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And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. —XOXO. Gossip Girl.

001.jpgBased on: Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
Creators: Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz
Genre: Drama, Romance
Location: New York City (Manhattan and Brooklyn), Long Island East End
Running time: 39–44 minutes
Country of origin: USA
Original release: September 19, 2007 – December 17, 2012

Gossip Girl is an American teen drama television series based on the book series of the same name written by Cecily von Ziegesar. The series, created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, originally ran on The CW for six seasons from September 19, 2007, to December 17, 2012. Narrated by the omniscient blogger “Gossip Girl”, voiced by Kristen Bell, the series revolves around the fictional lives of upper-class adolescents living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The series begins with the return of Upper East Side teenage “it” girl Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) from a “mysterious absence”. Gossip Girl reveals that Serena has been away at boarding school in Cornwall, Connecticut, but not everyone welcomes Serena back to Manhattan with open arms. Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), whom creators describe as being “the queen at the center of their chess game,” is the queen bee of Constance Saint Jude prep school’s social scene. She also happens to be the childhood “best friend” and occasional rival of Serena van der Woodsen. The story also follows scholarship student and aspiring writer Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), who lives in Brooklyn and is a self-described “outsider”, Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), the so-called “golden boy”, who was Blair’s childhood sweetheart and first love, and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), the womanizing, “bad boy” heir who is part of “Manhattan’s elite” and “the king of their chess game.” Other characters of the turbulent Manhattan scene include Dan’s childhood best friend Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr); Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen), Dan’s rebellous adolescent sister who the ‘Queen B’ dubs as ‘Little J’; Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford), Serena’s mother and heiress, and Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle), former 90’s band ‘Lincoln Hawk’ frontman and Lily’s former lover. Rufus is Dan and Jenny’s father and primary guardian.

The Show

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6

Serena Van der Woodsen

Serena Celia Van der Woodsen is a main character of Gossip Girl. Serena is regarded as the “IT Girl” of the Upper East Side. She is best friends with Blair Waldorf and also has a close friendship with Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass. The story begins with her return to New York from boarding school, in which she finds things aren’t the way they used to be before she left including her friendship with Blair Waldorf.

001. Character biography, facts and trivia
002. Character quotes
003. Character look and style
004. Character relationships

Trivia

  • William Baldwin, who played Serena van der Woodsen’s absentee father, avoided meeting his on-screen daughter Blake Lively until the cameras rolled so that they could have a more realistic, strained relationship.
  • Every episode title is a word play on the title of a movie.
  • When the show was criticized by the Parent Television Council for being “mind-blowingly inappropriate” and “every parent’s nightmare,” those exact phrases were in the show’s promotional posters.
  • Long before they played star-crossed lovers Dan and Serena, Penn Badgley and Blake Lively were home schooled together as children.
  • January 26 is officially Gossip Girl Day in New York, declared by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg, who visited the set and praised how it showcased the city.
  • Costume designers modeled Blair’s look after Audrey Hepburn and Serena’s after Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.
  • The series has become so popular that a tour of Gossip Girl sites has been created in New York City, by the same people who created the Sex and the City (1998) Tour.
  • In Season 2, Serena is shown to have a Myspace profile, where she posts photos of her trip to Buenos Aires. ( Her user name is ServdW.)

Quotes (on the show)

