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
  • 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (805 Votes)

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

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Yes, throwing millions is good but that does not mean that Blair has to feel indebted to him and run back to his arms, which is what I am seeing from Chair fans. It was very nice of him, but it takes more than gratitude to rebuild a relationship. If Blair went back to Chuck because of that, it would not be because she really loved him, but because she felt indebted and that won't make for a good reunion. Be patient Chair fans, you will get a proper one considering the writers are downright unstable and that most of you fall under that category too.

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@Sophie
Yes, they all seem to have forgotten that. Look at the comment below yours.
"Really disgusted with the Dair scenerio (Dan and Blail) Blair you are the princess of the UES you don't miggle with the likes of Dan."
With this mentality, I wonder how the world is ever going to evolve. Clearly, love can only happen between people of the same social class right? It doesn't matter if you have a lot in common, if you're not from the UES, you can't be together.
Downright sickening.

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Saw that gg is bringing back Bart Bass. Some say in flashback mode or as a ghost. Here's a thought.....
Bart didn't really die, Diana has been taking care of him maybe because she really is chucks mom. On the night of the crash she said to jack " WE" will meet you. A great finale would be Bart's return and revealing to chuck his true parents. By coming back he will effectively split Rufus and lily. Yes, I said parents. Chucks parents could be Diana and jack. Jack was in England at eton. Remember the picture of Diana in the school girl uniform? Obviously jack was too wild to raise a child, so Bart did it for him. With conditions of course. Could explain why Bart always treated chuck with disdain. Just sayin.

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@ sophie
It's good to have hit you in a chord. I see how you're nervous. But what is worth to you what you mentioned when Chuck threw millions of $ that Blair will be happy. With anyone. Chuck did not ask for anything in return. However, it seems that Blair is not a quiet conscience, as if telling her that she was with the wrong guy. Because if Chuck is willing to throw millions of dollars for selfless a good deed - then he became what Blair has always wanted it to be.
@Elisa
You're right, Elisa. To recall the conversation between Dan and Nate in 100. episode when they agreed to stop Chuck to be honest to Blair's wedding. If not then, when Chuck does to be honest. This attitude shows that Dan crossed to the dark side. If there Dan ever was a knight in shining armor that was when he was with Serena!

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@Thess You're right, Chuck is so great, and sooo dreamy! Remember in the first episode when he tried to force himself on Serena and tried to rape Jenny? Remember when he took the virginities of Jenny and Blair when they had been drinking and were emotionally vulnerable? Remember when he traded his girlfriend to his rapist uncle for a hotel? Remember when he declared Blair was his and tried to punch her because she shot down his sexual advance and tried to move on? Remember when he tried to ruin Dan's entire career because he kissed Blair? Whatta dream guy! (And also, Dan and Blair have nothing in common? How about their emotional intellect, their interest in books, films, artists, culture... Oh, sorry, forgot that couldn't possibly compete with Blair's love of scheming that she had when she was an insecure teenager.)

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Really disgusted with the Dair scenerio (Dan and Blail) Blair you are the princess of the UES you don't miggle with the likes of Dan. I am upset and disappointed. Chuck loves you. Like any man he is possesive but deep down I think you like that. I am not watching the show until they get back together some way some how. I am 100% team Chair. So thank you TV fanactic for the updates. When it gets interesting I'll tune in for myself. (SMH at the thought of Dair yuck)

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Dair best as always

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Absolutely gutting myself at the thought of Chuck being the hereditary heir to the Scottish throne. Clearly very little is understood about the British monarchy and the Act of Union. Besides don't wish Chuck on us Scots! Lol!

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I really don´t think Blair deserves Chuck anymore. He is such a great guy! And Blair is really getting on my nerve at the moment. Blair and Dan? Really? They have no spark and nothing in commen. I have actually startet to recent most of the characters. Like, Serena. She is so selfish and spoiled, and no fun anymore. And Dan always being the "good guy" , talking down on Chuck and thinking he is so much better. Thats a character I could easely be without. In my dream scenareo Chuck would end up with Eve (the french girl), Blair and Dan would split and Blair would regret not choosing Chuck. Dan and Serena desevere eachother, both are so annoying. This show is so dying!!

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@Elisa
I agree with you. I can name to you all the love scenes between Dan and Serena. The most popular for me from the one season are - when Serena and Dan are kissing in the school yard, and when they kissing in Brooklyn when they are stop by Vanessa. For the second season are definitely a love scene on the beach, on the bus, and in front of the elevator and the elevator. I could mention more, but that will get angry fan from the opposite side.