Becky Brinkerhoff ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Imagine an impressionable, innocent, eighth grader flipping through the channels on a Monday night—after completing her homework, of course. She stumbles upon a new TV show about beautiful people in an extravagant world. How could a feminine, sparkle-obsessed eighth grader click her way past that? So, she sat for the hour-long pilot episode and found a new love, or slight obsession, for the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.”
Flash forward five seasons and five years later, that same girl sits cuddled in her dorm room at two in the morning watching Gossip Girl (with an 8:00am class the next morning) as her computer screen glows on her face. Hours of sleep lost, papers never edited. For an avid fan like me, the end of a six-year obsession could never match up to what we hope. However, Gossip Girl didn’t suddenly come to a conclusion at the final season finale. No, no the TV drama had a steady decline. A decline in viewers, believable plot twists, etc. And yet, many faithful fans, such as myself, continued to watch all six seasons. How could that be?
The entire show was birthed in high school. The characters were quite the cast. The archetypal bad boy, Chuck with his smoothly, crafted one liners. The bitchy queen Blair with her perfect headbands and preppy style. The golden girl Serena and the way she fights her past. It was intriguing. The people were beautiful. Their lives sparkled, and audiences fell as much in love with the lives of the characters as well as the characters themselves. It captured audiences, like myself, because it allowed the viewer to experience that high-school level, catty drama without the viewers themselves being a part of it. It was the appeal of watching a food fight in the cafeteria: you want to know who started it and you want to know who will take the fall for it.
However, there was a shift in the show once the character’s graduated high school. All of the characters (with the exception of Blair at times) suddenly became adults. Suddenly being the key term. There was no progression. They didn’t go through the years of “discovering oneself” in college. It wasn’t believable. They became adults right when entering their college years. The catty high-school drama was lost. It seems that the writers tried to reincorporate it with the new “adult-like” characters and it just didn’t seem to fit. It seems that they ran out of plot twists, and so they had to make the drama even more dramatic, like Bart Bass suddenly coming “back from the dead” or Serena having a long lost “cousin”. Like I said, not too believable.
The last season reaches recording breaking lows in views. It seemed like the entire cast was tired. The writers seemed bored, just ready for the show to end. The show lacked its original luster. The drama lacked believability. I had hoped that the show would make up for its losses in the last episode, but I was sorely mistaken. It was like they had taken a ending to a bad Disney channel movie, combined it with every soap opera known to man, and then made sure to incorporate every cliché in the book. I was discontented to say the least.
- It makes no sense that Dan was gossip girl all along. None at all. The writers just pulled that out of thin air and expected us to be happy with it. I would have just left gossip girl unnamed like the books did.
- Not everyone has to end up with someone. I mean, I personally would have pitched a fit if Chuck and Blair hadn’t married by the end of the season. But Dan and Serena? Lily and William? Rufus and that random woman?
- Did Chuck and Blair really have to have a child? Was that flash forward necessary? That was certainly an over conclusion. Far too much information.
- Not every character needs an ending. No one really cares about what happened to Ivy.
Though the final season was a disappointment, I will say that that Gossip Girl certainly set a new standard in adult television. It was innovative in its central focus on fashion and certainly played on the idea of teenage rebellion in a new light. In spite of all that, Gossip Girl had its ups and downs. It was unrealistic from season one, but I lost my ability to suspend my disbelief in the last couple of seasons. But, honestly, could we have asked for realism in this show? So, here is to six years of scandal. I’ll definitely feel a void in my Monday nights.