Monday, November 2, 2009

Gossip Girl: How to Succeed

Let’s be honest, I started watching Gossip Girl to see beautiful people swan around beautiful places in beautiful clothes getting with other beautiful people. This show did not have a lot to aspire to. Surprise! It vastly exceeded my expectations with its risqué banter, themes of loneliness and popularity, and the dark past of its characters. So, I cast aside my initial evaluation and prepared to enjoy. Surprise! It is now hammy and convoluted. Whether this is due to what many former O.C devotees refer to as the S3 spiral of hell or the much-feared college decline, things have gone badly wrong. So, me being an all-knowing TV goddess (ahem....) I have 5 rules for Josh Schwarz and Stephanie Savage to follow in order to make like Bart Bass and be a bad-ass billionaire successful mofo. *Please kill me now for the mangled, clichéd, and desperate analogy*

1. Bring Back Original Recipe Blair

Stop exploiting Leighton’s versatility. Just because she has the ability to do comedy, does not mean she should be relegated to these ‘hahaha’ storylines. This whole desperate quest to become Queen of NYU is a) ridiculous as Blair already cast aside her mignons and the Colony Club saying she wasn’t dealing with High School anymore; b) stupid as it’s not funny watching Blair be left lonely after her ‘dastardly scheme’ fails, it’s actually sad.
This whole NYU storyline could have actually given us character development rather than regression. Seeing Blair really struggle with the loss of her identity and status could have been moving as well as interspersed with comedy. We could have seen Blair coping with living with Vanessa, who she sees as the representation of her polar opposite. Imagine how much more poignant the last scene between them where they realise how much they’ve lost and how alike they are would have been. If the writers are looking for drama, rather than using Blair’s schemes to divide her and Chuck and cause the seasonly rift with Serena, why not have her relapse with her bulimia? Chuck is devastated she can’t trust him and Serena is torn between telling her step-brother or keeping Blair’s loyalty. This would utilise Leighton’s dramatic acting ability, incorporate Chuck and relationship drama, be a real issue with Serena that tests their friendship/loyalty/trust, and get the whole cast involved – Cyrus and Eleanor worrying about her, Nate because of his previous history with Blair, and Dan and Vanessa realising Blair is not an evil witch but a real person with insecurities and problems.

2. Stop With The Guest Stars

We know they aren’t sticking around, so there is no point us getting involved in their storylines. Nate’s Romeo/Juliet romance has no credibility as we know Bree is disposable. Ditto Hilary Duff (sorry, I just can’t see her as Olivia, she’ll always be Hilary Duff/Lizzie Maguire to me) and Dan’s relationship. This point is particularly emphasised by Scott. FINE, I’ll concede at least he had a valid reason to be there, but otherwise really, really? They could have at least cast someone attractive and had him even slightly resemble Lily/Rufus. Seriously he looked like the love child of Pete Wentz and Rosario Dawson.
Not only do these guest stars serve almost no purpose but they eat up precious screentime. A few people may tune in to see Hilary Duff and Tyra Banks, but most loyal viewers tune in to see the regulars. They stop the main characters interacting with each other. Nate and Bree seemed to exist in a completely different TV show. People seem to be acting in little 2/3 person bubbles. Where are the scenes from S1 where the NJBC was out in force and sparked off with the Brooklynites? For example a memorable moment would be at the white brunch when Blair told Dan about Serena sleeping with Nate

3. Kill Off Jenny, Rufus, And Vanessa

I feel apathy at best, hatred at worst for these characters. Each one is in their own way completely redundant in Gossip Girl. Rufus/Lily is done. They are married. We do not need to see their pathetic conflicts and Rufus acting like a baby. Vanessa is a judgemental hypocrite. While she is useful as a sounding board for Dan, I feel that the sage advice could just as easily come from Eric, seeing as these two are apparently family though I don’t think they’ve said two words to each other. Use this Van-Hump-Der-Bass family to create original drama/conflict/relationships. Jenny is, like the guest stars, part of completely seperate world to the rest of the main cast. Constance is now OVER, please see Friday Night Lights for the graceful departure of a character - Smash and Jason Street. If Jenny does HAVE to be involved, please give her a bath and a burger. She looks like a crack whore.

4. Storylines With A Point

All that secret child drama for what? A 5 minute reunion where nothing is discussed and consists mainly of Lily reassuring Rufus of his love. Seriously, just watch it.
Carter/Bree WTF?! A family feud involving someone’s sister and an altar and a zzzzzzzz. No one cares nor has this had any real impact on the main characters. Useless, useless, useless.

5. Chuck/Blair White Hot Sex

One of the hottest couples, and yet at most we’ve seen a few kisses. Where are the scenes from last year with the smouldering tension, the partial nudity and heart-breaking emotion? Ok, maybe not heart-breaking (please no break-up/back together drama) but I want to see some passion. I wanted to see the rest of kinky waiter foreplay. I want to see the infamous red tights make a comeback. I want to see how they deal with sex within a committed relationship. And no, I'm not a pervert! Yes, I like the sweetness of Blair cuddling Chuck in bed and the fact that TPTB are trying to show us that they aren’t just about the sex, but I think that was effectively handled last season with the I Love You drama. Also, on that kinda point but not strictly related but what the fuck was that ‘I didn’t say I love you because I couldn’t trust you’ bullshit. Please writers, read your own damn script and watch your own damn show.

So, there you go Gossip Girl. A few hints and pointers from a disappointed viewer. Tell me your problems with the new season. Rant and rave. I like to think the TV Gods will hear our pleas!

5 Responses to “Gossip Girl: How to Succeed”

Al said...

Word! to your entire post seriously you said everything that bugs me with this season, i want the old blair back, and vanessa/jenny to go far far away

Scarlett Brooke said...

I just don't understand what the writers are doing to Blair. She was so relatable and a beautifully complex character, but they seem to be making her into a cariacture of herself.
Yep, V/J need to get into a film fashion school in the Artic.

The_Brain said...

while I agree with most of your points, I do like Vanessa and I hope the writers will add more substance to her life. I mean except for living in Dan's shadow and that threesome event,I don't know what her purpose in life is.
Lead her to the path of drug addiction, gambling, idk let's give her some real problems to deal with...

Although, killing off one of the regular characters would benefit so much to an eventual storyline.

Scarlett Brooke said...

I do agree, it's not necessarily so much that I dislike her which I do, but she only ever seems to serve as a plot point/exposition fairy. The only time she has had her own storyline was with Nate and that was executed terribly though they had some nice moments.
While the threesome is a step forward, I don't really need to see girl oblivious with other guy while best friend pines. I really want to see something original done with this storyline in order to make it interesting. My preferred storyline would be something with her mother - we just get no explanation of why Vanessa is the way that she is and her backstory with her parents would be soemthing of substance.

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