Dear Gossip Girl,
This is a hard letter to write. We’ve been through so much together that there’s a little part of me that doesn’t know what I’m going to do without you in my life.
I remember when my sister used to read your books. “Sex and the City for the younger set!” the covers proclaimed. I figured I’d give them a shot, but the writing made Twilight look like Tolstoy, and the endless name-dropping of brands I’d never heard of and therefore certainly couldn’t afford got old about two paragraphs in. To me, you were like Dan Humphrey at a 9th grade birthday party – you might have existed, but I didn’t care.
I also remember when I first really noticed you. I was in a hotel room in Arizona, considering watching a Lindsay Lohan movie, when I happened to channel surf to something where the people were much more attractive. There was something about the vibe I just liked. I started to wonder what made-for-TV movie I was watching until I realized that I recognized the plot from those horrible books. I was watching Gossip Girl…and I was liking it.
From there, GG, we were fast friends. You were there for me senior year of college, when I needed your plot twists to distract me from the stress of finals and job applications. You were there for me when I moved to California, when I needed familiar faces and reminders that outsiders could eventually fit in. You were there when I lived on Long Island, reminding me that the wonders of Manhattan were a mere train ride away. We lost touch for awhile somewhere during Season 4, but just like all of the characters on the show, we found each other again when the time was right. I still fondly remember the Saturday night I spent with you and Netflix, catching up on everything I’d missed.
I’d be lying if I said you hadn’t changed my life a little bit. You’ve inspired me to do so many things. You provided a name for my cat. (Somewhere, my future children are thanking me that I used the name “Blair” already so that they wouldn’t grow up having to explain that they were named after a teen soap opera character.) Some people don’t understand our relationship. “You watch that trash?” they scoff. “It’s just a show about people being horrible to each other.” But you’re not. You’re a show about people that love each other so very much, they sometimes don’t know what to do about it. Sure, these people make mistakes and live overly decadent lives, but that’s what makes it entertaining television. At the end of the day, they’re still people who come through for their friends when it really counts.
With your finale, I think you’ve taught me the ultimate lesson. You’re just a show. Like Blair herself, I occasionally struggle with separating fictional narratives from my reality (just as Blair aspires to be Audrey Hepburn, I aspire to be Blair), but this time, you’ve made it easy. Your finale was pure fluff, light and airy as a macaron, giving people exactly what they wanted – not one but two weddings, of exactly the couples you’d expect (how else would Josh Schwarz ever end a show?) – with the least drama I’ve ever seen in any episode of the series. And in the biggest TV reveal since we discovered that most of the town of Rosewood was working for A, we learned the identity of Gossip Girl. It wasn’t one of the OMFG moments I’ve come to expect from the series, but it was a clever twist that tied the show together. I also adored the cameos by everyone who’s ever been on the series, the Rachel Bilson/Kristen Bell bit was cute, Rufus ends up with Lisa Loeb (!) and the pairing of Georgina and Jack Bass was inspired (spinoff, please!). It was a finale that showed that Gossip Girl loves its fans as much as we love the show, but it was also a finale that reminded us that these characters live in an alternate reality where people can literally get away with murder, and Nate Archibald can run for mayor of New York. You’re many things, but a realistic life blueprint isn’t one of them, and I appreciate the reminder.
You’re not my first TV love, GG, and you won’t be my last. (It was a stroke of genius that the CW kept playing Carrie Diaries promos during the finale, reminding me that soon enough there will be another show about ridiculous Manhattan teenagers to fill the void.) Nevertheless, you’re a show that’s shaped who I’ve been for the past six years, and I’m going to miss you. You know I love you.