Gossip Girl Round Table: Season Five Premiere

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Welcome to the first TV Fanatic Gossip Girl Round Table of the season! Below, our panel breaks down the previous night's episode (see our review from earlier this morning) from all angles.

Below, TVF shot-caller Eric Hochberger (a.k.a. Gossip Guy) and editor Steve Marsi (Mister Meester) are joined by staff writers Courtney Morrison, Christina Tran and Leigh Raines to discuss "Yes, Then Zero."

Weigh in with your take on the following topics after reading ours!


What was your favorite quote from the episode?

Courtney: "People like me don't write books, they're written about." Absolute perfection by Chuck Bass.

Christina: Chuck: "Serena, you accepted responsibility without hesitation for maybe the first time in your life. And Nate, you had more fun not being you than you've ever had actually being you. Which means you now know you need to change." Dead on. Finally, a bit of realism on Gossip Girl.

Leigh: Marshall to Chuck: "Who are you?" Serena and Nate: "He's Chuck Bass." Had to go with the classic on this one.

Steve: Courtney and Eric's choice was clearly the best, but to mix it up, I'll go with Nate's musings on weed and life. I love being reminded of what a stoner he is at heart.

Eric: "People like me don't write books, they're written about." Glad the "yes man" Chuck is still a cocky bastard.

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What did you like and dislike most about the premiere?

Courtney: I liked that everyone seemed to be having fun again, a back to basics premiere showing why we all fell in love with this show in the first place. Blair was on her game, Serena looked pretty, Chuck was being hot... felt like old times. I am loving the Blair pregnancy storyline... hopefully they don't bail out of it in some way. There wasn't much I disliked... I don't see the need for Charlie/Ivy to come back and I am not so sold on the adult stories playing a huge part (looking at you, Elizabeth Hurley). Hopefully her arc works out better than Russell Thorpe's last season.

Christina: Sometimes a change of scenery can be nice. LA served as a great spot for Chuck, Nate and Serena to have a simpler than usual summer. I disliked that Blair seemed more whiny and irritating than usual.

Leigh: I loved seeing Nate, Serena, and Chuck hanging out and having some good old-fashioned fun. Unfortunately I still really dislike the Louis storyline. Blair is not her usual snarky, wonderful self around him.

Steve: I only had minor complaints, such as Marshall's lame plot to oust Serena and too much of Louis' mom. Other than that, it was a fun episode with a lot of heart and a major twist. Vintage Gossip Girl.

Eric: I loved the light-hearted feeling of the LA scenes. I disliked Chace Craword's terrible acting. Maybe it was because I haven't seen the show in months, but was he always this terrible and I was just distracted by his beauty?

Prince Louis: Boring and naive, or devoted and principled?

Courtney: Boring and naive. I want to like him, I really do. But I find myself hardly listening when he talks. He may be the sweetest guy, and he is even a prince... but that still holds no competition against Chuck Bass or even Dan Humphrey. Time for the Prince and his bossy mother to go.

Christina: How about utterly boring and naive? Prince Louis didn’t once question Dan why he would write a story about HIS fiancé. 

Leigh: See above. Snoozefest.

Steve: Christina makes a great point above - On the heels of her liaison with Chuck last season, too. The fact that we're debating between THREE guys as the father of Baby Waldorf proves Louis' naivete.

Eric: Are we comparing him to the yacht-owning, building-jumping, motorcycle-riding Chuck? Then obviously boring and naive. But if we're comparing him to other princes, he's as exciting as Blair could ask for and seems ridiculously devoted to her. Shut up and take your fairytale ending, even if it is Monaco. Not everyone can be Kate Middleton and land England.

Nathaniel in L.A.

Hardest to believe: Serena showing actual work ethic, Dan's book getting published immediately and anonymously, or Nate having a moment of self-reflection?

Courtney: This is such a difficult choice because they are all so hard to believe! I'm going to take Serena showing actual work ethic because Dan has been published before and Nate is old enough he should be able to do some self-reflection. There's no way the UES princess would be that devoted to getting coffee.

Christina: Serena and work ethic just don’t belong in the same sentence. I’m so used to seeing Serena as the damsel in distress or chasing boys that it’s hard to believe she’d actually succumb to the working world.

Leigh: Nate doing anything besides attracting cougars.

Steve: Dan has an awfully easy time getting published by elite magazines, but at least that's been consistent from the show's inception. Ditto for Nate being a bit of a lost soul. Serena showing real ambition, not motivated by her love interest du jour? Or deterred by setbacks? Now that caught me off guard.

