28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2008
I have been religiously reading the book series ever since it first came out, so when I heard about the TV show, I had extremely high expectations, and must say I was not at all happy with the first episode. I could not believe the way that they had completely changed the look of some of the main characters. So for a while I stopped watching the show, but my curiousity got the best of me, and after it came back after having been on hiatus for a while, I resumed watching it, and I admit, I was hooked.
Although many things are completely different than the book series, the show still has that provacative, addictive edge that will keep you coming back for more.
Now, if you are a fan of the books, such as myself, yet have never seen the show before, I feel this are some things I must warn you about.
First of all, many of the storylines that happen on the show, never happened in the book. I won't go into detail about any of the plots though, because I don't want to give anything away.
I was a bit angry about everything being so different at first, but then after having thought about it rationally for a while, I realize that this is after all a TV show, and if they went exactly by the book, chapter for chapter, then the show certainly wouldn't have enough plots to last for more than one season!
Second of all, (the thing that disappointed me most) the characters of Dan, Rufus, Jenny, and Vanessa look extremely different on the show, than the way that they are described in the book. Drastically different, in fact. And in the books, Serena has a hot older brother, yet on the show, he turns into her younger brother.
But they did get a few of the characters right.
The extremely sexy Chace Crawford makes THE perfect Nate Archibald...in fact he may even be more delicious on the show than the way they describe him in the book! The only flaw that he has is that in the book he is a chronic stoner, but not on the show, although that's really no big deal.
The lovely Leighton Meester makes a wonderful Blair, actually coming very close to the way I had imagined her to be in the book, and the same goes for the beautiful Blake Lively, who plays the role of Serena.
And then we come to Ed Westwick, who plays the role of Chuck Bass. I am extremely impressed. He makes the perfect Chuck, from the way he looks, right down to his personality.
So yes, ill admit I started off being very critical, but now I consider myself a fan of the show, and am eagerly awaiting for it to come out on DVD, as well as for the new season to begin.
If your a fan of the books, who started out skeptically as I did, then I feel that you should give the show a chance. You might find that you actually enjoy it!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2008
I don't think I can sum up this show in such few words...
- Best location ever (show is shot ON SITE in New York City). It is the most popular show in NYC for a reason!
- Hottest cast on television
- Two of the best actors to hit CW (Leighton Meester who plays Blair Waldorf and Ed Westwick who plays Chuck (was listed as one of the "Most Underrated Actors of 2007')
- While OC had great Indie Music, Gossip Girl also has great music that is more "mainstream"
This show was by far the most buzzed about show in 2007-2008 (heck..the most talked about show in the last 10 YEARS!!) and for good reason! If you open ANY magazine, any blog site, Gossip Girl is mentioned at least five times!
It is addictive, the storylines are fascinating, and the show is WELL WRITTEN and witty (one of the very few teen shows that is loved by many critics!).
I was drawn in to Gossip Girl because of Josh Schwartz and his work with the OC and because it was based on a book. True, Gossip Girl is different than the book but its a GREAT CHANGE. Personally, I never loved the books as much as I love the series.
However, like many Gossip Girl fans, I became OBSESSED with Gossip Girl the minute Chuck/Blair happened. This type of couple has NEVER been shown on television ever. Their chemistry is amazing, the banter, bite, and the acting by these two costar far exceeds any of the other actors on the show. Not suprising, that in a span of a few days they became the most talked about couple. This couple is so popular they these two have been the cause for major ratings increases for various GG episodes...CW knows this couple=$$ and ratings and this is why Chuck/Blair will most likely become the main focus of season 2 which was previously held by Dan/Serena(starts on Monday September 1st at 8PM on the CW)!
If you are not sure about Gossip Girl, watch to episode 7 (Victor/Victorla) and I guarantee you won't be you won't be able to stop. The only downside of this show is that it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!
True, Gossip Girl will never reach the critical acclaim of Battlestar Galactica and Friday night lights..but is BY FAR exceeded my expecations to become my FAVOURITE SHOW ON TELEVISION!
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2008
This is the ultimate guilty pleasure show. The characters are shallow at best, yet somehow you find yourself completely sucked in to the totally unbelievable soap opera they live in, complete with whimsical names, parents that don't care, and more money than most bank tellers see in a year.
