Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Episode 1549: Gossip Girl, You Won't Be Missed

Spent pretty much the whole day in church, first helping to set up my cell's CCIS room, then at practice for singers and the band. Didn't realise it was going to take all afternoon to set up, so I actually brought along a couple of the magazines I bought yesterday, thinking that I'd be able to spend some time reading before practice. Turns out that the only time I read anything was when I read half of Cereal on the MRT ride to church. Spent the ride back home watching Gossip Girl, sitting down. Didn't get up even when this middle-aged couple with several bags stood right in front of me, because if you're toting that many bags of shopping from Gap, I don't really feel like I need to stand up for you, if I'm being perfectly honest. Anyway, the Gossip Girl series finale wasn't as problematic for me as I'd been expecting, based on the AV Club's review of it. Sure, it's still pretty ridiculous that Dan is Gossip Girl, but factor in the suspension of disbelief most TV shows demand anyway, and it might just about work. What definitely didn't work was how everyone reacted to the revelation. I get that everything had to be compressed into the last 15 minutes of the show's existence (although maybe not, if the writers hadn't spent literally all the previous nine episodes of the season messing about with the pointlessness that was Bart's return from the dead), but really, nobody was bothered? Nobody thought there was just something a little bit psychotic about the whole thing? Was this because Dan's from Brooklyn and the UES crowd just assumed it was normal behaviour?

The only truly enjoyable part of this whole series finale was the flashback to Dan's first UES party, which managed in the space of a couple of minutes to capture everything that was so fascinating about Gossip Girl when it first aired, i.e. pretty faces dressed in various shades of preppy, being casually bitchy to each other. The show was selling a fantasy, but then the writers decided they wanted to their characters to actually grow, which is always a risky thing for teen dramas. I mean, sure, develop the characters so they're more than just 'the blonde/brunette one' or 'the jock/jerk' or 'the outsiders', but don't lose sight of why your show's entertaining! I mean, wasn't the whole appeal of Gossip Girl that it was just full of people behaving slightly wickedly, but Gossip Girl was always there to make some sarcastic comment about it? Instead, the show increasingly bogged itself down by trying to ascribe deeply meaningful motivations to its characters' pathological behaviour. Now let's just cancel 90210, wait for The Carrie Diaries to flop, and The CW can transform itself into a network populated by genre/action shows and wholeheartedly fluffy fare.

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