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15-05-2012
  841
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beaverhausen's Avatar
 
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Wow..that was bad.. I feel like I was traded for a hotel..

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15-05-2012
  842
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I mean what really was the point of this episode? What was the point of going back to the start? Emmy-worthy script right there.

And do not get me started on the horrible message the show sends: it's ok to beg your abusive ex to take you back, oh so romantic

 
15-05-2012
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That episode would have been dull if it had been shown 3 shows in but a finale... seriously??
The only interesting character on the show is Chuck, at least his personality is consistent. Nate was a pretty dim stoner and now he runs a magazine, Lola was a naive and down to earth girl now hell bent on destroying her aunt and Ivy wants a family, then doesn't want a family, then wants lots of money, then wants a family again and now she wants to team up with Lola?
The music has been unoriginal this series, as has the fashion and the script. It literally has nothing to offer anymore.

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15-05-2012
  844
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That was soooo bad. Even as someone who liked Blair and CHuck together, it was just the worst. I honestly thought she was going to choose Lonely Boy. I don't know why, but it just seemed like Blair was done with Chuck romantically but how wrong was I?

And honestly I don't really care who Blair chooses because the only storyline I cared about was Serena and Blair and I really don't see them recovering from whatever THAT was. Blair banished Serena because she said Blair's still in love with Chuck? That made no sense whatsoever. *SIGH*

By the way, what happened between Rufus and Lily?


Last edited by ladygodiva; 15-05-2012 at 06:27 PM.
 
15-05-2012
  845
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I feel like the Chair storyline is so played out that I can't even bother watching them together without feeling like its groundhogs day all over again :/ They totally butchered Lily's character. It amazes me how she went from being one of my favorites to one of my most hated. The only people I have to look forward to is Ivy and her storyline isn't even that interesting...

 
15-05-2012
  846
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Why can't I quit you. This show has gone to the dogs now but I can't not watch next season. I can't not watch.

I'm so pissed that I hate Blair.

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15-05-2012
  847
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That was rubbish!! What a waste of time I've been re-watching seasons 1 and 2 (major procrastination going on here) and they were SO GOOD. It all started unravelling when they graduated high school, it's like the writers couldn't find any good reason to keep them all together and move on to more mature story lines. Telling myself I shouldn't watch next season but I know I will.. Not sure what they can do to save it any more though, maybe bring back some old characters? The only character I like these days is Chuck, just finished watching the episode in season 2 where he's standing on the edge of a building... Ed is a good actor, they haven't given him much to work with this season S:

 
16-05-2012
  848
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I'm definitely not tuning in next season and not just because they destroyed a perfectly good and healthy ship. I'm not watching because I can't watch a show that holds up an abusive relationship like Chair as anything even akin to love. It's ridiculous. I'm not even ashamed of liking Dan & Blair, and I could've handled them breaking up. But they didn't even give them a proper break up scene. Instead, they had Blair groveling all but on her knees for a man who sold her for a friggin hotel?! No. I'm sorry. There's no way you can come back from that. She can forgive him, but there is no way on earth, not even with lots of therapy and a big nap, that those two people should be in a relationship. Also, the two most WTF lines of the century:

Blair to Chuck: "You fought for me all year, now I've come to fight for you." Say what now? When, where, and how did Chuck fight for her?

Chuck to Blair: "I always put you first..."

When?

And that's just one aspect of why the show was so horrible. Everything else has pretty much already been mentioned. The horrible writing, the out of character way that EVERY. SINGLE. ONE of the characters behaved, just ugh. Ugh in a big way.

 
16-05-2012
  849
trendsetter
 
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Hee hee hee. According to Slimekay over at TWoP, all the other CWs shows had an uptick in ratings the finale half hour, but GG LOST viewers in its finale hour. From. 1.27 to 1.07.

You know, this show has never had nice characters on it. They are all screwed up. But I frankly still don't understand that bloodbath on Monday. They are just bullies for the sake of being bullies now and we're supposed to ~celebrate~ it?

And WTF is Stephanie Savage on? Blair has always been there for Chuck. He never put her first. She is one who has sooooo many sacrifices for him from season 2 on. Yeah, I'm pissed about Dair not happening, but I'm even more pissed that it's Blair ONCE AGAIN having to chase after Chuck like she has every freaking season after he mistreats her, fakes apologizes, and then waits for her to come crawling back to him. If I wanted to watch season 2 again, I would. And, seriously, when did her put first this year? When he was sleeping Alessandra? When he destroyed her prenup? When he BANKRUPTED her family? Yeah, he paid her dowry but he threw in her face when he rejected her.

