The first minute of Gossip Girl's season premiere, "Yes, Then Zero" (thank you for the Bret Easton Ellis reference), is mildly alarming because you briefly think that the writers ran out of every possible story line and had to resort to setting the show in the 1920s.
Fortunately, the scene cuts and we realize it is not a past life regression, but the movie set for The Beautiful and the Damned. Serena (Blake Lively), who has snagged the oh so coveted role of L.A. intern, has been working on the David O. Russell (who must be real hard up for agreeing to make such a prominent cameo) film for most of the summer. Although, generally, when a series moves its characters to L.A., the plot starts to turn spectacularly to shit (Nip/Tuck being the most obvious example), Gossip Girl reins in the crazy with a fair amount of aplomb.
Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Nate (Chace Crawford) visit Serena after docking their yacht (won from a poker game with Allegra Versace--sweet Jesus, the nuances of this show) in the waters of what is possibly Marina del Rey. Chuck grapples with Blair's (Leighton Meester) impending nuptials to Prince Louis Grimaldi (Hugo Becker, whose accent makes him sound just a little bit impaired), while Nate continues to try reinventing himself (which is just code for fucking an older woman, Elizabeth Hurley as an as of yet unnamed rich bitch, who actually beats David O. Russell in the being hard up category).
The premiere also focused on Dan's (Penn Badgley) novel, Inside, being leaked by Vanessa (Jessica Szohr). Mercifully, she and Jenny (Taylor Momsen) are expected not to return this season as regulars, but we are still saddled with another duo of annoying characters in the form of Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Charlie/Ivy (Kaylee DeFer). Then there's Blair's pregnancy snafu: Will it be Chuck's? Will it be Louis'? Will it be Dan's? Shit, will it be Serena's? Round and round the plot twists go and where they stop, don't nobody know.