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
  • 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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@Zoran
I think the problem is that people are choosing to see only what they want to see especially given some of the unconsidered rants that just descend into slamming a character. Not one of them is perfect and that's what I like about it. Looking back at some of Blairs early eps she is an absolute bint to others but you know it comes from her own deep-seated insecurities and that's why I liked her. Same with Chuck etc although some of the stuff he pulled almost went over my limit. But then it's a TV show and ultimately that's what I take it for - a bit of entertainment.

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@ ms.m
We agree to disagree! In this episode Chuck did a good deed!
@Lm
I agree with you. None of the characters is not without flaws. They all envy each other. But each of us in the audience differently sees each of character in the series.

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@ Kookakicha
I'm sorry if I was unexplainable. Probably because of the language. It is obvious that English is not my native language. I agree with you that Dan and Blair are unlikely to be together at the end of the series. But this much is completely incomprehensible to the propaganda that led to Dan and Blair when the two were only 3 episodes together. I am glad that we agree about that Chuck did a good deed. On the other hand reaction Blair is expected, but why is that? Now we probably will not agree. Because I think that Blair reacts angrily to Chuck as her conscience tells her that maybe she is with the wrong guy. If Chuck is willing to throw millions of dollars for Blair, then Chuck changed for the better and became what she always wanted . I'm sorry if I offended you, it was not intentional. I thank you called me Dan and Serena fan.

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You lot watch this show with blinkers on. To claim that Dan is the only judgmental one and that ridiculous NJBC idea. They all bloody judge, jump to conclusions, accuse each other of crap all the time. Dan judges them for the schemes, entitlement attitudes etc and they judge him for being from Brooklyn and judge each other constantly. It's human nature to do it as often it stems from an individuals own insecurities about themselves and cripes we all they suffer from that.

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@Zoran i don't have to 'accept' anything. so, yeah. There was no victory for Chuck.

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@ ms.m so i read several post in general but your really had me wondering what in the world?? What do you mean that chuck paying the dowery means he making ammends for something he caused?? How did chuck cause Blair to have to pay a dowery if she wanted to get out of her marriage? It was in the prenupcial aggreement before she volentary married Luis..even after dan sent the blast of her loving chuck moré and moré each day..seems to me she is the only one to blame for her poor choices..no one else but her..so she should have had to suffer through her dowry with out chuck paying it..and the fact that the writers made chuck pay the dowery seems they left it open for possible reunión between chair as ridículous as that is.

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I loved the episode and I am a HUGE chair fan! As soon as I stopped worrying about who chuck is going to end up with and just lived in the moment, I felt better. No matter how many times ppl argue about dair and chair on tv fanatic, it is NOT GOING TO CHANGE the fact that the episodes are already written and nothing will be changed just because of our bickering! lol If you like the characters and the show then watch! if not, get the f out and stop posting your fustrations out on a site where real fans can see it! lol

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@Zoran
I have to go with Sophie here. You do make no sense, I am sorry. I don't know if it is a matter of language issues or just the plain inability of forming an argument. But why would I be nervous? I do not believe Dair will be endgame, I have no illusions about it because I know the writers are not consistent enough nor will they want to receive death threats from crazy fans.
You put words in my mouth and assume my emotional state when none that I have said suggests it. Again, I did not undermine Chuck's "heroism" but I pointed out that Blair's reaction does not cancel everything he has done, proven by what she told him in the episode. But say what you will, Derena fan. Make a good argument or don't bother replying.

Amygirl

Okay, first of all in S1 when Chuck and Blair slept together for the first time they were taking advantage OF EACH OTHER. They were both a little tipsy, and might I add before when they were in the limo Chuck asked if she was sure. She leaned it. Plus Blair has said she doesn't regret that night (to that Yale person's daughter/niece/idk...?) Chuck fan or not, Chuck wasn't taking advantage of her. Plus why are people so invested in these ships? Honestly, route for a couple no need to fight over it and make every thread an argument. I have been watching since S1 and I just can't bring myself to care.

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all you people blaming chuck for the dowry
did chuck MAKE dan stick his tongue down blair's throat?????????
if you go around kissing married women they should by all mean pay the consequences
the whole stupidity with blair's marriage was not chuck's fault at all ánddd yes dan is the most judgmental character in the show, that why he is not a part of the Non Judgmental Breakfast Club :) he is not worthy :) and one more thing for dair fans: though i am quite pissed at the writers I think they the reason why they are making dan and blair's characters so despicable now is so that we will be very very very happy when they break them up, which will happen, sooner or later and I will come back to this board to write 1000 happy comments about their break up as you dair fans write now about every single dair scene in a way which is very disrespectful to common sense