Review: 'Gossip Girl'

Reason to watch: Blair and Serena hit the City of Light in the fourth-season opener.

When/Where: Monday night at 9 on CW/11

A new season to gossip about

Blake Lively as Serena, left, and Leighton Meester

Blake Lively as Serena, left, and Leighton Meester as Blair in the "Belles de Jour" Season 4 episode of "Gossip Girl" filmed in Paris. (Credit: CW)

Season 3 ended in a cloud of doom and gloom and (I suppose) boom, too. Poor Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) thought he was spurned by Blair (Leighton Meester) at a rendezvous at the Empire State Building. After sleeping with Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen), he learned it was all a big misunderstanding with B. But Blair discovered his infidelity just as he was about to propose, and dumped him (again). Last we see of Chuck, he is in a Prague alleyway - shot by thugs, left for dead. Meanwhile, B and Serena (Blake Lively) are off to Paris for the summer.

WHAT THIS EPISODE IS ABOUT

Lights! Fountains! The Louvre! Oui! That's Paris, all right. B has commandeered the Right Bank, Serena the Left and, befitting the spirit of their favored geographic locales, Serena has become the libertine - dating any guy she comes across - while B stands posed before a Manet, day after day, waiting for a prince charming to suddenly appear. She silently pines for Chuck, but Serena seems to have forgotten entirely about Nate (Chace Crawford) - back in NYC, also eagerly following the demands of his libido. Major cliffhangers will be resolved, sort of, including Chuck's grim fate.

MY SAY

The Parisian episode is titled "Belles de Jour," and it's kind of hard to imagine that this is in homage to the Luis Buñuel 1967 film of (nearly) the same name - about a housewife by night who turns into a prostitute by day. But with "GG," you can't be too sure. The show is often sly and witty enough to lift it out of the dregs of prime-time soapdom. So maybe this episode really is about repression, erotica and split personalities. Or maybe it's just a good excuse for the show to shake the dust out, ditch the inferno of summertime New York and wander amid the glories of Paris while exploring the discreet bourgeois charms of Blair and Serena. Either way, it's a lot of fun.

BOTTOM LINE

Keep an eye on newcomer Juliet Sharp (Katie Cassidy). She's verrrry interesting.

GRADE

B+

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