Gossip Girl (season 4)
|Gossip Girl (season 4)|
DVD cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||September 13, 2010 –|
May 16, 2011
The fourth season of the American teen drama television series Gossip Girl premiered on The CW on September 13, 2010, and concluded on May 16, 2011, consisting of 22 episodes. Based on the novel series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar, the series was developed for television by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. The CW renewed the series for a full fourth season on February 16, 2010. Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Rutherford, and Matthew Settle all return as series regulars.
It was later announced that the show would stay in its Monday 9:00 p.m. timeslot as a lead-out to 90210. The season premiered on September 13, 2010, to a 1.0 Adults 18–49 rating and 1.84 million viewers. The fourth episode achieved a 1.1 Adults 18–49 rating, the season's highest-rated episode, while episode 11 was the most watched with 2.06 million viewers tuning in. The season concluded on May 16, 2011, with 1.36 million live viewers tuning in. On Metacritic, the season has a 75 out of 100 rating, indicating generally positive reviews by critics.
The season is largely centered around the complicated relationship between Chuck and Blair, with the first half of the season also focusing on Juliet, a mysterious girl with a vendetta against Serena., and the second half on Chuck's professional struggles trying to keep his father's business from his father's old rival. The season also focuses on Blair's relationship with a prince, Nate revisiting old family problems, the deteriorating friendship between Dan and Vanessa and his growing feelings for Blair, as well as Serena's cousin Charlie and her integration into the Upper East Side. This is arguably the season during which Blair Waldorf definitively takes over as the show protagonist, a process that had been slowly unfolding since the beginning of the series.
Cast and characters
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|66||1||"Belles de Jour"||Mark Piznarski||Joshua Safran & Stephanie Savage||September 13, 2010||1.83|
Serena and Blair enjoy their summer vacation in Paris trying to take their minds off of home. Chuck is recovering in Prague after being found and healed by Eva, a French tourist who does not know his real identity. Meanwhile, back in New York, Eleanor helps Lily make arrangements for the Fashion's Night Out gathering at the van der Woodsen penthouse and Dan deals with raising Georgina's newborn son Milo, while Nate meets a potential new love interest, Juliet Sharp, whom he asks out on a date. Karlie Kloss makes a cameo appearance.
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey.Title reference: The 1967 film Belle de Jour.
|67||2||"Double Identity"||Mark Piznarski||Sara Goodman & Joshua Safran||September 20, 2010||1.84|
Serena and Blair run into a different Chuck in Paris, and Chuck is reluctant to return to New York with Eva. Back in New York, Juliet suggests to Nate that tricking Vanessa to be with Dan might be the right thing to remove Dan from the Dan–Serena–Nate love triangle. Rufus learns that Dan is not Milo's father after he checks Georgina and Milo's blood test. Serena convinces Blair to talk Chuck into returning to Manhattan while Dan and Nate prepare to face Serena.
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey.Title reference: The 1944 film Double Indemnity.
|68||3||"The Undergraduates"||Norman Buckley||Amanda Lasher||September 27, 2010||1.78|
Juliet prevents Serena from joining the Hamilton House sorority. Serena and Blair find a way to expose Juliet's sabotaging plans. Georgina finally comes clean to Dan about Milo. Chuck is afraid of introducing Eva to Lily and Rufus, since she does not know of all the things he has done in the past.
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey.Title reference: The 2008 film The Graduates.
|69||4||"Touch of Eva"||Andrew McCarthy||Leila Gerstein||October 4, 2010||2.00|
Nate suspects that Juliet is keeping a big secret from him and decides to confront her. Meanwhile, Blair successfully plots to make Chuck and Eva break-up, which leads to him declaring war between them. Dan finds himself torn between his feelings for Serena and Vanessa.
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey.Title reference: The 1958 film Touch of Evil.
|70||5||"Goodbye, Columbia"||Jeremiah Chechik||Robert Hull||October 11, 2010||1.78|
Juliet sends a Gossip Girl blast that starts a very damaging rumor about Serena, saying she has an STD. Vanessa becomes worried that Dan and Serena may have slept together and turns to Juliet to help her get answers. After checking Serena's phone, Vanessa discovers than Dan and Serena did not sleep together. Vanessa then becomes collateral damage in Juliet's vendetta against Serena when she frames her for sending an email from Serena's phone to her English professor offering sex for grades. Elsewhere, Chuck threatens Blair's chances to become the new assistant to powerful businesswoman Martha (Marlyne Barrett).
