gossip girl rewatch: at the beginning of things
This would be my first post on a GG rewatch, although this wouldn’t be the first screencap I did. It turned out pretty good for a second try, which is primarily because I finally found a good site for TV series screenshots! Yehey! But that is not even the point…
I don’t know why, but I have fallen into a Gossip Girl marathon very recently. I still haven’t finished DW Season 4, because of, well… feels, and I ought to have started with Orphan Black (which I have been honestly looking forward to for months now, I even got the eps and subtitles and everything), so I don’t know why I am just motivated to finish Season 1 of The Greatest Show of Our Time.
Obviously, I am a Gossip Girl groupie, most especially right around the second to third seasons when it was such a huge hit and I sneak into my father’s computer and patiently watch streams of the show, then try to read recaps and recaps of recaps on New York Magazine’s website. It was a show I indulged on, and like every single Waldorf-wannabee, I aspired for headbands, stockings, incredibly tailored outerwear, and weather wherein I could all wear the former without fear of heatstroke.
Until college happened and my personal ideologies changed that sort of steered me to move on. I kept tabs every now and then, and even attempted to sail on the ship that is DAIR. Eventually, when it came to an end, I was glad for our favorite Upper East Siders. Everybody got their happy endings, even the viewers.
Having said all that, I am approaching my re-watch of Gossip Girl from an absolutely different perspective. I still have the wide-eyed wonder I held when I was in High School, but right now I also carry an awareness of and a slight cynicism to the heightened reality that it presents.
Every now and then a scene would come up and I find myself in a state of disbelief about how things were handled. Oftentimes, I would try to recall how I used to feel about that specific scene and question how I was so enamored then in contrast to how I would react in the moment. Of course, I come back to the realization that I am coming from a different worldview, and at best try to empathize with their world. Now, I realize that I do gain a better understanding of the characters little by little, or at least I try.
The surprising thing about all these to me is that I thought rewatching what was once a point in my life I dubbed as my Favorite Television Show would end as a complete disaster. I thought that I would stand on my idealistic moral high ground and snub the characters for their extravagant lifestyles and excessive entitledness, characters whom I once felt an affinity with. But actually, the more I try to watch it, the more I realize that regardless of contextual differences these characters are humane at best.
They have their quirks and errors. They have things about them which I love, and things about them I wish they would change. They deal with love, friendship, and family - obviously not in the same way I would deal with things in real life. Nevertheless, they are challenged to remain true to themselves and choose between rights and wrongs, which are the same challenges that I face in my daily life. So far, watching the show teaches me empathy and helps me learn more about character history and motivations, and to be more accommodating towards differences.
I hope that towards the progression of the show, I would feel as I do now for when I watch future seasons. It is something that I am still not counting on (just not to preempt myself), but very much hopeful for.
Other than that, I love it. Its still an absolute guilty pleasure.