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Does Gossip Girl Need a Tune-Up?

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NOTE: The article below appears in TV Guide and does not necessarily reflect the views of this site or its editors. We do not consider all of these things "problems" with the show - but it is interesting as readers have posed some of the same questions at length.

Here's TV Guide's list of ongoing issues they would like to see tweaked, remedied or just plain gotten rid of altogether when Gossip Girl returns March 16.

Take a look and tell us if you agree or disagree ...

THE PROBLEM: Serena and Dan's constant breakups and reconciliations have lost any sort of narrative weight.

THE SOLUTION: Serena and Dan need to stay together, or break up - for good. While there might be a certain degree of high-school realism to the way that S. and Lonely Boy have ridden the On Again/Off Again Express, it's annoying to watch. Plus, there's virtually no difference between the two scenarios. They always stay friends anyway, and the brief times they do part ways, it's always for some stupid reason, like Serena wanting her mother to find true love with Rufus, not because they actually don't like each other anymore. We'd actually vote for keeping them together. It's cool to have one committed couple in the mix, even one as boring as these two are.

Derena Photo

THE PROBLEM: Miss Blair's beloved Dorota is underused.

THE SOLUTION: Shady Dorota! The producers have been smart to sketch Blair's Polish nursemaid as vaguely as they have. As far as we know, Blair Waldorf actually owns Dorota. But look more closely, and you'll see something more knowing behind those obedient eyes. Announcing our new crazy theory: Though others have different ideas, we think that Dorota is actually ... Gossip Girl herself! Even if she isn't, wouldn't it be fun if the writers were to drop some misleading hints? It'll get the fans OMFG'ing all over the place.

THE PROBLEM: Chuck acts like a 38-year-old lothario celebrating his latest divorce.

THE SOLUTION: He might be Chuck Bass, but he's still a 17-year-old high school student. His latest story lines - corporate sabotage? his bender in Thailand? that Eyes Wide Shut sex-party scenario? - have stretched the boundaries of plausibility for too long. Even rich kids have to conjugate verbs in French class and spike the punch at the dance every once in a while. If nothing else, seeing Chuck's exasperation at, say, having to play badminton in gym would offer the show's costume designers the opportunity to conceive an athletic ascot - the "ath-scot," if you will - for him to wear. Stay in school, Chuck!

THE PROBLEM: Chace Crawford's performance as Nate is like human Sominex.

THE SOLUTION: Reboot Nate - or get rid of him altogether. Chace Crawford is an extremely good-looking guy. And we have to admit that the idea of his curve-ball relationship with Vanessa sounded promising, even after suffering through his family's painfully drawn-out drug and money scandals and his charisma-free romances with Blair, the Cougar Countess and Jenny. The writers need to go out on a limb with Nate: Give him cancer, brand him a date rapist, make him a Phish fanatic, shave his head - anything that will wake him from his dramatic coma!

THE PROBLEM: Serena van der Woodsen is too nice.

THE SOLUTION: The show is constantly reminding us of Serena's bad-girl past. Unfortunately, as played by the wholesome, adorable Blake Lively, Serena is about as threatening as a baby koala. That said, we know she has it in her. Serena certainly isn't above using her feminine wiles to get what she wants; the writers need to amp this up and find her inner party bitch. While it could be argued that Blair already has this territory covered, we'd counter that it might go a long way toward explaining why these two are BFFs in the first place.

Oh $h!t!

THE PROBLEM: There are lots of parties, but not enough parties.

THE SOLUTION: Substance abuse! It's time to embrace the show's inherent nihilism, and put some lives in danger in the process. Which means: Bring on the binge drinking! Cocaine! Pilfered pharmaceuticals! We're not suggesting that the show actually condone these activities (if acted well, it will be clear who's making the correct choices in such situations), but one more party scene on this show without even a whiff of overindulgence is going to drive us to drink (more).

THE PROBLEM: Jenny Humphrey has no storyline.

THE SOLUTION: Let Jenny be an aspiring fashion designer, with the emphasis on aspiring. Her detour into the runway world gave the show some much-needed scenery changing. Having her drop out of school and pursue emancipation, however, was totally out of character for such a Daddy's girl. She can work for Eleanor Waldorf, but make sure she remains a pitiable intern in the process. Let her talent develop at a realistic pace. Also: We might get letters for this, but let her dress like a wacko and line her eyes with as much raccoon makeup as she likes. It gives the starchy, preppy show some badly needed aesthetic texture.

THE PROBLEM: Brooklyn is unfairly - and not very funnily - maligned.

THE SOLUTION: Enough with the Brooklyn jokes. Anyone who has been to the five boroughs any time within the last decade or so knows that Brooklyn is no longer the punchline it once was - whether it ever deserved to be or not. There are almost as many shoe boutiques and cupcake cafes in Park Slope as there are on Park Avenue now; it's not deserving of the show's elitist jabs. (Queens, on the other hand....)

What do you think, Gossip Girl fans? How would you fix Gossip Girl - if it needs fixing at all? Chime in with comments below!

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

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I totally agree with all of this stuff! I wish they had mentioned how Blair's character has changed- she used to be so clever and slick and now she's just a big complaining brat. Writers, look at season 1! That stuff was gold! The way things are going now- it's just no cutting it!

