The latest seasons of Gossip Girl and Chuck have been airing for a couple of months now in the States, and though there’s a bit of a lag between their appearance on UK screens, from the day after the American premieres, they’re immediately for sale on iTunes.
Season three of Gossip Girl ended in typically fraught fashion. Blair and Chuck hopelessly failed to commit to a serious relationship, Serena worked her way through the half of the Archibald family, and while Dan and Vanessa at last got together though S was never far behind, Jenny’s world quickly fell apart. Season four picks up in Paris, although strangely feels a little different to series so far. With quick cuts and an MTV soundtrack, though it settles back into the sultry tone from episodes three and four, the first two are a bit of a departure. Both largely set in the French capital, Blair and Serena are taking an extended break, which sees the former fall for a prince, and the latter fall for any man going, but it’s Chuck who is really leading the different life. Shot and mugged at the end of season three, he ditches his former identity and shacks up with a French lover, free of the pressures and excesses his fortune brings. By episode three through, it was back to Manhattan, and into the regular “there’s a party, everyone bumps into each other, Gossip Girl reports on the drama” storylines.
A deadline day renewal when it was much rumoured for cancellation (and in fact has now had a back 11 episodes ordered making season four the biggest yet), Chuck has nicely developed on from the simple average Joe-turned secret agent premise of the early seasons. Now much more adept in the art of the spy, season three saw Chuck near take down The Ring and uncover important information about his mother, and in season four he takes his personal mission on a step further. With the Buy More now a covert CIA base, Chuck sets about secretly locating his mother, with Sarah at his side, and with a lot of bullets fired and suspense along the way, it’s more fun, it’s somewhat uninvolving action from the series.
Expect each to be back for a fifth run, bedding nicely into their grooves once more, though they might need to shake up the formulas a little in the future if they’re to make a claim for television real television fame.