Don’t know where this show has been my entire life. It is fantastic (though I’m only at the second season, and I’m sure it’ll become awful eventually). Like every other person my age, I watched Josh Schwartz’s previous show, The OC, but that was always vaguely unsatisfying, since it went off the rails almost immediately. By the end of the first season, everyone’s plotlines were already getting all twisted up and entire episodes were being wasted on stuff that no one cared about, like a random four-episode arc involving a psycho stalker.
Whereas Gossip Girl, and it feels weird to say this about a show involving out-of-control sybaritic excess in a Manhattan prep school, feels a bit more restrained. Episodes proceed at a slower pace. There are fewer revelations. Any secrets or hanging threads are usually disposed of by the end of the episode or by the beginning of the next one. The characters are allowed to breathe and interact a little more, and aren’t railroaded by the plot quite as much.
I am enjoying it a lot. And not as a guilty pleasure. I’m genuinely liking it. There’s something very warm about the show. Family is important. People are terrible and manipulative, but they struggle against their more terrible impulses. Also, they’re really good-looking. That goes pretty far with me. All I want in life is to see beautiful twentysomethings pretending to be beautiful teenagers who alternate rapidly between falling in love with each other and trying to screw each other over.