Gossip Girl Season Three Report Card: B
The 2009-10 season may be in the books, but a new season is just a few months away, and in the meantime, the break gives us a chance to offer up critiques on various programs.
Heading into the summer, TV Fanatic will grade and review a number of the small screen's biggest hits. Most recently, The Good Wife received an A from our editor-in-chief.
Now, on to Gossip Girl - a show with a fan base so fanatical that it truly belongs on a site called TV Fanatic, and will surely have plenty of its own opinions to share below.
What did we think of the third season of the CW drama? Who was its best character? Did it live up to expectations? Where are we headed next? Read on. Find out. Chime in.
Best character: Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf (tie). Disclaimer: This is not to disparage other characters, all of which we enjoy. But to us, Chuck and Blair remain the heart of Gossip Girl. Together or apart, Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester steal every scene with humor, passion, chemistry and just enough mischief under the surface to keep things interesting.
Worst character: We don't even have to say.
Chuck and Blair remain the heart and soul of Gossip Girl.
Best use of guest stars: Michelle Trachtenberg is always great as Georgina Sparks, who always seems to stir up trouble and had quite a surprise for Dan in the season's closing moments. On the flip side, no disrespect to Sebastian Stan, Desmond Harrington and William Baldwin, but some guest stars (cough, Hilary Duff) take away more screen time than they're worth.
Best episode: "The Debarted." The first half of the season ended on a bittersweet note as Chuck came to terms with Bart's death, one year later, with the help of Blair. Meanwhile, Serena's affair with Tripp blew up in her face and landed her in a hospital bed. Nate heroically came to Serena's physical and emotional rescue. Vintage Gossip Girl - more so than the OMFG season finale.
Best storyline: The downward spiral of Jenny Humphrey. In a season that many fans felt lacked the drama of the first two, Little J won't be getting any of the blame. She turned on pretty much everyone, her own father and brother included, became a hard ass drug dealer, and slept with Chuck freaking Bass. That will be a tough act to follow next season - and we can't wait.
Worst storyline: One of the best things we can say about Season 3 is that most episodes were enjoyable on their own - nothing stands out as glaringly weak. Still, the characters' stories didn't flow very well at times, and the season began slowly at NYU. Also, the various plot lines were detached off from each other a lot, and certain arcs, such as Chuck's mom, were full of holes.
Hopes for 2010-11: That Chuck returns to health. Ascension to elite status for Blair at Columbia and more struggles for social supremacy overall. Story lines for Nate and Serena that doesn't necessarily involve a relationship, or each other. A dramatic clash between Jenny and Blair as J returns to Manhattan. As for couples we hope to see, we leave that debate to you.
Overall grade: B. The fact that only a minority of respondents to our survey listed Season 3 as their favorite speaks to its overall inconsistency. It was perfectly enjoyable, with few if any bad weeks, but there was a continuity missing. Near the end of the year, when the gang finally got back together and Nate reminisced about past schemes, it was like he spoke for us as well.
That's why we're giving it a B for the season. While we love it week in and week out, the fire was missing for significant stretches. As things intensified in April and May, the producers found it again, leaving us with a shocker of a finale that sets the stage for some potentially amazing developments. With renewed focus on characters in the right situations, it can get better.
What were your impressions of the season - and what would you like to see in Season Four? What characters and episodes worked best and which did not? Discuss below!