As Gossip Girl opens, Serena, the sweet (sort of) blonde leading lady of the show (the opposite of her BFF, Blair Waldorf, the bitchy brunette leading lady), has just returned to Manhattan from self-imposed exile at a Connecticut boarding school. No one knows exactly why she left the city, but, as is always the case in these “awkward” situations, unsavory rumors—Drugs? Unwanted pregnancy?—abound. How dare anyone think such things about Serena! When the secret is eventually revealed, it turns out to be more her younger brother’s problem. But enough about him. He’s not blonde and gorgeous. As the series progresses, Serena becomes romantically entwined with all sorts of men (including Dan Humphrey and Nate Archibald), but never comes off as a slut. She’s a nice, unpretentious (for example—Dan lives in Brooklyn, but she does not shun him), sensitive girl, who makes it clear she does not want to turn into her mother. (Lily has been married four times, with no end in sight.) Gossip Girl sends out more messages about Serena than any other character. Because Serena is so fabulous, it would be easy to hate her, but we can’t. She’s just so…Serena.