Tonight's arrival of the new television show Gossip Girl on the CW is at least the most important event of the week. It is a real-life doomsday scenario for us, in which the lives of 10 wealthy Upper East Side teenagers somehow become intangibly yet irrevocably ingrained into our consciousness. Last night I went into the Tora Bora caves of the Gossip Girls premiere party at Tenjune. Someone had unrolled a black carpet and some velvet rope. On one side, a claque of television cameras and desperate reporters clutching iPods with microphone attachments scrummed with each other to get a quote. On the other, these newly-minted slender starfolk fielded sycophantic questions. The mastermind, "The OC" creator Josh Schwartz, showed up shorter and nicer then expected. "Thanks for the piece," he said. "I really liked it." Was he being sarcastic? Is having your show compared to the largest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor a good thing these days?
Our first black carpet sack was Nicole Fiscella, who plays Isabele Coates on the show . She showed us her tattoos. One says "Live to Inspire" in Sanskrit. The other is the Icelandic character for wisdom. "I have to cover them up for show," she said. Nearby some reporter from E! asked Leighton Meester (who plays Blair Waldorf), "Do you feel like this show is going to change your life?" Meester said: "It already has."
But it was really up to Les Moonves's wife and Big Brother host Julie Chen to ask the hard hitting questions. "Leighton," she said, sticking her microphone into Leighton's face space, "I've been pouring over interviews we've had in the past, you are by far the most intelligent and articulate person I've ever interviewed. [Beat] How do you do it?" In profile Meester's face looks like a delicate batiked Easter egg just beginning to crack.
Not to call Ms. Chen a liar but our favorite interviewee had to be Nan Zhang, who plays Katy Farkas. When asked what nationality her character was supposed to be, Zhang, who was born in China, replied, "I have no idea." But, and here's the cool part, even while she is on the show Zhang is continuing her studies at John Hopkins in premed and neuroscience! Zhang said that since she started filming the show, her social life has kind of gone to shit as now she constantly assesses the true intentions of her friends. Her shoes seemed like they were made out of diamonds.
As we made our way in, Nigel Lawson made his way out and "Charlie's Angels" director McG apologized to Josh Schwartz for leaving early. "We've gotta go man," he said to Schwartz. "I thought the party was from 7 to 10!" It was 8.
The inside of Tenjune (for those of you who have happily stayed away, it's basically just a basement) was filled with short squat men in horizontal stripes and taller skinnier women in baby doll shifts and halter tops. Daily News gossip columnist Ben Widdicombe, who we ran into at Florent later, called it the ninth circle of hell. Words like "wealthy," "sexy" and "naive" were projected onto the wall and Stealers Wheel's "Stuck In the Middle" played. In the VIP section, America's Next Top model winner Jaslene, who smells like an ashtray and looks like a tranny, was the only vaguely famous person. She was wearing a purple sequined beret.
Ideology was served alongside little cubes of watermelon and gorgonzola. After "Gossip Girl" premieres, the assembled congregation knew, the world would be a different place. The petites contretemps of the Upper East Side had found its spokespersons and right now, they were sipping mojitos and singing, "Well I don't know why I came here tonight, I got the feeling that something ain't right, I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair, And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs...."
[Photos: Jennifer Mitchell / Splash News]