The characters used to fun, slightly angsty anti-hero(ine)s. Now, they are just twisted, effed up people pretending to be friends while they openly and secretly destroy each other. I'm not just quitting watching the show because of Dair being thrown under the bus, I'm quitting because everyone--including Dan--was turned into a monster in the finale episode. Everybody has ruined. (But I gotta hand it the writers: Blair and Serena by far came off looking the worst.)

 
16-05-2012
  850
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Reviews are coming in, and they are harsh. From popwatch.ew.com:

Quote:
To quote Gossip Girl herself: The more things change, the more they stay the same. As much as these 20-somethings have changed, they’re ultimately in the same place they were when the series began. And so, as fun.’s “We Are Young” played, and it was apt, but also tragically ironic. As the final stretch plays out, the Upper East Siders’ return to early days ridiculata could certainly move back to the sudsy excitement Gossip Girl offered up in seasons 1 and 2. Or, if the trajectory continues as the end of tonight’s episode showed, it will just be a slow trudge to “Ladies Who Lunch” territory.

For example, like in high school Blair was once again scheming to take down her nemeses (Gossip Girl, Serena) and volleying between two different men. Perhaps Blair’s final-scene gesture toward Chuck was meant to be triumphant. Without a doubt, Leighton Meester looked stunning the dress she chose for her big entrance. And yet, the sting of her fight for him was only made worse by the fact that Chuck‘s sincere show of maturity was essentially thrown back in his face — Bart (Robert John Burke) bamboozle him out of the company. His daddy issues came back in full force, and his desperate need to prove himself as some sort of unfeeling, invulnerable lone wolf (and, if we’re really going back to season 1, let’s add the adjective “rape-y”) seemed like it would be an insurmountable stumbling block. Will the endless cycle of hurt to which Chuck and Blair have exposed one another make the satisfaction of a huge rock or a symbolic, high-stakes bet moot. I’m afraid it might. Agree or disagree?

Meanwhile, Serena (Blake Lively) was literally and physically back where she started — cracked out and alone, on a train. After successfully seducing Dan (Penn Badgley), her plan spectacularly blew up in her face. Long story short, Serena is, was, and forever will be the world’s most indiscreet iPhone user (hence a craptastic Gossip Girl). She was also a pretty stupendous failure at being a human being, period. Then again, she was in fine company after Dan vengefully pulled Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) back in the conversation solely for the purpose of rewriting Inside and burning every bridge he had left. (Did he even have any left?) Way to go Dan, you’ve just gone from being a literary luminary to a tabloid-level hack. You can join Lily and Bart in the Hamptons while they lunch with Dina Lohan, you punk.

Speaking of Lily (Kelly Rutherford), she continued to be utterly oriented toward self-preservation — mostly to the detriment of Rufus (Matthew Settle), who has now been expunged for her legal record thanks to an annulment. Elsewhere, Lola (Ella Rae Peck) set out to destroy Lily vis-à-vis Ivy (Kaylee DeFer), and I am 100 percent certain that will amount to absolutely nothing. And Nate‘s (Chace Crawford) only job was to stand there and look pretty. Now that’s a story arc I can get behind.

So, to recap what’s afoot for season 6: Serena is a coke-fueled disaster, Dan is ostracized and bitter, Chuck and Blair are stuck in their eternal tango, and Gossip Girl has reclaimed her spot at the center of the universe. Feels just like old times! Only sadder.

What did you think, Gossip Girl fans? Was this season’s finale particularly grim for you, too, or am I just a cynical old wench? Do you think showrunners can bring back the momentum in the show’s final season?

 
16-05-2012
  851
trendsetter
 
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Even though it's written by a Chuckistan, I still LMAO at this article,from tv.com:

Quote:
The season finale of Gossip Girl found all the characters regressing to their high school selves even more unabashedly than usual. High school boyfriends, high school girlfriends, high school scheming, high school dreaming. You know how, one day, you're a big grown-up gal, too cool for life, gallivanting about town with your high society friends, and then the next day you go back home to visit your parents and fall right into those pre-teen rhythms? The "I don't like your tone, Miss," "I don't have a tone!" "You're yelling!" "I'M NOT YELLING, MOM, THIS IS MY NORMAL VOICE!" rhythms? That's what happened last night. Everyone's parents were back—seriously, our cup runneth over with all these parents on the scene—and everyone was once again a 26-year-old playing a 17-year-old, just like high school days. (Technically, they were 26-year-olds playing 22-year-olds acting like 17-year-olds, but still.)