Eric: First off, I just finished reading The Help, and let me tell you, they love publishing anonymous books and those things catch like wildfire. That check will be first of many. Just watch out for those tempting chocolate cakes. Now, let's be honest, Nate having a moment of any kind of thinking, even if it is marijuana-induced, is beyond comprehensible. Can we please just get him to sit in the corner and stop talking?

Did you miss Jenny, Eric and Vanessa?

Courtney: Honestly... no. Jenny and Eric had been so MIA over the past season, I hardly noticed they were gone. The only reason I noticed Vanessa wasn't around was because no one was wearing any ridiculous outfits. These three haven't had a really good story since the beginning of the series, if at all (Vanessa...). No loss coming from me.

Christina: How about none of the above? Jenny always ruined everything, Eric is kind of boring, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain my reasoning for Vanessa.

Leigh: I don't really miss any of them. If I had to pick, I'd say Eric, but I like Connor Paolo over at Revenge.

Steve: Jenny always stirred up drama. Eric was (usually) the show's moral compass. Both played key roles, felt like family and will be missed. As for she-who-must-not-be-named, my colleague will handle that:

J: I think she just went a little heavy on the eye shadow and disappeared into the shadows. Not convinced she's gone.
E: Of course! But I know he's just on vacation in the Hamptons. Luckily we can still catch his adventures out there on Revenge. Not sure why they changed his name though. It's confusing.

Who is the father of Blair's baby?!

Courtney: Tough call. It can't be the Prince because that would just make to much sense since they are going to be getting married and all. Of course who wouldn't want it to be Chuck? Daddy Bass would be extremely hot. But I'm going with Humphrey. I'm thinking some things went on between these two that we haven't learned about yet. And hey, he probably is the most suited considering his short lived daddy to Georgina's kid.

Christina: I'm going with Chuck because I still believe in happy endings - even for our Upper Eastsiders.

Leigh: I'm gonna go with Chuck on this one. She took the pregnancy test before Monaco, and there was mention of how she and Louis spent all summer in bed. I think she knows it's Chuck's and had tons of sex with Louis to try and pass it off as his.

Steve: Dan, if only because that revelation would be the ultimate OMFG moment.

Eric: Dan. That guy is so potent even his kiss can impregnate a woman. Just ask G.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

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


What was your favorite quote from the episode?
Chuck: "Who are you?"
Serena and Nate: "He's Chuck Bass." What did you like and dislike most about the premiere?
There's virtually nothing I strongly disliked about this episode. I thought it was decent in most respects. I don't even remember what's going on with the parents' story-lines all I know is I just tolerate them, which is saying a lot since I watched a few seasons of the O.C. last summer and skipped most of the scenes focusing on the parents. Prince Louis: Boring and naive, or devoted and principled?
Boring, naive, and devoted. And you know what, he brings out a lot of Blair's good qualities, but I feel like Blair has to be "on" all the time and any time she slips up and Louis forgives her I think is he really accepting her or is he just showing that he's the better person - which I'm sure is unintentional, but frustrating none the less. And since Chuck and Blair really do need to grow more before they can pull off a functioning relationship, I am all for Dair since they actually have great chemistry. I really hope they don't screw up that story. Hardest to believe: Serena showing actual work ethic, Dan's book getting published immediately and anonymously, or Nate having a moment of self-reflection?
Okay, apparently Dan is a very talented up-and-coming writer - there are some inconsistencies with this subplot, but since we haven't gotten to hear any of his writing for ourselves I'll assume he's worthy of the attention he has gotten and grudgingly admit that he can be very talented and not already be a bestselling author or a crap writer struggling to get better; it's okay to be in the middle. I'm going to go with Serena only because it's hard to watch her getting bossed around by anyone, but she got off very easy in the end and that has Serena written all over it. Nate was due for emotional growth. Did you miss Jenny, Eric, and Vanessa?
Eh... Jenny was entertaining sometimes, but she's been feeling pointless lately so I'd rather not see her until she becomes relevant again. Eric I'm on the fence about, I like him as Dan's confidant, but he can be so naive sometimes and that's just annoying. Vanessa, you've been a nuisance and a meddler from day 1. You're like a puzzle piece that came with the others in the box, but doesn't seem to actually go with anything I missed you at least if I'm absolutely honest. Who is the father of Blair's baby?!
My money's on Chuck. Dan is too much and Louis is too obvious and kind of feels like the final nail in the coffin - no one else is getting in there and that means they'll have to squeeze in as much Chair and Dair between now and the wedding as possible, which means everything will feel fast-paced in a bad way.


