Oh Gossip Girl, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. CW’s flagship show is back and more shallow than ever. And no, I don’t mean those ruthless teenage Shakespeares professing their deepest, darkest desires on camera aided by expository voice-over. I’m talking about the shallow waters surrounding the Hamptons: setting for the second season premiere of America’s favorite OC replacement! Yes! While the first season left me craving more expensive Ext. Night shot Manhattan soirees and 10 million dollar Central Park loft Guitar Hero parties, I found myself quite content settling on a Vitamin Water sponsored, sooooooo appropriate White (on, not after) Labor Day mixer. The gang was all there, even Little J’s won’t-hit-puberty-for-at-least-5 years ex, Eric (played by first time actor Connor Paolo). This show’s got it all. But the question remains: why do we watch?
To ask this question is to beg many others, not excluding: Why would we want to relive arguably the worst years of our adolescent lives? (Not mine of course – I was popular) Why do we crave over-saturated camera work pandering to under-saturated writing techniques? And most importantly, why do we want to watch people who are smarter, wealthier, faster-talking, and better looking than us? These questions do not lay lightly on the minds of those still stirring in their sleep at Chuck’s inability to tell Blair those 3 simple words and syllables.
But then again, didn’t we ask ourselves these same questions year after year after year with past television programming (see Gilmore Girls, 90210, The OC)? And how appropriate but to ponder this on the day after the world premiere (let’s be honest, the CW and America more or less ARE the world in terms of those key 18-49 demographics, right?) of a REMAKE of the original reason we came to love/loathe those snotty, bratty teenagers from the world’s most famous zip code.
Are we mere sadists? Are we schadenfreude-ists, delighting in the despairs and drama of others? Or do we just need an “escape,” the rationale for countless examples of film and television tomfoolery that allows us to exist in an alternate universe for 2 hours or 44 minutes out of our difficult, ultimately purposeless lives. But I digress. Let us stop for a moment and give thanks. Television shows like Gossip Girl and the NEW 90210 allow us to forget all this philosophical headaching and skip to the parts that really matter: good looking, overpaid actors and actresses, speaking for the masses (the tormented, wealthiest 5% of teens in America) that have gone voiceless for so long. At least until The OC is remade in 3 years. Holllllaaaa.