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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2008
There are 18 episodes in total that make up GGs first season, there would have been 22 episodes overall but the Writers Guild Strike in America this year crippled much of the TV industry, and GG therefore was interrupted in production and had to have its episode order shortened. The post strike episodes (episode 14 onwards) were very good albeit slightly rushed as Josh Schwartz, the showrunner and head writer, had to condense what would have spanned nine episodes into five.

GG was based on a series of books which I have some limited knowledge of but have never read. I don't think it's a good idea to come into the TV version of GG expecting an adaption of the books because that's most certainly not what one will get -- indeed, they are at this point two disparate entities. The show, in essence, takes the characters from the books along with the setting and then creates its own storylines. As a result it's a catty, glossy and just plain fantastic ride. A lot of shows based around teenagers seem to be pretty mindless but GG is actually very well written and there's always interesting psychological depth to the story and characters. In a nutshell GG is set in the glamorous Upper East Side of New York, and is depicting the scandalous lives of Manhattans elite. Gossip Girl is a mysterious blogger who basically enjoys exposing these rich inhabitants secrets.

Now, I was a huge Veronica Mars fan so I only watched this show initially because the wonderful Kristen Bell is acting as the voice of Gossip Girl. So I came for KB (not expecting much in the way of good plot etc.) but ended up staying for the awesome writing, acting and colourful characters. When I first saw the Pilot I was rolling my eyes a great deal and nearly did not come back to watch the next episode; I'm glad I gave the show another chance because I would have been missing out. The Pilot is literally the worst episode of the season and the whole show improves leaps and bounds from thereon in. Really, the Pilot doesn't make much sense in context of the rest of the show -- there's a lot of contiunity errors and characters like Chuck act out of character, as they decided after the Pilot to go in a different direction with his character. So, it's best to ignore the events of the Pilot. Apparently the Pilot would have been re-shot if the CW had more money.

My favourite characters by a huge mile are the two fan favourites Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf. I have to give the writers huge kudos for putting them together in the middle of the season, I always thought they would be an interesting pairing but never thought they would actually get together. Chuck and Blair's immense popularity as a couple and as individual characters is a testament to the excellent acting of English actor Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester -- who literally always steal any scene they appear in. Westwick and Meester also have the most explosive and heated chemistry of any of the cast. Blair is at first presented as a nasty, vindictive girl, although it's this ruthless mean side to her is part of what makes her lovable; her scheming is particularly brilliant in episodes like The Roman Holiday. You can't help but root for her. Blair is truly the shows real protagonist.

'I'm Chuck Bass' Chuck is wonderful, the sexually promiscuous and a somewhat nasty person. He is even more vindictive and scheming than Blair. He's a Machiavellian figure but as he falls in love with Blair the audience is shown with some fantastic writing/acting that he's far more complex than he first appeared to be; of course Chuck would not be half as interesting without Westwicks charisma and acting nuance, indeed it's a testament to his skill that someone as vile as Chuck in the Pilot could become the most popular male character of the show. Together Chuck and Blair are a post modern Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.

The other characters Gossip Girl focuses on are Nate Archibald, Serena Van Der Woodsen, Dan Humphrey, Jenny Humphrey, and various other secondary characters. Dan and Serena's not so torrid relationship is the focal point of the season along with the Nate/Blair/Chuck love triangle, which is pretty much taken from Chucks perspective throughout. As the triangle culminates in episode thirteen a new arc begins with guest star Michelle Trachtenburg, who is evil to delicious degrees. The first thirteen episodes of the season are well written, acted and all the episodes tend to contain various amounts of symmetry and subtext, particularly episodes like Hi-Society which exposes the weaknesses in Chucks character in a very Shakespearian manner. The post strike episodes are well conceived but some plotlines are rushed and lacked cohesion.

When all is said and done the most stabilising relationship of the show is between Blair and Serena, without it the show would be the poorer. The familial bonds and friendships are often touching and a key component of GG, particularly C's friendship with N -- indeed I think Nate will always love Chuck more than any other person in his life. The season finale 'Much I Do About Nothing' is great fun albeit slightly rushed. It centers around a wedding which involves all the regular characters. Gossip Girl is a fantastic show which I would highly recommend to anyone, it's most certainly a step above the average teenage drama.

Extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel, a fantastic featurette about the making of Gossip Girl from page to screen. There's no commentaries unfortunately, but I think said featurette more than makes up for that.

Highlight episodes include: The Wild Brunch, Victor Victrola, The Roman Holiday, A Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate and Much I Do About Nothing.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 June 2011
Gossip girl, based on the popular teen novels by Cecily Von Ziegesar, follows the lives of manhattans elite. The lead is therefore hard to determine but Serena Van Der Woodsen appears to take the role in this first season (This becomes less apparent in the following seasons).

