Gossip Girl

by

gossip girl

Having just returned from the Americas, I’ve already seen most of ‘Season’ 2 of Gossip Girl.

Jealous?

In your FACE.

For those who’ve never had this rubbish darkening their TV screens, it’s essentially the OC, but this time set in New York. If you never saw the OC (and if that’s the case, I compliment you on your ignorance), that was a show about a supposedly rough kid from The Wrong Side Of The Tracks being forced by circumstances beyond his control to go and live with some rich, posh folks in Orange County. The idea was that drama would arise when a brute with common sense mixed with hedonistic but mannered sophisticates who have bagel toasters in their kitchens and jacuzzis in their bogs.

It didn’t work at all, in execution, as Ryan (the common brute) looked and acted exactly the same as all the other cast, was clearly at home in the plush environs of the super-rich and was indistinguishable from those he was meant to jar against.

It was crap – but for some reason, girls loved it. ‘Enjoyable trash’ is how my better half described it.

Gossip Girl has the same set up, but this time a family of poor people move to New York and, for reasons I haven’t worked out, are forced to mingle with the super-rich. And again the poor family look rich beyond any reasonable doubt. Their appartment is an enormous loft space, they eat huge family meals, Dad used to be a rock star, the young sister is always dressed to the nines and the older brother… well, he deserves his own paragraph. In fact – let’s look at the key players in turn.

Penn Badgely – I’m not making this up – plays Dan Humphrey, the older brother in this apparently poverty-stricken family. He’s the most annoying character currently on TV. He’s an extreme version of Dawson from Dawson’s Creek in that we’re supposed to believe he’s an intellectual because he talks in sentences that don’t seem to end, filled with pseudo-psychological asides and one-liners that you couldn’t possibly come up with spontaneously. Even more infuritatingly, out of nowhere and with no experience, in one episode he found himself writing an article for the New York Times. Because those kinds of experiences just materialise out of nowhere in this fantasy-land. But – to be fair – we know he’s an intellectual before he even opens his mouth because his bookcase is stuffed with books. Books and a smart mouth. It all adds up. Give the lad an article at the NYT!

Chace Crawford – ‘Chace’?! – plays Nate Archibald, a faceless, asexual, blank-canvas of a life-form. His character… is characterless. He generally walks around trying to look moody but ultimately just appears to be in the wrong studio. Opening a door requires deep concentration for this berk.

Leighton Meester – (‘Meester’ being Spanish for ‘Mr’, fact fans) – plays Blair Waldorf. Like the salad. Made of celery, apples, walnuts and grapes, Blair is incredibly good looking and I’ll not have a word said against her.

Blake Lively – and now their real names are starting to freak me out – plays Serena van der Woodsen. I think Serena is meant to be the female lead but the actress who plays her is so anonymous it’s hard to tell. She’s a shrug of a woman. Add to this she looks a good decade older than the other cast members who’re meant to be her age group and she just doesn’t fit in. She’s meant to have lived a wild-and-crazy lifestyle before going dry, so perhaps this accounts for the fact she looks about 43.

Ed Westwick – at last a believable real name – plays Chuck Bass. The only character with any charisma, apart from Blair, Chuck is meant to be a sneaky, slimy sleaze who lives for high times and rutting. He even smokes weed, which for a mainstream show like this means he’s a right royal rebel. In episode one of the first series, Chuck appeared to be attempting to rape someone, but the scriptwriters have happily forgotten about this and now he’s a sympathetic character. Being the better performer of the bunch, he’s obviously going to be played by a British actor – and that makes me glow with pride. I like the way he achieves the smooth-snake look by walking around with his left hand permanently in his left pocket. It’s a clever acting trick used by real actors.

And that’s the main cast list. Any other characters are peripheral and only really there to set up a weekly plot.

The one character I’ve missed off, however, is the one the show’s named after. The eponymous Gossip Girl acts as the continual thread that strands the show together. She’s the supposed keeper of a blog which details the exploits of these movers and shakers, updated with salacious titbits about their actions and photos of them necking.

The problem is, though it might have seemed a good idea at the time, it doesn’t work at all. They’ve tried to copy the Desperate Housewives idea of having someone on the outside looking in and come up short. The Gossip Girl voiceover only acts as a distraction and when it’s not a distraction, it’s a massive annoyance with its affected witticisms and hugely cloying ‘lolspeak’ sign off – ‘you know you love me! X O X O’.

So here’s what they need to do to improve this show if it ever gets a third series.

  • Cut the voiceover.
  • Axe the crappy blog-structure artifice.
  • Get rid of the old woman.
  • Have the pseudo-intellectual Dan horribly maimed onscreen.
  • Have Nate do magic tricks.
  • Turn Chuck into a Roger Moore type smoothie (with an English accent) who always ends up getting it on with Blair at the end. 
  • Make it so that Blair is contractually obliged to be fully naked for half the show’s running time. 
  • Make her do a hula hoop over the end credits.

Only THEN will this show rise above plastic mediocrity.

EX OH EX OH.

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60 Responses to “Gossip Girl”

  1. Napoleon Says:

    Eh? When did you go to America, Swineshead? On the two days you had off last week?