Where the heck did the nicknames go?! BRING THEM BACK.


I like Dan and Blair. Those two need more scenes together!


What did you like and dislike most about the premiere?
Loved the pregnancy story, the LA stuff with C,N,S, Anything Chuck Bass
dislike: Blair,Louis, Dan. It was boring. Dorota made Blair a little fun but she was whiny,Louis is boring, and I don't think Dan and Blair is remotely interesting unless they are snarking
Hardest to believe: Serena showing actual work ethic, Dan's book getting published immediately and anonymously, or Nate having a moment of self-reflection?
Dan's book. Please, the boy named a character Charlie Trout. Who is the father of Blair's baby?! I believe in true love and soul mates, so I think it's Chuck's. Plus that complicates her boring fairytale.


After reading this, I feel like I have the duty to defend Natie's honor: "I'm calling it. Nate has secretly been one of the best actors on this show the entire time. He is so f***ing funny when he's being funny. It's like watching a child actor before they stopped being able to act, if that makes sense. I mean, that's actually really offensive and it's not what I mean, but he's got this naturalistically charming way-of-being that, starting from last year, is occasionally one of the neatest things about this show. I bet he needs directing, but only because the character's always been written as way more conflicted than he actually wants to be played, I think. I know that Nate's always been the odd man out, as far as buzz and the way the show gets talked about, but when he gets to rock he really does. He's funny in an RJ Berger, Awkward., Paul Feig, Jan Oxenberg way, where the lines come slipping out so easily and naturally that you don't even realize how funny they are at first. It takes a confidence and a love of actors, I think, like a Norman Buckley -- or maybe a David Warren too, in this case, being the overall funniest episodes and the best Nate episodes I can think of offhand -- to bring it out. I guess the best way to say it is, the show treats him like a Matthew Settle when it should be treating him like Kelly Rutherford."


Best line:
Chuck: 'People like me don't write books they are written about'
what I liked most is Chuck Serena Nate adorable boning in LA. Best part of the episode was them and Hot Chuck!!
What I disliked is Dan trying to take Blair away from her fairytale which she had been dreaming about since her childhood' he acted like a selfish jerk.
Prince Louis is boring and Naive. Hardest thing to believe' Dan's book getting published immediately and anonymously' but guess this is the way of GG writers pushing their dear Dan down our throats. so I am not surprised by awesome Dan! Did I miss Jenny Eric and Vanessa? Yes Jenny could bring some color but not Vanessa. and for Eric; He was once fun when he was interacting with Chuck the most their brotherhood was adorable but after they had him a Dan Humph immitate he started to be irritating. So I am glad he is gone. I am pretty sure Daddy is Chuck.After all those obstacles they got they deserve their happy ending.also we deserve it because of being so loyal to this show even if they treated CB in a very cruel way. So yayy for Baby Bass..


@aridney - Hey, Steve (Mister Meester) and I (Gossip Guy) are still here! We only lost DANdy (Matt) to the 9 million other shows he has to cover now. Please try and welcome our new panelists who were fellow GGInsider fans!


Another question:
Does anyone else miss our original Round Table reviewers?


Chuck had to be the highlight of the episode last night as did Serena and Nate, but i'm with Leigh and Cristina Blair was whiny and annoying. I don't know if it was Louis or Dan's fro reaching out to trap her that made her worse. I think the baby is definitely Chuck's because a limp guy like Louis doesn't knock up the Queen of the UES.


What was your favorite quote from the episode? easy "people like me don't write books. we're written about" What did you like and dislike most about the premiere? i loved CNS! esp their last scene on the yacht and i adored the group hug!
i did NOT like holier-than-thou dan taking advantage of the situation with blair to run away with her and let her break up with louis. that was a lie by omission right there. doesn't he claim to be above all that? Prince Louis: Boring and naive, or devoted and principled? oh so boring and naive. you know what makes this character especially uninteresting? he seems to have a grand total of two facial expressions, all his lines are dull and spoken in such an annoying accent you can barely understand what he's saying anyway, and all his scenes are with blair, one of the most dynamic characters in the show, so he seems even less interesting than he actually is. as for naive, i'm thinking that's an understatement. Hardest to believe: Serena showing actual work ethic, Dan's book getting published immediately and anonymously, or Nate having a moment of self-reflection? serena showing actual work ethic. hands down the hardest to believe. i kept waiting for her to flirt with SOMEONE on set. but it didn't happen. i was downright flabbergasted. Did you miss Jenny, Eric and Vanessa? no, not really, and are you kidding me? Who is the father of Blair's baby?! chuck. duh. B)

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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.