on 4 February 2010
Before I became a fan of the show, I thought Gossip Girl was just another dumb, trashy TV drama about spoiled, wealthy, dumb teenagers and their 'complicated' lives, and if the writing had gone another way, maybe that's what GG could have become, but fortunately thanks to the quality of the writing, the cast and the array of believable characters, GG succeeds to be much much more than your run-of-the-mill trendy teen drama. Yes, it's so fashionable it makes your eyes hurt. Yes, it's shot in some of New York's most glamorous locations, and yes, there is lots of scandal, lots of gossip, betrayal and revenge, but the most striking thing about the Second Season of 'Gossip Girl' is not the lying, manipulation, hook-ups and revenge scheme; it's whenever the characters do something you don't expect them to do, like Vanessa stealing Jenny's unopened letter from Nate, Blair admitting that betrayal is in her nature, or Chuck letting his guard down and confiding to Dan that he thinks his dad blames him for his mother's death. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Second Season is how much anguish, emotion and heartbreak permeates the characters cool exteriors.
The first part of Season 2 consists of parties in the Hamptons, black-outs, Fashion Week, punch-outs and a prison cell for Dan and Chuck, trips to Yale, seduction and intrigue, but then around episode 13, everything dramatically changes when Chuck's father and Lilly's fourth husband Bart suddenly dies in an accident, sending Chuck in a downward spiral of self-destruction. I think some of the acting in the following episodes is as good as anything you'll see in 'serious' dramas, particularly from Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester. I just love them together, they are arguably the best characters on the show, and I have to say that they feature in some of the best moments of this season, especially in 'O Brother, Where Bart Thou?' 'In The Realm Of The Basses,' 'The Wrath Of Con' (when Chuck lies about his love for Blair because he believes he can't make her happy); but really every scene they have together is mesmerising. None more so than the finale, 'The Goodbye Gossip Girl'. I could go on and on about how amazing this scene is, but I'll let the script speak for itself: "Chuck Bass, I love you. I love you so much, it consumes me...I know you love me too. Tell me you love me. That everything we've done - all the gossip, all the lies and the hurt will have been for something." Take away the scandals, malicious gossip, back-stabbing and game-playing, and what you have at the heart of the show is love in all its forms. That's why the show works, that's why you care so much about the characters and that's what makes the world of GG so believable, appealing, watchable, and darn-right addictive. But don't take my word for it: see for yourself. Go on, I dare you.