    LIAR!

  2. Swineshead Says:

    I’m covering my tracks, NC – DON’T GIVE THE GAME AWAY.

  3. charliemingles Says:

    Ive never heard of any of these people. If I want to look at perky young american chics, Ive got hardcore pornography at my fingertips.

  4. Swineshead Says:

    You don’t have a girlfriend, Charlie – that completely explains why you’ve never seen this drivel.

  5. charliemingles Says:

    Sorry. Skipped a couple of comments there as I was off water-skiing in the Bahamas. Did I miss anything?

  6. charliemingles Says:

    I have a en ex-wife. thats more than fucking enough believe me.

  7. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve never seen this drivel either, and I have got a girlfriend. That said, I have seen the many thousands of episodes of Smallville and Desperate Housewives that have been made over the last few years. God, they don’t half watch some turnips, the womenfolk.

    And you’re a bloody liar.

  8. ugeine Says:

    That sounds horrible. And this is coming from somebody who laughs at Jim Carrey films.

  9. charliemingles Says:

    “Comments closed”?

    You cheeky cunt. It’s like Stalinist Russia in here these days.

  10. Napoleon Says:

    What’s this comments closed business?

  11. Joanne Says:

    At the risk of sounding like a typical girl, I fucking love this show.

    You kinda got it right but not quite. The Humphreys aren’t poor, they’re middle class. Which explains why they have the nice-ish home. But compared to rest of the super rich, they’re poor as dirt. And their loft is in (dirty) Brooklyn rather than (swanky) Manhattan.

    Blair is gorgeous though and Chuck is just about the most attractive man on television. If the show were just those 2 rutting for 45 minutes a week, it would probably be the best show ever.

    And the voiceover is annoying but what would they call the show without it? ‘Hot Rich People Do Stuff’?

  12. charliemingles Says:

    it said ” comments closed” in the ‘im a celebrity’ comments section a few minutes ago. Either swineshead changed his mind and reversed the stalinist purge or it was merely a technical error ( unlikely, knowing the solid reliabilty of this ‘ere internet)

    the mans a communist Napoleon, thats what Im saying. there. Ive said it.

    it wasnt america her was visiting but commie russia, the trosky bastard.

    were not safe.

  13. charliemingles Says:

    thanks Joanne. youve just set back your species around 100 years.

  14. Swineshead Says:

    I honestly never put ‘comments closed’ anywhere – I’ve been too busy shouting at Amazon on the phone to try and get 6 pounds back in my pocket.

  15. Joanne Says:

    ‘Female’ is not a species.

  16. Napoleon Says:

    Never mind that six pounds rubbish, what about my boiling hot house?

  17. ugeine Says:

    Yes, Dirty Brooklyn, full of salt of the earth plaid shirt and ironic trucker cap wearing, condo living 20 somethings reading Pitchfork and spending daddy’s trust fund. Unless they live in Brighton Beach, but I doubt they’re a family of working class Russian immigrants.

  18. indy Says:

    “he talks in sentences that don’t seem to end, filled with pseudo-psychological asides and one-liners that you couldn’t possibly come up with spontaneously”

    that person is me.

    “Cut the voiceover.”

    what’s with the voiceover? i loved the “funny” voiceover bits in satc: “meanwhile, miranda… (insert lazy sex pun)”

  19. Swineshead Says:

    I only ever watched one episode of Sex and the City. Ropey women doing soft softcore then talking shit – utterly awful.

  20. Swineshead Says:

    NC – I think my six quid loss dwarfs your warm living quarters in terms of significance.

  21. ugeine Says:

    I love Brian from Family Guy’s description of Sex and the City. ‘So It’s about three hookers and their mum?’

  22. charliemingles Says:

    It was a deliberate attempt to goad you Joanne. I’m just bored and needing entertained. pay me no head miss.

  23. charliemingles Says:

    *heed, not head

    (freudian slip there obviously)

  24. charliemingles Says:

    PS: apparantly ‘ female’ is not a species. what the fuck is it then? its certainly not human, thats for fucking sure.

    *hides*

  25. Napoleon Says:

    Swineshead – Haven’t you heard of a returns policy? Me roasting alive in a house that could well be slipping into the first circle of Hell far outstrips your measly six quid in terms of importance. What’s the loss of a bit of money compared to my impending eternal damnation, eh?

  26. charliemingles Says:

    napoleon – turn down the heating? just an idea, mind.

  27. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – Read my site for a full explanation of my house’s slide into Satan’s maw.

  28. Swineshead Says:

    As I’ve explained in our exhaustive correspondence on this issue via gmail, Nappers, their returns policy is prejudiced against idiots like me who click buttons on their site willy nilly without reading what they’re letting themselves in for.

    I’ve been duped, essentially. DUPED.

    A cosy flat is a tea party compared to my £6 loss.

  29. charliemingles Says:

    Ah, I see napoleon. Quite fascinating. Are either of you going through the menopause?

  30. ugeine Says:

    I would just like to thank Amazon.co.uk for delivering my Half life 2 game post haste this week.

  31. charliemingles Says:

    that is genuinely a strange and fascinating phenomenon. Youre not doing something differently? new routine, change of diet etc?