The episode opened with Serena and Blair dealing with the fall-out of Blair's very public diary reveal. This, like all terrible things, was 100 percent Serena's fault, as she had, while crashing, rent-free, in her very generous friend's gorgeous penthouse apartment, stealthily stolen the diary of said friend and scanned several pages of it onto the clunky HP laptop from which she ran a gossip empire (into the ground). But don't get judge-y, y'all. Serena will prove she's not a terrible person:

"I was never going to publish [the pages]. I just wanted to know that I could."

Yes, she actually said those words to Blair. As though that would possibly exonerate her. As though that clarification could possibly be well-received. What she meant was, "I was never going to publish them until you made me mad enough to publish them."

I didn't buy the gun because I was going to murder you in your sleep, Blair. I just wanted to know that I could.

The most important thing about this scene was that it set the tone, aesthetics-wise, for the rest of the episode. Everyone looked beyond bad.

Seriously, guys, what has been the deal with everyone's hair and makeup this season? Dan's been wearing wig on top of wig on top of wig made of skinned cocker spaniels he's been stealing from Brooklyn dog-walkeries ("Police Puzzled as Piles of Precious Pooches Pilfered from Prospect Park," blared the 1930s newspaper headlines). Blake Lively looks prettier as a kidnapped junkie in her upcoming movie than she does as a vain Upper East Sider with nothing but time on her hands. Blair's hair has just been sadness personified all season. Are there any theories as to how it all went so wrong? Has Blair's hair been this bad all along, but we were too distracted by her clownish oversized headbands to notice?

Anyway, Serena promised to make things right for Blair, and did sort of try, by emailing Gossip Girl and offering up "anything" if she would stop printing the diary. (I wasn't really going to give you anything. I just wanted to know that I could.) Gossip Girl ignored this feeble attempt at placation and just kept rolling out damning page after damning page. I would have handled things more slowly, stretching this out into a weekly feature to boost readership rather than unloading the goods all at once, but what do I know from gossip sites?

To aid in damage control, Blair assembled her high school henchmen, Kati, Penelope, and Random White Girl They Substituted for Isabel Like No One Would Notice.

Unfortunately, great as Blair's line was, the secret Penelope came up with was the completely lame: SERENA NEVER READ F. SCOTT FITZGERALD'S THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED! No duh Serena never read that book. That revelation wasn't so much a secret as something we all would have assumed but never would have bothered to bring up in conversation because no DUH Serena never read that book.

Amazingly, Blair was able to parlay this reveal into some decent Serena sabotage—when the director S had hoped to work for over the summer found out she'd never read the book on which his film was based, she was kicked off the project—but it definitely didn't approach Season 1 "Serena killed someone!" gossip levels.

Naturally, Serena took great offense that something had transpired in the world that was not exactly in line with her wishes, and vowed to double-dog-destroy Blair, by channeling her inner high school harlot.

Step 1 was exactly what it what it was five seasons ago: Repurpose Blair's minions for her own dirty work:

This episode's Giant Party at Which All Characters Major and Minor Inexplicably Find Themselves was "The Shepherds' Divorce Party." Die-hards may remember the Shepherd name from Season 1 when we learned, through flashbacks, that Nate and Serena had had really dramatic, grope-y, adolescent-style sex in an empty barroom at the Shepherd wedding, while Nate was dating Blair. (Remember when Nate and Blair used to date? Back before Nate's stupidity and incompetence became a running joke? Back before the character of Blair was completely rewritten at the start of every episode so that no two Blairs were ever alike in motivations or temperament?)

Earlier in the day, Dan had given Blair an ultimatum: She had until the Shepherds' Divorce-aganza to let him know if she loved him. Meanwhile, across town, Chuck had given Blair an almost identical ultimatum. Old tomatoes were being chucked all over Manhattan. It was a real Gossip Girl finale!

