Guilty Television Pleasures: In Defense of Gossip Girl
Think of it in terms of the pop culture fixation on the train wreck that is Lindsay Lohan. The occasional actress crashes luxury rental cars, gets hospitalized for exhaustion, steals jewelry, hangs out with Terry Richardson, and stages a Lifetime movie comeback. It's impossible to look away.
Gossip Girl knows it's a soap opera. It knows it's satisfying my desire for outlandish drama. And, meta to be sure, it knows how addicting it is to stare, wide-eyed into the lives of those who are too rich and too thin to know what's good for them.
As the storylines overcomplicate themselves and the unbelievable, intra-click hookups mount, the palpable drama (however unrealistic) keeps me watching week in and out.
And I have. When I commit to a show, I commit to it wholly. I have thrown myself head first into the Real Housewives franchise, The Wire, Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock, Skins, Sherlock, and spent a couple weeks watching each and every episode of Seinfeld in chronological order. So it goes: I have seen every episode of Gossip Girl at least once -- if not twice.
Why? Because for all the twists and curveballs, there's a comfortable familiarity I have with GG. In spite of using the show as a substitute for splashy headlines at the grocery checkout, I've come to love the characters, bizarro baggage and all. And all that will be gone with tonight's finale.
The truth is, I'm going to miss it. I already do.
The annual Thanksgiving episode, classic cinema references, wildly inappropriate levels of cleavage exposure at breakfast, enviable wardrobes -- off they go, along with my easy fix for trash talk, dirt digging, and backstabbing.