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
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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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    208 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Splush

    I agree with the majority of the comments. This season has been cheap, inconsistent, and confusing. Nothing makes sense. I am gravely disappointed.I wish they hadn't dragged on the stupid Royal Wedding, the ridiculous and unnecessary DAIR, and Serena's metamorphosis into Mega Bitch. Go back to the cleverly written days of Seasons 1,2, and possibly even 3.

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    Many fans of Chuck and Blair does not seem to understand the series. GG series is not a series about love Chuck and Blair. If it was then it would have ended in the season 3 with Chuck and Blair marriage. GG is a series of five characters, their friendship, their families and of course their love.

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    If I had to describe each season of Gossip Girl, it would probably be:

    Season 1: epic
    Season 2: solid
    Season 3: forgettable
    Season 4: refreshing
    Season 5: controversial

    This is just my opinion! Personally though for this season, I think the Royal Wedding storyline could've been handled better. They shouldn't have made Chuck and Blair have feelings again because the way they ended it last season was perfect already and made a lot of sense. That's where it got inconsistent. I wanted to see them grow up independently and that's why I like that Blair went her own way for once.

    The Ivy/Lola story is also not that great but I still think this is better than a lot of other shows that's still out there and I'm a loyal fan! So I'm sticking with it because no matter how ridiculous its still light drama that is just fun to watch :)

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    @ D: I liked Chuck and Blair in season 3 but I admit many fans were expecting more. I think people wanted to see more of the most intimate part of their relationship, like the foreplay and such, more about their passionate side, and the show didn't deliver that, and even the private conversations we saw weren't very long. That's why the 4x9 scene in Blair's bedroom is very dear for many Chuck and Blair fans, because that whole foreplay and teasing is what people wanted to see in season 3 when they were a couple but the show didn't deliver it.

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    what is the name of this show again? I don't think I know it anymore. -*-

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    Question!
    What's the SONG when Lola runing from changing room because Serena turn on the alarm.
    Please

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    This seasson is RIDICULOUS!!! Dan and Blair????
    Totally lost of the personality in the caracthers, it looks like they don't have anything new to write.
    What happened with logic in the creativity? You have to be verisimil.
    The only reason to still watch Gossip Girl is fashion purposes, that's it.

    Amygirl

    @Emma

    Agreed completely. I can't bring myself to completely stop watching this show because of the amazing pas it has, but on this route I am becoming less willing to stick around. And yeah I wish I could ship this something too so at least I'd have something to watch for (besides Dorota).

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    ...but then hi destroys everything (check season 3 ep. 17, 20 and 22, & season 4 ep. 20, 21 and 22), He wants to be with Blair but when he's about to get it, bam something bad has to happen. Safran, sometimes an endgame has good funny and stable stories than this shitt you try to do. The producers also developed The O.C. and Seth and Summer were awesome. Dan has lost his way, I agree on the idea of Lily and Ruffus divorce, which will open the door for recover what the Humphreys were at the beginning. Nate is actually the class whore Gossip Girl said he was, how is it that he has been with every new female character that appears within every season (Catherin, Bree, Juliette, Charlie, Diana, Lola) The only thing I appreciate is that he has a good job and probably he is actually "good" at it... any how they are all 21 years old aren't they supposed to be in their collages? I really hope this show gets its balls back, and I'm actually looking forward to episode 22 of this season...

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    I don't know if the producers actually see some of these comments, but even if they don't. Ever since the characters lost their initial essence when basically they looked like immature adults (specially Blair and chuck, sorry chair fans but their relationships could’ve been better) instead of showing them like UES who actually turns from seniors of a private High School to freshmen in College. Honestly after season 3 the show has come down hill. Serena really has become irrelevant this past 3 seasons, Blair has lost her power and her frienemy relationship with Serena, and I'd think must have some abandoned issues because both of your parents left hometown to live miles away (remember that Blair and her mom had a hard relationship, Blair learned scheming from her), Chuck is so boring, when he had control of things and was de badass from season 1 he was amazing, now he is just dull, the story has driven him to be this guy who always does something to make up for his mistakes, but the hi destroys everything (check season 3 ep. 17, 20 and 22, & season 4 ep. 20, 21 and 22), He wants to be with Blair but when he's about to get it, bam something bad has to happen. Safran, sometimes an endgame has good funny and stable stories than this shitt you try to do. The producers also developed The O.C. and Seth and Summer were awesome. Dan has lost his way, I agree on the idea of Lily and Ruffus divorce, which will open the door for recover what the Humphreys were at the beginning. Nate is actually the class whore Gossip Girl said he was, how is it that he has been with every new female character that appears within every season (Catherin, Bree, Juliette, Charlie, Diana, Lola) The only thing I appreciate is that he has a good job and probably he is actually "good" at it... any how they are all 21 years old aren't they supposed to be in their collages? I really hope this show gets its balls back, and I'm actually looking forward to episode 22 of this season...




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