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey and Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen.Title reference: The 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus.
|71||6||"Easy J"||Lee Shallat-Chemel||Jake Coburn||October 25, 2010||1.88|
Jenny returns to New York for a job interview with Tim Gunn, while Blair puts forth her best efforts to send Little J back to Hudson. After her interview with Tim Gunn is sabotaged by Blair, Jenny reveals on Gossip Girl that she and Chuck slept together. Meanwhile, Serena learns that Colin (Sam Page) is actually her college professor, which puts their relationship in grave danger.
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams.Title reference: The 2010 film Easy A.
|72||7||"War at the Roses"||Joe Lazarov||Jessica Queller||November 1, 2010||1.82|
Blair is caught off guard at her 20th birthday party. Worried that Blair and Chuck might return to their vindictive games, Serena and Nate make the warring exes sign a peace treaty. Dan comes up with a scheme that will allow Jenny to return to the Upper East Side to celebrate Rufus and Lily's anniversary celebration, but his plan ultimately backfires. Serena and Colin try to resist their desires for each other. Swedish singer Robyn makes a cameo performing an acoustic version of "Hang with Me" at Blair's birthday party celebration.
Absent: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey.Title reference: The 1989 film The War of the Roses.
|73||8||"Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore"||Patrick Norris||Jeanne Leitenberg||November 8, 2010||1.78|
Serena continues to resist temptation with her professor Colin, while Blair tries to resist temptation with Chuck. Vanessa joins Juliet's scheme to try to bring down Serena with photos taken of her and Colin in a romantic embrace. Nate discovers that Juliet has been lying about where she lives, and that she is poor. Dan realizes that he still has feelings for Serena. In the ending scene, Juliet makes contact with Jenny and asks for her help to take Serena down and Jenny is more than happy to help.
Absent: Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen.Title reference: The 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
|74||9||"The Witches of Bushwick"||Ron Fortunato||Sara Goodman||November 15, 2010||1.69|
Serena learns that she has until the end of Chuck's Saints & Sinners Masquerade Ball to choose between Dan or Nate. Jenny joins forces with Juliet and Vanessa to take down Serena. Meanwhile, Blair sets her sights on becoming the new face of Anne Archibald's Foundation for Girls, but her relationship with Chuck may be problematic. In the episode, the song "Make Me Wanna Die" by The Pretty Reckless, which is fronted by Momsen, is heard.
Title reference: The 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick.
|75||10||"Gaslit"||Tate Donovan||Robert Hull & Joshua Safran||November 29, 2010||1.96|
Lily, Rufus, Eric, Blair, Dan, and Chuck find themselves at the hospital for an overdose from Serena. Vanessa tries to frame Jenny for Juliet's actions, thus threatening her relationship with her family. Meanwhile, Nate attempts to help his parents put the past behind them and reconcile. After successfully clearing her agenda, Juliet makes a departure from New York City, as well as Vanessa, in fear of potential vengeance from Blair. Jenny discovers Juliet's true intentions towards Serena and gives Blair information that will help her take down Juliet.
Note: This is Taylor Momsen's last appearance on the series until the finale, though she remains credited on all season four episodes despite being absent.Title reference: The 1944 film Gaslight.
|76||11||"The Townie"||Joe Lazarov||Amanda Lasher & Stephanie Savage||December 6, 2010||2.06|
Blair and Dan team up with Damien to find Juliet in her Connecticut hometown through a tip from Gossip Girl. Meanwhile, Nate struggles with allowing his father back into his life when the Captain announces that his parole has been granted. Also, Rufus and Chuck learn Lily is planning to sell Bass Industries. Finally, Serena's life at the boarding school is revealed.
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa.Title reference: The 2010 film The Town.
|77||12||"The Kids Are Not All Right"||Allan Kroeker||KJ Steinberg||January 24, 2011||1.58|
A former associate of Chuck's father, Russell Thorpe, along with his crafty and headstrong daughter Raina, return to Manhattan with some unfinished business concerning Bass Industries. Serena and Chuck unite against Lily. Meanwhile, Blair realizes that her mother, Eleanor, may be her key to becoming a future CEO. Nate worries that his father, The Captain, is having a little too much fun after his release from prison and is not taking his parole seriously.
