How to Fix Gossip Girl
It's not Gossip Girl here, but we are writing to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Nevertheless, we have to talk: This meeting has been convened because it's time to fix our beloved Gossip Girl. The ratings have dropped to a season low of just 2.2 million, and while many of us are still streaming it with relish, it must be said that creatively, the show is starting to stink like so much day-old smoked salmon. As others warn of the impending death of Gossip Girl, let's see if we can do something to help. Pull up a Chesterfield sofa and partake in the holiday-weekend brunch buffet we've prepared — Mochaccinos for everybody! — remove your platinum cufflinks, roll up your sleeves and let's get to work. While the show is on a brief hiatus, we've come up with a few fixes, but we need your suggestions as well. XOXO.
PROBLEM Serena and Dan's constant breakups and reconciliations have lost any sort of narrative weight.
SOLUTION Serena and Dan need to stay together, or break up — for good. While there might be a certain degree of high-school realism to the way that S. and Lonely Boy have ridden the On Again/Off Again Express, it's annoying to watch. Plus, there's virtually no difference between the two scenarios. They always stay friends anyway, and the brief times they do part ways, it's always for some stupid reason, like Serena wanting her mother to find true love with Rufus, not because they actually don't like each other anymore. We'd actually vote for keeping them together. It's cool to have one committed couple in the mix, even one as boring as these two are.
PROBLEM Miss Blair's beloved Dorota is underused.
SOLUTION Shady Dorota! The producers have been smart to sketch Blair's Polish nursemaid as vaguely as they have. As far as we know, Blair actually owns Dorota. But look more closely, and you'll see something more knowing behind those obedient eyes. Announcing our new crazy theory: Though others have different ideas, we think that Dorota is actually ... Gossip Girl herself! Even if she isn't, wouldn't it be fun if the writers were to drop some misleading hints? It'll get the fans OMFG'ing all over the place.
PROBLEM Chuck acts like a 38-year-old lothario celebrating his latest divorce.
SOLUTION He might be Chuck Bass, but he's still a 17-year-old high school student. His latest storylines — corporate sabotage? his bender in Thailand? that Eyes Wide Shut sex-party scenario? — have stretched the boundaries of plausibility for too long. Even rich kids have to conjugate verbs in French class and spike the punch at the dance every once in a while. If nothing else, seeing Chuck's exasperation at, say, having to play badminton in gym would offer the show's costume designers the opportunity to conceive an athletic ascot — the "ath-scot," if you will — for him to wear. Stay in school, Chuck!
PROBLEM Chace Crawford's performance as Nate is like human Sominex.
SOLUTION Reboot Nate — or get rid of him altogether. Chace Crawford is an extremely good-looking guy. And we have to admit that the idea of his curve-ball relationship with Vanessa sounded promising, even after suffering through his family's painfully drawn-out drug and money scandals and his charisma-free romances with Blair, the Cougar Countess and Jenny. The writers need to go out on a limb with Nate: Give him cancer, brand him a date rapist, make him a Phish fanatic, shave his head — anything that will wake him from his dramatic coma!
PROBLEM Serena is too nice.
SOLUTION The show is constantly reminding us of Serena's bad-girl past. Unfortunately, as played by the wholesome, adorable Blake Lively, Serena is about as threatening as a baby koala. That said, we know she has it in her. Serena certainly isn't above using her feminine wiles to get what she wants; the writers need to amp this up and find her inner party bitch. While it could be argued that Blair already has this territory covered, we'd counter that it might go a long way toward explaining why these two are BFFs in the first place.
PROBLEM There are lots of parties, but not enough parties.
SOLUTION Substance abuse! It's time to embrace the show's inherent nihilism, and put some lives in danger in the process. Which means: Bring on the binge drinking! Cocaine! Pilfered pharmaceuticals! We're not suggesting that the show actually condone these activities (if acted well, it will be clear who's making the correct choices in such situations), but one more party scene on this show without even a whiff of overindulgence is going to drive us to drink (more).
PROBLEM Jenny has no storyline.
SOLUTION Let Jenny be an aspiring fashion designer, with the emphasis on aspiring. Her detour into the runway world gave the show some much-needed scenery changing. Having her drop out of school and pursue emancipation, however, was totally out of character for such a Daddy's girl. She can work for Eleanor Waldorf, but make sure she remains a pitiable intern in the process. Let her talent develop at a realistic pace. Also: We might get letters for this, but let her dress like a wacko and line her eyes with as much raccoon makeup as she likes. It gives the starchy, preppy show some badly needed aesthetic texture.
PROBLEM Brooklyn is unfairly — and not very funnily — maligned.
SOLUTION Enough with the Brooklyn jokes. Anyone who has been to the five boroughs any time within the last decade or so knows that Brooklyn is no longer the punchline it once was — whether it ever deserved to be or not. There are almost as many shoe boutiques and cupcake cafes in Park Slope as there are on Park Avenue now; it's not deserving of the show's elitist jabs. (Queens, on the other hand....)
So we've had our say. How would you fix Gossip Girl?
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