Gossip Girl Review: Building the Perfect Serena

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We didn't know Serena van der Woodsen had it in her. Getting half-naked on aircraft carriers, sure. But full-on subterfuge? Then sabotaging her half-sister-cousin when that doesn't work out? That's cold, S.

One minute, she's so against all that Gossip Girl stands for that she'll do anything to get out from under the microscope, even shepherding a (seemingly) unsuspecting Lola to take her place as It Girl.

The next minute, now that the seemingly perfectly constructed Serena 2.0 played her with her own agenda, she's going to feel the wrath. No one messes with It Girl to end all It Girls! That spotlight is HERS!

The girl clearly has no clue who she is anymore - something that could be said for Gossip Girl as a whole, but that's a topic for another time, or the comments - making for an interesting character study.

Girl spends her entire life as the center of attention. Girl often laments this but really doesn't wish for it to stop. Girl senses it slipping away and now attempts to cement her status through social media.

From a logistical standpoint, after the events of "It Girl, Interrupted," where does S go with this?

Does she possess the pure narcissism, and the brainpower, to act the part of and report on the life and times of It Girl, despite countless lies she'll have to tell and feelings she'll have to hurt along the way?

GG 3.0

That's questionable at best, but more significantly, what's Serena's deal? Emotionally, what does she hope to see come of this? Does she even know the answer to that at this point? Do the writers?

The fact that we have to ask is problematic, but such is life in Gossip Girl's fifth season. The characters we've grown to love have become confused at best, completely unrecognizable at worst.

The show is also plagued by a general lack of direction many times. There are so many plot lines unfolding concurrently, and some of them are interesting, but what are we tuning in for overall?

It's just muddled at times, even if it's hard to put your finger on why. Hopefully things build toward a more unifying story next month and heading into the final season, giving Gossip Girl the send-off it deserves.

In the nearer term, it's evident that Serena is reaching the point of no return with her G.G. site takeover, and that it can't last forever. The only question is what the consequences will be when it all unravels.

How Lola responds to S' latest salvo remains to be seen as well. Ditto her reaction to Nate's secretary telling her he's with Diana at the end. Did he really hit that? Is he so naive as to trust her again?

We'll find out, and admittedly I'm still intrigued about all things Serena, Nate and Lola, even if my patience wears thin at times. Elsewhere, plenty of other things (slowly) began to play out, namely ...

Chuck paid the dowry. What a guy. It was hard not to feel bad for him after this was initially received poorly by Blair, because it really feels like it was a selfless act, and a financially significant one at that.

If Chuck couldn't invest in the Spectator because of this dowry, that must have been some dowry! We knew it was enough to bankrupt Eleanor, but wow. Chuck taking a financial hit? Now we've seen everything.

He must really care for Blair ... not that we didn't know that 100 times over. Unfortunately for those longing for a Chair reconciliation, however, the news didn't send Blair running into his arms. Instead ...

Dan and Blair Kiss!

Blair thanked him for setting her free ... to be with Dan. After giving her Muppet the runaround, and even after learning about Chuck's monumental sacrifice, she and Dan made a public showing of their love.

The dowry wasn't even her hangup with the divorce papers at first, it was the fact that she just couldn't let go of her princess fantasy. Sigh. It's one thing to have second thoughts about Chuck, but really B?

In any case, Dan was sweet to let her live it out for one more camera-phone-filled moment. A nice moment for the Dair fan base, but Chuck made major inroads this week and remains omnipresent.

Next week comes Dan and Blair's official public debut as a couple, and you can expect fireworks ... on the show and on TV Fanatic. As for the reason Chuck sought Blair's advice in the first place ...

Elizabeth is not his mother and did not give him blood. Not a surprise at all. So who did? The smart money's still on Diana somehow, but very little happened tonight as far as this mystery advancing.

What was a bit of a shocker, on the other hand, was ...

Lily going behind Rufus' back to screw over Ivy. Maybe S' actions make more sense now, because Lily clearly has some manipulative, cold-hearted genes. Even if Ivy had it coming, that was still brutal.

Rufus was clearly left reeling by this, not just by the fact that his wife would throw Ivy out on the street, but that she lied to his face about it, after he put the wheels in motion to work out a compromise no less.

Thus, the separation has begun. There's supposedly a big breakup coming up this spring and these two look like prime candidates. It's sad, but Rufus might deserve someone better to make waffles for at this point.

Slightly less emotional, but more contentious, was for ...

Diana in a Blue Dress

The battle for the Spectator. Nate really couldn't get an investor other than Diana? Really? The plot to videotape her with Lola's useless friend was cool, as was the fact that L pulled one over on S.

