Umm...so I love Gossip Girl. Not originally, however. I admit, I was a convert.
As a loyal fan of The O.C. (rest in peace), I wasn't really into the idea of a show that seemed like the sequel set on the East Coast (such as this article seemed to be saying on People.com last October).
But, I stand corrected. I caught up on the first half of the season over the writer's strike, and I love it. It's not a sequel in any way shape or form, but there definitely are similarities and parallels between my beloved O.C. and my new crush, Gossip Girl.
Dan, for instance (played by Penn Badgley), I see as a blend of "Ryan" and "Seth." He seems to be the focal point of the show, as we see the culture of the U.E.S. kings and queens through his outsider (read: Brooklyn) eyes, and that screams Ryan to me. Yet, he has always been at this school, never fit in, and pined for the most popular girl at school, Serena (Blake Lively) for years while she had no idea who he was, and at last she realizes how wonderful and perfect the dorky kid can be (hello...Seth and Summer, without a doubt).
But, on Gossip Girl, the cattiness is full blown, and I can't get enough. These girls are entitled...this is not "new money" Newport Beach anymore. These are WASP trust fund babies with extravagant lifestyles you must be born into. On The O.C., we saw the guys fight often, but on Gossip Girl, the ladies have the upper hand. They are cunning and manipulative, and even little Jenny Humphrey is learning!
There is one thing I miss from my transition to Gossip Girl from The O.C., though-- Seth Cohen's humor. Gossip Girl is all about the dramz, but the side dish of self-depreciating sarcasm is left out. Seth was my favorite character on The O.C., and I've yet to find a character I like as much as I liked him. Bring on the laughs, even a little. Does that say something about our culture on the East Coast? Are we more uptight and less funny than our Western counterparts? Or maybe I just like Adam Brody a little too much...hmm.
For more "conspiracy theories" and analysis of the show, New York Magazine wrote an excellent article in last week's issue. The writers bring up some very interesting points: how the show is changing the way this generation watches television, how life imitates art imitates life through the cast and their on-screen personas, and why it's the greatest teen drama ever (better than 90210?! haha). It's a good read, and I definitely recommend checking it out : The Genius of Gossip Girl.
Besides how addicting the show is, I think everyone in New York is just happy to have another show focused in and around New York City. Not since Sex & the City has the city's backdrop mattered so much to the plot and feel of a show. Though their lifestyles are far far from my own, I still feel a sense of pride, community and understanding when I see places on the show that I pass everyday, and stereotypes portrayed that I know all too well here.
All in all, it's a great show. And if you're one of the 5 people out there not watching yet, you should start tuning in.