It’s the same old story. Boy sees girl. Boy makes awkward conversation with girl at party. Boy falls for girl. Boy overhears conversation about girl. Boy invents gossip blog so he can get girl.
Yep, Gossip Girl was in fact a lonely boy after all.
Everything about Gossip Girl’s series finale, “New York, I Love You XOXO” worked.
Blair and Chuck’s getaway. Jack Bass, the romantic? Georgina Sparks, the good girl? Who knew.
Ivy Dickens gets her heart ripped out by Billy Baldwin. Nate (Chace Crawford) and the Spectator live to publish another day.
Dorota drinks enough vodka to kill a small horse. The Kristen Bell wink. The Vanessa and Juliet cameos. Little Henry. A fairy-tale wedding.
Lisa Loeb and Rufus.
Lisa Loeb? Say what?
Nothing was more fitting for a series finale than the revelation that Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) is the mighty pen behind Gossip Girl’s sword. Even though the long overdue admission did not deliver an earth-shattering experience (I guess the CW decided to leave that to the Mayans), Dan being the Upper East Side’s most infamous blogger makes perfect sense.
Sure, I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed that my Nelly Yuki prediction turned out wrong. (Hey, it was my first article for the site, and I had to make a splash!). But I quickly got over the sting, thanks to the flawless breakdown of how Dan schemed his way to the top — a confession he makes to Serena (Blake Lively) during the second best scene of the season (Sorry. There's still no topping Nate's right hook to Humphrey's face on Thanksgiving.).
Dan’s story is augmented by some vintage video we’ve never seen before. The gang’s all hanging at a Constance Billard-St. Jude party, dressed and coifed like it’s 2007 (This begs the question: did the CW film the flashback recently or did it have the footage in stock?).
Humphrey shows up alone, and is so far off everyone’s radar that Nate mistakes him for a lacrosse player named Matt. Chuck, meanwhile, literally gives Dan a cold shoulder while Blair rants about someone throwing up in the bathroom.
Serena, of course, is the only one who warms up to the Brooklyn outsider. She spots Dan from afar, and they begin to awkwardly flirt about Hello Kitty. For Dan, the moment cements his love-at-first-sight feelings toward the Upper East Side’s most desirable bachelorette.
But the Gossip Girl genesis is apparently the result of another Serena encounter on a school field trip. Unfortunately we aren’t treated to another flashback to describe the seminal moment in Gossip Girl history. Instead, Dan tells Serena (and us) how he overheard two girls gossiping about Serena’s decision to wear a white dress.
The conversation teaches Dan the all-important lesson that the mere fact that people talk about you is what drives life on the Upper East Side. It’s pretty powerful stuff for a less-than-privileged, hipster-in-training from Brooklyn who’s just met the girl of his dreams.
And so the Gossip Girl idea is born as a way for Dan Humphrey to win over Serena van der Woodsen.
We’re going to just assume Dan took a seriously intense computer programming class in high school because he eventually launches the blog that essentially dictates everything and anything people on the Upper East Side talk about. The outsider who longs to break in is the one who's pulling all the strings. It’s the ultimate case of irony.
Dan Humphrey’s coup d’état as Gossip Girl comes as a shock to everyone on the show — especially Dorota who must have been so hung over from her triple vodkas that she missed the five-year flash forward.
In a season that wasted so much precious time with random subplots that led to — in almost every case (especially Sage’s) — absolutely nowhere, it was inevitable that Gossip Girl would end the series with a sequence of events set five years in the future.
We see Nate hopping off a private jet and dodging questions about his rumored mayoral campaign. Nate can’t talk because he’s on his way to Blair and Chuck’s swanky new home that’s impeccably decorated and fit for Upper East Side royalty. The Basses wasted little time creating an heir, as little Henry Bass runs around the house decked out in a three-piece suit and pocket square a la Daddy Bass.
Also attending are sibling blasts from the past Eric van der Woodsen and Jenny Humphrey. It was a nice touch to bring them back, and an even better decision to not make a big deal of their presence.
Rounding out the guests are the oddest of couples: Cyrus and Eleanor, William and Lily, Jack Bass and Georgina, and — last but not least — Rufus and Lisa Loeb (Seriously. You can’t make that stuff up!).
The feature attraction everyone is waiting for is the wedding we’ve been waiting for.
Lonely Boy finally gets the girl.
Gossip Girl had no choice, but to end with Dan and Serena joined in marriage. Humphrey was the quintessential outsider trying to crack into a world he was destined to not belong. In many ways, Dan represented Gossip Girl, the show. By marrying Serena, he overcame the odds, just like Gossip Girl has defied conventional television.
Quick: Name another show on TV right now that’s been on the air for six consecutive seasons…
It’s harder than you think.
But not as difficult as a creating a show that’s sturdy enough to withstand the turbulent landscape of TV. Most shows today have a shorter shelf life than egg nog around the holidays.
Yet, Gossip Girl entered our lives on Sept. 19, 2007, and departs on Dec. 17, 2012. One hour a week, for six seasons, the show impacted each of us in its own little way.
For me, that way brought me closer to my wife. For months when we were dating, I begged her to watch. She made fun of me, but with a kind smile. As the months turned into years and dating turned into marriage, she eventually became a regular viewer. I even found her going back on Netflix catching up on previous season.
One year for my birthday, she booked us a coach bus tour of Gossip Girl landmarks in Manhattan. Not the typical gift for your husband.
And for that, Gossip Girl, I know I love you, too.
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