(Pop)culture in real life

What 3 years with Gossip Girl taught me

It sometimes feels like it’s only been a few weeks since the last Gossip Girl episode has aired. Then I realise it’s been over 4 years and start to feel old…I started watching it just before season 3 started, and got sucked in instantly. I totally binged it – I think my longest day was 10 episodes. I mean, it was during the summer holidays, so no harm was done ;).

It wasn’t really so hard to fall for the story about people living a life so far removed from mine, so lavish and fabulous, but also with problems that, even to my 15 year old mind, seemed a wheeeeeeny bit far fetched. However, although I wasn’t a big fan of Serena from the get go, and Jenny always annoyed me, Blair and Chuck and their on-and-off love story were quite enough to keep me entertained.

I like a good transformation in a character, so watching Chuck evolve throughout the series was a real pleasure. Blair has somewhat grown up, too. And as with almost every show I watch, I have grown with them a little bit. So, if you spent your teenage years following the scandalous lives of Manhattan elite, I’m sure you will agree with at least a few of the points below.

Friends can make you (or break you)

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The number of times Blair and Serena have fallen out with each other (and then made up) is truly insane. To be honest, I personally can’t imagine being friends with someone who has let me down as often as these two have, but to each their own. However, in times of real need, they were there for each other, offering support, and that’s something to aspire to. On other occasions, they turned into back stabbing bitches. Although they depict the very extreme spectrums of a friendship, I think the writers managed to capture different types of them in this one. And showed that even if you hate your bestie at times, she’ll still be there for you if you come over in the middle of the night saying you’ve killed someone. Because with friends like these, who needs armies?

The villain isn’t always as bad as you think he is

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Chuck Bass is the ultimate bad boy when the series kicks off and although many of us have fallen for him straight away, we knew, deep down, that he was no boyfriend material. He was mean, didn’t mind messing with other people’s lives, and believed his name alone was enough to open all doors (to be honest, it kind of was). But then we slowly saw a change. Yes, it was sometimes one step forward, two steps back, but he wasn’t just standing in one place. Blair has definitely influenced the change, but also the fact that he was forced into running a multibillion dollar company at the tender age of 18 definitely gave him a shove on the back to grow up. And although he melts our hearts with his cute smiles, love for Blair and readiness to fight for the ones he loves, we know that, deep down, there is still a bit of that bad boy in him. Ready to bite if anyone crosses him or his family.

You can’t have a relationship without proper communication

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Yes, Chuck and Blair were destined to be together. We kind of knew it halfway through season 1. But it took quite a lot of effort for them to actually get together. To be honest, I’ve lost count of how many times they tried (and failed) until they finally did towards the end of season 6. One big issue was their respective personalities – let’s face it, neither of them is actually easy to be with. But another was communication, or lack thereof. From Chuck thinking Blair would think too much into it if he went on holiday with her (Season 1), through being exchanged for a hotel (Season 3), to that ridiculous pledge Blair made after they had an accident (Season 5). Communicating properly would have really made a difference. And probably resulted in much less drama, and this show was all about drama, after all.

You don’t need a degree to be successful

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Neither Chuck nor Nate end up getting a degree (Chuck didn’t even make it to university), but both head successful business, and Dan got a book published before graduation. Admittedly, Chuck inherited his and Nate came to work for the Spectator in some really unrealistic way, but it does go to show that a degree is not entirely necessary for success. Many of us will get degrees and go on to make great use of them (even if that use is only to get a graduate job), but it’s worth keeping in mind that not having one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed for life.

An affair with a married guy (or woman!) is unlikely to end well

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Or with a teacher. Or someone twice your age. I’m looking at you, Serena. Although there are probably some exceptions to the rule (mostly the age one, though), it is generally safer for your heart and general wellbeing to not get involved with married guys. Somehow they tend to not leave that wife they’re supposedly at the brink of divorce with. And Serena truly had a share of awful love stories over the series’ six seasons, only to end up with her high school sweetheart. Go figure.

Parents have lives too

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It’s a shocking one, I know. But the parents on Gossip Girl sometimes have even more crazy lives than their offsprings. Affairs, secret children given up for adoption, divorces, hiding their homosexuality for 16 years, ending up in prison, coming back from the dead. And that’s naming just a few. The parents of the Manhattan elite have pretty busy lives themselves. And although it’s quite unlikely that your parents have lives as dramatic as this, it’s worth keeping at the back of your head that ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ are not their only jobs in life. Understanding that your parents need some time with each other (alone), or by themselves, picking up a new hobby or carrying on with an old one, is an important thing.

 

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