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Gossip Girl - The Complete 4th Season Review




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Rating
Video:   8/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   3/10

More, more, more!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
8/25/2011

    Here’s the dish, GG fans: the 22 episodes of Season Four couldn’t be juicier! And Gossip Girl is there to keep you clued in to the buzz, secrets and scandals of Manhattan’s elite. Between Blair and Serena’s thrilling summer in Paris, Chuck’s new girlfriend and new identity, unexpected fatherhood for Dan, a power play for Bass Industries, Blair’s too-haute-to-handle internship at W Magazine and a vicious conspiracy that threatens to bring down one of your favorite Upper East Siders, Season Four sizzles with some very surprising hookups and meltdowns. With lies and betrayals at every turn, Serena, Blair, Nate, Chuck, and Dan struggle to "keep their friends close and their frenemies closer."
The other day I returned from a nice vacation in Hawaii to a package containing Gossip Girl: Season 4. A smile grew on my face, and I knew what I would be doing for the next few days; power-watching Gossip Girl. Yes, this show is a guilty pleasure of mine, and one I enjoy once a year, for a few days.

This 5-disc set includes all 22 episodes from the fourth season:

Disc 1 (2:49:08)
Belles de Jour (42:14)
Double Identity (42:18)
The Undergraduates (42:18)
Touch of Eva (42:18)

Disc 2 (3:31:43)
Goodbye, Columbia (42:22)
Easy J (42:18)
War at the Roses (42:23)
Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore (42:18)
The Witches of Bushwick (42:22)

Disc 3 (3:31:17)
Gaslit (42:19)
The Townie (42:20)
The Kids are Not All Right (42:19)
Damien Darko (42:18)
Panic Roommate (42:01)

Disc 4 (2:49:45)
It-Girl Happened One Night (42:24)
While You Weren't Sleeping (42:29)
Empire of the Son (42:23)
The Kids Stay in the PIcture (42:29)

Disc 5 (2:49:46)
Pretty in Pink (42:23)
The Princesses and the Frog (42:23)
Shattered Bass (42:30)
The Wrong Goodbye (42:30)

Video

Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1), Gossip Girl looks good, but it has a few flaws. Episodes have a bit of noise in them, especially in night shots, and they're worse in some episodes compared to others. I found the episodes with 5 episodes on them (disc 1, 2 and 3) look a tad bit more compressed compared to the episodes with 4. They went from 7 discs for 25 episodes (season 2), to 22 episodes and 5 discs for seasons 3 and 4; I think it should have been 6 to keep quality consistent. Every episode has a chapter placed right after the "previously on" opening, and another chapter after the opening credits; each disc also contains a "Play all" option called "Go."

Audio

Gossip Girl, like The O.C. has an awesome soundtrack for each episode; I don't even want to know what they spent to clear the music for the show, or the DVD. Never having seen the show, and only going off what I've heard (and the lack of a disclaimer on the package), I'd have to assume all the songs are intact on the set. The audio, which is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track (the Portuguese stereo track which was ditched for season 2 is back) sounds good; I didn't notice any issues. Subtitles are available in English, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.

Extras - How we rate extras

X'd Scenes (18:14)
Belles de Jour (0:54)
The Undergraduates (2:56)
Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1:44)
The Witches of Bushwick (0:41)
Gaslit (2:13)
The Townie (0:45)
Damien Darko (1:09)
Panic Roommate (0:35)
It-Girl Happened One Night (2:08)
While You Weren't Sleeping (0:24)
The Kids Stay in the PIcture (0:54)
The Princesses and the Frog (2:29)
The Wrong Goodbye (1:22)

Bisoux a Paris! (9:48)
Gossip Girl goes to Paris; the cast and crew talk about shooting in the city.

Exposing Gossip Girl: The Making of Episode 418 (17:59)
How did this special episode of "Gossip Girl" come together? Listen to the crew explain the various aspects that went into producing this episode. I've seen a number of these "making of _____ episode" featurettes over the years, and I love that they're all different. This is definitely a featurette to watch.

LOL (8:32)
The gag reel. The audio on this is really low.

Summary

I really do love this show. It seems as though every few years there's a ridiculous teen drama for me to latch onto: Beverly Hills, 90210, Dawson's Creek, Gossip Girl. Yes, those are all filled with adult actors playing teens, ridiculous drama, and pretty much everyone sleeping with everyone else, but you know what? They're fun to watch!

I think I got into this season a bit more than some previous ones, as I was really hoping certain things would pan out during the season (I don't think any of them did). The writers did a great job of creating story arcs that ran throughout the season; I can't say there was a "dud" episode in the bunch.

The bonus material on the set is fairly decent as well. I enjoyed the two featurettes with substance; "Bisoux a Paris!" and "Exposing Gossip Girl: The Making of Episode 418." Both featurettes take you behind-the-scenes, and provide some great information on the show.

Well, I guess that's it for another year. I can't wait to power-watch season 5 next August.


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