Because Serena is a one-trick cheap trick, she decided to get back at Blair the only way she knew how: turning tricks. With the help of Penelope, Serena conspired to keep Blair away from the Shepherds' Divorsoirée so that she would have time to seduce Dan, eventually persuading him to have really dramatic, grope-y, adolescent style sex in an empty barroom.

Dan totally fell for Serena's poor acting ("I guess Blair is with Chuck!" "I guess Blair is accepting a proposal of marriage from Chuck!" "I guess Blair and Chuck are expecting their third child now and here I am sitting half-naked on an empty bar!") and cheated on Blair with her best friend, making the cycle of Season 1-ity complete.

But, oh, the torrid affair would not stay secret for long if Serena had any say in the matter. She had secretly taped the sexcapade on her iPhone (Damn, girl, U a freak!), which Dan noticed right away (Damn, girl, U bad at subtle machinations!). He also saw some texts that revealed Serena had plotted to keep Blair from the party, and seduced him on purpose. Feeling cheaper than this dog-hair-wig looked, Dan tossed out a classic "I don't know who you are anymore," and rolled out. As we learned later in the episode, "I don't know who you are anymore" is actually a magic incantation used to turn sad girls into coke whores.

Unfortunately, Chuck had been so surprised and happy his dad wasn't dead, he forgot that Bart is actually the meanest, coldest, worst person ever. A thousand times meaner than Jack Bass. A million times meaner than Chuck. Not quite as mean as Grandma Cece but that old bat was fun so snaps to her and let's proceed.

Bart's big announcement was that he alone would be manning the company from that day forward, a statement that totally blindsided Chuck, who thought he and his dad were besties now, and me, who recalled a moment four years ago when a certain Bart Bass left a billion dollar company in the incapable hands of his layabout high school-aged son, following a faked death.

"I built this empire!" Chuck later yelled at his father, while standing on the roof of the Empire—a nice touch. Then Bart revealed he had given Chuck a test to determine whether his insides were composed of dry tumbleweeds, like his own, or of marshmallows and jingle bells and strawberry jam, like a Communist's. Chuck had, he said, failed this test by accepting the engagement ring Bart handed him so that he could go after Blair, like Bart told him to. I guess Chuck was meant to, I don't know, snatch the ring from the box and say "To hell with love! Let's melt it down to make a 24k bullet!" or something. Because he didn't, Bart knew the boy had gone soft.

Following that dickish reveal, Blair ran up to the roof to confess her feelings to a very pregnant Chuck.

He responded, "Guess what, B? I'M OVER YOU," but, thankfully, she was cool with that, and expressed her intentions to chase him now, just as he had chased her over the past twenty thousand episodes.

Also, delicious irony: Earlier in the night, Eleanor Waldorf revealed she planned to hand over the reins of her giant fashion empire to her daughter, who, like all characters on the show (with the notable exception of Chuck) is completely unemployable. An incomprehensibly misguided business decision. A fantastic plot development.

With timing so poor you'd think she was Serena, Blair blurted out her good news to Chuck about ten seconds after his father revealed he was kicking him out of Bass Industries, prompting this excellent response:

"I don't want to be 'Mr. Blair Waldorf.' I'm Chuck Bass."

Catchphrases! We've missed them.

The episode ended with the star-crossed lovers reconvening in Europe, where Blair surprised Chuck at a French casino (surely they weren't meant to be in Monte Carlo, right? Blair must be barred from entering Monaco at this point) as he was attempting to win enough money to mount some sort of vague takedown of his father.

RufuSuicide Watch: This episode confirmed that Bart and Lily were still legally married, meaning that one of Lillian Rhodes-van der Woodsen-Bass-Humphrey's marriages would have to be annulled. But which to choose? "I can't deny […] a part of me would like to move back in here. Repair the damage to our relationship, a great deal of which I am responsible for," said Bart Bass, THE MAN WHO FAKED HIS DEATH FOR 3 YEARS, to Lily in her living room. Rather than pointing out that she was kind of absolved of any guilt the moment we learned Bart's death was more of a J/K than an RIP, Lily interpreted this statement as a grand romantic declaration.

Meanwhile, bumbly ol' Rufus went behind her back and demanded Bart sign some annulment papers.

After Lily learned what Rufus had done, she was like "BULL****. I'M OUT," and decided it was their marriage, not hers to Bart, that was over.

And, there in his future-ex-wife's massive living room, Rufus's cowl neck foreshadowed the noose he would place over his head later that very evening.

t will take a miracle to see him survive to the next season. (Then again, as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, SuperBart showed us, those happen every day on Gossip Girl.)

