I almost didn't want to watch it. Instead, I wanted it to live in my TV's DVR forever and ever and ever like a dusty high school yearbook whose last pages I refuse to thumb through because that makes it real, man. And when I finally clicked "play," I refused to even fast-forward through the stupid commercials. I wanted to make it last.
I'm speaking, of course, about the series (SERIES) finale of the ridiculous over-the-top campy melodramatic fly-over-state wet dream that is the CW's "Gossip Girl." Following the crazypants lives of Manhattan's elite scions, the show has been a staple of my weekly guilty pleasure me time since it first aired six seasons ago.
"In the preshow thing, Leighton Meester mentioned she went from 20 to 26 on the show," explained Jessica Pressler of New York Magazine's now sadly defunct "Gossip Girl" recap. "I went from 29, which is already a questionable age to be recapping a show about teenagers, to... older than that. I went from being the toast of all gay men to people being like, 'Are you still doing that?'"
I totally get where Jessica's coming from. Really, am I still doing that? Still wondering whether Dan and Serena (both of whom I referenced in a real-life book I wrote) would ever make it happen? Would Serena ever open a book and perhaps her eyes? Would Chuck squint so hard one day that his eyelids drooped permanently? Would Blair ever stop scheming long enough to realize that she's too awesome to be jealous of Serena for the rest of her life? Ugh.
"Don't ever go to high school, Dorota, the girls are spoiled, stupid, and ungrateful," says Blair in one of the first episodes of the show. And, oh, were those girls spoiled, stupid and ungrateful. But I couldn't stop watching them. I've been sucked in, just like the President of the United States, who shouted out GG at a town hall meeting in 2009. Or Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, who declared Thursday, January 26th, 2012 "Gossip Girl Day."
I won't spoil the finale for anyone else trying to savor the last sweet moments of "Gossip Girl" like the ending spoonful of dulce de leche ice cream, but man, oh, man did they end it with a bang, which might explain why I feel shot through the heart a little bit. But not really. I mean this is a show about filthy rich and mostly foolish teenagers who get handed life on a platinum platter. (Although Chuck Bass points out in the first episode that "happiness isn't on the menu.") What could really be in it for me?
I think the draw of "Gossip Girl" has always been a mix between our love of soap operas, weird nostalgia towards aristocracy and, most of all, the wildly American notion that anyone on the outside can crack their way in a la Dan Humphrey.
It's like John Steinbeck said, "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." Couldn't you see yourself at Blair's place, with a Dorota, or at Chuck's at the top of the world -- a penthouse in New York? It's a silly fantasy but a fantasy most people like to tap into when the rent's due. In that way we're all like Tom Wingfield from "The Glass Menagerie."
So I'll miss the new millennium mash up of F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest hits and survive off reruns until "Downton Abbey" hits American small screens in January. Same characters, different decade.