New on DVD: Gossip Girl – Season One

New on DVD: Gossip Girl – Season One

BFFs, scandal, sex, drugs and designer clothes – these appear to be the current requirements for a successful teen drama. First was The O.C. and from its ashes was born Gossip Girl. Serena (Blake Lively) ran away to boarding school a year ago and now she’s back in town – all without notice. Her best […]

BFFs, scandal, sex, drugs and designer clothes – these appear to be the current requirements for a successful teen drama. First was The O.C. and from its ashes was born Gossip Girl.

Serena (Blake Lively) ran away to boarding school a year ago and now she’s back in town – all without notice. Her best friend Blair (Leighton Meester) took her place as head of their clique and is not willing to give up the throne without a fight. Nate (Chace Crawford) is Blair’s boyfriend but everyone thinks he has a thing for Serena. Chuck (Ed Westwick) is Nate’s best friend and a womanizing pig. Dan (Penn Badgley) and Jenny (Taylor Momsen) are from this world’s wrong side of the tracks. Dan has a longtime crush on Serena and Jenny is willing to do anything to fit in with the popular crowd her first year of high school. Meanwhile, they all have parents creating and concealing their own scandals. And Gossip Girl ensures everyone knows everything about everyone.

The first thing I noticed when watching is GG’s narrative is intrusive and unnecessary. She would be fine as a bookend to each episode but her play-by-play throughout is annoying. On the other hand, the connectedness of everyone through the tech alerts is remarkable, as is their reliance on the information.

Gossip Girl is a soap opera in which the teens out number the adults. It gets off to a bit of a rocky start but by the middle of the season the characters’ lives have become so mesmerizing and muddled you can’t wait to see what will happen next. Both the girls and the boys are catty, stopping at nothing to attain their own goals (with the exception of the token good kids), while the parents dictate their kids’ lives and try to live through them. However, the lack of a cliffhanger final episode is both a relief and a disappointment, as it doesn’t create that accustomed anticipation for next season.

The special features include “The Beginning XOXO,” a conception to execution exploration; a look at each character’s style in “Gossip Girl couture;” the planning of an expensive-looking wedding on a television budget; and a gag reel. There are two music videos from The Pierces, the duet that performed at the cotillion. Also, several of the episodes include unaired scenes.

The television series is based on a series of books by Cecily von Ziegesar. Therefore, included in the DVD set is a downloadable audiobook of the original best-selling novel read by Christina Ricci. Even though it’s a marketing ploy to create a profitable franchise, at least it may also get young fans away from the tube for a while.