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa.Title reference: The 1979 film The Kids Are Alright.
|78||13||"Damien Darko"||Jeremiah Chechik||Leila Gerstein||January 31, 2011||1.51|
Blair is thrilled to get an internship at W magazine to further claw her way up the ranks to become a ruling CEO, but her excitement fades when she discovers that Dan has secured one of the coveted positions along with four other top students. Meanwhile, Chuck may have finally met his match with Russell Thorpe, and his daughter Raina, when they announce that they are planning to take over Bass Industries. Serena tries a reconciliation with Ben after his release from prison. Eric engages in suspicious behavior with Damien. Nate receives alarming news about his father's business prospects when he learns that the Captain and Russell are working together for some nefarious purpose.
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa.Title reference: The 2001 film Donnie Darko.
|79||14||"Panic Roommate"||Andrew McCarthy||Jake Coburn||February 7, 2011||1.62|
Blair enlists Nate's help to win over her high-strung boss, Epperly, at W magazine. Meanwhile, Damien stirs up more drama when he begins playing Eric and Serena against each other in an attempt to get back at Ben. Chuck finds himself torn between business and pleasure with Raina. English band Florence and the Machine performs an acoustic version of "Cosmic Love".
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa.Title reference: The 2002 film Panic Room and the 2011 film The Roommate.
|80||15||"It-Girl Happened One Night"||Bart Wenrich||Alex McNally||February 14, 2011||1.32|
As Russell Thorpe is prepared to take over Bass Industries, Chuck makes one last attempt to save his father's company by throwing a Valentine's Day fund raiser, and tries to cut Lily loose from his company and his life. Meanwhile, at W magazine, a difficult assignment gives Blair the opportunity for a promotion. Elsewhere, Serena struggles with her feelings for Ben against her family's disapproval. Russell fires Nate's father from his company as he is a conflict of interest.
Absent: Jessica Szohr as Vanessa.Title reference: The 1934 film It Happened One Night.
|81||16||"While You Weren't Sleeping"||Norman Buckley||Sara Goodman||February 21, 2011||1.57|
Eric's 18th birthday arrives, along with a drama-filled celebration. Damien blackmails Eric with the information he knows about the affidavit Lily forged against Ben. An impatient Blair decides to speed up the timetable to jump-start her career, but ultimately stretches herself too thin. Meanwhile, Serena is forced to choose between her family and a potential romance with Ben. Chuck and Lily reconcile and team up in order to save Bass Industries from Russell Thorpe. Vanessa returns to apologize to Dan.
Title reference: The 1995 film While You Were Sleeping.
|82||17||"Empire of the Son"||David Warren||Robert Hull||February 28, 2011||1.39|
Unresolved issues between Ben and Serena come to light when his mother visits. Meanwhile, Russell puts his relationship with Raina at risk by using personal information to blackmail Lily in order to destroy Chuck's family legacy. Russell tells Chuck a devastating secret about his father. Blair and Dan's relationship continues to build. Nate and Raina explore their feelings for each other. Lily prepares to face legal consequences for her part in Ben's false imprisonment. William van der Woodsen makes his return to the Upper East Side.
Title reference: The 1987 film Empire of the Sun.
|83||18||"The Kids Stay in the Picture"||J. Miller Tobin||Jessica Queller||April 18, 2011||1.43|
William, along with Lily's mother and sister, CeCe and Carol (Sheila Kelley), come to New York to support Lily as she awaits the consequences of confessing to her crime. Carol's daughter, Charlie (Kaylee DeFer), who has been raised away from the glamour and wealth of the Upper East Side, follows her mother to the city to meet the rest of her family. Meanwhile, Blair and Dan deal with the aftermath of their kiss as Chuck realizes that he wants to win Blair back.
Title reference: The 2002 film The Kid Stays in the Picture.
|84||19||"Petty in Pink"||Liz Friedlander||Amanda Lasher||April 25, 2011||1.55|
Serena becomes suspicious of Blair and Dan spending time together, and has Charlie spy on them to find out why. Blair is reunited with Prince Louis Grimaldi (Hugo Becker) whom she met in Paris. Meanwhile, Nate helps Raina find out what happened to her mother, while Chuck's hopes about his legacy are crushed with the reveal of devastating information from the past. Rufus and Eric try to cheer up Lily by having Lily's annual breast cancer awareness fundraising party be held at the penthouse.
