April 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM EDT

Gossip Girl

TV Show
run date
Josh Schwartz
Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick
Current Status
Off Air

They’re ba-aack. After witnessing the CW’s juvenile but persuasive “OMFG” Gossip Girl advertisements sheathing Manhattan for the past week, I was ridiculously stoked about the return of the show after its near four-month hiatus. How I missed GG, the scandals, the “duh-duh-duh” music in the background, Kristen Bell’s cheeky narration. And last night’s GG didn’t disappoint, doing its randy advertising campaign justice by providing an almost painfully good story arc in what was ultimately the best episode since the series’ pilot.

So let’s get down to business. Fresh from what appears to be the longest spring break ever, Serena picks up a self-isolated Blair and dishes out all sorts of gossip to appease the demoted queen’s misery. This being the Upper East Side, typical theatrics include one of their girlfriends making it into Brody Jenner’s phone, natch, S. moving into Chuck’s suite at the Palace, and Kati inexplicably moving to Israel (?!?!), forever splicing the union that was once the minority twins. (In real life, however, actress Nan Zhang only moved two states north to Rhode Island, to study at Brown University.) Does this explain the sudden presence of the newbies on the show? If so, please bring back Kati, who at least looked convincingly threatening, unlike the fresh-faced actress who plays Hazel, and who doesn’t look older than 12. Anyway, only after her fall from grace was put into perspective did Blair remove her hideous babushka scarf and the strange blue poncho/tarp. Who actually wears such things when they are disguising themselves? A plastic bag might have achieved the same effect. But then again, this is the same girl that demanded to be helicoptered to JFK, so I suppose it all flows in the same hyperbolic direction.

The basic premise of last night’s episode was the brewing battlebetween two ferocious Queen Bees — Blair and Jenny — while also settingup the plot line for a special guest character, Georgina Sparks(to be played by Michelle Trachtenberg), who is harassing Serena withlascivious oddities like champagne bottles and porn videos andhandcuffs. Unrequited love, or a malevolent hanger-on? I suppose we’llfind out. Me, I’m getting tired of all of these allusions to S.’sillustrious past. I think Chuck hit the nail on the head when he said,“And to be quite honest, her Virgin Mary act is getting quite old.”Also? This might have been one of the few episodes where a collective“Poor Chuck” could be heard from the audience. The constantbeleaguering by both his father and newfound family members made meforgive even that blue shark-covered cardigan he was wearing at the endof the show, because he just looked so downtrodden and misunderstood.

But back to the feuding Queen Bees. The dueling match between Jennyand Blair played like a rabid UES game of tennis, the way the twoswiftly hit, and shrieked, from opposing ends. So let’s take a reviewthe scorecard. As the GG herself said so kindly, “The French revolutionhad cake. The American Revolution had tea. But look when we overthrowBlair Waldorf, well, who said you needed a silver spoon to dole outjust desserts.” Yogurt falling onto auburn tresses like bird droppings?Team Jenny, Love-15. Inviting Blair to Butter with no intent of actually showing up? Ace! Love-30.Approaching Rufus with demure charm at his Bedford Gallery to conjureup the perfect surprise birthday party at the Humphrey’s homelyWilliamsburg loft, thereby making a fool of not only your daughter butalso your family social status? Double Ace for Blair! 30-30. Sneaking out of your house and playing the “lonely” card with Nate to use him like a pawn to get back at Blair: 40-30 for Miss Humphrey.Having the audacity to sit at the birthday table after having just beencaught red-handed stealing a few moments earlier: Match Point! Team Jenny wins!

Well played, ladies! Never have I had so much fun watching a matchfrom the sidelines, all of which brings me to these questions: Whatkind of dress is worth $50,000? How painfully honest was it for Jennyto have stolen the dress in a desperate attempt to climb the socialranks? What kind of thrift store owner would let Jenny try on the reddress after she knowingly had tried to take it back from her? Who elsechuckled when Dan entered his pinked-out loft and said, “Whoturned 12?” and “Well he was worried about you, that you were turninginto a hideous UES cyborg.” Classic lines, though who else wanted tocall Dan’s hypocrisy out for lecturing Jenny while also being obsessedwith UES “It girl” Serena? Finally, who else is just a little more thanexcited to see Chuck turn Eric into a mini-me?

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