In the beginning there was Dawson’s Creek with its mild mannered drama and horrendously long words. Then there was the OC that made DC look like play school and had us all fall in love with a Penguin wearing chic-Geek named Cohen and his plastic horse Captain Oats. Somewhere in the middle there was One Tree Hill and I still can’t talk about that because I’m still emotionally distraught from its departure last year. Something was always missing, something was always a little safe, a little dull, then enter Gossip Girl and with it the arrival of the golden age of the teen drama.
For those who don’t know or shamefully didn’t care, Gossip Girl was the story of Manhattan’s Upper East Side Elite at the super prestigious Constance and St Jude’s Private School. It focused on the lives, loves and misadventures of a group of privileged youths in high society who’s every move was publicised by social media gossip blogger Gossip Girl. It was like Sex and the City for teenagers, a show that celebrated and showcased New York as much as it did its cast of impossibly beautiful characters. Sprinkled with the glamour and glitz of Gatsby and chocked full of salacious scandal and the scheming that makes the show famous it successfully touched on the prestige and wealth of The OC but turned the notch on the drama and decadence up to 11. It literally kept you guessing at every treacherous turn.
In the beginning there was Dan Humphrey, an outsider from Brooklyn who dreamed of being the next Fitzgerald and his Daisy Buchanan? The lustrous Serena Van Der Woodson. The show initially focused on their star crossed society romance as she returns from a mysterious stay at a Connecticut boarding school. At the core that was always the most captivating storyline on the show. Would he ever really penetrate her world? That was till Queen Bee, good girl gone bad Blair Waldorf lost her virginity to her boyfriend Nate’s, playboy best friend in the back of a limo and so began the 6 year will they won’t they saga that was Blair and Chuck. That was the storyline that kept us tuned in season after season and Dan and Serena wound up on the back burner. Add in a whole host of other unforgettable players like Georgina Spark’s, Carter Bazen, Jenny Humphrey and Ivy Dickens to literally name but a few. Then add into the mix that over the course of 6 seasons everyone has literally slept with everyone…even Dan and Blair! Throw in several Blair/Serena fall out’s. A couple dead parents’s raising from the dead, some illicit love child’s, fake cousins, multiple obscure accidents and a whole host of other drama including a royal wedding and you have a show that has etched its way into Television history.
So after 6 seasons of Dan Humphrey’s perfect cheek bones and magnificent Curls voyage to be on the inside, Nathanial Archibald’s angelic face searching for his place in the world, Blair and Chuck’s will they won’t they saga and collective battles for success, Serena’s well…everything. How did it all end? And who is Gossip Girl?
The final episode saw the conclusion to Chuck’s season long battle to best his bad dad Bart Bass. Yip he falls off a skyscraper to his death as Chuck and Blair look helplessly on…yeah right. This starts a chain of events that forces Chuck and Blair on the run then into early Nuptials so that neither can testify against each other. So, the gang gathers for one last Soiree, poetically enough at the Met to watch the two tie the knot. Dan now finally having wised up to the fact that Serena is the one and always has been (Not Blair, thank god) manages to lure her back from LA with the ‘real’ Serena Chapter, the one where he gushes about how awesome she is and not the vapid golden girl of his novel. They spend several hours discussing something we don’t know about until the end of the episode in his new Upper East Side pad. After overhearing a conversation between Blair and Serena at the met fountain about how Dan will never be one of them he releases his final chapter of his scathing exposes to Nate and the NY Spectator instead of Vanity Fair. So what’s in the chapter? So in an awesome montage of player’s past it show’s everyone’s reaction to the chapter and the reveal of Gossip Girl’s identity. So, my money was on Jenny but I had the wrong Humphrey! Dan is in fact Gossip Girl. Why I hear you cry? How? Started on the premise that you’re nobody until somebody talks about you he starts Gossip Girl to write about himself and write himself into Serena’s world because he knew he would never be able to bring her into his. So Gossip Girl is a weirdly romantic gesture to get the girl of his dreams and the life.
The final episode was a feat to the show itself. It brought the story right back to its original premise. What it means to be an outsider and Dan’s constant struggle to be good enough. It was ultimately fantastically executed as right up until the reveal you were still kept guessing. Having got the Chuck/Blair storyline tied up early on in the episode they were able to leave plenty of room for some nostalgic touches to bid farewell to the show including a cameo from GG Voiceover Kristen Bell. The show finishes 5 years later with the Wedding of Dan and Serena and yeah it was emotional. Despite all the travesty’s of high school and their early 20’s everyone ended up with the person they were meant to and it was a pretty hopeful and inspiring end. Gossip Girl will remain my ultimate teen show! It certainly is the end of an era.