Gossip Girl Returns For Series Two

by Lisa McGarry

Welcome to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where gossip rules and affluent prep-school students find themselves with the money, access and appetite to explore all the temptations New York City has to offer. Based on the best-selling series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, this drama is told through the eyes of an all-knowing blogger — Gossip Girl — who is determined to uncover and fuel every scandal possible via constant, avidly read text messages, including the intense friendship and rivalry of two girls, Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf.

While Serena was away at boarding school, Blair enjoyed her time in the spotlight. Now that Serena is back, Blair has no intention of going back to living in Serena’s shadow. Blair’s quest to maintain her queen bee status hasn’t been her only trial, however. Her once-rock-solid romantic relationship with Nate Archibald, a young man uneasy with his privilege and who now deals with the financial fallout created by his high-powered father, was also put through the ringer, made more complicated by her feisty involvement with Nate’s best friend, Chuck Bass. Chuck leads a reckless life and constantly pushes those around him to explore their dark side.

Once the Upper East Side’s most notorious party girl, Serena initially seemed to keep her vices in check, but a haunting past soon unleashed old ghosts. While being fiercely protective of her younger brother, Eric, Serena tried to forge a romance with the proverbial fish out of water, Dan Humphrey, a middle-class kid on the fringe of the exclusive clique. Dan and his younger sister, Jenny, attend the elite Manhattan school at the insistence of their father, Rufus, a former rocker turned art gallery owner determined to give his kids a first-class education. Rufus has a history with Serena’s mother, Lily, a socialite with a hidden past. When a chance encounter brought Dan and Serena together, Dan found himself dating the girl of his dreams. This dream quickly became a challenge as he tried to make sense of her world. Jenny is the youngest of the group and wants desperately to be accepted. She was thrilled with her brother’s new romance and the chance to have entry into this glamorous world, though she quickly learned the price for popularity takes its toll. The group was also impacted by the arrival of Vanessa Abrams, Dan’s female friend, a Brooklyn rebel and loner who doesn’t approve of this high-stakes world of money, fashion shows and fundraisers.

In the second season premiere, as the summer draws to a close in the Hamptons, Serena and Nate have everyone fooled into thinking they are a couple to cover up the fact that Nate has been hooking up with a married older woman and Serena has been secretly mourning her breakup with Dan. Blair returns from abroad with a hot guy on her arm, making a very jealous Chuck question his decision to leave Blair stranded at the heliport. Dan has spent the summer assisting a famous author but decides to head to the Hamptons to see how things stand with Serena after a summer spent apart. Plus, while interning for Blair’s mother’s company, Jenny sneaks a much-coveted invite to the Hamptons’ White Party, at which Eric introduces her to socialite Tinsley Mortimer.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009, 9:00PM – 10:00PM ITV2