Ah, Bart Bass...he whose epicness knows no bounds! Though I am glad Robert John Burke managed to escape association with the fails of seasons two and three, Bart’s death was certainly a major turning point for the show. Jumping the shark? Perhaps...Here’s a quick look at some of the show’s major problems since (and probably because of) Bart’s death:
Something that became increasingly pronounced in the third season was the idea that every girl’s life revolves around a guy. Jenny and Serena fight over Nate. Jenny and Blair fight over Chuck (though much of this Jenny-as-a-threat idea [3.04, 3.22] is painted as a massive overreaction on Blair’s part.) Serena decides after however many years that she really, desperately needs her dad. This actually could’ve been a great storyline—boy-crazy Serena can’t get the male attention she desires the most!—but without buildup (Serena seemed perfectly content with just Lily and Eric until Season Three’s premiere) and without continuity (it popped in and out of their minds like Whac-A-Moles on steroids), this SL actually did a lot to hurt Serena’s character. Her blind dependence made her seem naïve, and the on-and-off nature of her search made her seem flighty. Of course, this reinforces the ‘ditzy blonde’ stereotype she can’t escape this season. Gone is the girl who wanted to do well on the SAT and make something of herself. No, she made way for the girl who deferred college indefinitely to “worry about the shininess of her hair.” Character development? Try regression! They’ve turned the poor girl into a caricature, and 1D characters do not make interesting television. Throw in as many tear-filled scenes as you like, but no one will be invested. For the same reason, not many people are interested in the Endless Boy Parade, especially since every new toy is forgotten as soon as he leaves the screen.
( Might as well jump! Jump! Go ahead, jump!Collapse )
As promised, a look at Jenny in the first of a series of essays on sexism in Season 3. Yes, the ranting took up so much space it had to be divided up into several posts! Next week, we’ll be focusing on female relationships and how their dynamics have changed over time. Until then...hit it!
( The Conspiracy of the Raccoon Mask and Other Tall TalesCollapse )
While you weren’t running for the eyewash station, you may have noticed a rather peculiar scene in episode 3.13. “Why,” you might have remarked to yourself, “is Blair Waldorf wearing an electrocuted raccoon…on her head?” But Baby-Voice-Blair was there with the answer! OF COURSE! She’s Anna Karenina! Because what is Russian culture but a ginormous furry hat worn with lingerie?
“Wow,” you think. “Such clever name-dropping of classic literature has totally reinforced the point that Blair is An Intellectual.” But no! What you’ve witnessed is NOT the writers’ shallow attempt to make the characters seem worldly. It is the manifestation of yet another Grand Gossip Girl Conspiracy! Phew! Good thing you have me and my tinfoil hat here to set the record straight.
I’m tv8_ggc and I’ve always been the writer of GG Conspiracy. What’s that? Perhaps you need to get your memory checked. I’m serious. It’s always been me. Just me. (By the way, you love me and think I’m awesome.)
Hmmm. Revisionist History: the latest weapon in Gossip Girl’s arsenal of destruction. That’s right. Not even the past is safe from the writers’ Big Stompy Boots. But perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. I mean, it’s not like Serena was ever into Dan or anything. Because she’s waited! She’s waited a really long time to have sex in coat closets with Nate! Yep. And Nate never even liked Blair, Jenny, Vanessa, Bree, or Catherine—though now, two seconds after Serenate’s…um…escapades, it looks like we’re poised to get Nenny 2.0. Meanwhile, Agnes’ storylines are eerily similar to Georgina’s and there’s a dramatic punch every four or so episodes. It’s all rewrite, recycle, redo, repeat—too many “re”s for a TV show that’s always trying to be fresh and shocking. Of course, the ratings are suffering accordingly. Here’s something that JKay whipped up to quantify the damage:
So…we’re just about to enter the second half of season 3, and I have to be honest.
After a half a season that broke Gossip Girl’s own records for shoddy writing, sexism and velocity of objects hurled at my TV, I’m done. No one could convince me to watch five more minutes of this show if they had a life-time supply of microwave popcorn and a cattle prod. MC feels much the same way. So Gossip Girl Conspiracy is coming to an end after a few more posts.
However, it strikes me that before one ends a blog based on conspiracy theories and the topic question ‘What the Hell Happened to Gossip Girl?’, it is a moral imperative to come up with a full blown underpants-head-wearing conspiracy theory on the question.
So, tin foil hats on! Without further ado, we present The Henderson-Steinberg Hypothesis:
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