The show starts out about Serena (played by Blake Lively) a good girl with a bad past, yet somewhere after the first few episodes Blair (Leighton Meester's character) Serena's best friend/enemy, starts to completely outshine Serena with her complicated love life, parent troubles, and glossed over eating disorder.
My only complaint is that (I imagine due to the writers strike) the season finale completely sagged. Hopefully (if there is a...) next season, it will pick back up again.
Worth watching, though I couldn't exactly tell you why. It's a complete guilty pleasure, and somehow, no matter how ridiculous the plots may seem, it always keeps you coming back for more.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2008
I'll start by saying that I'm 31yo, female, married with kids :) I've always been fond of teenager drama; something I never really outgrew. I've found this show's storylines interesting and entertaining, enjoying both the stories of the teenagers and their parents.
The show's greatest perk imo is in the costuming. Each character in each scene is wearing an eye catching, or in some way riveting outfit, including the men. Accessories are used beautifully. The actors themselves of course provide their own eye candy.
A WORD OF CAUTION TO PARENTS however. In the seven episodes I've watched so far there has been a great deal of alcohol imbibing by the teenagers, including a 14yo. It is implied that one of the teenagers habitually uses a drug, pot if I remember correctly, which is discussed as trivial in light of a parent's cocaine use. One of the teenager characters is occasionally seen sleeping with women paid by his father.
From the first episode it is clear that almost all of the teenage characters are sexually active or plotting to be. In the seventh episode, a parent gives advice on ambience for his son's planned night of virginity loss in his bedroom on a night the rest of the family will all be out of the house.
Bottom line - A lovely guilty pleasure for adults who enjoy the genre but off limits to minors whose parents are hoping to instill morals in their children and teenagers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2009
I have to admit I never watched this show from the beginning - but after purchasing the complete first season, I have fallen in love with the show. As an avid OC fan I didn't know whether this show would embody the same complexities as the OC often did with characters whom are multifaceted -
Then I met Chuck bass I can honestly say I have never been immersed in a character as much as I have been with him - his ability to remain with a contained and measured controlled exterior his stylized attention to detail and his charisma and vulnerability juxtaposes with his devilish plots and turns is truly captivating - he is an amazing talent truly a find his blend of heartbreak and heartbreaker and tragedy makes him a powerful lead actor, although the show is pitched through its protagonist Dan his entrance to the upper east side, it is Chuck journey most captivating he is an outsider detached at times from the social fabric of society in many ways he epitomizes a figure who at times can be the conscious on the show - he is the one all the characters turn to for help and he always delivers. His complex love affair with Blair the quintessential upper east sider her properness and her insurgence for titles and the trimmings of lady love, makes this character intriguing her character brings out his vulnerability and his fear of not being able to be loved or whether he can even love at times makes for a heartbreaking watch - It is his triumphant in the dhow we are most interested in - his escapism through drugs and meaningless flings with women make him even more complex he numbs his pain- the other characters just do not compare .
Blair played by Leighton Meester is excellent she gives a performance of a modern day Scarlett in Gone with the wind, She loves Chuck Bass but he is not conventional and neither she is - this a heartbreaking tale of two powerful lovers coming together - Dan is a moralist but selfish he lacks the depth of chuck and his love with Serena appears superficial he does not love her for who she is - Nate is the rich pretty by who is lost in a world he has no belonging he is even more tragic because despite efforts he never does anything worth any value - his friendship with Chuck is his only saving grace because he truly cares for him. I feel sorry for Vanessa her attempt to be the sidekick of Dan seems contrived =it just doesn't serve a great purpose - I do however think she has the repertoire to be a great actress but the script does allow her to pursue her talent - she becomes submerged in quick wit lines with now weight and end up making her seem annoying. Serena the all American girl - the cheerleader type I like her as she is consistent but she does not have the convoluted mixture both Blair and Chuck have.