Title reference: The 1986 film Pretty in Pink.
|85||20||"The Princesses and the Frog"||Andrew McCarthy||Leila Gerstein||May 2, 2011||1.27|
A jealous Serena attempts to use information from Blair's past to threaten her newfound happiness with Prince Louis whose parents disapprove of Blair. After discovering a shocking secret, Nate is torn between his relationship with Raina and his friendship with Chuck. A questionable friendship arises between Charlie and Vanessa.
Absent: Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen.Title reference: The 2009 film The Princess and the Frog.
|86||21||"Shattered Bass"||Allison Liddi-Brown||Sara Goodman||May 9, 2011||1.20|
Jack Bass returns to the Upper East Side and helps Chuck, instead of helping Raina destroy him, as he prefers to be the only one to torture his nephew. Meanwhile, Blair receives Princess Sophie's (Joanne Whalley) approval to marry Louis, after Cyrus impresses her at a party thrown by her mother Eleanor. At Blair's party, Serena confronts Charlie about wearing her clothes without permission, in turn causing Dan to leave with Charlie. Then, they attend a Constance Billard/St. Judes alumni event together, where they run into former Constance mean girls Isabel (Nicole Fiscella) and Kati (Nan Zhang). Chuck, Jack, and Nate discover the truth about the fire and tell Russell that if he leaves New York for good, they will keep the secret from Raina. After Raina tells Nate that she will not stop until she makes Chuck feel the pain she has, Nate tells her the truth. Thinking Chuck told her, Russell lures Blair to the rooftop of Constance. Rufus discovers that Charlie has not taken her medication and shows Serena and Vanessa.
Absent: Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen.Title reference: The 2003 film Shattered Glass.
|87||22||"The Wrong Goodbye"||Patrick Norris||Joshua Safran||May 16, 2011||1.36|
The episode continues from the earlier events of the Constance Alumni event. Georgina Sparks, now married to a friendly but boring business intern to help raise her baby, turns up at the event looking for trouble. Serena and Vanessa reluctantly join forces to find Dan and Charlie, who does not take Dan's rejection of her well. Blair must make a choice between the men in her life when her life is in danger by Russell. Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar makes a cameo, playing a character named Cecily, a Constance alumna. Charlie befriends Georgina, who has uncovered a secret about her. The finale ends with Blair spending the summer in Monaco with Prince Louis to plan their upcoming wedding, Serena taking on a new writing job in California, Chuck and Nate traveling the world together, Vanessa moving to Spain to go to college and selling Dan's rough draft story of his life to a publisher, Rufus spending the summer with Lily who is still under house arrest, and Dan spending his summer in the Hamptons with Eric. Charlie returns to Miami where a shocking twist is revealed: Charlie is actually a 24-year-old professional con artist named Ivy Dickens, who was hired by Carol Rhodes to impersonate the real Charlie. Dorota is seen throwing out the trash where a positive home pregnancy test lies with the rest of the trash.
Note: Jessica Szohr's and Connor Paolo's last appearances until the series finale.Title reference: The 1973 film The Long Goodbye.
Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, and Clémence Poésy began filming this season in Paris on July 5, 2010. It was announced that Jessica Szohr would be absent for an unspecified number of episodes. However, Szohr began filming on July 9, 2010, the first day of production in New York City along with Penn Badgley, which indicated she would be back sooner than anticipated. Szohr appeared in the season premiere. Taylor Momsen began filming her scenes on August 30, 2010. Taylor Momsen appears in one episode titled "Easy J" which aired October 25, 2010, and will return in full series regular status for the second half of the season. It had also been confirmed that Tate Donovan, who previously worked with show's developers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage in The O.C., would be directing an episode scheduled to air in November 2010.
The first two episodes of the season take place in Paris.
The Airborne Toxic Event made a special appearance during the season 4 finale "The Wrong Goodbye" as the band for the Constance Billard Alumni party, playing the song "Changing" from their second album, All at Once.
—Robyn on her acceptance of the Gossip Girl guest spot.
