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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@ Kookakicha
About something we can agree. Everyone has the right to their opinion. I am not condemning anyone because they do not support the other couple in love. My general criticism relates to the production of the series, not the audience. You're right, and Chuck and Dan have changed. I am still a big fan of Serena and Dan!

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Because of the news that Lily and Rufus will be having lots of trouble this season, I think it may be them that will break up. Due to the fact that Blair is obviously going to end up with Chuck in the end, I think Rufus and Lily breaking up will give leeway for Dan and Serena to get back together.
Being a huge GG fan from Season 1, I've always thought Derena was the most pure and amazing love TV has seen in a long time. Every season they have at least one moment where they realize they still love each other.
This season, the worst yet in my opinion, has shown Dan being a complete jerk to Serena. This is not the Dan from the previous seasons, it is completely out of character. As well, the fact that Blair would do such a horrible thing to Serena (which by the way is equivalent to Serena and Chuck falling in love and showing PDA all over New York) not to mention she was one of the biggest Derena shippers of the whole show, is suprising.
I hope the writers will get their shi*t together.

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No we simply have different ships but that does not mean we can't agree on some things. That is, of course, if we are objective. For example, I don't deny Chuck's selfless action and I am a Dair shipper. And as a Dair shipper, I can recognize Chuck has definitely changed from his old self. But also, I can see that Dan has changed too and so has Blair and that does not need any ship to be recognized.
I respect your opinion but I condone anyone blindly bashing characters just because they don't get their way with the ship they like.

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@ Kookakicha
I disagree with you. We are on different sides!

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You know, you can want Derena without blindly defending Chuck. Saying that Dan is worse than Chuck now is just ridiculous. I don't even know what to reply because it just doesn't make sense. Sure Chuck is a better man but that does not immediately make Dan a bad guy. Moreover, it even makes less sense for you to ship Serena with Dan, a character that you seem to dislike. And Derena were not great together because the worse in both charaters showed throughout their relationship.
Also you seem to deny that Dan and Blair have changed, that they can't be better persons, that he will always be judgemental and that she will.always be a scheming bitch at heart. So far, I think the show has showed quite the episode even before Dair started. Regardless of Dair, we are dealing with different characters. And why cannot Dan be her prince? Please don't say that she is an UES and reserved for Chuck, because I get sick just hearing that argument.

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Nice try Zoran but you contradicted yourself. How do you ship Derena if you feel that Dan has the wrong vision of Serena then? Oh so its alright for Dan to be with Serena even if he envisions her as something she is not, while it is not alright for him to love Blair? Funny thing, last time I checked, Dan has learned from his relatiknship with Serena. He knows Blair fully, the good and the bad. I do not see how he is considering her as something she is not, especially at this point in the show. Furthermore, I did admit to Chuck's selfless doing. That makes me far from biased. I judged only the people who hate on Blair and from what I am seeing overall, Dan does make her happier unless of course, you say this is all an illusion that Blair is conceiving in her head about Dan.
Please, again, make accusations that acually have good grounds. I do love Dair but I recognize that Chair and Derena need to be resolved. I do not hate on characters but merely judge them from what we have been given in the show.

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RATING 0.98 Million total viewers. THANK YOU DAIR :-D

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@ Kookakicha
Not my view is not obscured, on the contrary is yours. You so generously supporting Dan and Blair and do not see errors in that relationship. The main fault is that Dan is in love with an illusion. In particular he was in love with an illusion - Serena and now is in love with another - Blair. Both girls Dan rises in what they are not. Serena was not a goddess. Blair is not his princess, because he is not Prince. In addition, Dan is not honest to Blair, he does not believe her. To be precise - Blair believes to Dan. Chuck good work is good work - very Blair is to say, sending a message of gratitude to free her of marriage. Chuck is no better than Dan, but Dan is far worse than Chuck now. If you do not see this then your look blurry because you're a fan Dan and Blair.

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@Lm
I agree with what you said and this is what I have been to tell people in this page. One good action does not make Chuck a saint and it certainly doesn't make him a better person than Dan. I think some Chair fans just need to find a good enough flaw in Dan to justify their hating him so much.
@Zoran
I disagree once more. Gossip Girl is not knowm for its subtelty. If Blair were ha ing doubts by the end of the episode, we would have been given suggestions of it, especially through her interactions with Dan. But it was not the case and she was honest with Dan, hence the last Met scene. But I know you are Derena-biased so you might not see it as that. I think your sudden defense of Chuck is also a bias. If it had been any other person keeping Derena together, you still would have defended the former lover.

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That wasn't a secretary in Nate's office. That was clearly Georgina's voice.

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