One time we tried to watch an episode of Gossip Girl. It was 2007, and Obama was gaining grass-roots support among young voters thanks to the hard work and dedication of Will.i.Am, Scarlett Johansson and two teenage newcomers, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley.
Yes, these two–dare we say–heroes had stood up together (in accordance with CW regulations) and announced in a commercial that they were voting for Barack Obama. The two co-stars, who, from the little we had seen of their program, were not especially interesting but found themselves endlessly fascinating, were given special celebrity passes because they were dating both on and off the show. And that’s always fun.
But it’s no longer the beginning of 2008. It’s the end of 2012; the end of an era when Kristen Bell smugly narrated the lives of spoiled, jet-setting, New York prep school teens as they blossomed into spoiled, jet-setting, socialite monster nightmares. And in last night’s finale, the one where the irrepressible rapscallion Chuck Bass–whose two defining character traits as we remember them were the ability to say his own name in a sexy voice and a desire to show up his dead father–finally stopped dicking around and married the dark-haired girl. Ugh, what was her name. Bonnie? Blaine?
She was the mean one, but actually they were all “the mean one”: a hive of Queen Bees and their lovers, all of whom were as toxic as they were. (Except for the blond one that looked like a cardboard cutout, and had a similar acting range).
These were the kind of people of whom the nicest thing one could say was that it probably wasn’t their fault they were so awful, since you only had to take a look at their manipulative, gold-digging moms and lazy, guitar-playing and/or deceased dads to see that the apple didn’t fall far from the Park Avenue tree.
So last night’s finale: Did we watch it? Sure. It’s the end of a television era, and that needed to be celebrated. Even if that means accepting that Dan Humphrey is a woman on the Internet. He’s been the one chronicling all his friends’ lives with the bitchy lilt of Kristen Bell and calling himself “Lonely Boy.”
The two more-awful people got married, making sure that there will be plenty of more little Basses in the sea one day. Serena and Dan may have also gotten married. Nate, who works at a newspaper, got to publish Dan’s Gossip Girl memoirs, because this show took place in an age when even a spoof of The New York Observer would run a book-sized chronicle of every minutia of these kids lives.
“You’ll never guess what Blaire told her maid today!” We would tease in what would have to be a 20-year column. “Tune in next week!”
That being said, what is more fun than watching a soap opera of the most self-referential kind (since Soap) about New York socialites?
Perhaps The Carrie Diaries.