Essentially the series revolves around a blog, posted to a website and sent as a mobile phone alert, written by "Gossip Girl". Gossip girl is a secretive character, who remains unidentified, and updates with all the scandalous details of the elite's lives.

Primarily the lives of Serena and her closest friend Blair are the main focus and the boyfriends and scandals occurring within their lives. But Serena has been away for a while and she seems different. But why did she leave? And why did she come back? All intriguing questions to keep you hooked.

I love the series and the characters are all likeable and interesting. The only problem I somtimes have is keeping track of everyones lives and who is dating who. This is something that seems to be equally confusing throughout the entire show and future series.

Overall, I absolutely love this program and watch it religiously. I would recommend it to anyone who loves scandal and, well, gossip. A fun show - worth having the boxset so you can watch it when you want.
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on 1 January 2009
For those of you who haven't added this box set to your girly collection do it now! I bought this on a whim when i saw it whilst shopping as i'd heard it get good reviews, so i am spreading the good news.

In order to get into the stories and characters you need to watch the first episode carefully, there are what seems afew too many characters to keep up with at first but persevere as you begin to love or hate them all in no time! With a hot cast to keep any girl/ guy interested what more could you ask for! It's teamed full of scandal that will have you cringing, emotional times that you can relate to and an unbelieveable sense of style and fashion that makes us all wish for our own stylist! This truely is an amazing dvd and will have you wishing life away until the second season is released! Go get it!
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on 14 April 2014
As in most cases of television series, the first season of the CW show Gossip Girl is undoubtedly the best. Based on the series of books of the same name, it is an extremely entertaining and fascinating drama about the lives of teenagers living in the Upper East side of Manhattan, living in excess and wealth, with characters you can't help but love like Blair Waldorf, Serena Van der Woodsen and Chuck Bass, not matter how obnoxious or nasty they may seem. The first season, along with arguably the second and at a push part of the third, was definitely the golden age of a show that long outlived its welcome on television and that has now become an example of such a thing as well as a punchline in terms of finally giving answers - the answer to the infamous 'who is Gossip Girl?' question finally being revealed in the series finale clearly a stab in the dark by the writers with earlier episodes pointing out the gaping plot holes with this reveal. However, the earlier seasons were extremely enjoyable and I definitely recommend them - however, in order to preserve the integrity of the show in your mind and your enjoyment of it I personally would recommend picking a stopping point earlier on so as to avoid the disappointment of the fourth and fifth seasons.
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on 12 June 2010
I confess I am grown up, actually over 40, but still can't help loving this teen based show. The First Season is something special and although I love the other Series, I don't think they quite match up to this one. It captures that raw excitement of youth when your hormones are in overdrive. The music is invigorating and great throughout. It has a great story arc which begins with the rich and spoilt Serena returning to Manhattan from who knows where. Whispers of "where has she been?" The storyline keeps you guessing right until the end with plenty of twists and turns on the way. But even though you've seen the Series before you can watch it over and over - why? because of the wonderful witty banter between Chuck, Blair, Serena, Nate, Dan and Jenny etc. Wonderful to watch!

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on 8 September 2008
I first come across Gossip Girl when I saw a trailer on you tube! The first thing that made want to tune in from the trailer was the fact the show was created by Joel Schwarz - The man behind The OC and I'm totally obsessed with The OC and miss it so much!

The second reason was I read that the show was narrated by Kristen Bell my favourite TV actress! For those who don't who is Kristen Bell is! She is the lead character on Veronica Mars! And I loved Veronica Mars so much too!

Veronica Mars & The OC where both axed at the same time so I really had nothing to look forward to in the 2007-2008 season until I stumble across this! It was like having my 2 favourite shows in 1 show!

So as soon as the pilot aired I was not left disappointed! For fans of The OC you will love this show as it pretty much the same concept but instead of a bunch of rich kids in Orange County we have a bunch of rich kids in New York!

- No Spoilers -

For those who are fans of The OC and think this maybe just an OC rip-off it really isn't as the characters are completely different even though the same concept might be there the storylines are totally different!

For one the characters compare to The OC are much more loveable and just as funny! The main character Serena is a less depressing Marissa! And even though I love The OC I did find it could become depressing and dark at sometimes! I love the fact this maybe this is the 1st teen show that deals with depressing issue but is never depressing! If just pure fun and addictive to watch!

This show if you haven't seen it is like a teen version of Sex & The City! I have to admit it is completely girlie but I have no shame! I love it - the fashion, the scenery and the storylines are some of the reason make this show a must watch!

The actors are brilliant especially the main characters! Serena the loveable party girl who always looks great and Blair the queen bee of the high school! Who comes across as a b!tch but as the shows progress you see the deeper layers of Blair that makes her more loveable! And both portrayed by both actress brilliantly!

Without giving the plot away the storylines are wonderful and make each episode addictive and the dialogue is so good there is some really witty one-liners! And each of the teen subjects dealt with in the show such as drug abuse, eating disorders etc are dealt with the greatest care and really well done by the producers and creators!

