I started watching Gossip Girl when it premiered because of a deep love for Blake Lively that was ignited by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and a dedication to watching anything that Kristen Bell is in, even if it’s just her voice. I watched the first few episodes and enjoyed them but then I missed one, and then I tuned in next week and I couldn’t understand anything that was happening and then I gave up… This past semester, my roommate and I decided we were going to watch through the show because the first four seasons are on Netflix and we didn’t want to do homework. This time, my thoughts on some of the characters changed (ummm Dan is awful, Lily is a goddess, and now I like Chuck) but some things remained the same: I love Blake Lively and Serena van der Woodsen is wonderful.
The show is clearly ridiculous, I won’t deny that. I don’t always understand all the plots, though I do assume that any problems will be taken care of by Lily so whenever she’s discussing things I don’t understand I don’t worry too much. Watching everything all mushed together allowed me to get a better handle on everyone while also pointing out the inconsistent characterizations. Nothing makes me sadder than the fact that Serena has gone from amazing, confident and hilarious to a sad berry-eater.
In the most recent season, she has become so obsessed with herself that she hardly even interacts with anyone else. Some would argue that she has always been this way but I disagree. Sure, Serena is sometimes pretty selfish, but all the characters on this show are so you have to look at them in relation to the other people on the Upper East Side and not in comparison to actual people in real life. I miss the Serena that enjoyed going out with Dan to stupid pretentious events and who always helped Chuck get Blair and who protected her family above all else. She was a grounding force on the show despite Dan’s crazy idealization of her. Since she has become a sad berry-eater she hides in her room and all the other characters orbit each other sadly with no real valuable interactions. Remember when she was super cool?
Serena gave Dan and Jenny a chance to worm their way into the UES (one never left while one fled to the outer boroughs), she was the catalyst for a reunion between Lily and Rufus (she puts up with his apparent dietary restriction which permit him to only eat all waffles all the time) and she is somehow related to every member of the show. Serena is the glue that holds this rag-tag group of terrible people together. There are too many characters to even BEGIN a Serena van der Woodsen hook-up chart, or even a platonic relationship chart, so I have just decided to illustrate her family relationships.
Blair is now a shell of her former self, something called “Dair” has become a thing, Dan’s chest hair is fighting it’s way up to meet with his rapidly forming mullet, and Lily has let her dark side take over. Nate is still the same, and is only involved in the plot if a girl he is seeing happens to be involved. At least before, the girl he was seeing was Serena. Before Dan’s terrible haircut took over his brain, he helped Serena become the person she wanted to be. Since then, everyone has betrayed her, she’s been fired 20 times and even Dorota thinks she’s a hot mess.
I miss the Serena that somehow dealt with a make-up free Tyra Banks, the Serena that was excited to eat yet another serving of waffles with Rufus at Dan’s poor people shack (aka a gorgeous loft) and the Serena that made Blair wear a scarf as a sign of subservience.
As the show goes more and more off the rails, I don’t expect much. They will never get me to like Dan, Chuck could murder someone and I would still like him for reasons even I am unsure of, Blair at this point is almost unsalvageable, and I think Eric died somewhere and they forgot to tell us. But please, PLEASE Gossip Girl writers – give us Serena van der Woodsen back. If she is in the show, being her big ol’ goofball self with perfectly coiffed hair and too much trust in terrible people, instead of not trusting anyone and being lamer than Dorota, I will be happy.
Tonight is the second-to-last episode, and I don’t know if my wish will be granted before the season ends. If it isn’t, I will at least be able to console myself with the absolutely fantastic and laugh out loud funny photo recaps at No White Noise. Read them, you won’t be disappointed. I am looking forward to the recap for tonight’s show more than I’m looking forward to the show. I will be watching their Twitter account like a hawk for updates over the next few days. I would also recommend the Vulture recaps. Though there are no pictures, they point out all the things that I noticed while watching only in a much funnier way. They also recap their recaps, which sounds very Inception-like but is much funnier and unfortunately has less Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Gossip Girl airs at 8 pm on Mondays on The CW. I’ll be watching this show regardless of the path it takes, so if you want to join me and discuss waffles or berries, hit me up @emhig.