So for this week I chose to do a show that was more targeted to the youth market than I have in the past weeks. Gossip Girl is targeted to women 12-34 (TVbynumbers.zap2it.com), and the wonderful decadence of this show is part captivating, but mostly just ridiculous. OK, OK, I will admit that when the show first aired in 2007, I was a huge fan, never missing an episode. But as with all good things, eventually my interest waned, and now I remember why.
Let’s start with the basics. The show is narrated by an unknown blogger called, “Gossip Girl,” and follows the lives of the privileged and powerful teens of manhattans young elite. The show started as a reflection of manhattans upper east side private school scene, but has since evolved into the typical soap opera filled with lies, deceit, cheesy storylines, and, oh, tons of fashion! The cast consists of many different characters, which storylines intertwine, in most every episode. There is Serena Van Der Woodsen- the ‘it-girl’, Blair Waldorf-the self-professed Queen Bee, Chuck Bass-the bad ass/international play-boy, Nate Archibald-the good guy rich boy, and Dan Humphrey-the outcast from Brooklyn. Also included are Jenny Humphrey, Eric Van Der Woodsen, Rufus Humphrey, Lilly Van Der Woodsen and Vanessa Abrams.
Each episode starts with a recap of the storyline and “gossip girls” most recent blog post on one of the characters and ends similarly as well, setting a new story in motion for next week. Having not watched the show in a very long time, I was a bit confused as to what was going on, but here is what seems to be happening. Blair is interning for W magazine and having a hard time with her boss and worried about her upcoming review. She sets a plan up to get her boss a man so that she will be happy and nicer to Blair. Chuck is worried about losing his company, Bass Industries, to a buyer and sets out to make the buyers daughter fall in love with him. Somehow Blair and Chuck plot together for each of their interests, but in the end Chuck falls in love with the girl and his plan backfires. Serena is falling for the guy that supposedly stalked her or drugged her, but his name has been cleared somehow. Dan is jealous so he teams up with Eric, who is being manipulated by a guy he likes, to get rid of Serena’s new love interest. Wow, this is exhausting. Lets skip all the middle and go straight to the end. All the plots have come undone and the lessons learned. Each person feels remorseful of what they have done in one way or another and now have to deal with the consequences. In Blairs’ case, her boss has decided to quit leaving the job and responsibilities to Blair. Chuck is forced to sell his company, but now will work for his girlfriend and her father. And Eric and Dan realize they have been duped by Erics’ love interest and must fess up to why there where really after him.
Gossip Girl airs on the CW network or it can be watched online at cwtv.com. I am finding it difficult to actually see where this show can be educational besides learning about new Spring 2011 fashion trends. The program is a far cry from reality but maybe there are lessons to be learned if you look close. For a teenager growing up outside of New York, they can see these characters and someone to aspire to. Most of the cast attends ivy-league school Columbia University (what up!), while also living robust social lives. Although there is a lot of conniving going on, rights are always wronged and someone always learns a lesson. Maybe this show gives young teens someone to relate to. They may think, “I want to be a powerful strong sexy women like Serena or Blair,” or “I love fashion and New York.” From the readings we have read, apparently TV show characters relate to teens more than we realize so these characters can be another outlet for a teen to relate to. The thing that worries me about this show is that it is geared toward teenagers, and its explicit sexual content seems inappropriate for a 12 year old girl. These images and story lines give the impression that sex should be used to manipulate and get what you want, and there are little consequences. That is my main concern about this show. I guess its up to the parents to make sure that their child either does not watch the show or that they explain that it is not real and not the way the world works. Until next time XOXO Gossip Girl