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'Gossip Girl': Season premiere welcomes us back

September 15, 2009 |  6:41 am

Gossipgirl_blairchuckpolo Wow, what a difference a summer makes! "Gossip Girl" returned from summer break last night and boy, have some things changed.

For one, the Humphreys have seriously upgraded. With Rufus and Lily engaged, the two families have begun to merge starting with a summer together in the Hamptons and a move from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side. Lily's absence is a little strange (Kelly Rutherford is on maternity leave for three episodes), but she's made sure to leave lots of cash and posh society events to ease the Humphreys on their transition.

I must admit that seeing Rufus, Dan and Jenny ensconced in the Van der Woodsen's fancy apartment and at the polo fields was an adjustment. Their arty loft and bohemian existence was part of their charm; they weren't like the others, but now they too will be privileged. Dan with a wallet full of cash? Jenny dressed in labels other than her own? Even though embracing their new lifestyle (not to mention the discovery of Lily and Rufus' love child, Scott) will be rife with conflict for both the Humphreys and Van der Woodsens, I still felt just as Vanessa had when she saw Dan climbing into that limo—bittersweet and somewhat betrayed.

I'll get over it so long as I get equal doses of Chuck and Blair. Now three months into a full blown relationship, the couple already feels the need to spice things up with role playing games. Chuck plays the cheater (yeah, that's a stretch!) who flirts and seduces a handpicked victim while Blair swoops in as the scorned lover. The idea was totally borrowed from "Sex and the City" (remember the beginning of Samantha and Smith's courtship?), but it's also very Blair and Chuck. As expected, the thought of continuing a pretend open relationship begins to wane for B, especially since her billionaire boyfriend would be more than willing to turn fantasy into reality. Chuck's whole "I just want you to be happy" shtick is still cute. He clearly adores Blair to death, but he leaves just enough smoldering looks to keep us wondering. I'm looking forward to seeing how this relationship progresses.

Meanwhile, the only thing Nate's changed this summer is his hairstyle. He returns from a trip to Europe liplocked with the pretty Bree Buckley, whose family turns out to be political rivals with his. She's no married duchess, but it's another case of forbidden love for Mr. Archibald. He is still bent on rebelling from his grandfather's wishes for him, and dating the enemy is his way of making that point.

Serena also emerges from the summer as her usual secretive self. She returns from a jaunt in Europe with paparazzi in tow and a stack of tabloids chronicling her every move. It initially seems as though Bad Serena is back, but we all know her highway of crazy behavior is always paved with good intentions. Her over-the-top schemes to attract the paps aren't for personal publicity but rather for the purpose of haunting her father, who refused to see her in Europe. Only Carter Baizen, Serena's latest love interest, knows her true agenda.

Overall, my mind wasn't blown by the premiere, but the season's only just begun. Bring on the drama!

What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Does wealth agree with the Humphreys? Will Chuck and Blair's love last? What do you think of Serena's secret?

— Enid Portuguez

Photo: The CW