The CW’s Gossip Girl is based on the book series by Cecily Von Ziegesar. The show gives New York’s elite Upper East Side basically the same polished treatment as The O.C. had given California’s Orange County. The series focuses on a group of terribly wealthy, unbelievably good-looking teens, all attending a high end prep school.
Gossip Girl has all the classic characters a trashy teen drama needs, the knifing girls, handsome boys, overly friendly teachers, uninterested parents and of course the wannabe siblings.
The show stars Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively) as the mysterious popular girl who has everything going for her, her drama obsessed frenemy Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), the ultimate bad boy Chuck Bass(Ed Westwick) and, the extremely standard vanilla Nate Archibald (Chase Crawford). In contrast there are the “poor” kids, Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) the brooding coffee house type and his social climbing sister Jenny.
The show is narrated by the “Gossip Girl” (Kristen Bell), an unidentified insider who posts news and photos on her blog. The prep school going teens constantly check for updates on the on goings in their social circles.
While some characters mean well, many are superficial and emotionally cruel or distant, malicious, and some are criminals (the infamous Chuck Bass). Characters play rude tricks on each other and otherwise try to backstab, and hurt those who are supposed to be their friends.
The privileged individuals on the show are like this do to no parental example. These figures being Lily Bass (Kelly Rutherford), Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle) and Bartholomew “Bart” Bass (Robert John Burke). Most of whom are shallow socialites, divorcées, and Wall Street tycoons or, they are simply never there. All these parents really provide is credit cards and neglect.
People are drawn in by the show because of how farfetched the Gossip Girl world really is. The characters on the show dress up their plaid maroon and navy uniforms with thousand dollar accessories, live in multimillion dollar penthouses, have limos at their beck and call, and do whatever they please.
The allure and sparkle of the show attracts adolescent girls and a boy here and there that are looking for a way out of their suburban, typical existence. The content of the show is completely adult, despite all of the characters being are age.
Almost every episode of Gossip Girl has some sort of wicked behavior worked into the storyline; drugs, alcohol, sex, assault, bad language, suicide, eating disorders, rape, infidelity, among others that are addressed in the show but not in constructive or realistic ways.
Of course every high school has the same parties, alcohol and drugs but the kids on this show tend to be a little gaudier about it. Parents who condemn the show fail to see this.
The Parents Television Council, an adversary group calls the show “Mind-blowingly inappropriate” and “A Parent’s Worst Nightmare.”
The people behind the show then decided to put these quotes on ads accompanied by proactive pictures for the upcoming season. Instead of trying to get the show in parent’s good graces with morals and manners, Gossip Girl writers and producers decide to go the opposite direction in playing up the disapproval and outrage.
Yes, the show is completely over the top with its expensive labels and scandalous drama. It runs on the displeasure of parents and admiration from teens and it’s utterly superficial.
It’s a universal truth that Teenagers tend to rebel against their parents views, so they are drawn to the trashy slogans and graphing scenes of the ad campaign and then the show.
Gossip Girl also focuses on putting remarkable upcoming music (music producer Alexandra Patsavas) as a backdrop on the shocking scenes and outrageous fashion to fit the Upper East Side environment (costume designer Eric Damen).
All of these qualities have contributed to the obsession that Gossip Girl has become. The show is now an astounding success.
The show has become a worldwide phenomenon. With the bestselling books, DVDs, soundtrack and recent clothing line by Anna Sui inspired by GG, the show has become a goldmine. Millions tune in on Monday nights to watch this guilty pleasure.