"Gossip Girl" Season 3 Mid-Season Recap & Review

12/09/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

"Gossip Girl" made its way into the hearts of viewers around the world in 2007 with its endless supply of clever comments, designer duds and voyeuristic views of Manhattan's elite. Over the first two seasons, the show consistently out did itself by laying on the drama, intrigue, fashion and fun while never ceasing to provide us with just the right amount of entertainment for our Monday nights.

However, with the third season of the show well underway, "Gossip Girl" might be just as passé as last year's Louboutins. So far, the show has been unremarkable and slightly predictable. Characters that used to be endearing have now become annoying: case in point--Serena. After a short-lived fling with Carter Baizen (Sebastian Stan), Serena has ditched an Ivy-league education to work in PR and play mistress to a Congressman who happens to be Nate's cousin, Trip van der Bilt (Aaron Tveit). Her former ability to woe us with her girl-next-door, sugary sweet smiles and nonchalant hair tosses have gone sour.

Nate, on the other hand, has remained status quo with his lack of any real or sustainable storylines. But I am a sucker for his beautiful face, so I'll let this one slide. He basically spends the first half of this season dating his family's arch rival, only to get dumped and realize that his true love is Serena. Unfortunately for Nate, his cousin has gotten hold of her heart first. He also is supposedly a freshman at Columbia--but we never see him there or meet any of his new friends.

Blair, who once held our attention with her witty vocab and badass behavior, has now become pathetic. The former ruler of Constance now is the social pariah of NYU, seeking out minions in her dormitory, finding herself not on the guest list at parties, and sabotaging high school debutant balls to get back at lowly teenagers. But fret not--Blair is not completely a hot mess. Her immutable compassion and love for Chuck makes her somewhat bearable to watch.

In contrast, Dan "Lonely Boy" Humphrey is now the cool kid on campus. All the girls want to date him, including the compulsive liar Georgina Sparks (Michele Trachtenberg) and movie star Olivia Burke (Hillary Duff). Dan ends up having a fling with Georgina and then enters into a somewhat serious relationship with Olivia. The relationship takes a nosedive, however, when Dan, Olivia and Vanessa engage in a hilariously awkward threesome that leaves us giggling and leaves Olivia believing that Dan actually is in love with Vanessa and not her. She promptly dumps him and exits the show, leaving Dan alone to get in touch with his unrequited feelings for his best friend.

Chuck is the only main character on the show that doesn't make you want to change the channel or ponder how close "Gossip Girl" has come to suffering the same ill-fate as "The OC"--crashing and burning after only four short seasons. Chuck spends his time this season cementing his name as a businessman by acquiring a trendy Manhattan hotel. He then begins to grapple with self-doubt and wonders if he ever will be able to step out of his father's shadow. His character development and inner struggle are redeeming and something I wish we could see more of with the other characters.

Jenny (Taylor Momsen) and Eric (Connor Paolo) have minor roles thus far this season. Jenny is still busy reigning supreme at Constance, but not without having to keep one eye over her shoulder because Eric, her former buddy, has been trying to dethrone her and get her back to "normal." The chances of this happening are slim because Jenny has been subsidizing her lifestyle by taking on the role of drug-dealer with a European drug trafficker. She's basically two episodes shy of a cell block.

Rufus (Matthew Settle) and Lily (Kelly Rutherford) finally tie the knot this season, but not without secrets, doubts and frustration. On their wedding day, they meet their long-lost son and promptly send him on his way back to Boston--never to be heard from again. We also find out this season that Lily recently has been in touch with her ex-husband, Mr. van der Woodsen, who happens to be Serena and Eric's father. This is a secret she keeps from Rufus that eventually is let out of the bag--and thus leaving the door open for marital misunderstandings.

In short, what we once loved about "Gossip Girl" now has become stale. One thing the show does have going for it right now is its revolving cast of short-term characters, all of whom add variety to the mundane. Also, Hillary Duff did an excellent job at channeling her television roots by effortlessly playing the role of a down-to-earth movie star this season. It was surprisingly sad to see her go. Additionally, Holley Fain brings us a character we love to hate as Maureen van der Bilt, Trip's scorned, power-hungry wife.

So will "Gossip Girl" survive its third season? It's a tough call. The most recent episode did have a splash of excitement to it reminiscent of the good ole days. So, I'm letting myself believe that the writers just might be able to turn it around before they completely lose their audience-base. However, the show is just as likely to continue down the path of mediocrity all the way to extinction. Only time will tell what's in store for our favorite set of Upper East Siders. XOXO, GG.

Grade: C+

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  1. Nic said...

    Can I just say EVERYTHING that you wrote i COMPLETELY agree. another thing--i dont think the writers know how to write CB as a COUPLE....they just arent doing it for me like they were last season. ALSO im ready for Rufus and Lily to end so that DS can get back together cause im not loving Serena with anyone else (and shes basically been thru everyone LOL)