TV Review: “Gossip Girl” Provides Plenty of Drama

Guess what freshmen? You have some new classmates that you might want to meet. Yes, you have heard correctly, the irreplaceable characters of CW’s “Gossip Girl” have now entered the drama-filled domain of college. Though they are in New York City and not the sunny town of Claremont, they are still experiencing college like we do here on the West Coast.

Or are they?

The season has barely started, but there has been plenty of Gossip Girl drama so far. Nate (Chace Crawford) is sleeping with the daughter of a family rival; Blair (Leighton Meester) is trying to be queen of NYU; Serena (Blake Lively) is becoming more famous in the tabloids in order to grab the attention of her long-lost father; and Dan (Penn Badgley) is dating a movie star. I don’t know about you, but that does not sound like my freshman year of college. But that is what makes the show so great!

The point of a show like “Gossip Girl” is not to touch the hearts of American teens by relating to their daily struggles and concerns; the point is to entertain us with unrealistic storylines that will distract us from our daily routine. Why watch a show that reenacts true college life when that is what you are surrounded by 24/7? To get away from the stress of midterms, why not watch over-the-top TV college drama?

Some have used the phrase “teen soap opera” to describe the genre of “Gossip Girl.” Like a soap opera, the acting is not believable and the plot line is even less so. Like in many soap operas, the characters are faced with twists and turns, such as Scott, the long-lost son of Rufus and Lily who was thought to be dead, appearing out of nowhere and suddenly becoming Vanessa’s (Jessica Szohr) boyfriend.

But of course what makes a good soap opera is sex. The plot line is frequently focused around the teens’ love lives, and these characters are definitely not going into college as virgins. For example, every time we have seen Nate Archibald this season, he is with his new girlfriend, Bree Buckley. As the other characters are dealing with ruining enemies’ reputations and uncovering secrets, the happy couple don’t leave Nate’s bed for two days. But like all other relationships in the show, money, power, and selfishness get in the way, and everything falls apart: Bree was only sleeping with Nate because he could help her find Carter Baizen, who left Bree’s cousin at the altar.

If sex and scandal are not your choice in entertainment, then maybe the fashion on “Gossip Girl” will catch your attention. A strong argument could be made that the clothing is the highlight of the show. Each character has their own style: Jenny is punk rock-glam, Blair is all about the prep/business chic, Vanessa is bohemian-glam, and Serena is just runway gorgeous. The men on the show are also well dressed, but the ladies take the prize. The show has its problems, including how unrelatable it is to the average American student, but it could be just what the doctor ordered to get rid of stress and tension after a long day of classes. Let the drama, passion, fashion, and extremely good-looking cast of “Gossip Girl” be your medicine every Monday at 9 p.m. If you ever thought life at the 5Cs was filled with drama, then get ready for “Gossip Girl” to open your eyes “to the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.”

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