While I was debating on whether or not to write a Dear John letter to Gossip Girl and the Gossip Girl writing staff, someone beat me to it and now I have to say my piece.
Out of Touch
Let’s face it. Gossip Girl is not what it was during its first season. Blair is a complete cartoon, there are way too many guest stars in the show that already has nine people in the cast and there is little to any group activity among the core cast. With the latter, I don’t mean that they have to get buddy buddy ala the Saved By The Bell gang, but if everyone is off dealing with their guest star lover of the moment then how can the characters ever interact with each other?
The same thing happened with The O.C. during it’s second and third seasons. In an attempt to keep Marissa and Ryan together, the writers threw every guest star they could at the audience and we got sick of it. Maybe this is why The O.C.’s phenomenal fourth season picked up in quality, because there were little to any guest stars. Just the cast dealing with their problems with each other. But as we all know, it was too little, too late and FOX axed the once must see hit.
But will the same fate happen to Gossip Girl? A Harvard pop culture specialist thinks that Gossip Girl is a fad quickly fading into the ether. I say he’s wrong. Why? Because Gossip Girl has a safety net in The CW.
The Safety Dance
FOX has not had a soap on their network in a long time and you cannot call Glee a soap without someone listing how you are so wrong in a million snark tainted ways. During The O.C.‘s final season, which ran during the Fall 2006-2007 TV season, FOX had a slew of action based programing and some comedies on their plate. The male demographic was probably included in their decision to axe The O.C. from its line up along with the fact that The O.C. looked like a pine tree in the Sahara Desert. The CW, on the other hand, is not after the male demographic (unofficially) and they specialize in teen soaps, which gives Gossip Girl saving grace for a while. Imagine if The O.C. had of moved to The CW? It would probably be still here today. Look at One Tree Hill, a show that premiered during the same time as The O.C. did and it’s still going strong and does not rely on gimmicks to survive.
So what can be done to reclaim Gossip Girl‘s glory days of campaigns sprouting OMFG! while teens go wild in the background photos and clips? Here are a few suggestions…
How Gossip Girl Can Get Its Groove Back…
1) Less guest stars and more inner conflict among the main cast members. This just goes without saying. Why the writers haven’t put Dan with Vanessa and Serena with Nate is beyond me. Plus, create more realistic storylines that involve the entire cast and go to the guest star bin only when needed and do not OD on it. Two recurring guest stars a season seems more reasonable than twelve.
2) Let Blair know that she is A) in college, B) 18 or 19, and C) not living in 16th century Europe when it comes to the class hierarchy. Blair is the most aggravating character on TV now and it pisses me off for numerous reasons. One being that Season One Blair was a worthy Queen B and had the motivation to be so cold-hearted. But when the writers slapped the minions on to her, she became laughably ridiculous and highly unsympathetic. I could care less if she ‘has’ to have whatever item/position of the week she is scheming for. If the work hasn’t been put in then she does not deserve it. Period. This leads me to…
3) Less excess, more responsibility. We are in a recession and our economy is screwed, which means that people might be sick of Blair talking about the working class as if they are Swifter Mop sheets and the characters blowing $50,000 for poker game entries. King of the Hill was canceled as soon as President Obama entered the White House, because think about it, how would KOTH last with a non-Republican in office and the majority of the government is ran by Democrats? So in Gossip Girl‘s case, maybe they should tone down the opulent lifestyle and respect those who are out there busting their ass so the Upper East Siders can enjoy their lifestyle.
If GG take these suggestions and plenty of other ones from Zap2It and The New York Times, then maybe they can find their footing again. But as to putting Gossip Girl on TV Deathwatch is jumping the proverbial gun and into epic failure territory.
So GG has to do better and I am and will forever be a loyal viewer of the show and Josh Schwartz, but with that dedication comes my duty to speak out about the show out of concern and worry about it’s future. So while I agree with Mr. Harvard Professor and others on certain things involving GG‘s “problems”, I have to disagree on the the show’s staying power. I see a couple of more seasons of Gossip Girl, so they will just have to wait.
Additional Sources: Buddy TV