Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Things I Love: Gossip Girl

Sometimes I love Gossip Girl and sometimes I love to hate it. But lately my glass of haterade is totally empty. Here's why:

1. Blair - and Leighton Meester - steal the show. She manages this delicate balance of heart and vindictive evil, and she has such a great sense of humor about herself. She's not self-deprecating, but she is somewhat self-aware, and it works.

2. Chace Crawford now smiles regularly. In season one, his constant model-like sexy scowl became tiresome, nearly ridiculous. But now Nate and Vanessa are rocking these great down-to-earth attitudes, and it's a nice contrast to the painstaking intensity of Chuck Bass. I like that Nate can sort of keep Chuck in check. I also really like his face. We're getting married.

3. Jenny's not a crazy whiny selfish unrealstically-successful-in-the-fashion-world bitch anymore. And there was even a line acknowledging her move away from the raccoon eyeliner.

4. GG just...goes for it. Yeah, we've seen the whole teacher affair thing (um, Pacey! Anyone remember the storm episode?), but never with such...cool, you know? Guitars up. Clothes off. Rock.

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Monsterbeard said...

I can't believe your post is actually making me want to watch Gossip Girl. I'm stunned.

Hollie Nell said...

That was my favorite GG ever. I thought it was so well done. Makes me glad it's back on my radar.

Dan Williams said...

I've never seen GG, but maybe I'll check it out if it's on DVD. Thanks for the tip!

Josh said...

So you're saying I have to start watching again instead of deleting them from the DVR? This is not welcome news.

Z said...

My love for the Schwartz-associated content is well documented, but I find it strange you posted this when you did... cuz Monday's episode, IMO, was maybe the worst one they've ever done.

The entire Chuck storyline was awful and I really hope they just drop it instead of pursuing some lame illuminati conspiracy... Blair's taken about 5 steps backwards to early-Season 1 status after spending half a season evolving... and Dan/Serena continue to be the least interesting lead couple ever.

Now maybe if Lauren Breckenridge is around for more than a 3-ep arc, that story could get good... but I'm guessing she's done next ep.

Amanda said...

Z -
I do agree with you that the Chuck storyline was lame. But I see where they're going - uncovering something about his dad. And I think it might be interesting to see how this might affect Chuck, whether he'll become the "future senator or cautionary tale" he's described as in the pilot.

Dan Williams said...

Oops! GG was $60.00 at the mall. Guess I'll have to save my pennies and hope it's on sale next boxing day -- that's how I got Buffy 1,2, and 3!

Dan Williams said...

And then, just when things about seeing GG look black, I find the last three episodes on at www.ctv.com, and I get to see the last episode entitled, "Carnal Knowledge."

It was a very pleasant surprise. The first two acts (of six) were a bit lame as they tried to satirize the characters, but then it picked up in the A-Plot where the girl is expelled from school. The B-Plot was great, where the guy finds out his father sees escorts.

Just a suggestion: it might be useful to write a one-sentence description of the story beats of the A-Plot, that is, what happens in each of the 6 Acts.

For example:

1. The girl finishes detention.
2. She wants revenge but is on her own.
3. Her friends now join her and she sends the phoney email, but a friend turns her in and she gets expelled.
4. Another friend takes the incriminating photo.
5. The photo gets the teacher fired and her reinstated, but her dad discovers she lied, and then the friend who took the photo breaks up with her boyfriend.
6. Her dad is disappointed in her and there may be repercussions, and the teacher and boyfriend have sex, and the girlfriend wants to get back together with him, now.

The idea is to collect about 300 thumbnail plot sketches in your "writer's toolkit." Any time you need to break a story in the room, you have lots available to choose from. And when you go for the interview with the showrunner, you have this to show him/her, which is an asset very few if any other writers will have.

It might also be good to trace the arc through an entire season for various shows. It demonstrates your range and interest and competence. And the recession will give you some time to get a lot done before writing jobs start opening up again. (But it's only a suggestion.)