Gossip Girl Season Premiere Review: Six Weeks Later ...

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The question heading into Season Five of Gossip Girl is whether the show will return to what made it great - humor, heart and a healthy dose of scandal - or continue on the path last season went down, with convoluted, over-the-top stories and, worse yet, our beloved characters not even acting like themselves.

So, did tonight offer fans reason for hope? Yes is most definitely the word.

Between the pregnancy reveal - so surprising I really didn't think Gossip Girl of all shows would go there - the tie-in with Daniel's novel, Nate's latest liaison and Chuck channeling his inner James Dean, "Yes, Then Zero" was a resounding success. We can only hope future episodes build on this and don't fizzle out.

Chuck Rolls Up

"People like me don't write books, we're written about." - Chuck

When we first saw Mr. Bass tonight, adored in his ascot and roaring up to his newly-obtained yacht on his motorcycle, his change in attitude was apparent (even as his taste for the finer things remains the same).

Part cowboy philosopher, part rebel without a cause (unless you can consider going balls to the wall and saying yes to anything a cause), he's happy for the first time in awhile. Or at least doing a good job faking it.

But, as always with Chuck, there's a darkness lurking within. Witness his reaction to the crash, and his apparent unwillingness to seek help or dial back his adrenaline meter even after sustaining a pretty severe injury.

At some point, he's bound to take it too far, but it's fun to see him leap off buildings and some knowledge on Nate and Serena right now. Just seeing those three hang out and enjoy laughs as friends again was a welcome treat.

Chuck's two-headed sidekick was a bit boring at times, but that was almost the point. Both Nate and Serena seemed to acknowledge that they'd lost their way and don't even know who they are anymore (I blame the writers).

While Marshall's ploy to get Serena fired felt lame, considering she was kind of a model employee almost trying too hard not to step on toes, it's great that S was rewarded in the end for applying herself and doing legit work.

L.A. fashion clearly works on SoCal native Blake Lively, too. Not surprising.

On a side note, how funny was it to see Patrick Roberts, Olivia's old vampire co-star, in his Hollywood element? This little creative touch wasn't essential to the plot, but was surely appreciated by many fans.

UES Meets LA

Of course, this is still Gossip Girl and in the closing moments, Serena happened to bump into non-cousin Charlie in a city of 20 million people. Ivy apparently headed west with her boyfriend after her "acting" gig last spring.

What's she planning next? Does anyone care? The jury's still out now. We'll see what Charlie/Ivy has planned next week, and whether it will connect Serena's story arc with the rest of the gang back in New York.

If you've read any Gossip Girl spoilers this summer, you know Elizabeth Hurley's character, Diana Payne, is a media mogul whose manipulations of Nate, whatever they might be, ultimately involve Gossip Girl herself.

Once Nate started taking Chuck's advice and becoming the ultimate "yes" man, another notch on his bedpost was an inevitability. Only he was also being played by Diana, who was excited to have "made contact" with him.

Much as we all enjoy his usual displays of concern for Chuck, pot expertise and skill with the ladies, hopefully Nate will play a more substantive role this fall. Clearly he's being targeted for some role by Ms. Payne.

Hurley makes a sexy and intriguing villain for the Upper East Siders, and I'm dying to know what she's up to. There's something about her that makes the stakes feel heightened ... 10 times more so than with Russell Thorpe.

Back in New York, the dueling drama of Dan's story and Blair's wedding planning - with Louis caught in the middle of each - dovetailed brilliantly, revealing just enough at all the right moments to pique your interest.

It also ended with perhaps the biggest OMFG moment since we learned Serena killed someone.

However unrealistic the circumstances of its publication, Inside by Anonymous, a.k.a. Dillon Hunter, is apparently some book! The excerpt that was to run in Vanity Fair made it abundantly clear who the focal point was, too.

Dair Picture

The future Princess of Monaco, Blair Waldorf, spent so much time fretting over typical Blair Waldorf things that by the time the wedding planner called her out - and she didn't deny it - her pregnancy secret was truly shocking.

Dorota did a great job fooling Eleanor and likely more than a few viewers, too, in covering for her BFF. But her body does not lie. I guess. Leighton Meester actually looks thinner than ever to me. But give it a few weeks!

Dan's behavior this week was truly eye-opening. His mannerisms and cryptic comments certainly made it out to seem like he and Blair did more than kiss. Like a lot more. More importantly, he's obviously IN LOVE WITH HER.

Even though he knew precisely what Louis was doing when he stood Blair up and why, Dan was prepared to let her skip town, with him, and leave her fairy tale behind. That's one whopper of a lie by omission, Lonely Boy.

You don't do that for someone you're not head over heels for. Dair is very much alive ... at least as far as the feelings on one side are concerned, and possibly an unborn child is concerned. Can you imagine if it's Dan's?

Penn Badgley is certainly looking the part of the unkempt writer, yearning for his past lover. I'm glad the writers didn't torpedo Dan's feelings for Blair altogether, which would've made so much of last season feel trite.

What happens between now and November 26 - save the date!! - will be interesting to say the least. Will Blair keep the baby? If so, will she start to show? Will Dan pursue her in earnest? Will Chuck, despite his motivational speech?

And obviously, the ten trillion dollar question: Who's the father?!

All in all, a strong beginning to Gossip Girl's fifth season, and one that should give you plenty to discuss with TV Fanatic as you hit the comments below! Come back tomorrow for news, promos and our Round Table!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (431 Votes)

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

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I predict an extremely dramatic miscarriage for Blair. From some kind of emotional upset. There's no way the writers would turn Blair into a mother on the show!

