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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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Loved Chuck Bass last night. Serena was superb. Nate was adorable. But Blair was upset and nervous :( She needs Serena back in NYC with her! Dan lying to get Blair for yourself? Not cool Humphrey. So happy that Blair is pregnant along with Dorota! A Chuck Bass baby!

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Guh, I just absolutely HATE that they made Blair pregnant. It makes me want to scream. Like, seriously. Blair and the father (most likely Chuck) changing diapers, breast feeding, and not getting enough sleep at night. Sounds like soooo much fun. I want drunken parties, fun and scandals. What happened to Blair not wanting to be with Chuck because she had to learn to be her own person first? And now she's a: getting married to a guy because she wants to be a princess, and b: going to be a mum at such an young age. The writers should have given her the opportunity to grow as a person, while being single. Then she would be ready for a relationship. Blair has issues, and a lot of them comes from her relationship with her mum. How can she be a good mum, when she never learned how to be one? I love Blair, but she's not ready for a baby. Being parents is a lot of hard work, and she is to young, to immature, and neither of the potential baby daddys are ready. I always loved Chuck with Blair, but come on. He can not be a dad right now. He grew up being emotionally neglected by his dad, he doesn't even know how to function in a relationship with the person he loves the most. I can't see him giving up the parties and being "Chuck Bass" yet. I just don't think that Blair struggling with morning sickness and stretchmarks is a show I want to see.

Danielle50

Chuck is obviouslly the father and I am glad that this episode felt like the old gossip girl. Dan be in love with everybody so basically he do not know what love is right now and should do what Nate and Serena is doing and try to find himself.

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Omg if Dan is the father (and if Blair is in fact pregnant) I WILL CRY WITH OVERWELMING HAPPINESS!!! About time the writers start to acknowledge Dan and Blair's true chemistry, and just when I thought Gossip Girl was getting dull and completely overboard story lines with Chuck and Blair. Chair was great, really... but in the beginning, now honestly I find them ruined. Chuck taking Jenny's virginity, Chuck trading Blair for a hotel, just embarrsing Blair and man handling her as he punched a window and made her cut her face. I once rotted for Chair but they're not the same. I don't think Chuck deserves Blair. Now Dan is new and fresh love intrest for Blair and his love for Blair is what's holding me to watching the show now.

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Well concerning blair pregnancy. I think (or hope because it would be a great twist) it's actually Dan's. Cause at the end of the episode when his dad thanks him that he let him read the story about blair and him/the prince, he says he expected something more negative about Blair. Then Dan asks him if he "made it to the end?" and his dad's surprised when Dan says (or not denies) that "that actually happend". And if that would have been just a kiss.. it wouldn't be that weird, would it?

Tvjunkie

I thought it was solid start to the season. I think the only thing it really lacked was that there was no clear distinction on what these characters will be going through for the rest of the season as compared to other season premieres. But despite that, it was good. Serena's the only character who we really see with a clear path for the rest of the season which is good. The girl's been so lost that it's nice to see her with a sense of direction as with regards to her life. Seeing a more focused and responsible Serena is a good change from what we've seen in the past and I hope the writers continue on with that. High school's been long over so it's time for her to grow up. As for Blair, well, everyone seems to be in love with her. Chuck, Louis, and Dan can all come together and prove who loves her the most. I guess we can expect her to continue planning this royal wedding but with that bun in the oven, there'll be obvious complications. What I admired though in Blair in this episode was how she thought highly of herself that she was willing to end her engagement with Louis. We see this character as someone who wants so much power and recognition and over-all she wants that fairy tale. But I appreciated how she was willing to give that up because she knew she was worth more. That scene in the loft with Dan and Louis though really showed a lot from Dan and how deep his emotions are for this person. It should be interesting to see him struggle with that for the rest of the season. Chuck and Nate didn't really have a clear ending in order to lead us to something worth looking forward to for the rest of the season. The only thing that I am hoping for in Chuck is that the writers bring out his darker side in a different way as they have done before. This attitude of his is relatively similar to the one he had when he was with Ava so I only hope that the aftermath will be different from the one we've previously seen. Also, Charlie's reaction in the end was pretty damn priceless. Definitely looking forward to what the rest of this story will bring to the season.

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i CANT STAND DAIR at all, it is and always will be CHAIR!!
they are soul-mates, destiny and one of the greatest tv love storys ever told! I watch almost every tv show out there, and i love romantic movies!
It really does not exist a love story quite like chuck and Blairs! They have the love that everyone dreams of! the one everyone wants.. TRUE LOVE.... I hope that the producers and the writers dont destroy gossip girl by not allowing finally blair and chuck to end up togheter...
Becouse if it ends up beeing LONLYBOY and BLAIR! gossip girl will go down in history as on of the worst shows, insted one of the best!!!

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horrendous blair!! horrid dan!! everyone else quite the same. well, i know they're twenty and the show's for high-schoolers, and they're actually more realistic than ever, but still...

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Anyone notice that there are THREE competitors for the Daddy spot? Louis (obviously, though, since it's GG, no way in hell is that happening), Possibly Dan...and also Chuck. They did have sex before Chuck "gave her away" to Louis.

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This is mean but I kept comparing the Dan and Blair scene to Chuck and Blair scenes and thinking they just aren't as good. Ed and Leighton are so good at angsty drama. They own it. Penn and Leighton are good actors but for me they just don't compare as an acting couple. The chemistry difference is so big. It's like a tasty hamburger and filet mignon. Hah Other than finding DB really underwhelming I'd say my other biggest impression was that the show itself felt weird and kind of shallow. Some of the scenes with Serena, Nate and Chuck in LA were alot of fun but in general the show felt off to me.