I have watched the whole of this complete season and I loved every moment of it - the unraveling of the brilliant Chuck and his love with Blair is compelling - Ed West wick is a amazing actor his true brilliance to capture very scene and demand with his powerful presence is what transports Gossip Girl from a mild and Luke warm tale of upper side rich spoilt teenagers to a highly quality show which actually delves beneath the exterior the show has truly exhibited excellence in the casting of Ed West wick without him literally the show would hold neither value. Josh Swatchz achieves in this drama through the Genius of Ed Westwick I salute you!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2009
I kept putting this show off because it just didn't do a thing for me within the first ten minutes of the first episode. None of the actors seemed to have the WOW factor to keep me glued. Here we are almost a year later and the show has arrived on DVD. Me being the bargain shopper that I am, I decided to finally pick this up on DVD solely based on the fact that it was under seventeen dollars. Considering there's only eighteen episodes making each episode a little less than one dollar (Total Bargain). Needless to say, I was bored last night and needed something to watch and this flipped the bill perfectly. I finally gave this show a chance and it was worth it.
Yes, the acting is bad and even on some levels hideous by some of the actors - amateurish acting at its best. Even veteran actors like Matthew Settle and Kelly Rutherford don't really deliver the goods either. It's true what they say - You have to work with what you're given and these actors aren't given the best lines. Nor do I believe that the director of each episodes pushes to get the best of them. But under the cheap exterior of a soap opera with actors in their twenties playing teens, lies a decent show.
The lead actress Blake Lively looks like she is in her thirties during the first few seconds of the show on her train ride into Grand Central Station and pretty much in every episode as well. It bothers me that she doesn't look seventeen, but I can handle it.
The show reminds me a lot of Cruel Intentions for some strange reason. If Manchester Prep School was made into a show, this would be that show.
I feel helpless because the show is almost done with its second season and I am only on episode three of season one.
The show revolves around Serena, the so-called IT GIRL who has disappeared for boarding school only a few months in only to make a surprise return into the city. Her old posse are all in shock when she returns and after much negative influence from Blair is axed from their inner circle. Though the narrator, Kristen Bell, keeps harping on the fact that it revolves around the lives of the rich and privileged in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - this couldn't be the furthest thing from the truth. I adore that the show is shot in Manhattan, but it's rarely on the UES. Many of the scenes are shot around Midtown and under. The Palace Hotel where Serena stays during the first season is in the fifties on Madison Ave. And the UES is not even all that. Everyone that lives in Manhattan knows how untrendy the UES is. It's just a playground for married couples who have children and want to pay overprice fees to send them to private schools instead of public schools.
Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) is just a bad actress. So is the young sister (Jenny Humphrey) played by Taylor Momsen. She is beyond atrocious in the acting department. If speaking like a valley girl means acting than I must have that act down pat. But, Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) was born to play his role. Everything about his overall presence fits the part of the snotty angry rich kid that causes nothing but trouble. He wreaks havoc perfectly.
Overall there is promise for this show. It's packed with beautiful people (for the most part) and the basic premise is an interesting spin. It's like watching celebrities live their lives after they read their own gossip that swirls the headlines and the fury ensues.
Though this show is much like most teen soaps, lacking real talent and most of its stars just don't have the x-factor - its still deliciously devilish fun in the vein of Melrose Place. Kristen Bell narrates this show annoyingly yet fittingly with that darn teen condescending voice of hers. If you need something on TV to keep you entertained since Sex and the City went south after season three, this is the show for you. You know you love it XOXO! Hahaha
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2008
Gossip Girl: Starring Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, Kristen Bell, Penn Badgley, Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Kelly Rutherford, Matthew Settle and Jessica Szohr.
It's easy to write Gossip Girl off as a flighty teen drama about spoiled rich teenagers that whine and complain about those trivial problems over 80% of America wishes they had to worry about. You see the shows on MTV like "My Super Sweet 16" and see teen girls whine to their parents because "they wanted the Valentino, not the Dolce". While not groundbreaking, Gossip Girl has engrossing plots, relatable characters, snarky dialog and effervescent visuals.
In 2005 when Gossip Girl was to be made into to movie starring Lindsay Lohan, I read the first book curious what the series was about. It was interesting, the books center around a jealous and privileged teenager named Blair Waldorf who after her best friend (and worst nightmare) Serena van der Woodsen returns from boarding school is once again insecure about herself now that she's the new 'it girl'. The scandals and mishaps between her and her friends are chronicled by an anonymous blogger who goes by "Gossip Girl" who ensure the only secret she keeps is her identity. She also endures the usual teenage temptations; sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Well, maybe not rock and roll, but she's got her vices. Add to the mix some other quirky characters, a pothead boyfriend, and an eating disorder and you've got yourself one traumatic adolescence.
