Gossip Girl: When Soap Opera Smut Just Isn’t Enough

November 1, 2012 2:00 am0 comments
Samantha Weisman

Everyone has their “guilty pleasure” shows. Everyone has shows they know they should not like, or are embarrassed to say that they watch. For me, it’s Gossip Girl.

After reading all of the Gossip Girl novels (if you could call them that) in middle school, I was more than excited when the show premiered my freshman year of high school. However, five years later, as I have gotten older and should be past my middle school obsession (okay, one of my middle school obsessions), Gossip Girl has gotten even worse… and I am still watching.

The characters are extremely poorly developed, the plot is inconsistent, the writers make casual references to drugs and eating disorders, the stories are just plain boring… and I am still watching.

Now in the sixth and final season, Gossip Girl is just as bad as ever, if not worse.

Every relationship on this show is confusing and inappropriate. First of all, Blair and Chuck, the couple that has been struggling for five seasons to be able to be together, currently have no obstacles blocking their relationship. Yet, they are choosing to “hold off” on the relationship until they are ready for it. Anyone who has watched these characters knows that they would have burned bridges in order to be together — it is hard to believe that they would be able to resist each other now.

Then there are the inappropriate-age relationships (that’s right, plural): Nate is dating a seventeen-year-old; Serena is dating that seventeen-year-old’s father (who she also happened to lie to about her identity for a large portion of their relationship to) and the real kicker is that Rufus Humphrey is dating actress-turned-con-artist-turned-psychopath, Ivy Dickens.

None of these relationships make sense to me. Nate — who actually has no reason to be on this show anymore — has always been interested in much older, richer women. Why does he choose now, as the new editor-in-chief of a (gossip) website, to date a highschooler? Serena lied to her man all summer about who she is, and he is still dating her? Aside from the facts that Gossip Girl herself no longer cares about Serena’s whereabouts and that the last season ended with Serena doing coke on a train — ah, another dead plotline never revisited — Serena is not ready to be a stepmother to a girl characterized almost exactly like Season One Serena.

The Rufus-Ivy relationship disturbs me in too many ways to talk about; even awkward, ruined Dan says exactly what I was thinking in the most recent episode (appropriately named “Dirty Rotten Scandals”): “Dad, she’s a known con artist. She swindled Lily and her entire family. And… she tried to have sex with me… and asked me to call her Serena.” Okay, really? When Rufus asks him to respect his “adult decision” to be with her, Dan says, “Really? Being with her is the adult decision?” Really, Gossip Girl, REALLY?

Another issue I have with this ridiculous show, is the lack of continuity in plot and development of characters, especially Blair Waldorf. In the last episode, when Blair finds out that Serena is back in town, she reacts almost exactly how she reacted in the first episode of the series to the same news. You would think that after five seasons, Blair would have matured, or at least gotten better at reacting to this boring, overdone (how many times has Serena done this now?) news. Instead, she reverts back to her high school queen-bee self and pretends she knew Serena was back the whole time.

Additionally, after addressing her eating disorder as a serious issue in the previous seasons, Blair makes a joke: “Does it look like I’ve been eating? Don’t insult me.” That completely invalidates the show’s supposed serious stance on eating disorders.

So why do I watch this inconsistent, stress-inducing, plot-repeating show? For the same reason I am excited for morning-after-Halloween walks of shame: I can’t look away.

You know you love me.

xoxo,
S

Samantha Weisman is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at scw68@cornell.edu. Her blog appears alternate Thursdays this semester.