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i just realised that ive left serena without a significant other but I truly now believe that Dan is not the one for her. I think Nate could be in the long run but he needs Jenny first of all!

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some really great ideas there tay! i would personally love to see dan and V together and also think that Nate and JEnny was a truly cute pairing that seemed to just end for no apparent reason.. as usual with the GG plots. Dont get me wrong i adore this show but sometimes the writers do the stupidest things! Id like to see Nate- with a drug problem and Jenny helping him overcome it.
Dan and Vanessa both slowly coming to the realisation that they are meant to be with lots of funny akwardness along the way.
serena having a new boyfriend who is secretly gay but obv doesnt want to come out and being much older and knowledgable in the whole gay thing exploits little old Eric and they have an affair.
Blair´s bulimia coming once more to the surface and Chuck being the one to help her deal with it. they dont have to be together as in a real rship but it would make for nice interaction to see him simply helping her and being there in her hour of need.
Rufus wife coming back on the scene and ensuing confusion over whether he loves her or Lilly. and ultimately, of course, in some obscure way that only chuck and blair could concoct, the three special little words being said!

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I know I will be hated for this but...Dan and Serena are boring! It's very common in Hollywood for hot offscreen couples to fizzle onscreen. I have an idea for romantic pairings on the show that will have everyone interconnected and create tons of drama. Have Dan dump the pedaphile teacher and pair him with Vanessa for a while(She could be his only confidante in the teacher fling and things could develop from there). As Dan and Vanessa slowly blossom, have Nate and Jenny reconnect. After some casual run-ins Nate could realize why he liked Jenny so much in the first place and the writers could finally fully explore that relationship(I personally think Nate had lots of chemistry with Jenny and they were not given a fair chance). Imagine how funny it would be for all of them to be in the Humphrey household at the same time!?! Can you say AKWARD? As much as Dan hates the idea of Nate and Jenny, he will begrudgingly have to let it happen because of his guilt over stealing Vanessa. Best of all, Nate will finally have a legitimate storyline. Let Chuck and Blair be together, at least for more than an episode(GASP!). Let them shock everybody by being the most stable couple the show has ever seen. They can begin this by having Blair have a health scare and have Chuck be there for her like we never have seen before. She will try to push him away until he genuinely says those 3 little words to her! Who doesn't want to hear Chuck say "I Love You"? As for Serena, let her have a lesbian experience and question her sexuality. It could be with a girl her brother knows from the institution. Eric instead of being understanding, is angry at her for treating homosexuality as some sort of fun experiment and not realizing the impact it could have on the other girl once Serena is done experimenting. Imagine Lily's reaction?!?! Remember, this is a show based on pushing boundaries.

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I agree with TV guide COMPLETELY. Another thing that bugs me is how the show tries so hard to avoid putting chuck and blair together in a scene.Get it over with, and maybe add in some drama like blair tripping and breaking something or something funny like that. I also don't likehow their feelings go on and off:one of them is always ready for them to be together the SECOND the other person isn't.
Also,i'd like to state that i LOVE gossip girl,but it does seem to have lots of room for improvement lately.
Another big solution to a few of these problems might be Georgina Sparks.
-Tesa

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i totally agree! it's exactly like i thought about it...

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I agree bluck4ever that at times Blair hasnt been the best friend to serena but the thing is blair is quite a selfish thoughtless character, its her nature! and as for stereotyping rich moms i always though lilly was like the chick from the OC

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Totally agreed!! However, I think Blair needs to be a better friend to Serena. She's way to selfish this season and her sabotaging games are just immature this season. At least last season she was doing it smart, getting back at people who hurt her/her bff.
OR Serena needs to vamp up her inner b!tch, get back at Dan .. cos we know gg loves karma

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They're right about Serena. Her being just the nice beauty-queen everything happens to, destroying Blair&Co, is boring. So she's a bitch, is that so hard to show? A honest Serena wouldn't be as boring as Serena/Dan always have been and Vanessa/Nate will be as long as they stay together. Anyway, Nate - he needs some drama, he needs a wake-up call or a drug problem like the book's Nate.
And they really should stop letting apart from the Blair/Chuck corner of the action this get more and more OC, I mean, what was the writers strike for, if they're not productive now? "Give us more money, so we can get back the Ryan/Marissa scripts"? And did anyone else notice that Kelly Rutherford looks EXACTLY like Seths Mom? Talking stereotype rich-Mom...

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meesterfan, I completely agree with you on the nanny story.
The whole way through I was thinking: Have you forgotten Blair, the love of your life?!
I don't think they should be all over each other all the time, but that was just irritating...it's fine Chuck trying to distract himself by returning to his womanising ways, but he's already slept with her, suggesting he really likes her, which is just ruining the Chair thing.
The show needs a big tune up, more high school stories and less middle aged ones. Chuck needs to return to school, V needs to go back to her kooky ways and Derena need to break up one and for all! Anyone else really, really hate Miss Carr? I am not a Derena fan, Chair all the way, but she irritates me so much!

Gossip Girl Quotes

And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell ... You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

It only takes one video to topple an entire career. If you don't believe me just YouTube Connie Chung piano.

Blair