You win, Gossip Girl! Now, normally when I find myself disagreeing with a TV show, I almost always emerge the winner. Friday Night Lights? I don't care if a billion people love you, I think you STINK—therefore I WIN. And that animal show starring the dead Crocodile Hunter's daughter? Her big teeth creep me out—therefore I WIN.
But this time? Gossip Girl wins. And not because it's secretly brilliant, and not because everyone else loves it. I'm giving Gossip Girl another chance because it currently has no other real competition in the "teen drama" genre—which, as you know, is the only genre worth a bag of crap.
Is Gossip Girl as great as The O.C.? Most assuredly not. The O.C. had two things going for it: (1) the hilarious Seth Cohen, and (2) characters you never wanted to stop punching in the face (primarily Marissa Cooper). That's not to say I wouldn't face-punch any of the Gossip Girl cast, but at some point in time I could imagine myself growing tired, and eventually giving up punching them in the face. See the subtle difference?
Anyhoo, for the neophyte: Gossip Girl (CW, returns Mon April 21, 8 pm) is based on the young-adult books by Cecily von Ziegesar about the promiscuous, drug-addled lives of upper-crust Manhattan teens. The show is narrated by "Gossip Girl" (voiced by Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell), who somehow witnesses and blogs everything that goes on in these spoiled brats' lives—yet is never actually seen! That freaks me OUT! If I were poking some prep-school harlot in the back seat of my Camaro, the last thing I'd want is some anonymous creep blogging about it, thereby stealing my topic for next week's TV column.
Anyhoo II, the main characters are the hilariously named Blair Waldorf and (I swear I'm not lying) Serena van der Woodsen—names that sound like they were pulled from the International Escaped Nazi Registry. Serena is all like, "Ooh, I'm sooo beautiful, but still believe in true love." And Blair is all like, "I'm HITLER, and I escaped to Argentina, but now I live in Manhattan, wear plaid skirts, and convince freshman girls they're fat and ugly." There are two other rich guys, but I can never tell them apart because they have the EXACT same haircut and are both dicks.
As far as I can surmise, the only nonrich people in this show share my last name (Humphrey)—which I'm shocked to discover is a poor person's name. Dan Humphrey is a Gloomy Gus poet (who, in the books, chain-smoked cigarettes and occasionally slept with guys... like another Humphrey I could name). His little sister Jenny is tortured by Blair Adolf Hitler, and (unlike the books) does NOT have really big boobs (like another Humphrey I could name).
Anyhoo III: As you can tell, I am dreadfully unfamiliar with this show—but I plan to correct this in the coming months. Why? Because there are currently no other teen dramas out there with Gossip Girl's weekly quotient of teen sex, drugs, and Third Reich–style torture techniques. So... you win, Gossip Girl! Or as the Krauts might say, "Du gewinnst!"