  32. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – I’ve just had a poke about in the missus, and she’s still ship-shape and Bristol fashion. With no other explanation available to me, I must conclude it’s Satan preparing to clasp me to his fiery bosom.

    I should never have had sex in Lincoln cathedral.

  33. New Dave Says:

    Ladytron are a good Electronica outfit – I recommend you all go and see them. I’m seeing them on 24th.

    Are the girls in the picture legal? It looks like they’re dressed as Roger Taylor in the video for I Want To Break Free. Brill.

  34. charliemingles Says:

    dont blame youself napoleon. that archbishop of canterbury is a teasing bitch.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    Ladytron who’ve been about for years, Dave?
    Thanks but I’ve already formed an opinion on them. Care to recommend any other music we’ve probably heard?
    What are these ‘Beatles’ lads like?

  36. charliemingles Says:

    Napoleon – It’s a genuinely fascinating phenomenon. I expect to see you on some shite Channel 5 documentary talking about it soon.

    I’d get the book deal sorted out right now. Those Amityville horror fuckers made a fortune. I’m guessing your flat is built on an ancient Indian burial ground, right?

  37. Napoleon Says:

    My partner for that particular bout of Hellbound cathedral coitus was a female with large knockers and a penchant for racy sex, Mingles. A female, incidentally, that deserves to roast in the pits of Hell, that bitch. And her arse just got bigger and bigger as she got older. And she had a shitty attitude. And her father was a fucking CUNT.

    I’m sorry, I seem to have lost my train of thought …

  38. Napoleon Says:

    Did they have Red Indians in South Yorkshire? I might have to go digging around in the cellar to see if I can unearth the bones of Britain’s equivalent of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull …

  39. ugeine Says:

    My favourite part of the OC was when eyebrows (he’s probably got a name or something) from the wrong side of the track decided to deal with his angst over the death of his girlfriend (who was so mediocre and uninteresting she probably shits paper Mache) by growing facial hair and participating in that classic adolescent pastime of bear knuckle cage fighting, in that handy cage the Orange County Government thought would make a nice addition to their idealic costal town.

  40. New Dave Says:

    SH – Sod off. Ladytron are good. But if you want a Dave recommendation of the freshest new bands I’d go for –

    http://www.last.fm/music/Violens

    VIOLENS!

  41. charliemingles Says:

    I do hope you used a ceremonial crisp bag for protection Napoleon.

    Say what you like about these cathoic priests bumming choirboys – but they always used protection to avoid getting them pregnant. In fact, I believe that was one of the first amendments to the Third Vatican Council.

    re the house: you’ll need more ‘evidence’ of possession from the neighbours etc. I suggest conducting a seance to see if any red indians, satanists or embittered victorian heating engineers once occupied your premises.

  42. ugeine Says:

    In an action that’s going to make me want to cheese grate my knuckles for typing this, Stuart’s new recommended bands are Paul Hawkins and Thee awkward Silences, Pulled Apart by Horses and K The I.

  43. Swineshead Says:

    I liked Witching Hour but felt the new one wasn’t anywhere near as good.
    Highrise is a belter of a song.

  44. ugeine Says:

    Uuuuuuuuuurgh, I feel like Jo Wiley. I;m going to see half man half biscuit tomorrow, at least.

  45. New Dave Says:

    Joe Wiley has a warrior’s brow.

  46. Napoleon Says:

    I’m hooked on this Indian burial ground idea now. I might pop down to the archives to see if my street used to be situated on the main buffalo migration route through the Peak District.

  47. charliemingles Says:

    Where are you based again Napoleon? Somewhere in the North, I seem to remember.

    Check out if there was ever an Indian by the name of ‘lies in bed daydreaming about a giant pram filled with coal and whippetsl’

    They’ll have all the details at the local library – like in all them stephen king films.

  48. New Dave Says:

    A Scotchman mocking the north of England? At least we have roads in our part, CM! Roads and beds that aren’t made with straw!

  49. charliemingles Says:

    Nice to see you avoiding the usual steretypes there dave. marvelous stuff young man. A career on the stage surely beckons.

  50. Napoleon Says:

    And next week we’re getting light-bulbs, I hear.

  51. New Dave Says:

    CM – Root’n too’n. A Rooty tooty, rott’n toot’n?

  52. charliemingles Says:

    whatever you say dave. I hear Richard Digance is looking for new material.

  53. indy Says:

    ladytron are very good indeed. is there a new album out? i really liked the guitars on “witching hour”.

  54. Swineshead Says:

    Indy – it’s called Velicierio or something stupid like that. You know the really attractive one with the shorter hair? She sings on one of them in her foreign tongue. It’s good.

  55. Swineshead Says:

  56. indy Says:

    bulgarian? is it?

  57. Swineshead Says:

    She might be, heaven knows. All I know is she’s a bit foxy.

  58. Napoleon Says:

    Seems to have come to a bit of a full stop now. Just a thought …

  59. charliemingles Says:

    hows the temperature in the reptile house Napoleon?

  60. Swineshead Says:

    I’m ahead of you Nappers.

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