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TV Thoughts – XOXO Gossip Girl

My thoughts on Gossip Girl, which officially ended this past week with their big series finale

Despite what you may think, I was not on the Gossip Girl bandwagon from day one. I jumped on the bandwagon thanks to Andrew Perloff of the Dan Patrick Show, who mentioned the show in one of the many tangents Dan and the Dannettes went on one day years ago. Why I would take television advice from someone who dresses like Ellen Degeneres is beyond me, but I’m glad I did.

I’m a sucker for a TV show with good looking women and Josh Schwartz knows how to cast good looking women. I was a big fan of Schwartz and his work on The O.C., so it should be no surprise that I’m a fan of his work on Gossip Girl. He made me fall in love with Rachel Bilson on The O.C. (and Mischa Barton to a lesser extent) and he’s made me fall in love with Leighton Meester and Blake Lively on Gossip Girl.

Besides the women, I think the best thing Schwartz does is portray a lovable loser. In The O.C. It was Seth Cohen. In Gossip Girl it is Dan Humphrey. Maybe I relate to these characters a bit more because I consider myself a lovable loser searching for his Summer or Serena. From the very first episode I found myself rooting for Dan and his quest for love, which was more often than not Serena.

Gossip Girl is like any other show revolving around teens in high school and eventually college. There are your good people, bad people, rich people, poor people, etc…. There is a ton of drama, a ton of sex, a lot more drama, and some more sex. One thing I always liked about the show though is that the parents are involved. In too many shows revolving around teens, parents are just forgotten, but in Gossip Girl they’re front and center. I’ll be honest, I don’t care too much about the parental drama, but it meshes well with the teen drama that goes on in Gossip Girl.

Even though I can’t relate to him at all, my favorite character on the show is Chuck Bass. He’s rich, he’s cocky, he sleep around, he drinks a lot, and he pretty much does whatever he wants whenever he wants. I really enjoy his over the top clothing and mannerisms. No matter what he’s trying to do, I can’t always take him serious with his wacky hair and snarky smile. The thing I like most about though is that the way he refers to himself as Chuck Bass, always saying his first and last name. There’s a James Bond quality to him in that sense and who the hell doesn’t think Bond, James Bond is one of the smoothest dudes on the planet?

I’ve never been to New York so I don’t know what it’s like on the Upper East Side, but Gossip Girl made me believe that it’s filled with a bunch of snotty rich kids. Some of them are privileged and have everything handed to them, others are actually struggling with real situations, and then there are the ones who are just trying to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Then again, if you’ve seen a couple episodes of the show, you’d know that following in the footsteps of your parents probably isn’t the best idea in the world. The show took you all around the city though and let you into their world.

Kristen Bell narrates the show and is really the source of all the drama. Without her portraying Gossip Girl, a gossip site devoted strictly to the Upper East Side, we wouldn’t know about the lives of Serena, Blair, Chuck, Nate, Dan, etc…. I find that whatever Kristen Bell does, she does it amazingly, and this show is no exception. She’s not seen until the last episode, but her voice keeps the show moving. Throughout the show, they sometimes strayed away from the overall theme of “It only truly happens if it happens on Gossip Girl” but for the most part they do a good job of remembering what is important in the big picture, usually thanks to Bell’s closing narration of the episode, the set up line for the next episode, and her famous XOXO Gossip Girl” line that ended every show.

The show was big on fashion, but being a guy who is perfectly comfortable in khakis and a t-shirt, I didn’t pay much attention to that. Serena and Blair always looked hot, but I didn’t care if they were wearing $1,000 dresses or $5 jeans. Even though I’m not huge into fashion and art, I have to give the show a lot of credit for doing both things so well. The characters really live fashion and art by always attending galleries and runway shows and getting famous fashion designers and artists on the show. The same can be said about the music on the show.

Guest stars were a big part of the show as they usually had an extended story arc. Georgina Sparks, played by Michelle Trachtenberg, actually became one of my favorite characters because she was so sarcastically bitchy. I really think that Sparks could’ve been a main character on the show, but she was great as a minor character for the majority of the series. Other great story arcs included Ivy Dickens played by Kaylee DeFer and Jack Bass played by Desmond Harrington.

The final episode was pretty much everything you wanted after years of following the show. Gossip Girl was revealed, the right people ended up together, and there were some awesome cameos. I somehow held back tears, but let me tell you, it was tough.

Did the show get overly complicated with story lines at times? Yes. Did I lose track of who slept with who? Definitely. But Gossip Girl was a great teenage soap opera. It turned the CW Network into the home for teen dramas with good looking people who have a lot of sex and drama. And it was one of the better teen drama shows. Trust me, I watch just about every teen drama out there. This show transcended television, actually showed character growth, and got you invested. Even though there seemed to be a ton of characters throughout the show, I never forgot any of them, which is a pretty big accomplishment for me since I watch a ton of TV and have a tough time remembering every character and their background in every show I watch, especially one hour dramas.

I’ll miss Gossip Girl. Maybe because it was my weekly Lively and Meester fix, but I’d like to think that it was more than that. In fact, I know it’s more than that. Gossip Girl was a show that I looked forward to, not just a show that I watched out of habit because I watched one episode and felt like I had to continue to watch until it was canceled or ended because I’m not a quitter. I’ll miss you Gossip Girl. XoXo.

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