Many people are familiar with the hit TV series, Gossip Girl. But what is it about Gossip Girl that attracts so many viewers to fall in love and yearn to experience the lifestyle of an Upper East Sider? Is it the remarkable beauty and style of Serena Van der Woodsen or the humble, yet attractive Brooklyn lonely boy, Daniel Humphrey? Or is it the intense love connection and storyline between Blaire Waldorf. And Chuck Bass or more simply just the lush and extravagant lives of those on the Upper East Side and the beautiful New York City itself? When I ask myself why I began to watch Gossip Girl, I can only think of one answer.
That answer being New York City, particularly the Upper East Side. There is something about the way that this show and its characters portray New York City. My favorite city in the world, and my home, that attracts me to it and makes me want to live that lifestyle. The plot is always satisfying to me and the storylines are filled with scandal. And glamour, yet the portrayal of this New York City lifestyle simply has me mesmerized.
Gossip Girl may be on of my guilty pleasure Netflix binges, however to me, it ultimately represents my goal of achieving success in terms of wealth, power and beauty. When I see Blaire Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen, I think about how much I crave to have a life like that; the money, the fashion, the fame and the lifestyle.
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That is all something that I can only dream of. However, with having these things and having success, there are sure to be downfalls, and Gossip Girl also represents the downfalls of achieving all these aspects and the power of success. As cliché as it may sound, I had initially began watching Gossip Girl when I had officially committed to NYU after I had gotten accepted in 2013. I truly believed that this show was the authentic portrayal of New York City itself and also the people who live in the city. I was so attracted by the good-looking cast, the fashion forward wardrobe and also the dramatic filled story lines, and the Upper East Side lifestyle. After watching all six seasons of this show, I personally believed that I was an expert on New York City, especially the Upper East Side, or at least I thought I was before I actually moved here.
I truly believed that this show displayed an authentic portrayal of life here in NYC, however now I am not too sure with my original belief at all because this show only showed me the fictionalized version of the city through the eyes of the Upper Class-Upper East Siders.
I find it amazing how the characters from the show that are held in highest regard are those who live on the Upper East Side and those who live anywhere else are simply not good enough nor acceptable. New York City is composed of so many wealthy and classy areas like Chelsea, Greenwich Village or the Financial District that many dream of being able to live in, yet in this show, the Upper East Side is the only area that is worthy enough. In the show, the borough of Brooklyn, a literal train ride away on the 4 or 5 from the Upper East Side, is looked so down upon as if it is dump of a neighborhood, when in fact, that area of Brooklyn is quite a rich, "yuppie," neighborhood and those who reside in it tend to be quite wealthy.
It is very clear that the Humphrey family is quite well off, for they live in a beautiful loft in DUMBO, on of the most expensive areas in Brooklyn if not one of the most expensive areas to live in in all of New York City. Rufus Humphrey has enough money to support both of his children, Dan and Jenny, on his own, and still send them both to one of the nicest and most expensive schools on the Upper East Side. It is even more ironic that the Van der Woodsen women of the Upper East Side end up falling for the Humphrey men, of Brooklyn despite how poorly they thought of their borough. Despite the fact that the Humphreys do not live in the Upper East Side, they are able to keep up the Upper East Side Lifestyle, yet this is simply not good enough. This goes to show that ultimately it isn't about the people who live in these boroughs or areas, but it is more about the ideal identity or culture that these areas in New York City are thought of to uphold.
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An Analysis of the Hit TV Series Gossip Girl. (2023, May 31). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/an-analysis-of-the-hit-tv-series-gossip-girl/
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