The final major development of the episode was that Diana Payne passed along security camera footage taken from the Haunted Sex Castle, purporting to show The One, The Only, The O.G. GG, Gossip Girl her(?)self swiping Serena's laptop.

 
16-05-2012
  852
trendsetter
 
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from screencave.com:

Quote:
Alas! Gossip Girl has given us another season finale involving Chuck and Blair’s never-ending romance. Was it sweet and endearing? No. Entertaining? Sort of. “The Return of the Ring” was everything we expected it to be — extremely predictable. The episode was filled with callbacks to the show’s 2007 pilot, complete with a train, bar stool and a Shepherd Wedding. Can you connect the dots?

Check out our review of the finale below…



The Players:

Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: Sara Goodman
Cast: Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick

Episode Title: “The Return of the Ring“

In the fifth season finale, Blair makes a choice between Chuck and Dan. Meanwhile, Lily comes to a decision about her marriage, and Nate suggests that he and Lola move in together.
The Good:

Back To The Beginning: Back in 2007, before taking a train to boarding school, Serena betrayed Blair by having bar stool sex with her boyfriend Nate. Last night, history repeated itself. Serena had bar stool sex with Dan, Blair’s current boyfriend, at another Shepherd Wedding, and then hopped on a train. It’s awful that she would do this to Blair again, but scandals like these are the ones that keep the drama alive.
Ivy And Lola Alliance: Ivy and Lola are somewhat of an inspiration. Both of them have managed to stay on the Upper East Side and on the show. They’re still outsiders, but they’re not like the other “villains” we’ve seen come and go (with the exception of Georgina Sparks, of course). We’re excited to see the fruits of their alliance next season.
Bad Girl: After the whole Shepherd Wedding affair with Dan, Serena takes a train, sniffs some cocaine and gets felt up by some creepy guy. She’s sunk so low, and she knows it. She’s probably as disgusted with herself as we are of her. It’s necessary for Serena to revert back to her old ways. We need a reason to cheer for her again. We want her to rise from the ashes and be the wonderful girl she once was.

The Bad:

Jane Austen Romance: The writers have found another way to keep Blair and Chuck’s romance alive. Blair realizes she’s still in love with Chuck and runs to tell him, but the tables turn. He doesn’t want her anymore. This is the millionth time this has happened and we’re tired of it. It’s a never ending, Jane Austen romance. It just keeps dragging on and on. Frankly, it’s exhausting. It’s like seeing a dog chase its own tail. Both of them deserve better.
Serena vs. Blair: And here’s another never ending quarrel. When are Blair and Serena going to stop fighting over petty things?
Lily’s Choice: Lily has to choose between Bart and Rufus. Since she never actually divorced Bart, she has to annul one of her marriages. Who does she chose? The death-faker Bart, which is very confusing. Sure, her and Rufus have problems, but Bart lied to her for three years!

Overall:

The season finale of Gossip Girl ended pretty much how the series started. Serena is back to being a coke-sniffing whore (for lack of a better word), and Chuck is living in the shadow of his father. It was a weak ending, to a lackluster season.
Rating: 5/10

 
16-05-2012
  853
trendsetter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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from cliqueclack.com:

Quote:
Gossip Girl hit the reset button in its finale — big time. It’s not enough to have Bart Bass back from the freaking dead, but Chuck and Blair are back together, Serena is back to her Season One (nay, pre-Season One) druggie ways, and Lily is back with Bart. Basically, after years of inconsisitent character development, and now straight up character regression, it may be time for me to break up with the Upper East Side. (Eh, I’m an Upper West Sider anyway.)

The show has played out Blair with any guy, let alone Chuck. I could rehash all the arguments against Chair and for Dair, but I don’t think there is any point anymore: they have wrecked Blair’s character by making her all about the men in her life. The Louis arc was shoehorned in to give the show a 100th-episode princess wedding storyline, throwing Blair’s character under the bus by making her extra fickle over three guys and glossing over her miscarriage. I am glad Eleanor gave Blair her business, so maybe Blair would have something else in her life, but I’d rather she had earned it. She has gone from one of my favorite characters on TV to what she would call a complete “weakling.” At least the Ring of Doom was not deployed, despite the episode title. Even Chuck seemed tired of this dynamic, as he seemed disinterested at first.

