• Tue, Dec 6 2011

The 30-Year-Old Man’s Guide To Gossip Girl: Riding in Town Cars with Boys

Five consecutive party episodes. Five. Let’s revisit them in reverse chronological order: [deep breath] Charlie’s debutant ball, CeCe’s 70’s party, Blair’s bridal shower, Chuck’s At the Table of Macbeth benefit, and The Spectator’s launch party [exhale]. I get that these guys are the 1%, but they must do something other than party, right? The only thing bigger than Lilly’s decorating budget is Chuck’s scotch bill.

At party number 5, Chuck and Blair end months of equivocating and realize what everyone else in the world already knows: they love each other and to fight that is pointless. But of course in teen drama land these characters must be flogged repeatedly, so not ten minutes after reuniting, their car is forced into a retaining wall by a pack of motorcycle- bound paparazzi and our new lovers end up in the emergency room, their futures very much in doubt. It’s funny how Chuck spent the first few episodes indulging his suicidal death wish in his grief over losing Blair, and as soon as he gets her, he winds up comatose (I’m assuming).

We should have all seen this coming, of course. As Chuck and Blair enter their town car on their way to meet their fate, we hear Gossip Girl quote Albert Camus, saying, “Life is the sum of all your choices.” When people start quoting Camus, bad things have just happened, bad things are currently happening, or bad things are about to happen. That’s just the way the world works. I know I’m hard on this show sometimes, but how many teen dramas name check French existentialists? Impressive stuff.

Speaking of Gossip Girl, there’s been a lot of reference this season to Gossip Girl as an actual human being rather than some inanimate website, and this is a shift as far as I can tell. Serena goes so far as to blame Gossip Girl for the accident and enlists Nate’s help in taking her down. She’s transformed from petty annoyance to outright enemy. f they continue in the course, the show will be attacking itself in a way. rom the start, the website was the show’s key conceit. ossip Girl served as narrator, and at times, a Greek chorus. Think of all the episodes that hinged on her cryptic text message blasts. If Serena is successful in her fight against Gossip Girl the person, and the site disappears, how does the show continue? ho will drop pithy rejoinders as the show exits to commercial? ho will quote Camus? aybe they bring Vanessa back for that.

Here’s another question to think about: what do the show’s writers think about gossip. Is it harmless or is it destructive? For five years, gossip has been the currency that fuels this show’s economy. Hero characters (Blair) use gossip as a tool the same way villain characters (Jenny) do, and the results are a mixed bag. Jenny was driven out of the city. Blair’s engaged to a prince. Gossip is celebrated here, reveled in, almost. Maybe the coming assault on Gossip Girl will be the writer’s definitive statement on gossip as a vice. If Gossip Girl is represented as an evil, her primary weapon must in turn be evil.

If I hear the show’s been picked up for a sixth and (I would guess) final season. There would be symmetry and closure if Gossip Girl were vanquished as the show concludes, but if that’s the plan, they’re getting an early start. have no idea where things are headed and we’ll have to wait until mid-January to find out. These mid-season finales are annoying, and I’m not convinced they’re a smart play. Six weeks is a lot of time for your audience of thirteen-year-olds to get distracted by the Internet. In the meantime, I’ll have to figure out something else to do with my Monday nights. Maybe I’ll start reading Kierkegaard.

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  • Carrie

    I hate to break it to you, but every single episode of Gossip Girl contains a party. It is a perfect opportunity for all the separate storylines to converge. I am ashamed that I noticed this.

    And the concept of Gossip Girl as a human person has been around for a few seasons. I am ashamed that I know this.

    Please. My life is not worth living.

  • Jimmy Jimmerson

    My understanding of this article was derailed due to the fact that I don’t watch the show. However I assume that the author of this editorial is a big fat loser.

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