Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Gossip Girl: A Completely Objective Review

I’ve come under a bit of criticism in our household recently for my alleged addiction to “that game”. The game in question is, of course, Football Manager 15, which, arguably is less a game and more a life calling or perhaps religion. I have to admit I was getting quite irritated by the previous version (FM13) so warily made the investment for the new version. As it happens I’m a tactical genius, Newcastle are top of the league, have conceded and scored more goals than any team in history and won the FA cup last year. All good.

What is strange is the word addiction however. Not that it isn’t, it is, I sit here late at night writing a blog post with it playing in the background and a belt wrapped round my arm to prevent me from sleeping too soon and losing the fix. No what is strange is the hypocrisy that when I obsessively do something it’s bad and when my beloved does it then it’s fine. I am of course referring to her current addiction to Gossip Girl.

Now I don’t have a problem with quality pursuits, theatre, comedy, eating nice food or indeed developing the ultimate 3-4-3 formation that causes defences to quake in their boots and a managerial status to reach legendary. But Gossip Girl is not a quality pursuit as I shall explain over the next 3 points, or facts as I shall now refer to them.

FACT #1 – The plot is terrible.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not watched the series in detail but as far as I can tell it’s about the lives of uber attractive obscenely rich and spoilt New York teenagers who are meant to be 16 (but all look 25+) and whose lives revolve around pouting, being angry, having sex and saying interesting things while an anonymous blogger writes bitchy things about them. They then get upset by what the blogger says yet simultaneously offended if they don’t feature. It’s a love hate relationship for these morally reprehensible characters. My favorite plot point is where one of the obscenely rich teenagers donates money to a homeless charity instead of buying some new shoes, or a dog, or a conscience thus taking thousands of people out of poverty… Oh no, wait, that never happened. Because it’s a show about people you’d fantasize about but who, if you met in real life would make you want to go on a killing spree because they are needy and terrible people.

FACT #2 – The character’s are terrible

Where do we start. Well there’s Serena a girl who makes more mistakes than your average dictator or serial killer, she just wants to be loved, and rich, and popular. She’s friends occasionally with Blair who, like the ex Prime Minister, is decidedly smug and untrustworthy. Chuck whose facial expressions vary from looking stony and serious to looking stony and serious – every emotion portrayed by the same blank look. Nate who has a perfect life and similar to Chuck has the dynamic and emotional range of a rock. And then an assortment of other characters with so little soul it makes you really question why, if they are so rich, they’re all so miserable all the time.

FACT #3 – There are SIX series of it.

Yes six. And these aren’t UK, 7 episode series, these are 22 episodes a series, 132 ish episodes, each 42 minutes long, that’s 92 hours of this shit. And don’t think that I just hate it because they’re all attractive – it’s not that. It’s that it glamourises a lifestyle of opulance and suggests it must be incredibly hard to live in those circumstances. Bring back Dawson’s Creek, that’s what I say – I want to see a man struggle to become a chef, a man struggle with the burgeoning weight of his own forehead and a woman turn into someone who might marry Tom Cruise.

That’s all. Now back to FM15.