Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The End of Gossip Girl

(Series finale spoilers starting in the second paragraph.)

Gossip Girl ended this week, and . . . I'm sadder about it than I expected. Yes, the show got completely ridiculous, in a bad way rather than a fun way, in later seasons. And yes, some of its plotlines (especially the treatment of Chuck and Blair's relationship) were incredibly problematic. But it used to actually be really good - I swear - and the retrospective preceding the finale was so warm and fuzzy, and it probably had more literary references than another other show on TV. And really, when a show has been part of your life for so long, it's sad when it goes away, even if it's had its ups and downs.

I saw the finale late last night, and I still haven't decided exactly how I feel about it. First, let's get this out of the way: The things that were terrible (again, specifically Chuck and Blair's relationship, but also a lot of other people) remained terrible. I held out hope for way too long that the writers were deliberately portraying an abusive relationship and were going to do something with that eventually, but . . . nope. So. Yes. The way that ended was awful. I'm not necessarily thrilled about MOST of the endings, except maybe for Nate's. (As I've been saying for a while, I love how seriously he takes Being An Adult.) The whole Sort Of Murder Thing was also ridiculous and overwrought, even for this show. And don't even get me started on Ivy and William and all the layers of THAT mess.

But what I'm somewhat conflicted about - but mostly like - is the Gossip Girl reveal. (Though I completely loved the cameo-filled sequence of people reacting to it - hands down my favorite part of the finale.) I absolutely wish that the writers had had a plan (or at least the identity) from the beginning, because at this point, there was literally no solution that would have worked perfectly. But I think that given the corner they'd painted themselves into, Dan was the best option. And the fact that he'd constructed this entire thing as a ploy to get Serena is kind of brilliant. As my friend Marisa Roffman remarked, "[the reveal]'s so ridiculous that it actually circles back to awesome." Dan says in his confession that the Upper East Side is like something out of Fitzgerald, and he himself is clearly Gatsby, with the Gossip Girl blog as the virtual equivalent of Gatsby's parties. I love that. (I would have loved it more if the ending had been more similar to Gatbsy's ending instead of "and they all lived happily ever after.") Even though there are some continuity errors, the fact that the solution basically works and simultaneously reframes the entire series is pretty great. It made me want to rewatch the series from the beginning, which, in a way, is the best thing for a finale to do.


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