Former Melrose Place star Katie Cassidy joined the cast as Juliet, a student at Columbia University and a potential love interest for Nate, with an agenda against Serena, together with David Call as Ben Donovan, Juliet's imprisoned brother. Actor Sam Page was cast as Serena's new love interest, a Columbia business professor and Juliet and Ben's cousin, for a four-episode arc. Kevin Zegers returned to the show as Damien Dalgaard, appearing in five episodes. Desmond Harrington also returned as Chuck's uncle, Jack Bass. Taylor Momsen was absent for several episodes at the beginning of the season due to her touring commitments with The Pretty Reckless, but returned near the end of the first half of the season. She was then scheduled for an indefinite hiatus from the show and only appeared in four episodes of the season. Michael Boatman and Tika Sumpter guest-starred in episodes airing in 2011. Boatman played Russell Thorpe, a powerful business tycoon and a former associate of Chuck's father, Bart, while Sumpter portrayed his daughter, Raina.
Tim Gunn and fashion designers Diane Von Furstenberg and Rachel Zoe all made special cameo appearances during the first half of the season. Singer Robyn also made a cameo appearance performing her song "Hang with Me".
William Baldwin admitted he would like to return for the fourth season. He said he would return in the same capacity of Michelle Trachtenberg to come in cause some trouble then leave again. The CW announced in December 2010 that Baldwin would return in February 2011. Sheila Kelley replaced Illeana Douglas as Lily's sister, Carol, after Douglas was forced to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. Michelle Trachtenberg returned to the series as Georgina Sparks in the season finale. Kaylee DeFer also joined the cast as Carol's daughter and Serena and Eric's cousin, Charlie Rhodes. DeFer's contract with the show also included the possibility of her becoming a series regular next season. DeFer was officially promoted to series regular starting in season 5.
Hugo Becker, who played Prince Louis Grimaldi, returned on April 18, 2011, for the rest of the season. The Borgias actress Joanne Whalley had been cast in an episode of Gossip Girl following a Screen Actors Guild casting notice. Whalley was rumoured to play an adversarial role to Kelly Rutherford's Lily van der Woodsen, but turned out to be that of Princess Sophie, Louis Grimaldi's mother.
Academy Award-nominated director David O. Russell made a cameo. On April 6, 2011, it was reported that 10 Things I Hate About You star Ethan Peck had landed a role in the show. Both stars were seen filming with Lively in California. Peck would reportedly make his debut in the season finale and was in talks with producers for a recurring role for the fifth season. Recurring cast members Nan Zhang and Nicole Fiscella reprised their roles as Kati Farkas and Isabel Coates for the penultimate episode and the season finale. Zhang had left the show during the first season and Fiscella finished her stint as a recurring cast member during the second season of the show. Tony Award-winning actress Jan Maxwell reprised her role as Headmistress Queller for the season finale. Becker remained ambiguous on whether he would be joining the series as a recurring or regular cast member during an interview with Zap2it, stating "the answer is in the finale." On May 16, 2011, Entertainment Weekly announced that Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar would be making a cameo for the season finale.
—Katie Cassidy on fans thinking she was Gossip Girl.
Season four begins with Serena and Blair enjoying their summer in Paris, until the unexpected appearance of Chuck Bass, who is using a false name and cozying up to a new girl. Blair has to decide if she wants to fight for Chuck or spend her energy trying to rule Columbia University. Serena needs to choose between Nate and Dan, but Dan is a bit busy coping with his new role as "dad" to Georgina's baby. Georgina later reveals the baby is not his. Stephanie Savage revealed in an interview that the Dan and Serena story is "reactivated" and sorting through it will become a bigger story. She also revealed that the third-season finale "Last Tango, Then Paris" had a big impact on Jenny and she would be a changed person when she returns. Her return later this season would be "full of drama".
The Gossip Girl website was under construction when Serena and Blair returned from Paris and debuted "never before seen technology" when it returned. It is revealed that Juliet is working with her brother to take down Serena, for unknown reasons. Vanessa gets caught in the middle when Juliet sets her up for stealing Serena's phone and sending an incriminating email. Vanessa later leaves town when only Dan believes her, but tells Juliet to watch her back. After Blair ran Chuck's new girlfriend out of town, he pledges war against her. They later decide that it is best for both of them if they end their fighting after Jenny posts on Gossip Girl the reason why she left town. In the next episode, at Blair's 20th birthday party they kiss and have sex. Both Nate and Dan still have feelings for Serena, but don't know what to make of her mixed signals.