The show is basically about a group of troubled teenagers of the upper east side of Manhattan basically the highest society in New York! The show is narrated through a internet blogger only known as Gossip Girl (hence the title)! But die fans will know that Gossip Girl is narrated by Veronica Mars - Kristen Bell! As far as the character of Gossip Girl goes we never see her or has yet to be reveal who she is!

As far narrating goes Kristen Bell is absolutely brilliant! Kristen Bell voice is one of the most pleasurable to listen to! Gossip Girl apart from Desperate Housewives & Veronica Mars narrating has to be the best in TV history!! I love the witty one-liners & catchphrases like "You Know You Love Me" & "XOXO" etc

Even though I get the pleasure of Kristen Bell narration it makes me really miss Veronica Mars as this show maybe be as good as the OC it's no Veronica Mars and it's not as clever and witty as Veronica Mars! Seriously Veronica will always be my favourite teen show and is the most intelligent! So this is why I get sad because I get to hear but not see Kristen Bell! Good thing she is in Heroes now!

The other highlight in the show for me is the guest appearance of Michelle Trachtenberg. who played Dawn Summers - Buffy's little sister! And she is brilliant in the show! I really loved Buffy too! This show real fills The OC-Buffy-Veronica Mars hole for me! And like those 3 shows this has to go alongside it as one of the best teen shows!

The other thing that I loved about this show it is like the TV version of Mean Girls! And I loved Mean Girls too! If you are a fan of TV Shows and Teen Movies this will be right up your street and easily a classic! But if you're not a fan of teen shows but like good shows like SATC & Housewives I would recommend this as well! You know you will love it, till next time xoxo!
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on 4 August 2008
Though this programme took a while to get going, I did watch it every week and really enjoyed the majority of the episodes!
I think the last episode could have been better; I would have loved for it to end with a cliffhanger and for me to be able to "not wait" for Season 2, however I have learned that some of the production team went on strike after episode 14, for some reason or another??
I think that the characters of the show are very well-written and the casting for Serena, Blair and all of the other characters couldn't have been better.
I did think the plot with Serena having "killed" someone was silly and unnecessary - WAY too dramatic and not needed.
Season 1 has just finished on TV, but the boxset comes out on August 18th this year.
If you enjoyed The OC and One Tree Hill, I would recommend watching this as I would say it comes under that genre of programme.
I doubt you will be disappointed if you bought this boxset, though I will say the first few episodes were quite dull, HOWEVER it does get much better.
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on 11 January 2014
Wanted to rewatch the series and own it on DVD which is why i brought this. The first season is based around Serena returning and most of the main characters getting ready to go to Uni. It contains a lot of drama in each episode, nevermind the series as a whole, definitely a good watch for people that like programmes such as One Tree Hill, Revenge and other CW shows that are mostly shown on E4. Considering I got a whole boxset the price was very cheap! you normally pay more than that for just 1 DVD nowadays! -The boxset was previously owned which you can tell as the Box itself has a little damage to it, with indents and white marks on it but it's not that big of a deal as it's the outside box and doesn't look that bad. If you were buying it as a present you can always just fill the white marks in, on the box with a black marker, you wouldn't be able to notice it. The DVD's themselves and there cases however, are fine :)
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on 11 August 2008
Having being a huge OC fan, i was really expecting this series to be yet another copy of it. And yes, the characters in some way can be descibed as the characters in the OC were however to me, these characters seem much more intruiging and having much more to them than a fancy purse.
I really adore this show and couldn't wait for England to broadcast it over here therefore i watched all episodes during it being aired in the US.
I have probably one main reason to watch this show and that's the wonderful pairing of Chuck Bass & Blair Waldorf. The writers made a great job in bringing these two together considering they aren't even paired in the books. For anyone who was a big fan of Seth/Summer etc, you haven't seen anything yet.
Their chemistry is flawless (especially after the 107 episode, you'll know what i mean) and their attraction to each other is undeniable. Of course, the other couples during the show are great but people, you haven't seen love yet until you see Chuck & Blair.
A definite MUST-HAVE for anyone who adores bitchy, glamorous gossip.
you know you love IT
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on 21 April 2016
For me, ‘Gossip Girl’ is not bad, but a bit light weight and I would not want to watch all the Seasons.

Some people are very enthusiastic about this series about the lives and loves of the ‘jeunesse dorée’ of New York, as chronicled by anonymous online commentator known as ‘Gossip Girl’.

I tried it mainly because I really liked another American teen series with which it is sometimes compared, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, and because I also very much liked Kristen Bell (the voice of ‘Gossip Girl’) when she played the teenaged detective Veronica Mars in the series of that name. Gossip Girl has less substance and intellectual content than those programmes, but then not everyone wants too much intellectual content all the time. For what it is, ‘Gossip Girl’ is well made.
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