After the series was greenlit by the CW, I was honestly curious and excited to see this show. I thought it would be better as a TV series because it's a book series, and I've never seen a successful condensation of storylines transferring onto the big screen for one jumbled movie with a bloated running time. The pilot itself was decent; there were some obvious changes (some I didn't care for) but overall I saw the potential for a great teen drama. The problem with Gossip Girl is that it seems as though the creators (or executives) don't know what direction to take the show. We have been given a handful of great episodes that would be easy to pitch as "the next great teen drama", but there have been lots of others that are confused, lack direction, and fall flat from prior expectations.
First and foremost, the changes the series made mostly are about the characters. The character of Serena was supposed to be annoyingly perfect. She is the "it girl" of New York. Tall, thin, blonde, and effortlessly breezy. In the TV series, she seems to be just there, lacking purpose or reason. That was one dynamic I appreciated from the books, as I think that it speaks for teenage girls' insecurities. A lot of girls think their classmates have this guidebook that tells them how to dress, act, and look perfect, while they inside crumble. Serena is that girl, and on the surface she looks perfect, but she has her demons too. Then there are some other obvious changes, like Jenny's character and appearance, Dan's personality, and Vanessa's ensemble. There were a lot of quirks that were taken out and have resulted in a plain cardboard cutout.
Throughout Gossip Girl's first season, the series strays more and more from the books and in time adapts to its own creation. The real issue is that Gossip Girl lacks a genuine identity, throughout the first 10 episodes every episode revolves around some 'wonderful party', that gets old as we are overwhelmed by this "privileged lifestyle" that instead of being shown to us is simply told, or rather listed. Fans complained creator Josh Schwartz copied a lot of plot elements from his previous successful teen drama The O.C. and Gossip Girl lacked originality. While the series at times became cliche, there have always been occasional glimpses of brilliance. Here I take down the 'best' and 'worst' list of episodes of Gossip Girl's first season.
Episode 2: The Wild Brunch
Serena realizes she's not welcome, Dan and Chuck almost tear eachother to shreds but good-boy Nate steps in, Jenny becomes engrossed in Blair's lifestyle, and a butler at Bart's brunch gets knocked over in a teenage crossover.
Episode 5: Dare Devil
Alpha-bitch Blair Waldorf invites social climber Jenny Humphrey to her sleepover and sets her up for humiliation. Meanwhile Serena has her first date with Lonely Boy, and Amanda's boyfriend put his tongue in the same mouth that breathes his secret to his girlfriend.
Episode 7: Victor/Victrola
What do you get when you combine a burlesque bar, a Blair ultimatum, Dan's sexual research and Vanessa's jealousy? One pretty damn good episode.
Episode 13: The Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate
Gossip Girl is being flooded by rumors of a pregnant Serena. Meanwhile, Blair's two men fight for their honor, Jenny rises up the social totem pole thanks to newfound friends Penelope and Hazel, and Dan thinks he's in love with Serena. Thinks.
Episode 14: The Blair Bitch Project
Blair, recently de-throned as queen bee forcibly returns for a grueling day at school, but after little Jenny tries to take the throne, Blair puts her best Jimmy Choo forward to face off. The outcome of this schoolyard fight proves this freshman won't go down without a fight.
Episode 16: All About My Brother
In the final battle for Queen Bee, Blair and Jenny face off in the sharpest episode of the season. Meanwhile, Dan sees something he shouldn't have, Rufus and Lilly's romantic life heats up, and two characters reveal their true nature. Also, Georgina Sparks (played brilliantly by Michelle Trachenburg) continues to wreak havoc on Serena's life.
Episode 3: Poison Ivy
Was the choir singing Glamorous by Fergie?! This episode hits a few more speedbumps down the road, and except for the final scene, was really just a filler episode.
Episode 6: The Handmaiden's Tale
For a lame episode centering around some "glamorous event", we can watch MTV, thanks. Oh, and the costumes for this episode were... questionable.
