.

Ron Howard played an underage Marine. Leslie Nielsen played a Colonel. Patrick Swayze portrayed an injured soldier with leukemia. John Ritter, Laurence Fishburne, Pat Morita, Rita Wilson, George Wendt, Shelley Long, Ed Begley Jr., Blythe Danner, Teri Garr, and even Andrew Dice Clay also all visited the 4077th.

14. THE SERIES FINALE IS STILL THE MOST WATCHED EPISODE OF TELEVISION IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

Seventy-seven percent of the people watching television in the United States on the night of Monday, February 28, 1983 were watching the two-and-a-half-hour series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.” That was 121.6 million people. A company only had to pay $30,000 to run a 30-second commercial when M*A*S*H got started in 1972. For the series finale, a 30-second spot cost $450,000.

15. THERE WERE THREE SPINOFFS.

Trapper John, M.D., aired from 1979 to 1986 and was about Trapper John McIntyre’s present-day tenure as chief of surgery back in San Francisco (it didn’t star Wayne Rogers). AfterMASH featured Col. Potter (Harry Morgan), Father Mulcahy (William Christopher), and Klinger (Jamie Farr) working at a veterans' hospital in Missouri right after the events of M*A*S*H; it was cancelled in its second season as it was unable to compete with The A-Team. W*A*L*T*E*R followed the new adventures of Walter “Radar” O'Reilly (Burghoff again), who became a St. Louis cop after losing the family farm and his wife (not Patty Haven) and attempting suicide. The pilot wasn’t picked up, and only aired once, and only in the eastern and central time zones, on CBS on July 17, 1984.

16. RADAR’S TEDDY BEAR WAS SOLD AND RETURNED TO BURGHOFF.

Gary Burghoff as Radar in MASH
Fox Home Video

Burghoff said Radar’s teddy bear had been lost for 30 years until it suddenly turned up at an auction in 2005. A medical student bought it for $11,500, and promptly sold it back to Burghoff.

17. A CONSTRUCTION WORKER FOUND THE SHOW’S TIME CAPSULE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.

In the series' penultimate episode, “As Time Goes By,” the characters bury a time capsule under the Fox Ranch. Two months later, the land was sold. Soon after, a construction worker found the capsule and got in contact with Alan Alda to ask what he should do with it. After he was told to keep it, Alda claimed the construction worker “didn’t seem very impressed.”

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