I actually had some fun the season after the Louis arc was over. The tone was lighter, which is a mode the show does well, and the gang got to have some capers together. But the show doesn’t know its own strengths. There is a difference between drama and angst. Drama: Blair mobilizing her minions to keep her diary publication blowback to a minimum. Angst: Chuck getting upset about his daddy issues for the zillionth time. And Blair and Serena have their yearly falling out. Ho hum. At least they could give us new angst, right?

Usually, when a show has only 11 episodes left, I’d stick it out, but I can’t with this show anymore. GG has always made its characters serve its plot as needed, and I can tolerate it to a point, but all this regression is frustrating. It’s like Gossip Girl is allergic to being good. This show and I need to break up. The sad part is that I saw this coming but was in denial. It’s not me — it’s you, Gossip Girl.

Notes:

Lily has had a personality transplant this season. Not that Rufus is super exciting since the’ve been “married,” but she had her problems with Bart even aside from Rufus. Whatever. Season Two is apparently the new Season Six.
I’d be interested to see Blair running the Waldorf fashion empire, but I don’t trust the show to do it justice.
Dan/Serena sex on a bar just like pilot Nate/Serena sex? There are no words. It’s no surprise to find out that the show runners watched the pilot again before writing this.
At least Bart calls out Chuck for the Blair-hotel trade. It’s about time someone did that.
Hey, at least Nate has shown some growth. Bye, Lola.
Hi … Georgina? Take ‘em all down, Dan. I’ll be cheering you from afar. Dude didn’t even get a breakup scene. But the writers can’t write couples, so I can’t be bothered to get too upset about the end of Dair.
Gossip Girl herself sums up everything the best: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Adieu, show.

 
16-05-2012
  854
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Remember when these characters were likeable and glamourous?

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16-05-2012
  855
trendsetter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Last but not least:


Quote:
"The more things change, the more they stay the same." Truer words have never been spoken on The CW's "Gossip Girl," and by the titular muckraker herself, no less. We've now witnessed five seasons of Serena's self-sabotaging and Blair's on again/off again/on again/off again relationship with Chuck, and frankly, I'm a little tired of just how thoroughly things seem to stay the same on the Upper East Side.

I usually format my "GG" recaps by evaluating the top 5 "OMG" moments of an episode, and though there were plenty of jaw-dropping, credulity-stretching scenes in the Season 5 finale, they were shocking for all the wrong reasons. In the blink of an eye, five years of character development has fallen by the wayside; Serena's back to being a selfish, self-medicating party girl; Lily has tossed away yet another marriage (to her soulmate, this time) at the first sign of difficulty; Bart Bass has returned, every bit as terrible as he was before; Chuck is once again incapable of recognizing a woman's worth; Nate has yet another interchangeable love interest; and Dan is yet again on the anti-Upper East Side bandwagon, relying on Georgina Sparks to facilitate a take-down. Why, exactly, have we wasted half a decade watching these characters evolve, if devolution is seemingly so easy?

The only character who came out of the finale looking better than she did going into it was Blair, which is just as well, since the writers have spent all season treating her alternately as a chattel, emotional punching-bag, delusional Bible-basher, megalomaniacal dictator and insecure schoolgirl. Her characterization has been wholly defined by whichever man is in her life this week, leading to some truly bipolar behavior, which sometimes fluctuated between the beginning and end of a single episode.

I did appreciate the fact that it was her mother who was finally able to make her believe that she was a powerful, confident woman, instead of a reject from her revolving door of suitors. But after everything that Blair has been through this year -- a completely forgotten miscarriage, an excruciatingly public divorce from a prince -- it would've been far more satisfying if she could have come to that realization of self-worth on her own. Lord knows she's been long overdue for an ego boost, despite how many times the men in her life have tried to tear her down or tell her she isn't enough to satisfy them.

I appreciate that Chuck was hurting during his rooftop confrontation with Blair -- that his father had just emasculated him and disregarded the years of the blood, sweat and tears he poured into Bass Industries -- and that he has spent all season putting his heart on the line for Blair, only to see his affections rebuffed. But oh my god, haven't we played this storyline out five times already?

