by Kelly Lee
Official Summary: The series begins with the return of Upper East Side teenage “it” girl Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) from a “mysterious absence”. Gossip Girl (the voice of Kristen Bell) reveals that Serena has been away at boarding school in Cornwall, Connecticut, but not everyone welcomes Serena back to Manhattan with open arms. Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), whom creators describe as being “the queen at the center of their chess game,” is the queen bee of Constance/St. Jude Prep School’s social scene; she also happens to be the childhood “best friend” and occasional rival of Serena van der Woodsen. The story also follows scholarship student and aspiring writer Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), who lives in Brooklyn and is a self-described “outsider,” Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), the so-called “golden boy,” who was Blair’s childhood sweetheart and first love, and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), the womanizing “bad boy” heir who is part of “Manhattan’s elite” and “the kind of their chess game”. Other characters of the turbulent Manhattan scene include Dan’s childhood best friend Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr); Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen), Dan’s rebellious adolescent sister who the Queen B dubs as “Little J”’ Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford), Serena’s mother and heiress, Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle), former 90’s band Lincoln Hawk frontman and Lily’s former lover, and Dorota, Blair’s maid. Rufus is Dan and Jenny’s father and primary guardian.
ALNM rec: Fresh off the popularity wave that was The OC, Gossip Girl was the next in creator Josh Schwartz’s teenage drama series on The CW. It premiered in 2007 and a little 21-year-old college student named Kelly Lee fell in love. I can’t tell you how much this show has shaped who I am. That may sound cheesy and really kind of stupid, but it’s true. Blair Waldorf’s love of headbands and designers like Henri Bendel, Diane von Furstenberg, and Marc Jacobs have become some of my favorite designers. Rather than getting my ears pierced like a normal person, I choose headbands that sparkle as my accessory of choice, just like Blair. During the run of the show, my sister also lived in New York City with her now-husband and almost all of our fashion tips and tricks came from watching endless episodes of Gossip Girl. We even went on a Gossip Girl tour of the city one year when I was visiting for her birthday. In all seriousness, though, I have to say, this was one of my favorite shows of all time. Sure, it was silly and over-the-top with its drama and its character arcs, but it also was just so dang entertaining. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve learned secretly loved the show. Though it only ran for 6 seasons, it was a big deal. It made a huge star out of Leighton Meester and Blake Lively and there wasn’t a girl around that wasn’t Team Nate, Team Dan, or Team Chuck. If you’re too young to have heard of the show or simply never got around to watching it, you must! I promise that you’ll at least get some ridiculous mindless entertainment out of it.
Gossip Girl is now available to stream in its entirety on Netflix