  • (Josh Schwartz on how he came across Gossip Girl) “Those books were at the CW. And then from the CW, I got a call about them, and I read the first one, and I said, “You know, this could be something really great.” And I called Stephanie [Savage, his co-creator and former “OC” writer/producer] and I said — I was already developing “Chuck” at the time — and I said, “If you’ll do this with me, I’m all in.” And so she was down. So I read the books. They have this crazy following, and it seemed like a great opportunity. And I also liked the idea of doing a show like this at the CW, at a time where there weren’t a lot of these kind of shows out there. It reminded me of the glory days of the WB when I was in college.”
  • (Blake Lively on how she came across Gossip Girl) “[Creators/executive producers] Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage! Josh is very passionate, and he’s very aggressive. He called me personally on my cell phone, and he was like, “You know, you have to do this, I wrote this for you, and I’m not going to the show with anyone else, and I have to do the show, so you have to do it.” I’ve never wanted to do a TV show, just because you have to commit potentially six years of your life to something. It has to be something that you’re really passionate about. But I met with them, and they are so excited about what they do. They are so passionate, they’re young, and they’re not some jaded studio executive who just signs off their name for some commercial product and goes to their house in the Hamptons and is never involved. They’re involved from every outfit I wear to every person that gets cast, every backdrop of every scene. If I have a flyaway hair they come up and fix it for me. If it wouldn’t have been them, I definitely don’t think I’d be doing the show.”
  • (On the differences between herself and Serena) “Serena was brought up very differently than I was brought up. Serena was given everything her whole life… I grew up in a small little town in California – Burbank. I went to high school (and) what we would do on our nights off (was) go to a school fundraiser, go to a football game, where these people have masquerade balls or go lounge at The Palace Hotel and sip martinis… At the heart of it all, Serena really wants to be a good person – despite all odds, despite all the chaos that’s going on around her and all the other people in her life. So I think that I strive to do the right thing and not fall into the norm (like) so many young people in Hollywood who – because they were raised differently – get caught up in some of the nonsense. And I really try to steer clear of that. So, you know, we’re like that in the same way. We both giggle a lot. We look alike!”

Critical Reception

Gossip Girl initially received positive reviews. Due to the show’s pedigree as an adaptation of The New York Times bestselling novel series, the show was considered to be one of the more anticipated new shows of the 2007–2008 television season. An August 2007 survey by OTX, a global media research and consulting firm, placed the show on the list of top ten new shows that viewers were aware of. Though the pilot was the recipient of many positive reviews from publications such as VarietyThe Washington PostSan Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe, other reviewers described it as a guilty pleasure rather than an hour’s worth of must-watch television. Metacritic gave it a score of 54, based on the reviews of 26 different publications.

Toward the conclusion of the first season, Janet Malcolm of The New Yorker criticized the show for its deviations from the novels. She has stated that the series was “related to the original only in the names and outlines of the characters”. She further asserted that, “Without von Ziegesar’s fast, mocking commentary to propel them, the TV episodes are sluggish and crass—a move from Barneys to Kmart.” However, author Cecily von Ziegesar has expressed support for the show, noting that all of her major plot points were present in the pilot.

As the show continued its first season, the response became considerably more positive, and by the second season critical response was favorable. Metacritic gave the new season an improved score of 71. “Summer’s been good to this girl,” claimed Entertainment Weekly, who awarded the series its highest grade of “A”. The New York Daily News claimed the show had found its footing by stating “It knows exactly what it wants and needs its new hybrid product to be. The hockey fights video of teen romance drama.” Gossip Girl was designated the “Greatest Teen Drama of All Time” by New York magazine. The magazine wrote, “the show has resurrected the potential for scripted dramas to be effective social satire—to present a world more accurately than a “reality” program can. Gossip Girl presents a wealth-eye view of the city, but because it is a cartoon we can laugh along with the conspicuousness of the consumption.”

The Parents Television Council has shown particular criticism of the series, especially with its “OMFG” ad campaign from April 2008. It also named the episode “Victor/Victrola” the worst television program of the week in which the episode originally was broadcast. Quotes from the Parents Television Council review, as well as negative quotes from the San Diego Union-TribuneNew York Post and the Boston Herald, were used on various advertisements for the second season. The Hartford Courant chronicled a variety of negative responses to the ads. The ads included quotes like “Every Parent’s Nightmare”, “Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate” and “A Nasty Piece of Work” in what appears to be an effort to continue the ‘rebellious teen’ style of the show.

With the approach of the fifth season, New York Magazine reviewed the life expectancy of the show, noting its waning cultural relevancy despite the growing prominence of its actors, and the loss of its status as The CW’s No.1 show, having been beaten out in terms of ratings by other shows of the network like Supernatural and 90210. “The series itself hasn’t quite kept up, even if its plotting is as juicy and lunatic as ever.” and that “The cast would all rather be making movies, while the showrunners are focusing on launching new projects via their nascent Fake Empire production company (including CW newcomer Hart of Dixie). Barring an unexpected brand reboot or another stab at a spinoff, we’re afraid the end is near. XOXO.” AOL TV ranked Gossip Girl the 20th Best School Show of All Time and the 4th TV’s Biggest Guilty Pleasure. The show was declared the tenth highest rated show for the first ten years of IMDb.com Pro (2002-2012).

Official Trailer

Official TV Spot