Gossip Girl returned to small screens this week for its fifth series and after months of hemming and hawing over whether or not this editor would watch it, she logged onto tumblr one Tuesday morning and yelped at the sight of spoilery images from Series 5, Episode 1 “Yes, Then Zero”. Promptly sitting down to watch the episode, this editor grudgingly admitted that it was, in fact, a rather good one.
“Yes, Then Zero” set the scene for a season all about growing up — Blair’s upcoming wedding puts strain on her relationship with the handsome and oh so benevolent Prince Louis whilst Serena’s off working in California on a film set (original). Nate and Chuck are chilling out on a boat, hiding post from one another and Dan is doing something vague in the Hamptons. The best thing about this episode, excepting Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford’s ever awe-inspiring cheekbones, is the fact that Serena actually seemed happy in it. Better yet, after four years of angst she seemed happy for something other than a twisted, backwards or scheming reason. Serena van der Woodsen is happy because she’s being productive. I know, I was shocked too. Granted, the leisurely pace at which she moves between tasks at work is a little contrived, but Gossip Girl is nothing if not creative in representing the workplace.
On the other hand, Vanessa hasn’t even appeared in this series yet and she’s already driving me crazy. If anyone ought to understand that it’s not okay to take someone’s work and publish it without their permission, it’s artsy, bohemian, filmmaker Vanessa. Not that she hasn’t proved herself to be utterly psycho over the past four series but this is low, even for her. Maybe she thinks the $10,000 advance will soften the blow?
Chuck Bass still hasn’t been forgiven by this editor for the inexcusable physical and emotional abuse to Blair Waldorf in the last series — inexcusable, that is, unless you are executive producer Josh Safran* — but it must be reluctantly admitted that his positive Yes Man-esque attitude coupled with Serena’s pearly whites gave the programme the season premiere lift it needed. A moment I particularly enjoyed was when Bass’ infamous introductory line was robbed of him by one Miss. van der Woodsen and one Nate Archibald; it’s in those self conscious bits of otherwise shallow, easy watching television that real humour sneaks through.
Last but not least: Elizabeth Hurley. What a surprise to see her star alongside the programme’s most beautiful and unappreciated cast member**! Hopefully Nate will actually get a decent storyline this series and he at the very least seems to have a starring role in the upcoming episode, “Beauty and the Feast” (I know, doesn’t the wordplay just blow. you. away?)
Take a look at the trailer below, let me know what you thought of “Yes, Then Zero” in comments and please, let’s keep Serena van der Woodsen smiling this series?
* In a 3rd May 2011 interview with E!, Safran states:
They have a volatile relationship, they always have, but I do not believe—or I should say we do not believe—that it is abuse when it’s the two of them. Chuck does not try to hurt Blair. He punches the glass because he has rage, but he has never, and will never, hurt Blair.
** This editor will argue this to the death. Do not question. Or at least bring suitable weaponry.