Gossip Girl season 4: domain, c’est une nouvelle année

Tomorrow night at 9 pm EST on The CW, Gossip Girl is back with “Belles du Jour” — the filmed-in-Paris extravaganza. I will admit that the season 3 finale did not sit well with me but I’ve since had a change of heart … mostly.

Season 3, in my opinion, works way better on DVD than it did when first broadcast. Watching the episodes back to back, I definitely got a better feeling for what the writers were doing to our characters and I think it was deliberately uncomfortable. Our characters are all out of their element: some fresh out of high school, some living in a very different zip code; trying on new roles (college student, queen bee, business mogul, trophy husband) and reconnecting with the past (Chuck dealing with the legacy of his father … and his ghost; Chuck’s mother’s return as well as Jack Bass’s; Dan and Vanessa dating; William van der Woodsen’s return and its affect on Lily, Serena, Eric, and Rufus; Nate and his tense relationship with the Vanderbilts…). I think part of why the season felt somehow off when I first watched it was because all our characters were feeling at loose ends for the majority of the season. (Also: NYU. And too much Dorota.)

As for the finale, after the summer I’ve come to terms with the Chuck-and-Jenny fiasco. Jenny’s descent into total desperation and isolation over the course of the season made her decision to sleep with Chuck a little more believable than his to sleep with her, in my opinion, but he is, after all, Chuck Bass. It wasn’t like Jenny was the first person he’d slept with post–Blair breakup; he’d been pretty darn busy. I’m also hopeful — judging by the excellent Oh Mon Dieu trailer — that the Dan/Georgina baby plot will be dealt with humorously. And thank you, GG writers, for not holding on to the Is Chuck Dead? lunacy from the season finale.

The early reviews of the Gossip Girl premiere are positive, that the show’s back in form, and certainly the very idea of Serena and Blair in Paris made me so excited, let alone the reality of seeing them gallivant through the city. There are some interesting characters coming into play — the genius Katie Cassidy as Juliet — and some old ones returning. I’ve adopted Blair’s “don’t back down just because of Bass and Humphrey” attitude. Season 4, I am optimistic.

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