Gossip Girl: The Complete Third Season
Gossip Girl, since its premiere, has been a cultural phenomenon. The show took opulent Manhattan and stark adult themes and catapulted into the spotlight. However, the third season, available on DVD, seems to have entered shark-jumping waters. There are high-profile threesomes, resurrections from the dead, and... Hilary Duff?! The show tries to recycle some key elements for Gossip Girl: The College Years, but some fall flat.
Season 3 finds the Upper East Siders still in Manhattan. Dan (Penn Badgely), Vanessa (Jessica Szohr), and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) are at NYU. Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) is at Columbia and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) opts to skip Brown in favor of living life as an intern. Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) reigns supreme as Queen Bee of prep school. Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) continues to slither around Manhattan, trying to make a name for himself. They are joined by bad girl Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) and major starlet for a "Twilight"-like film, played by Hilary Duff.
They are all still scheming and concocting elaborate plans that can be easily undone with a text. The show is still narrated by an acerbically witted Kristen Bell. There is still bed-hopping and tumult. However, there seems to be a lack of good old-fashioned common sense. The plots seem somewhat outlandish and unnecessary when set to the backdrop of higher education.
This specific season had a very disjointed airing schedule. It seems like the writers wanted to have huge shocking storylines during key moments in the season. Instead, the running plotlines seem disjointed and uninteresting.
The DVD features a gag reel and a pretty lame featurette about planning the parties that appear in various "Gossip Girl" episodes. There are some music videos from songs by Lady Gaga and The Plastiscines that are edited with footage from the show. The most interesting aspect is watching an episode in "Gossip Girl mode." It is similar to "Pop Up Video," with little informational tidbits popping up on a phone. There are also messages from Gossip Girl that interrupt the episode with behind-the-scenes info about that episode. It is great in theory, but the editing (and seeing a huge phone appear) is pretty jarring.
Season 3 is not the show's best. However, fans will enjoy watching the entire series and the bonus features. The show is still fashion-filled, tumultuous and over-the-top.