One show that I have recently been watching is Gossip Girl and I have to admit, I love it just as much now as I did when it was first released.
When I decided to re-watch it, I have to admit that I was expecting its charm to have worn off. I thought that the show was probably going to be a product of its time and that in retrospect it would either have problematic moments or appeal to a young-teen mindset. However, so far I have to admit that the themes it deals with are dealt with an incredibly mature manner (despite the not-so mature actions of the gang) with issues of consent and revenge dealt with appropriately. Although I am not very far in and so my opinion of this may change as the show continues, I have to confess that I just cannot help finding myself just as engrossed in the exploits of the Upper East Side as I was the first time around.
Although you can never re-experience the mystery surrounding the identity of Gossip Girl as it is hard to forget once you have the information (that’s one secret I’ll never tell), it is quite satisfying looking for the clues scattered throughout the series that pointed to this particular person all along but were overlooked or ignored. The most obvious of these clues being in the Season Two Finale ‘The Goodbye Gossip Girl’.
You cannot help but be swept up by the glamour and the lifestyle, a world with Gossip Girl certainly has its perks but you must constantly question whether the fortune is worth the cost? We witness scandal after scandal as well as disapproving fathers and overbearing mothers. You cannot help but sympathise with the show’s characters as you can see that their lives are not all brunch at The Palace followed by shopping at Bergdorf’s, but at times you still want to scream at them to wake up and witness their privilege.
Take for example Chuck Bass. He has not had it easy when it comes to family so you can kind of understand his trouble committing to Blair in favour of a life of debauchery but it also is so frustrating to watch because you want him to be better.
Let’s be honest, we all have the one character we can relate to even if it is not in whole. We all know a Blair who will do whatever it takes to rise to the top. How about that one friend who, like Serena cannot help but get herself into trouble? The one who somehow knows everything that is going on despite appearing as an outsider like Dan? Do we even need to describe Chuck? It may sound odd that I am saying that a show in which the majority of characters are rich beyond belief is relatable but it definitely is. Afterall, they are people to even though Gossip Girl doesn’t seem to treat them like it.
Although the show’s concept is no doubt terrifying because of its notion that nothing we do is really private, especially as we live in a world that is more technologically advanced than ever, it does demonstrate the real damage that gossip and media can do. Who knew ‘XOXO, Gossip Girl’ could cause so much damage? But it allows us to recognise that we too are flawed as we sit there eagerly waiting the next blast she sends, no matter the damage that we see it constantly creating.
In a world filled with paparazzi, fake news and Gossip Girl wannabees, the show gives us the push needed to recognise that the celebrities we treat in the same manner as the characters in the show are human and deserve to be treated as such. It demonstrates to the fullest extent the invasive quality of media when you are constantly being watched and tips can come from anywhere, even in some cases from within your own home.
Now more than ever, a lot can be learned from this show if we strip away the fictitious elements of the characters and the scandals they endure and apply the consequences to the modern, real world.