Episode 18: Much 'I Do' About Nothing
For a season finale, this episode certainly didn't live up to it's predecessors. Loose ends are tied up way too quickly, Dan pulls the a-hole card, Chuck does a 360 on personality, and Blair plays the little girl that cried tattletale.
Overall, if you enjoyed Mean Girls, or Cruel Intentions, there's something you'll like about Gossip Girl. Though this season was somewhat shaky at times, it's never boring and always is entertaining.
Rated TV-14 DLS for sexual content, language and mature situations all involving teens.
My Rating- 14+ teen drinking, drugs, sexual references and situations, language and mild violence.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2008
I haven't been in high school for a long time, and have not watched a show about "teens" since 90210 aired originally. I am 26, and I love Gossip Girl. I'll admit it. And since he is over 18, I will follow up with how HOT I think the guy that plays Chuck is. His character and Blairs go hand in hand. Their banter is the BEST part of the show.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2009
I had never seen an episode of Gossip Girl before- the CW network we are unable to get at my house. But I heard people talking about it and magazines saying it's a good show. So when the first season came out on DVD, I immediately bought it. The first night I watched the first 2 episodes and liked it, but was not completely raving about the show. The more episodes I watched- the more I got into the show, though. Honestly, the episode where blair and chuck are at the burlesque club (around ep 6 or 7) that is where I begin to really like the show. To me Blair, is an absolutely wonderful character- she is conniving, mean, mischevious, sweet, and funny. Blair is a complex character- and really makes the show for me. I like all of the ensemble, I also like the "frenemy" apsect to Serena and Blair.
This show is my guilty pleasure. It is a fast talking, pop-culture dropping show. Plus the fact that they take advantage of NYC's scenic atmosphere doesn't hurt. This is not a deep thinking show, but it is campy fun. It's the kind of show that you can just sit and watch and enjoy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2008
Gossip Girl takes place in New York City, which is what got this New Yorker into it in the first place. It's location attracted my friends, many of whom reside uptown like the characters. However, after a viewing of the pilot I saw a lot more than just some of my favorite Manhattan landmarks. With a cast of fresh faces and entertaining characters, the show has a lot to offer. Starting with Blake Lively, she plays bad girl gone bad Serena.
Returning from a trip out of town with the intensions of turning things around she starts a relationship with the token indie boy from Brooklyn. New Yorkers will laugh at the idea his being from Williamsburg is being from the other side of the tracks, due to the insane rents there. Dan played by Penn Badgley, is likable and delivers his witty one liners in a way of that of Seth Cohen. While likeable apart, the two of them together are the most boring couple of prime time. Which is disappointing due to the fact that they are the central focus of the season.
Serena's best friend Blair Warldorf is deliciously bitchy as the reigning Queen of the Upper East Side. Although Blake is the breakout star, Leighton Meister who plays Blair is the most talented actress of the bunch and not to mention the fact that she is the most entertaining character. Aside from her ups and downs as Queen B, she also dapples in love affairs with golden boy Nate, and bad boy Chuck.
Nate played by Chace Crawford in an empty eyed performance, is a wasted character who never really has too much going on. However, his best friend and the third member of the love triangle, Chuck Bass played by Ed Westwick is another amazing element of the show. His stylized, plotting man bitch is the only character who is on par with Blair. But the true star of the show is Kristen Bell as the title character and anonymous blogger. Her voice is just bitchy enough yet also warm enough to deliver the cold truth but not be too cold to care. For me anyway, she was the driving force in my love of the show, from the moment she introduces herself and telling you her identity is "the one secret she'll never tell", you find yourself as addicted to her and her blog as it's many readers.
But character developments were never Josh's problem, the problem was keeping them going. And, after watching the dizzying first season of the OC where more happened in seven episodes than in seven seasons of 90210 I feared that Gossip Girl would move too fast and ruin good plot lines. However, they seemed to have learned their lessons. The 18 episodes contained here, move at a great pace that allow you to enjoy the story lines yet them turning into something before they get tired of them. The only question is if they can keep it up for many more seasons, the problem with high school television dramas is that high school can only go on for so long.