Aries93

How I hope that Dan and Blair had sex too, after their kiss and he is the father.
As for the L.A. scene, how I wish there was a 90210-Gossip Girl crossover.

Uncle-jackass

@s, not to start or contest the argument, because it is plausible. But the other major thought / reasoning behind the drop in Nielson ratings was due to the amount of guest star plots. E.g) Raina & Daddy Thorpe, Nate's lack of plot, introduction of Charlie/Ivy plot, Adult conviction plot, Bass/Forrester Creations industry plot, royalty plot, and the Ben plot? Is that more consistent?

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Dan and Blair just do not have what it takes to carry this show. I think the writers expected them to carry the emotional, dramatic burden that Chuck and Blair, Serena and Blair or Dan and Serena back in S1 once carried. But sorry. DB look so weak compared to those other pairings. The writers need to go back to the frenemies vibe they used to have because that loft scene fell very flat for me. It's not the actors either because both Leight and Penn are good but their chemistry isn't half as compelling as the chemistry between Ed and Leight, Blake and Leight or Blake and Penn back in S1. SO MUCH WORD. DB can't carry the show. The drop in the ratings last season should have showed it. We need powerful CHAIR AND Serena/Blair scenes

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@crissy People can ship whatever they want, and unlike you I don't find CB abusive or wrong for each other. I ship them and hope they get back together. About Dan and Blair, their scene felt so forced. I just hate them even more.

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@Crissy
Now I think Dair would be detrimental to both characters as Dan is hypocrite and would put her down and I do think if Blair was in crisis like a real one... he leave her hanging. And I do not think Blair would wear the pants in the relationship or they can't even be equals because of Dan (am I the only one who remembers him berating Serena in 2x03 when she was using her brain to get them out of the elevator... I mean her stepfather owned the hotel of course they would hurry to get her out).
I also wouldn't want a man who tells every chick he dates he loves them. All Chuck does is boink them and go.
I agree Dan was a douche and his behavior in last night had nothing to do with helping Blair. He like Nate while he is a great friend... Both he and Nate are horrible boyfriends. He has a savior complex so I don't see how Blair can be strong with a guy who is like that. Anyone remember Lucas and Peyton the hero and damsel of OTH.
While do love Penn, I agree he does not have that chemistry with Leighton to carry this show in drama sector (I actually have not really seen him carry drama any of the same roles he always plays) like in season 1. While Cute is great it only gets you so far and cute turns into boring so quick.

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I can't believe how many people support an abusive, unstable, emotionally destructive relationship like CHAIR (fictional or not). For me I hope for a DAIR but if it doesn't happen I still don't want Blair with Chuck. How can someone be written to be so strong, brave, self sufficient and driven be so quick to cower or be so darn submissive to a man like Chuck. What I would like is Blair truly take back her any control Chuck had or has over her and for their relationship to be concluded once and for all. Maybe then Chuck can find his happiness and love too.

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Totally agree with you, Laurie. I think Dan/Blair work well when they're sort of pissy with each other, during more light and comedic scenes, and I actually don't mind his pining for her a little- but they simply don't have the chemistry (and Dan doesn't have the emoting skills) to carry a deeper, more meaningful storyline. The loft scene was sweet (though puzzling) but paled in comparison to even some of the more minor emotional CB scenes. I'm hoping any DB stuff will be more of a background or undercurrent- which is what Safran has suggested- because it's simply not sufficient to carry the show. Chuck's storyline, while ridiculous, does seem consistent with his OTTness as a character, and I like seeing him pine for Blair for awhile- God knows she did plenty of it last season. Also, he looked brutally hot, so that helped. Nate and Serena had some cute moments, and I love that Serena's finally developing some goals and ambitions- it almost seemed like Blair and Serena switched places in this episode, with Serena being the career-focused, driven one, while Blair yammers on about flowers and fairytale crap. Speaking of which, the princess storyline is doing Blair NO favors as a character. She's just coming across as spoiled and childish- and admittedly she's always been a bit of both, but it was always in a more endearing way, and now it's just grating. Dan's behavior in this episode was pretty douchey, and I can't for the life of me figure out why any of the previewers said he made some big sacrifice for Blair? What was the sacrifice, exactly? Trying to kill a story that he wrote, that he didn't want published for his own reasons anyway? And then not being honest with her when she came to him, upset about something that he could easily have fixed? For me, Dan was neither sympathetic nor a particularly good friend in that scene. Admittedly, I don't love the idea of Blair being pregnant at 20 for her character, but as a plot device to keep CB connected, I'm happy with it. I think it'll lead to some fantastic emotional moments between the two of them, which the show desperately needs after that premiere. Oh, and LOL forever at the idea that Blair's baby could be Dan's- you do realize that sex is required to actually produce a baby, right? It's clearly Chuck's, the only question is whether they'll actually carry it to term or not.

Jeca

I get what writers are using this pregnant story as "it can happen to anyone at any age or social class" and as Blair looked scared and I guess she isnt happy and will hide it as long as posible, is also true that this show is about decadent people that have parties and dinners and anything is a great excuse for it , a baby would be boring , a great excuse to make some characters change very fast but I can not imagen the baby in that world.

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if Blair is pregnant and having the baby.... does this mean that this is the last season of GG?? =(

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Dan: It's Blair's Save the Date.
Rufus: You're not happy. You guys are still friends, right?
Dan: Yeah. Friends. I wonder if she invited Chuck.
Rufus: If he's anywhere that FedEx can reach.

Dan: Dad! What are you doing here? I thought you'd still be in London helping Jenny set up St. Martin's.
Rufus: She and Eric kicked me out when I didn't know who Sierra Burton was, so I came back here early and thought I'd spend some time with you.

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