In this day and age, it has become a commonplace to watch a television show in big blocks thanks to DVD, Netflix, Hulu, etc. But, ever the trend setter I love TV so much that I have been doing it for years. I remember in 2006 as a young college freshman I discovered “Sex and the City”, watching six seasons of Carrie’s life in a matter of weeks. I loved the show, it’s depiction of friendship and the way it featured New York City. By the time I discovered the series a lot of the girl’s hotspots had closed, New York had changed a lot since 1998. While I did get out to places like Sea and Magnolia Bakery it wasn’t the same. But, then a few years later a little show called “Gossip Girl” premiered and brought with it it’s own set of NYC hot spots. The show featured places like the Palace Hotel, Sant Ambroeus and the MET Steps. New York Magazine dubbed the series “the most restauranty show since Sex and the City.” The Magazine also dubbed the show the best show of all time. So when the CW announced it would be renewing the series for one final ten episode season I was kind of sad. While it was never a ratings juggernaut, attracting around three million viewers at it’s peak the show has had a huge effect on New York City, fashion, pop culture, television and even yours truly.
“Gossip Girl” premiered in the Fall of 2007. And, while I heard a lot about it and knew it was something that would pique my interest I didn’t turn in from the start. A few months later, as the Writer’s Strike raged on leaving me with no new TV I turned to iTunes and discovered the series. After I exhausted the episode supply, I posted on Facebook about the show and wound up discussing it with friends who were also obsessed. Our mutual love of “Gossip Girl” brought me closer than ever with my friends MaryAnn and Tina. Before long, we were combing the UES for bow ties and headbands and drinking Sant Ambroeus lattes on the steps of the MET. MaryAnn is a born and bred Upper East Sider and showed me the ropes of uptown. Before “Gossip Girl”, I assumed Manhattan ended at 60th street. But, now I have come to think of the UES as one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. While “Gossip Girl” is not the only reason I am friends with MaryAnn and Tina, it is the reason I met my good friend Kimberly. She and I met on the set of the series when they shot a season one episode outside the New York Palace Hotel. Overtime, she and I have become great friends and in a way I owe that friendship to the show.
Now aside from introducing me to new people, the show also introduced me to a new world of fashion. I wrote on this blog once before “GG” I avoided too much color in my wardrobe and played it really safe in terms of style. And, for a while I played it safe shopping for looks I saw on the show. But, over time I have developed my own style and am now able to shop for myself without the help of Chuck Bass or Eric Daman. Still the show has inspired me and many others to add bow ties, crested blazers, bright colored outerwear, prep school ties and several other trends to our wardrobes. Any question about the effects “Gossip Girl” had on fashion and style, can be answered by looking at the landscape of the last few years. Prep school pieces, headbands, colorful leggings, bow ties, Top-Siders all exploded after they were worn on the show. And brands like J. Press and Henri Bendel credit the show and it’s costume designer Eric Daman for causing a business boom.
Now, aside from being a lightening rod for New York and fashion. “Gossip Girl” has been above all a very entertaining show. There is no way to deny that it has had some terrific moments. Like Blair getting married, Serena’s murderous confession and Chuck finally saying those three little words. In fact, I count Serena confessing to killing a man as one of the greatest TV moments of all time. I remember watching it with my friends and all of us screaming and standing up when she dropped the bomb. To me, that episode is the best of the series. And, while the show has had it’s ups and downs it has helped shaped the TV landscape. It paved the way for “Pretty Little Liars” where friends receive anonymous texts from the mysterious ‘A’ and “Revenge” where a woman extracts her vengeance on the Hamptons elite. So as we stand here, with the final season’s premiere just hours away I hope that these last ten episodes are full of amazing OMFG moments like only Gossip Girl can deliver. So let’s gather round, Upper East Siders. Don your best headband, dust off your silk scarf and pour yourself a glass of Dom and let us toast to “Gossip Girl” one final time. You know you love her. XOXO.