Why I am Allowed to Watch Gossip Girl

A while ago I was introduced to a TV series that epitomises everything I hate about TV. It was trashy, had poor acting, the occasional lick of acoustic guitar and pounding electro when it needed it, and above all everyone in it was impossibly beautiful and sexy. It reminded me of how terrible my life was and also how undramatic everything I do is. It infuriated me and made me sick that people could watch it. This show was called The O.C.

More recently I was introduced to a TV show that is all of the above, but with one major difference: I like it. I know, this might sound hypocritical, but honestly I do – Gossip Girl, for that is the name it is known by, is everything I hated about The O.C., but I like it. So… here’s why:

The Girls
Oh my goodness. As per all the TV shows set in this lifestyle, like 90210 and One Tree Hill even the “moms” in the show’s are amazing. But the main characters are all pretty as could be. For example, Blair, who has a terrible personality is still gorgeous, and Vanessa so amazing it makes me angry. So you could say that I watch it for the girls but…
The Guys
Okay, I’m not attracted to the guys in the same way as the girls, but they are all perfectly pitched for entertainment. Dan’s the bloke everyone wants to be; funny, smart, witty, handsome, and able to get the “girl”. Chuck’s the bastard that all guys like to be mates with and secretly wish they were, and Nate’s the pretty boy athletic guy who you probably didn’t like at school but were secret friends with during summers. I like the guys characters more than the girls.
The Other People
The whole concept, a blog, is very clever, but it’s the supporting cast that makes it. The Dad of Dan, Rufus, is an ageing rock star. Dan’s sister, Jenny, is a little bratty girl that grows up during the show. Eric, Serena’s little brother is gay and the perfect antidote to the hyper hetero-styling’s of the show… which seems to be about fucking and having sex and making love.
But most importantly…
The Drama
The storyline’s are just mental, but that’s the point. Its not about relating to the characters at eye level, but to understand them at a base level and just sort of watch with glee the disasters that take place during their “perfect” lives. Everything is ramped up to the maximum, with the accelerator pedal forever placed on the floor, and as such is utterly ridiculous… but that’s the point.

And I like it because it’s silly. I’ve been watching Mad Man, Studio 60, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and these shows are all perfectly serious treatments. In the same way a reader of the Guardian might pick up The Sun of a weekend, they won’t read it for the facts or the news, but for the nod and knowing of the fact this is for pure enjoyment and that’s it. Nothing more, and nothing less, and for me GG (as I affectionally call it, is that personified.