Hurrah! Gossip Girl is back! I, for one, really enjoyed this premiere — it was fun in a way that the show hasn’t been in a while. In particular, Serena van der Woodsen’s new lease on life made her so so so much more entertaining and charming in “Yes, Then Zero” than she has been in recent seasons. I feel like we got a glimpse of the old pre-season 1 Serena — the super studious girl we glimpsed in that flashback to boarding school combined with the charismatic girl everyone falls in love with.
Serena’s given up drinking, partying, and being an It Girl to be a long-hours-working production assistant on the set of The Beautiful and Damned. And she’s good at it! I hope that Serena maintains this kind of purpose this season — all that waffling around was getting seriously tiresome — even when she inevitably returns to New York City. (Will the producer she’s working for conveniently be from New York?) The random run-in with Charlie/Ivy at the end of the episode was also rather convenient (or inconvenient, from Ivy’s perspective) but I am enjoying Kaylee DeFer on the show. She played that “That was weird” moment perfectly — so it was almost believable that Serena would fall for that cover after all the subterfuge she’s witnessed over the years.
I also loved the Chuck-Nate-Serena interaction — they seemed to be genuinely happy to see each other and hang out! That group hug was adorable, and the “He’s Chuck Bass” moment was a classic. Nate’s “I’m tired of being myself” thing was a little bit of a stretch — really? He has like nothing to do ever and having bad relationships don’t count as hardships. That said, he was pretty cute as he answered ‘yes’ to everything at that party. I find it hard to buy Elizabeth Hurley as anyone but Elizabeth Hurley. So who was she talking to on the phone? What’s her big secret?
And what of Chuck Bass? So much secret hidden pain, so many bruises hidden under his shirt! I thought he seemed genuinely happy at the beginning of the episode — his ‘yes’ philosophy was totally working for him, as weird as it was to see him tanned and wearing a leather jacket and riding a motorcycle. Clearly he still has Blair-related issues that are driving him to extreme recklessness; I just hope we don’t see him go on another downward spiral. I’d rather he make a last ditch attempt to break up Blair and Louis.
Oh Louis. Tres boring, n’est-ce pas? If only he had a personality. I can understand why a girl like Blair would be willing to marry him — both because he’s royal and B cares about that kind of thing and because after her highly dramatic relationship with Chuck, someone who is just easy and sweet and compatible with her would be the perfect antidote. But Blair seems just about done with Louis — she certainly seemed ready to ditch her fiancé after one failed test. She wants him to prove to her that they are the partners (not Louis and his mother) and that Blair has a voice. Is Blair too much of a Waldorf woman to play second fiddle to Princess Sophie and the rules that Louis has been raised to follow?
I loved the Blair-Dan scene — loved it. Dan was just so suitably into the idea of running away with Blair Waldorf to the Hamptons, but in the end he made sure Blair understood that Louis had been acting to protect her — though Dan wasn’t honest enough to reveal what motivated him to deceive B in the first place. Sigh. He loves her. It’s simultaneously hilarious and perfect and tragic. Does he even stand a chance with her? Probs not.
But Blair has bigger problems — pregnant!! Who is the father? Chuck? Louis? Dan?? Is that the big secret in Dan’s story that Louis wouldn’t be happy about if it was made public? (Also, if Louis is powerful enough to have Vanity Fair halt publication on a story that must already be very near in print, wouldn’t he also have enough sway to get a copy of said story to read?)
Next week — “Beauty and the Feast”! Hilariously the top YouTube comment on this video is “Weirdest promo ever.” True. But also pretty awesome.