Most of Juliet's plan is revealed by the end of the first half of the season, with some elements set to carry over. Juliet also recruits two main characters to help take Serena down. Blair and Dan team up to help Serena. The two characters who joined Juliet were Vanessa and Jenny. The three manage to turn everyone against Serena when Juliet and Jenny dress up as her at a masquerade party. Juliet takes photos of herself with cocaine and drugs Serena, causing Lily to believe Serena had gone off the rails again and has her committed to the Ostroff center. Jenny, feeling guilty about what they have done, reveals everything to Blair. Vanessa leaves town to avoid Blair, while Blair and Dan form an alliance to seek revenge on Juliet. After they track her down, Juliet goes to Serena and explains everything to her. It is revealed in a confrontation with Lily that Juliet's brother Ben was Serena's former teacher at her boarding school in Connecticut, who was accused of having an affair with Serena. Lily forged Serena's signature on the police affidavit, which in Lily's plan, would allow Serena to return home and, inadvertently, had sent Ben to prison. Serena then hatches a plan to help free Ben from prison. This involves proving that her mother forged the affidavit against Ben. Chuck also learns that Lily was planning to sell Bass Industries behind his back.
The season opened to a 1.0 Adults 18–49 rating and 1.84 million viewers. The fourth episode initially hit season highs in all categories with a 2.8 Women 18-34 rating, 1.1 Adults 18–49, a 1.7 in Adults 18-34 and 2.00 million viewers, until the airing of the eleventh episode hit a season high in viewers 2.06 million. The series has larger increases in the adults 18–49 on the Live + 7 DVR Ratings. The 4th episode had an 18–49 rating of 1.1, which was later increased to a 1.5 rating. The 5th episode had an 18–49 rating of 0.9, which later rose up to 1.3, which is 44% of increase.
—Erik Adams assessing relationships in the show.
The season premiered to generally favorable reviews from critics. Steve Marsi of TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.5 stars out of 5.0 and praised Michelle Trachtenberg's and guest star Katie Cassidy's acting and storylines. Mark O. Estes, from Tv Overmind, also enjoyed the fact that the episode had "explored more adult themes than usual." Gerard McGarry, from Unreality Shout, said that the season premiere was "brilliant", while Alexis James-blackhead, from Buzz Focus, said that the episode was "less sizzle than fizzle." Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick's performance was praised during the next episode "Chuck Bass" was also a trending topic on Twitter on the night the episode aired. The season has a 75/100 score of Metacritic, indicating mostly positive reviews.
Erik Adams from The A.V. Club reviewed the direction of the fourth season following the fourth-season premiere. "By the time a television show reaches its fourth season, the characteristics of its main ensemble ought to be deeply entrenched and immediately recognizable to regular viewers. But on the occasion of Gossip Girl's fourth season première, the ongoing teen soap—and its characters—are allowed some reinvention. The CW's flagship franchise is in a precarious position: it's a show that's both out of time and losing its sizzle." Adams cited the show's expensive art direction despite the economic woes outside of the show and the doubtful following of the Gossip Girl world considering the rise of micro-blogging in celebrity culture. Adams praised the development of Blair and Serena's relationship, declaring their friendship as "the great, central romance of Gossip Girl."
Brian Cantor of Headline Planet expressed disappointment with the show's performance for the season premiere, stating "[Gossip Girl] considerably [has] less critical interest and buzz than there had been for past seasons; the show no longer even has the 'pop culture phenomenon' claim to soften the blow of ratings releases." Judy Berman of the Los Angeles Times in contrast, defended the show's creative form during the midseason finale "The Townie", stating, "Whenever I start to think that the show has run out of material [...] it unleashes a showstopping hour of sparkly melodrama that reminds me of why I'm still watching." With the airing of the season finale TV Fanatic's Steve Marsi assessed the fourth season stating that "it's not a stretch to say the past season was uneven at best, lacking some of the continuity, humor and drama of the past. It's hard to put one's finger on in a sense, since many episodes were enjoyable. But there was a certain OMG-can-you-believe-this-happened factor that just wasn't there."
|Complete season||Release dates||DVD extras and bonus features||# of discs|
|4th||August 23, 2011||August 15, 2011||September, 2011||September 5, 2011 (Brazil)
September 7, 2011 (Australia)
|Bisoux a Paris!: Go Abroad on a Spree in Paris with the Cast and Creative Teams; Exposing Gossip Girl: The Making of Episode 18: The Complete Lowdown on the Creative Processes Behind "The Kids Stay in the Picture"; Gag Reel; Unaired Scenes.||5|
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