From: Favorite Hunks & Other Things
As I have stated many times on the blog, I watch very little TV when it actually airs. I absolutely love devouring an entire season of a show with a DVD set. I do this with almost every show I write about. Last season, like most of you I was taken with the publicity surrounding Gossip Girl. I watched a few minutes here and there on TV, but it never really drew me in. Of course I was taken with it’s resident hotties, Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford, but other than hoping for a few shirtless scenes, I had no expectations of actually liking this show.
Firstly, although I think creator Josh Schwartz is a cutie himself, I could never get into his previous series, The OC. In addition, as a guy in my 30's, despite my love of good TV and great looking men, there was nothing about the publicity for this show that drew me in. I love Heroes and Lost and nothing about the upper crust on the east side of New York really held a draw to me. This show was pushed toward teen girls and I think that was a big mistake. In giving the DVD’s a shot I was absolutely shocked on how addictive this show is. Intelligent writing, fast paced drama, A+ acting, eye popping sets and visuals and music to which had me searching like crazy for full versions of some of the songs. If your like me and have not watched this show, or if you tried it on TV, but could not get into it, BUY THE DVD’S, you will not be disappointed. It is so well structured with delicious back stories and themes way beyond your typical teen drama. In fact I hate to think this show is geared toward the teen, or tween as it is really an adult drama more suited to viewers in their 20's and 30's. In addition, despite the fact the two leads are women, I found myself watching through the eyes of Dan, played by Penn Badgley and see the show as actually a show which could just as easily be geared for men. Dan’s journey to fit into this new world were what streamlined the season for me. I saw very little of this in the ad campaign. The guys are certainly more than just eye candy with the male characters as richly written as their female counter parts.
I will watch the season premier tonight, but then put the show on hold until this time next year when Season 2 hits the DVD shelves.
Some highlights for me of season 1. All of the cast, each and every one of them. Amazing! Great casting! Special kudos to Kelly Rutherford who rocks out any scene she is in. Also loved the music, the writing. Dan and Serena as a couple, Blair’s downfall and fight back up. Jenny’s journey, such a great story! All the events! GG seems to have a big party every week and between Holiday’s, cotillions, masquerade balls, there is never a dull moment. Ending up liking Chuck was also a surprise as I hated the character and actor before even putting in the first disc, yet by the final disc he was a favorite. Kudo’s also to Kristen Bell who skillfully brought all the action together as Gossip Girl. Also loved New York. As a main character, the city has not been so brilliantly showcased in a TV show in some time!
My dislikes were few, but I was not impressed with any character introduced after the pilot. Whether it was Vanessa, Georgina, Carter or Asher, I thought new characters were not introduced well. Although Vanessa grew on me, every time a new person came on board, I just worried that it would take away from the core cast. This was particularly true with Dan and Jenny’s mother, who after quite a buildup was an unappealing character who I just wanted to leave. (Maybe that was the point). The whole Georgina story arc seemed contrived to get attention was to me, the weakest part of the season.. This was especially true given it was the explanation as to why Serena disappeared for a year. Maybe it is that I find Michelle Trachtenberg like nails on a chalk board.. Far too little of Eric as well as the wonderful Margaret Colin who was a stand out as Eleanor. Also, I went from liking to being annoyed by Blair’s side kicks. I felt bad for the actress’s in those thankless roles. But...overall the poor parts were few and far between and certainly did not take away from the brilliance of the season as a whole.
What I am looking forward to in Season 2. MORE MORE MORE of the same! Less new characters and more high drama. More of Eric, such potential in the relationships with is mother and sister, not to mention Dan, Chuck and Jenny. More Eleanor, she is so fun to watch. More exploration of the relationship between Nate and Dan, their scenes interest me as despite their differences they are more alike than any of the other characters. Another breakdown in the relationship between Serena and Blair, it has to happen!