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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Sex,lies and scandal

The hugely successful teen book series Gossip Girl is back in the second season of its TV avatar and it’s not lost any of its scandalous charm.

Written by Pooja Pillai | January 26, 2009 1:16:28 am

Gossip Girl – Season 2
Zee Café,Monday,10 PM
Rating **

What’s it about?The hugely successful teen book series Gossip Girl is back in the second season of its TV avatar and it’s not lost any of its scandalous charm. Blair Waldorf and her high-society friends continue to scheme and manipulate their way through their surprisingly hectic life. The season opens with the omniscient but unseen narrator ‘Gossip Girl’ saying that unlike the rest of us,sex,lies and scandal do not take a summer break. The season then proceeds to fulfill this statement as it traces the society brats enjoying their summer break at the Hamptons. Blair charms a mysterious stranger Marcus,while her ex-boyfriend Nate Archibald has an affair with a married woman. And if that’s not enough,Nate is supposedly dating Blair’s best friend Serena van der Woodsen,who is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Dan Humphrey. All this is further complicated by the Archibalds’ financial crises and the revelation that Marcus is an English Lord,whose stepmother Catherine is the one that Nate is having an affair with. How these students of a private school in Manhattan’s Upper East Side sort out their complicated affairs of the heart,is what the rest of the season is all about.

Who’s in it?The lead characters Blair and Serena are played very effectively by Leighton Meester and Blake Lively. The girls lend the right amount of vulnerability to characters that would otherwise be very unsympathetic. Meester is especially good as the Queen Bee of the exclusive school circle,as she very effectively brings out the manipulative and yet,oddly likeable characteristics of Blair. The rest of the cast includes Penn Badgely as Dan,Ed Westwick as Serena’s step-brother Chuck and the latest It-boy of American television Chace Crawford as Nate.

What’s Hot?The pace and the quirky,gossipy style of narration hold the plot together. While acting is not one of the strong points of the show,it must be admitted that all the actors do a fairly convincing job of portraying adolescents. But the best part of the show is how beautiful it is – every place from the van der Woodsen home in the Hamptons to the Humphrey house in Brooklyn have been shot tastefully. Not to mention how well-dressed and good-looking all the characters are.

What’s not?There are just too many plot points here to keep track of. In the tradition of many other teen dramas like One Tree Hill and The OC,everyone knows everyone else in the claustrophobic world of Gossip Girl. Everyone’s story arcs converge at some point and somehow,the level of coincidence is just not convincing. Also,the teenage characters here are just a wee-bit too world-weary and sophisticated to be believable. After all,how many high school students do you know who bunk classes to have sex?

Should you be watching it? If you enjoyed The OC,chances are you’ll enjoy Gossip Girl. But even otherwise,the show is oddly gripping. The plot is just too improbable to be boring and that keeps you glued to your seat.

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