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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DEAR GG WRITERS: DO YOU REALLY THINK WE’RE THAT STUPID?
YOU ARE SO BUTTHURT ABOUT NEGATIVE FEEDBACK BUT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR GODDAMN SHOW HISTORY chuck never did anything selfless for blair, guys
no he hasn’t been the biggest blair/happiness shipper for 5 years
no he didn’t vote for her 150 times so she’d become prom queen (whilst she was banging his best friend.)
no he didn’t apply for her for Columbia because he knew she wouldn’t be satisfied without
no he did no, at all, let her go several times in order for her to be happy
chuck just never did anything selfless, goddamn.
No he didn’t pay the photographer in 3.04 so that she’d feel special and have more belief in herself again
In addition to him making her Prom Queen (which was her dream) He planned the perfect Prom since her knew what she had always wanted from the scrapbook
No of course he didn’t want to leave her ‘world’ in 4.04 in hopes of her having a better life
And exactly of course he didn’t let her go in 2.23, 4.09, 4.22 ect because her put her happiness above his own

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and before all of you dair fans will start with your posts (which i will not read) and call me a chiar fan or chuck fain or whatever and that i do not like you dair fans, let me just say this: yes! i don't like dair fans, because also thanks to you guys this show sucks and is illogical! and i'd have rather blair be happy forever after with louis cause at least that would have made more sense. xoxo

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and back to the eternal point of dair, yes they are forced very very forced, unless maybe you haven't watched ANY of the previous episodes. they have absolutely nothing in common (except for taste in movies? - surely that's what love is about - though i remember well chuck was quite up to date with aurey and bette davis movies. and i dunno why the writers keep making blair say 'dan loves me for me' care to explain? what exactly does dan love in blair? cause he seemed to hate everything about her and i can't see why he got such a change of heart.. is mister morality now into schemers? and socialistas? vain drama queens? and this attachment to blair is really ruining her character.. how can anyone think that someone who values social status, the fine things in life, good taste & fashion as much as blair would ever fall for a guy like dan? really!! i just can't buy it!! and before all of you dair fans will start with your posts (which i will not read) and call me a chiar fan or chuck fain or whatever and that i do not like you dair fans, let me just say this: yes! i don't like dair fans, because also thanks to you guys this show sucks and is illogical! and i'd have rather blair be happy forever after with louis cause at least that would have made more sense. xoxo

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blair and dan are down right mean! and not in a fun way
it's really quite unfair and to all of you defending them: oh yes blair is a bitch, not for not running back to chuck, but for swearing unconditional love to him, while carrying louis's baby, and then actually marring louis, though confessing to love chuck and then cheating on her husband with dan (though her best friend was in love with his) and dumping chuck (for no reason) just like that dan is a bitch because before hooking up with blair he and chuck were friends and he didn't even have the decency to say something like hey man i'm sorry. not only that but he is his usual judgmental self against chuck, accusing him of all kind of bullshit. i have always disliked dan's character for judging people like that (and he's wrong most of the times anymore, much like his late friend v) and the reasons why i like non judgemental breakfast club (chuck, nate, blair, serena) is cause they didn't act so high and mighty as mister morality (and yet didn't he use his 'friends' so write that silly fanfic of his? just to name of the not-so-moral things he did)

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Aw come off it! They're all judgmental in their own way, not just Dan. They all just come at it from different perspectives!

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5 sezona kadar yaşanan olayların kesinlikle birbiri ile bir bağlantısı vardı şimdi o kadar saçma ve tutarsız sahneler varki bence ya seyirciyi salak yerine koyorlar yada sadece kendilerini tatmin ediyorlar şu çeyiz meselesi c b düğünden kaçınca çeyizi ödeyeyim dediğinde b bunu kabul edemem kendim başarmalıyım dedi güçlü kadın olacakya hani çok gülünç e şimdi c ödedi ve öğrendiğinde bir dövmediği kaldı neymiş kendisini kazanmak için oyunmuş adam yaptığı bütün fahişeliğe rağmen o kadar para ödemiş d ye c nin karşılıksız fedakarlık yapmasından bahsediyor sanki c ilkkez yapıyor izleyenler bilir c bunu hep yapıyor ayrıca şu c nin b yi otel için satma meselesi sanki b çok masum c nin amcası ile zaten yatmıştı c sorduğunda sadece rahatlamak için demişti neyse kız c gibi salağı bulmuş aman ne güzel c nin parası d nin sahte tacı ve neyse bu arada sanki basit birşeymiş gibi lutfedip c ye teşekkür mesajı attı sonuçta senaristleri tebrik etmek lazım diziyi batırdılar ve artık şu c yi b nin peşinden koşturmayı bırakırlar umarım adamda takacak boynuz kalmadı artık.

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Oh please, what was my spelling all about there... Episode*
Wonderful*

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Forget all of what is being discussed about this epiode and lets focus on that wondering red onsie that chuck was sporting. As if Chuck Bass would ever wear a onsie ;)

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@ ms.m
You're wrong. Blair has fallen into the very bad situation when she married a man who does not like. All that had happened to her after that the was product of stupid wedding. As for sending photos by Chuck, it is revenge to Dan. Do you think that Chuck will fight to free ride off into the sunset. As for the payment of dowry - it's just a good deed. Chuck did not have to do that. This a good deed Chuck more harm than it uses. Accept that this episode is Chuck victory and move on.

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@Zoran by your logic that would mean Chuck was the villain in 5x17 for posting the Dair kissing picture on GG. he did something bad by posting that pic and now he did something good by paying the dowry to make up for it. all Chuck did was fix/correct a mistake that HE MADE which means he made amends for it/rectified the situation. that's not a victory. Chuck created a bad situation for Blair, then he fixed that bad situation.