Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is modern Jane Austen. Like a slice of Europe in America there are society parties, reputations traded, a peer hierarchy, romance and even croquet.

Pretty kids, romantic trysts, sororities, parties and fashion. Is there anything that separates one teen soap from another? Why does 90210 flop in Australia when Gossip Girl gets good buzz?

Based on the novel series by Cecily von Ziegesar (that’s gotta be a pen name, surely?) the second series of Gossip Girl has returned to FOX8, while the first is screening on Channel Nine, who bafflingly sold it to Foxtel in the first place.

Producer Josh Schwartz oversees this adaptation, a man who, after his runaway series The OC, is a challenger to Darren Star’s crown. Schwartz knows how to manufacture ‘cool’ using buzzwords, fashion, electronics and most importantly, an eye for casting.

Set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it’s far removed from the clichés of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive or Venice Beach. Instead its look is autumnal New York, with preppy kids in private school uniforms. Like Sex and the City these adolescent blondes and brunettes have designer handbags and shoes. Aspiration is a big drawcard.

And like Carrie Bradshaw, there’s also a strong use of narration, by the title character, an unseen blogger who knows all their sordid secrets and publishes to the delight and fear of the characters. But voice-overs are over-used in television, a shortcut to lazy storytelling.

Gossip Girl is also a modern Jane Austen tale. Like a slice of Europe in America there are society parties, reputations traded, a peer hierarchy and lashings of romance. They even play croquet, throw debutante balls and spend summer in the Hamptons. The alluring characters played by Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley and Leighton Mester become adolescent ice queens, resident hunks, girls next door and juvenile romeos. They thrive on passion, deceit, ambition, and more passion.

But there’s an undercurrent of malice too. Today’s young audiences are being weaned on spite, dressed up as glamour. This is two-faced, Facebook television, if astutely packaged.

Gossip Girl airs 8:30pm Tuesdays on FOX 8, and 10:30pm Wednesday on Nine.

19 Responses

  1. I love Gossip Girl!
    best show ever! (well as good as the OC was) why did channel nine have to get rid of it and put on cold case as if anyone watches it! channel 9 should bring it back to an 8.30 or 9.30 timeslot and they will see how good the ratings will be if its on at a sensible time of night and year! (not just before xmas)

  2. What happened to Gossip Girl on Channel 9?
    It just stopped after the 2nd episode.
    Is it just not in the programme because it’s Christmas and it’s going to come back?
    Or is it gone for good?
    I really want to watch it because it’s one of my favs.
    But can you please tell me if it’s going to come back or not.

  3. i really like gossip girl and whish they would show it earlier!
    and the reason why this is suceeding and 90210 is probably because it has more hype and alot of the 90210 actors simply couldn’t act. i was disapionted when 90210 got cut however because it was only on for a few episodes and there is nothing else on tv!
    anyway i like gossip girl and hope it continues!

  4. I think this show gets better every week. The latest (and last of the year) episode aired in the U.S. was possibly the best, ever. I know Emmy’s etc. don’t care about the CW, but really. Ed Westwick was amazing, and deserves an Emmy nomination.

  5. Since the GG show is currently rating abysmally for Nine, it’d be far wiser for them to move GG to 9 HD to an 8.30 pm timeslot, where it can remain in the same stable timeslot, as Nine have been doing with 2 year old Nip Tuck episodes on 9 HD.

  6. Gossip Girl is my new obsession, I’m not really a fan of teen dramas but this one got me hooked big time, it’s so much more interesting than 90210 and the characters are lovable, bitchy, smart, and not to mention hot.
    Josh Schwartz brings it all together perfectly and i love seeing another side to the usual teen show dramas anyone who’s ever thought about watching this show but hasn’t I’m telling you to go but season 1 now!

    xoxo 🙂

  7. Gossip Girl & 90210 are the best shows. But 90210 is getting better, I’ve seen episode 7 to 11 and it’s was great. So I don’t really care whats better or not because they both great shows. I think Ten Network should put 90210 back on see what viewers think for the next episode and put a hep of promos for that episode as well, so people will watch it.

  8. I’ve been following it since I first saw an episode on Foxtel. I really enjoy it, its like a guilty pleasure!
    There needs to be more well written (in the line of Veronica Mars) dramas on TV, a bit of good old fashion escapism.
    Gossip Girl might loose out on story telling, but the witty humor certainly has me addicted!

  9. It really doesn’t hold a candle to The O.C. And while I watch 90210 as well, it really doesn’t hold a candle to any of its contemporaries, or past er,… contemporaries. Well, you know what I mean.

    And David, you forgot the music as a key part of the creation of cool.

  10. i like it a lot, but it’s too late on. 10:30 is way too late for a teen drama show. Were all asleep by then. I end up being so tired when i go to school… and especially if i have work before gossip girl.

  11. While I hate voice overs, the entire point of this show (and book) is that the goings-on of the characters are witnessed, dissected and repeated by the unseen blogger Gossip Girl. In fact they are rarely used to fill in blanks in the narrative.

    As for Cecily von Ziegesar she is very much a real person, but her ever-expanding book series is now often written by ghost writers.

  12. Not usually a big fan of teen dramas but Gossip Girl gets my vote, it shits all over 90210 which is a drab, uninteresting and cliched teen drama – actually I’d struggle to call it a drama more like a soap.

    Gossip Girl, is bitchy, witty and most of all the biggest guilty pleasure I think I have ever had.

    Why does one succeed and the other fails?!?!? Its all in the execution and Josh Schwartz knows how to attract a teen audience (and beyond, I’m 22).

    I give Gossip Girl huge thumbs up, it seriously addictive viewing.

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