Does Gossip Girl Need a Tune-Up?

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NOTE: The article below appears in TV Guide and does not necessarily reflect the views of this site or its editors. We do not consider all of these things "problems" with the show - but it is interesting as readers have posed some of the same questions at length.

Here's TV Guide's list of ongoing issues they would like to see tweaked, remedied or just plain gotten rid of altogether when Gossip Girl returns March 16.

Take a look and tell us if you agree or disagree ...

THE PROBLEM: Serena and Dan's constant breakups and reconciliations have lost any sort of narrative weight.

THE SOLUTION: Serena and Dan need to stay together, or break up - for good. While there might be a certain degree of high-school realism to the way that S. and Lonely Boy have ridden the On Again/Off Again Express, it's annoying to watch. Plus, there's virtually no difference between the two scenarios. They always stay friends anyway, and the brief times they do part ways, it's always for some stupid reason, like Serena wanting her mother to find true love with Rufus, not because they actually don't like each other anymore. We'd actually vote for keeping them together. It's cool to have one committed couple in the mix, even one as boring as these two are.

Derena Photo

THE PROBLEM: Miss Blair's beloved Dorota is underused.

THE SOLUTION: Shady Dorota! The producers have been smart to sketch Blair's Polish nursemaid as vaguely as they have. As far as we know, Blair Waldorf actually owns Dorota. But look more closely, and you'll see something more knowing behind those obedient eyes. Announcing our new crazy theory: Though others have different ideas, we think that Dorota is actually ... Gossip Girl herself! Even if she isn't, wouldn't it be fun if the writers were to drop some misleading hints? It'll get the fans OMFG'ing all over the place.

THE PROBLEM: Chuck acts like a 38-year-old lothario celebrating his latest divorce.

THE SOLUTION: He might be Chuck Bass, but he's still a 17-year-old high school student. His latest story lines - corporate sabotage? his bender in Thailand? that Eyes Wide Shut sex-party scenario? - have stretched the boundaries of plausibility for too long. Even rich kids have to conjugate verbs in French class and spike the punch at the dance every once in a while. If nothing else, seeing Chuck's exasperation at, say, having to play badminton in gym would offer the show's costume designers the opportunity to conceive an athletic ascot - the "ath-scot," if you will - for him to wear. Stay in school, Chuck!

THE PROBLEM: Chace Crawford's performance as Nate is like human Sominex.

THE SOLUTION: Reboot Nate - or get rid of him altogether. Chace Crawford is an extremely good-looking guy. And we have to admit that the idea of his curve-ball relationship with Vanessa sounded promising, even after suffering through his family's painfully drawn-out drug and money scandals and his charisma-free romances with Blair, the Cougar Countess and Jenny. The writers need to go out on a limb with Nate: Give him cancer, brand him a date rapist, make him a Phish fanatic, shave his head - anything that will wake him from his dramatic coma!

THE PROBLEM: Serena van der Woodsen is too nice.

THE SOLUTION: The show is constantly reminding us of Serena's bad-girl past. Unfortunately, as played by the wholesome, adorable Blake Lively, Serena is about as threatening as a baby koala. That said, we know she has it in her. Serena certainly isn't above using her feminine wiles to get what she wants; the writers need to amp this up and find her inner party bitch. While it could be argued that Blair already has this territory covered, we'd counter that it might go a long way toward explaining why these two are BFFs in the first place.

Oh $h!t!

THE PROBLEM: There are lots of parties, but not enough parties.

THE SOLUTION: Substance abuse! It's time to embrace the show's inherent nihilism, and put some lives in danger in the process. Which means: Bring on the binge drinking! Cocaine! Pilfered pharmaceuticals! We're not suggesting that the show actually condone these activities (if acted well, it will be clear who's making the correct choices in such situations), but one more party scene on this show without even a whiff of overindulgence is going to drive us to drink (more).

THE PROBLEM: Jenny Humphrey has no storyline.

THE SOLUTION: Let Jenny be an aspiring fashion designer, with the emphasis on aspiring. Her detour into the runway world gave the show some much-needed scenery changing. Having her drop out of school and pursue emancipation, however, was totally out of character for such a Daddy's girl. She can work for Eleanor Waldorf, but make sure she remains a pitiable intern in the process. Let her talent develop at a realistic pace. Also: We might get letters for this, but let her dress like a wacko and line her eyes with as much raccoon makeup as she likes. It gives the starchy, preppy show some badly needed aesthetic texture.

THE PROBLEM: Brooklyn is unfairly - and not very funnily - maligned.

THE SOLUTION: Enough with the Brooklyn jokes. Anyone who has been to the five boroughs any time within the last decade or so knows that Brooklyn is no longer the punchline it once was - whether it ever deserved to be or not. There are almost as many shoe boutiques and cupcake cafes in Park Slope as there are on Park Avenue now; it's not deserving of the show's elitist jabs. (Queens, on the other hand....)

What do you think, Gossip Girl fans? How would you fix Gossip Girl - if it needs fixing at all? Chime in with comments below!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Gossip Girl Quotes

And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell ... You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

Serena: I know you may find this hard to believe, but not everyone wants to go to Yale because not everyone wants to be Blair Waldorf.
Blair: Not everyone can be.