Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gossip Girl goes off the air Monday

After six seasons, and 121 episodes, the CW’s ‘Gossip Girl’ comes to an end Monday and fans are torn on the ending.

‘Gossip Girl’ is one of those shows that really only appeals to a certain age group – and those, like myself, that just get a kick out of teenage shows.

From the beginning, ‘Gossip Girl’ was meant to be vapid television.

I don’t think anyone involved with the endeavor thought they were making ground-breaking programming here.

Essentially, show producers paraded five pretty people in front of the camera and had them act horrible to each other.

In truth, sometimes that approach worked, and sometimes it didn’t.

When ‘Gossip Girl’ first hit the airwaves, it revolved around party girl Serena and her “wrong side of the tracks” romance with Dan Humphrey.

Penn Badgley’s Dan was supposed to represent everything that Serena’s friends did not: Home, heart and healthy living, essentially.

What’s interesting about ‘Gossip Girl’ is that – in its initial setup – Blake Lively’s Serena was supposed to be the center of attention. By extension, her romance with Dan was supposed to be the heart of the show.

Relatively early on, though, something interesting happened: Leighton Meester’s Blair Waldorf started stealing the show.

No, no one would argue that Blair was a great role model or a nice person, but there was something in Meester’s zippy portrayal of the self-avowed snob that made her likeable – despite the horrible things she did.

Sure, you rooted for Blair to fall on her face whenever she hatched one of her schemes. You also rooted for her to pick herself right back up and start scheming all over again.

The original “fight” between Serena and Blair was over Chase Crawford’s Nate. Essentially, he was Blair’s boyfriend and Serena’s fling. The only problem is that Nate Archibald could be the most boring character ever put to the small screen.

In Crawford’s talentless hands, Nate is nothing but a flat caricature of a character. Sure, he’s great to look at, but what has Nate’s overall contribution to the show been?

It’s interesting that Ed Westwick’s Chuck Bass actually became the leading man of the show, because when he was first introduced he was essentially the fifth wheel to Serena and Dan and Blair and Nate.

Somehow, inexplicably, the unlikely pairing of Chuck and Blair is what actually gave ‘Gossip Girl’ the only recognition it ever really earned. In essence, the show was about an unlikely “super couple” and the schemes they planned.

I know there are a group of people out there that are going to freak out because they believe that Chuck Bass is evil and that Dan Humphrey is the man for Blair – but they’re really just a vocal (read: whiny)  minority.

The truth is NONE of the characters on ‘Gossip Girl’ are better than the others. They’ve all got some sort of issue – whether it’s actually an identifiable personality problem or not is a subjective thing.

‘Gossip Girl’ was at its best in the second and third seasons, when it was building off the only momentum it ever managed to drum up. It’s been fading ever since.

‘Gossip Girl’ never managed to build solid characters outside of the core five – and it’s arguable that two of the members of the fab five are really just flat caricatures. It never managed to build a solid mythology it didn’t blow up. It also never managed to make any one character likeable more than 50 percent of the time.

In fact, 'Gossip Girl' had one central problem that kept plaguing it throughout its entire run: Continuity. I mean, Bart Bass went from a distant father to a total sociopath. So did Vanessa Abrams, as a matter of fact. Whatever happened to Rufus and Lily's love child? I mean, 'Gossip Girl' had so many holes you could drive a million trucks through them.

What the show did do, though, is show us fabulous clothes, a gorgeous New York skyline and some pretty entertaining music from time-to-time.

When ‘Gossip Girl’ says goodbye on Monday, I won’t remember most of the show. When I think back on ‘Gossip Girl,’ I think the only thing that can ever be said is that Chuck and Blair were really hot. I don’t care that Dan’s mountain of moppet hair loving fans are going to wine and complain. I don’t care that the Chuck Bass haters are going to scream and stomp their feet and cry that Chuck Bass was an abusive hedonist.

‘Gossip Girl’ is not about the realistic. I wouldn’t want to know any of these people in real life. That doesn’t stop me from rooting for Chuck and Blair to get their faux happily ever after.

I never got my happy ending for Brandon and Kelly, Slater and Jessie or Dylan and Brenda – but I will get my happy ending for Chuck and Blair.

That’s got to count for something, I guess.

What do you think? Are you going to miss ‘Gossip Girl’?


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