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Buffy - Willow and Tara

Gossip Girl 4x01 & 4x02 - Belles De Jour & Double Identities - Review

Posted on 2010.09.23 at 17:47
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So it occurs to me that I have not reviewed Gossip Girl before, presumably because this was a thing I started watching after my last sporadic session of reviews drew to a close. In short my default position on Gossip Girl is that 1) Chuck/Blair are the best characters and have to be together 2) Nate is the least interesting character and consequently he can do what he wants as long as he doesn't actively try and split up Chuck and Blair for whatever reason 3) Everyone else is okay I guess and they can do whatever and 4) the best episodes contain Georgina Sparks.

So first up Belles De Jour and usually the first episode of a new series seems to be just establishing the new status quo; what has and what has not changed over the holidays. This series to kick off Serena and Blair are in Paris and there's a whole plot which is the Prince and the Pauper with this French Prince or something. I think he was called Garibaldi? Anyway that's a thing that is happening and furthermore Serena is having a dilemma over how to tell Blair that she might be going to Columbia. Unsurprisingly the fact that she might be going to Columbia gets out and onto Gossip Girl and then Blair finds out and Serena trips and falls into a fountain. This segment of the program was actually pretty straightforward and I don't know why I decided to open with it.

A more intriguing storyline was Nate and his new girlfriend Juliet, who has news clippings of the whole group up on her wall and mysterious phone conversations with as yet unknown parties. At the moment I'm thinking we're supposed to be thinking that she is somehow working for Georgina, or something? However that is not what I am thinking, what I am thinking is that she is either working for Carter Baizen because you can't get rid of damn Carter Baizen, or potentially that she is working for Jenny and Jenny is going to return more devious and manipulative than ever before. And speaking of people who are devious and manipulative Georgina Sparks is in this one and she's somehow managed to convince Dan that she has changed and that she isn't devious or manipulative any more, which is a neat trick if you can manage it. Seriously I'm beginning to think that Dan is a bit dense, seriously Georgina has betrayed him more or less every time she has been in the show. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me four or more times shame on me and all that? Anyway the last time we saw her she was pregnant with what she alleged was Dan's baby and now she decides it's time to announce that she and Dan have a new son to the world, you know without bothering to consult with him first. Nice one Dan, you really are a great judge of character aren't you? Not only that but immediately after she manages to convince Dan to sign the birth certificate she vanishes off on a long spa weekend, and by long spa weekend I mean she unsurprisingly abandons her child with Dan.

But clearly the most important character was one who was conspicuously absent from this opening episode: Chuck Bass. Last we saw of him he was in Prague attempting to cling onto the engagement ring he got for Blair in the face of a pair of muggers who shot him and left him for dead. There was never any real danger of Chuck being dead, I don't think (If Chuck was to actually die I'd flee this show so fast it would make your head spin), the real intrigue came in the form of discovering where he had been all this time. In Prague under a fake name with a new girl is the answer to this question. But more on that in the second half of this incredibly long review wherein I review the second of the two episodes.

So let's move on to Double Identities now and I think the first thing that we should talk about is, rather obviously, Chuck and his double identities (yes that was kind of pointless but my OCD insists that I properly structure my reviews so deal with it). So the last episode ends with Chuck, erm I mean Henry Prince and his girlfriend who I have not learnt the name of arriving in Paris. Anyone reckon he might accidentally cross paths with Blair or Serena? So that happens while Blair is off on a date with Gary Baldy; the rich prince as briefly mentioned in the first half of this review. Meanwhile Serena is off to identify Chuck's body only it turns out that it isn't Chuck's body because if it had been then that would have been one hell of a trick. After running into Blair Henry is keen to leave the country, desperate to leave his past behind and so begins a race against time to prevent Chuck Bass from vanishing into a life of carefree bliss with his latest squeeze whose name I really should learn. Again it was obvious that he would somehow be convinced to return, it was the how that was interesting. Watching Blair struggle with her desire to leave Chuck firmly in the past and move on while aware that if she doesn't intervene she will never see him again. The scene at the train station is really awesome, especially the composition of the walking towards one another shot. I just loved that.

Meanwhile Sneaky Juliet is involved in all kinds of manipulation, manipulating Dan and Vanessa back together (this I do not mind) and also Nate and herself. Ultimately the net result appears to be that Serena ends up alone (I'm thinking Carter Baizen?). Juliet has the potential to be a very interesting character presuming they don't immediately explain away her mysterious benefactor and motivations.

Ultimately this review has gone on too long and I think I have assailed all the main points of the last couple of episodes. The only thing I would say that is wrong with them at the moment is the discernible absence of a couple of characters, say Eric and Dorota, though they probably have their reasons and will be back soonish I hope. All in all I'd say a nine out of ten. Nice work.

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