Nevertheless, I'm losing interest in Diana, whose reappearance feels forced. Nate and Lola make a cute couple and it'd be nice to see them give it a go. He's also a good editor-in-chief, even if ad sales are down.

The entire Nola conflict was a bit cobbled together. They're from different worlds, we get it. But that's what they initially liked so much about one another, no? Not an impediment to their relationship?

Whatever. Diana clearly has an agenda, one we might even learn about one of these months. Truthfully, she was only there to create tension between the two lovers and draw further attention to the fact that ...

There was a really expensive lingerie party. Someone who lives in NYC and has knowledge of UES social circles, please enlighten us: Do all these crazy parties actually exist in real life, and where do I get tickets?

Not the most exciting episode overall, but it had its moments. I'm very curious to hear what you all thought and what you think about the show's overall direction (or lack thereof) these days.

What keeps you watching? What was your favorite part of tonight, and your least favorite part? Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo for "Salon of the Dead" ...

What did you think of tonight's Gossip Girl? Discuss below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (806 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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*what keeps me watching...typo

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Why keeps me watching? Habit and a desire to see how the story ends. More and more the latter becomes less of a reason to tune in. This last episode wasn't the worst of the season but it was very dull. Serena was at least interesting even if her motivations were all over map. Everything else was painfully boring! I had to laugh at Steve's comment in the review: [we] "can expect fireworks" (in the next episode). This is precisely what GG is lacking. Fireworks. Spark. Buzz. Every episode is stagnant and flat. I almost wish I shipped one of the couples so I could look forward to something. I cannot believe GG will go into 6th season. It's like a horse with a broken leg...sad and breaks my heart but it needs to be taken out back and shot! Unless something radical changes, a 6th season will only continue to ruin good memories of this show.

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@ Kookakicha
As for the fairy tale you're right, but the series is not over yet! You're wrong I like Dan when he was with Serena. The character Dan has changed for the worse, he is now worse of Chuck if Chuck can be bad. Dan is still suspicious of Blair, you could see in that scene in Breakfast with Dorothy. Dan did not believe what Blair said, but he takes papers for divorce from Dorothy. You're smart, if I do not know that you cheer for Dan and Blair, I would think you're right. And Chuck is not stupid to be friends with Dan who takes away the love of his life. I see that you do not like Chuck, is that correct? As for that that Dan is in love with an illusion, which then reflects on Blair, I still stand behind it. Proof of this is the scene on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum. Dan and Blair are not children of 10 years, and pretends that they are prince and princess.

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Not really. The definition of a fairytale is something that ends good.
Dan and Serena started good but ended badly. And right now, they are far away from each other. Also, you do not seem to like Dan's character and still want him with Serena which still makes no sense.
And see, this is why you can't deny Dan's change in character. Even through all that Blair put him through, he stopped being judgmental but understood her on another level. he is not season 1 Dan anymore. he has no illusions about her.
And Chuck and Dan actually became friends for a while, before "hero" Chuck got his angry/possessive mode on and ruined it.

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Dan and Blair are boring, makes one yearn for great Chuck and Blair scenes from seasons past. As Blair said once: stimulating conversation does not make a great relationship, it is the crazy, passionate and intense ones that people want, that is why Chuck and Blair need to end up together with a great storyline ending. This has been building up since season 1 and fans are waiting for it.

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Serenate. Chair. Dan is borring... Serena and Nate are so sexy together!

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@ Kookakicha
I mentioned a fairy tale of the love between Serena and Dan, and you commemorate something else. I am a big fan of Serena and Dan, and you are not. Blair drove away Dan's sister - Jenny, for no apparent reason. The only reason was because Jenny wanted to be the same as Blair. So, Dan and Blair friends with benefits, should not be together. According to how you described the reason why Blair and Dan are together, then in season 6 should be together Chuck and Dan. For the same reason. Rooting for different pairs, and each has its own view of events in the series.

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I don't see Derena as a bad couple but it seems to me like they were never great together beyond the first half of the first season.
Dan and Blair is exactly what the message of the show should be about, if there is any, which is that prejudices and judgments can be overcome with time and that love needs no class boundary. These two were the most judgemental towards each other when the show started but they became so beautifully attuned. I see that Derena is about a guy from Brooklyn and a girl from the UES but they never started with hate, which makes it less appealing.

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oh Chuck bought Blair
how selfless
le sigh

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@ Derena Forever
Finally someone with whom I agree completely! Everything you said is true. I hope you're right for Rufus and Lily, because their divorce opens the door to Serena and Dan to be together! Completely're right Serena and Dan are one of the best TV couples, ever since I watch television. Their story in the series is a true fairy tale - a regular guy from Brooklyn and a beautiful girl from Manhattan are in love. I do not know why people do not like fairy tales, because the TV show is just that.

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