I spent the past 6 weeks or so binge watching the 6 seasons of Gossip Girl. I love me a good, soapy teen drama. I don’t think I’ve obsessively watched a show like this since I watched One Tree Hill a few years ago. I’ve binge watched any number of things since then, but none have hooked me with all the relationship drama since then. I had Gossip Girl on my list of things to watch for quite some time, but kept choosing other things over it. I recently decided I was in the mood for something that was bound to be relationship heavy with characters that I could ship.
I feel like I don’t really have any shows that I’m watching in real time that have good couple drama and I miss it terribly. The few shows in my rotation that once did are so far into their runs that the will they or won’t they relationships in them are all played out. Even the shows like Arrow that are still in the midst of theirs haven’t really grabbed my interest that much. I was starting to think maybe I was the problem, but watching Gossip Girl assuaged me of that notion. It really is the writing in the current shows and not me that’s the problem.
Pretty much Gossip Girl is nothing but relationships, love triangles, and ridiculous and unrealistic drama surrounding the New York society set on the Upper East Side. I loved it. Basically at this point this post is going to devolve into specific things I loved about the show, my feelings about the end, and some things I would have done differently if I was writing it. At this point if you don’t want to be spoiled about the specifics of the show you should stop reading. Also, I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t also watched Gossip Girl caring about reading the rest of this, but at any rate read at your own risk.
Let’s start at the end shall we? I did enjoy the finale. I appreciated the way they brought back characters from previous seasons even if it was just quick reaction shots of them finding out that Dan was Gossip Girl. Showing Kristen Bell, who did the voiceover narration of Gossip Girl during its run was great too. Speaking of Dan as Gossip Girl I can live with that reveal. I like that much better than the short time in season five when we were supposed to believe it had been Georgina the whole time. It does make me want to go back and rewatch to see if things fit with him being Gossip Girl from the beginning. I do wonder if the writers had it planned that way the whole time or if they just picked someone when they realized they had to. Also as an aside it amused me that between the time Taylor Momsen was written out of the show and the finale she apparently gained enough clout to rate a with Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey in the guest star credits for her one whole line of dialogue in the episode.
Obviously there was no doubt that Blair and Chuck and Dan and Serena would end up together in the end. I do think they did such a good job with putting Dan and Blair together that even though I know Blair and Chuck are the one true pairing I would have been happy if Dan and Blair had wound up together. The writers of this show were really good about making me like whatever permutation of couples they had going on at a given moment at least among the core cast. I was not always a fan of some of the side people they brought in during various seasons. I had never considered Dan and Blair as a couple until they first hinted at it at the end of season 4. I would have liked to actually see them go with it sooner in season 5 instead of dragging it out until almost the end of the season. I could have done without the whole ridiculous Louis storyline that took up most of that season. I would have preferred an entire season of a Dan/Chuck/Blair triangle with Blair actually the one really into Dan for awhile instead of him pining after her the whole season.
Speaking of love triangles from way back in the series, although I like Serena and Dan and am perfectly fine that they wound up together as I knew they would, I actually always sort of wanted her to wind up with Nate. I really liked them as a couple and wish the writers had gone back to that instead of having him date one ridiculous person after another in the last few seasons.
I was disappointed that Lily and Rufus didn’t wind up together in the end. In the first few seasons I was more interested in them getting together than any of the actual teenage couples on the show. I guess it makes sense that they didn’t end up together since it makes Dan and Serena’s relationship feel slightly icky, but I always liked them as a couple. Though I’m sure Rufus was happy with Lisa Loeb in the end, I am going to always pretend that William was only at the wedding because he’s Serena’s father and not because he and Lily were actually together.
And since we’re talking about the parents on the show, I really appreciated how they had actual story lines that were interesting and that I was invested in just as much as the teenagers. Too many teen shows just act like the kids don’t have parents or if they do they eventually get completely sidelined. See Vampire Diaries and the fact that every adult has now been killed off of that show. I really loved some of the parent-child relationships on the show. I loved Lily and Chuck’s relationship, and even though Eleanor was supposed to be a nightmare at the beginning of the show she and Blair settled down into a great dynamic. I also loved how Cyrus grew on Blair and became a second dad to her so much that she wanted him to help walk her down the aisle.
Overall I loved the show. It did falter some starting in season five when it brought in a whole new crop of characters after writing out Jenny, Vanessa, and Eric. I get how it no longer made sense to try and keep Jenny and Eric around now that everyone else had graduated from high school and they were still there, but I did miss Vanessa after she was gone. One Tree Hill lost some significant cast members after season six, but I felt like I bonded with the new cast members they brought in for the last three seasons to replace them. I never felt that way with the new characters on Gossip Girl. I never grew to like them that much and mostly just wanted them to go away so we could go back to focusing on the core cast.
I am sad that I’m done watching it now since I don’t know of anything else to replace it. I feel like I’ve already been through all the other teen dramas. The CW for which these kinds of shows used to be their bread and butter has now become the comic book network. I’m fine with that, but it doesn’t fulfill quite the same role in my life. Maybe there’s some ABC Family dramas out there that will fit the bill, though preferably I prefer to binge watches to be for shows that have completed their runs. If anyone has suggestions on what I should watch next, I’m open to them.