By Youyoung Lee
Updated October 11, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Congratulations, Gossip Girl — you’ve been picked up by the CW for a whole season! More frothy frocks from Eleanor Waldorf? More snarling from Chuck Bass? Upper East Side location shots and witty banter? I’m stoked.

Along with Nielsen viewers, “advertisers, affiliates, and press have also embraced the show,” said CW president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff in a statement. (Notice the shoutout from last week’s eponymous “Ostroff Center.”) Advertisers, really? Because I hadn’t noticed the plethora of Verizon cell phones all over the show, thumb-flicking Sidekicks and all. And it’s not like I didn’t visit the website and see that I can not only download all of the songs played in an episode, but I can also peruse the GG ‘Store’ and purchase the Ralph Lauren sweaters and, for the poorer folks, American Apparel T’s worn on the series. Also, it completely went over my head that department store Henri Bendel is mentioned, like, every other line. Still unsatiated, I spent some time on the cyberworld of GG last night, where I actually became one of the Gossip Girls. Man, Blair was getting on my nerves! But then I right-clicked her avatar away, and all was right in my world again.

Marketing tricks aside, last night’s GG showed real heart, which rendered it the best episode yet for me. We left off last week with a tearful B. and S. reunion in Central Park, and I was delighted to see the girls run around Fifth avenue and Central Park, laughing fetchingly during photo shoots, smiles adorning their pretty faces. “Moon River” played wistfully in the background, cementing the Breakfast at Tiffany’s allusion. All of this display of youth and happiness made me, in turn, happy. GG’s assertion that “As much as a BFF can make you go WTF, no one can admit that her life isn’t as rich without them,” is totally true when applied to the show — together, Blair and Serena are stronger, fuller, and just more fun to watch.

An interesting character shift regarding our beloved frenemies,Chuck and Blair, also emerged last night. I’ve made fun of Chuck in the past for being so deliciously bad,but he actually won some newfound respect from me. Because what isworse than pure immorality? Indecision. Morally, we might recognizethat impossibly-chiseled Nate is a better person, but at least Chuckdefends what he stands for, protecting all that he owns with fiercedetermination. After Nate’s bout of soul-searching leads him to seedyQueens and $10,000 poorer, he is saved by Chuck, who had seen throughtheir phony friend’s hippie façade the entire time. Nate’s questionsand doubts led him astray, and he is stupider for it. Likewise, Blair’ssimple desire to be loved by those around her drives her to conniving,theatrical antics to preserve it, but her loyalty to these goals isunwavering. To me, Chuck and Blair’s faithful, precise actions are morenoble than the blind ones of their flaxen-haired counterparts, whosethoughtlessness and passivity actually hurt more people in the end.Also, the former take full responsibility, while the latter eschewaccountability by placing all blame on circumstance.

So PopWatchers, I’m curious to see where your judgments fall. Afterwitnessing what plagues and drives B. (insecurity complex,diva-mother), what do you think could explain Chuck’s utter disregardfor life? And why is Nate always waking up in Chuck’s room at thePalace? Finally, if you’ve thought the similarities between GG and the OC were astounding, I’ll leave you with this.