The last three seasons have been characterized by the multiple times that Chuck and Blair have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, always so close, yet so far from each other -- like ships passing in the night. Conflict in any relationship is believable -- especially since TV romances can quickly grow stale if they're kept in a state of stasis. But there's a difference between organically allowing conflict to evolve over the course of a narrative, and using convenient plot contrivances (like, say, a pact with God or an illegal-sounding dowry?) to force distance between a couple for the sake of drama. Guess which category Chuck and Blair's story falls into?

This would be fine, if the end result was any different from the myriad of other break-ups we've seen for the couple before. Blair and Chuck have been "fighting for each other" for years now, but in the end, it still necessitated Blair, ever the martyr, humbling herself for her man before the pair could have any hope of reconciliation. Despite all the cruel things Chuck has said to her over the years, all the emotional abuse, the writers determined that this newly empowered woman, complete with her own empire, should once again go and make herself vulnerable for the man who is so insecure that he scoffed at the very notion of being in a relationship with a woman who was earning more money than him. ("I don't want to be Mr. Blair Waldorf -- I'm Chuck Bass." Ugh.)

I wholly believe in the idea of redemption, the prospect that, despite physically and verbally abusing Blair and attempting to rape Jenny in the past (in other words, being a truly heinous human being), perhaps Chuck has changed, perhaps he is sorry, and is thus deserving of a second chance. There have been a number of episodes demonstrating his honest regret this season, his feelings of remorse and his desire to make amends. But because the writers seem incapable of coming up with a story that they haven't already regurgitated twice before, that Chuck was nowhere to be found this week. And if a person can so easily regress to that default cruelty the moment that they're hurt, how much have they truly changed?

It's pure narrative laziness on the part of the writing staff, and it actually makes me angry that well-plotted, carefully crafted shows like "Awake" are killed by the networks and ignored by mainstream audiences, but sloppy, half-hearted, character-assassinating shows (like the latter seasons of "Gossip Girl" have been) are allowed to endure. For a show that is arguably supposed to be focused on the female characters at its heart, "Gossip Girl" presents some astoundingly damaging messages to and about women, especially its core demographic of loyal teens who deserve a far more responsible series to support, one that actually treats its female characters with respect and agency, instead of as punching or humping bags for the petty, vindictive men who surround them. I would be angrier that Blair chose Chuck, the man who has admittedly "devastated" her multiple times, over Dan, the guy who makes her feel "safe" and "strong"; but judging by the way that Dan behaved at the end of the episode by going to Georgina to exact his revenge against the UES, she might have dodged a bullet there too.

Nate and Rufus seem to be respectful, loyal guys, and yet, they're the ones who receive throwaway plots and zero screen time, while the machinations of Dan and Chuck -- and the childish ways they lash out at those they love when their egos are bruised -- are examined in endless and repetitive detail. It's no wonder the actors are all desperate to get out of their contracts (which trap them until the sixth and, thankfully, final season, which was just announced by The CW).

No one should be more frustrated by the cyclical monotony of the storytelling than poor Blake Lively, who has actually proven to be a fairly compelling actress when she's given serviceable material ("The Town"). I recognize the narrative symmetry of bringing her from fooling around with Nate on a bar at the beginning of the series to fooling around with Dan (in almost a shot-for-shot recreation of that tryst) in the fifth season finale, but poetic irony shouldn't take precedence over consistent characterization. Serena started the year trying to better herself, to find a proper job and start trying to grow up, but as soon as things got difficult, she succumbed to manipulating her friends, sabotaging her relationships and once again, stealing her best friend's boyfriend out of spite. Then, when her bad behavior inevitably blew up in her face, instead of apologizing, she decided to run away, drug herself into apathy and allow a complete stranger to take advantage of her sexually. What a positive and empowering message to send to your impressionable audience!

This show, people. The first two seasons were, for the most part, frothy, frivolous fun -- back when the writers were required to come up with original storylines instead of recycling them for the second or third time. I'm not sure whether Josh Safran's leaving to helm NBC's "Smash" will be a positive or negative change for "Gossip Girl" in its final season, but I have a feeling it's bad news for "Smash." Regardless of what he does over at NBC, he's left "Gossip Girl," like its dethroned titular character, as a shadow of its former self. I don't even care who the real gossip girl is at this point, nor who Chuck's real mother may or may not be. I don't even care who Blair ends up with, since all of her suitors have proven wholly unworthy of her. I'm sure that Season 6 will definitively answer all of these questions, but at this point, I don't think the answers will be worth waiting for. I'm all gossiped out.

xoxo
from huffingtonpost.com

 
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