Let's Discuss: The 'Gossip Girl' Series Finale

Promo poster featuring Chuck and Blair from The CW series 'Gossip Girl'
When it comes to series finales, both satisfying and not, it is easy to get lost thinking through the ones that have missed the mark. When thinking of this topic, one particular finale quickly rises to the top of the heap, the finale of “Gossip Girl.”

Yes, I watched the outlandish soap about snobby rich kids, ever since its Season 1 premiere. It was not because it was always a top-tier offering.

Missed storyline opportunities, baffling character contradictions, and a series of over-hyped controversies to suit the media machine, would ultimately be a smoke screen for a rather frustrating series. The reason it was impossible to write the show off was because “Gossip Girl” was an amazing tease. There always seemed to be the promise, the hope, for something better to be cultivated and realized.

As it turned out, those desires for a better show would instead culminate in the worst final two seasons of any series, and one of the worst series finales, in recent memory. The characters the show chided you for loving; turned into unfortunate ghosts of their former selves; watering down what was once an interesting character study of the morally gray decadence that dominated this particular generation of youth.

The infamous promo art for 'Gossip Girl' featuring Serena
[Image by The CW]
They were selfish, manipulative and in an endearing turn, brutally honest about it. They were terrible people and they made no bones about hiding it. It is because of that candor, redemption never seemed a distant notion. Well, not so fast.

As the show evolved, the characters would become self-delusional in their own moral grandeur. An apparent side effect of becoming blinded by the brilliance of the diamonds that so often adorned their necks.

"Gossip Girl's" main characters no longer acknowledged their misdeeds and tail-spun into a level of self-deluded debauchery that was quite frankly, senseless. Over-the-top melodrama would envelop every ounce of the show’s being, with one missed plot opportunity after another, all without so much as a nod to its implausibility. Then there was the constant moral judgment from characters that had no right to pass any, as they had done just as bad, if not worse, things.

In the denouement, Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), the series' grating pseudo-intellectual was re-branded. Going from a maligned outsider who hated what the rich kids in his dream girl’s circle stood for, to a full-blown psychopath, who was simply jealous they had things he did not. The plot twist rendered him a massive hypocrite for judging everyone around him, who had expressed the same frustrated envy throughout the series.

Then Dan revealed that he was the titular cyberstalker who had been torturing the Upper East Side for years. Don’t worry though, the girl he had been so cruel to, divulging every clandestinely dirty deed she had ever perpetrated, and lorded his moral superiority over for years, forgave him, confessed her love to him, and then married him. The rest of her inner circle would follow suit, instantaneously. What?

Promotional poster featuring Chuck for The CW's 'Gossip Girl'
[Image by The CW]
As for Blair (Leighton Meester) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) the show’s perennial power couple who had been the driving force behind continuing to watch, and who fans had clamored to see end up together, finally reconciled. The problem was that occurred after destroying the gray characterization of Chuck and Blair, once and for all. As both stood idly by as his villainous father clung to a rooftop, letting him fall to his death.

What? Yes, and then Chuck and Blair evaded legal prosecution by getting married. What a send-up to their long burgeoning love and character development!

The “Gossip Girl” finale would end up disrespecting what little shred of dignity it had left with this loyal viewer, tossing away any of its maturing nuances. The rebellious narrative, which constantly contradicted fans pleas, would be one of the things that precipitated its destruction.

When they did acknowledge fans' wishes, they did so by dragging the characters into unrecognizable versions of their once-beloved incarnations. Perhaps with the definitive end in sight, there was no desire to appease fans, in an effort for future seasons.

The creative powers' vision of what the show should have been or was, always seemed to contradict with viewers'. So with that, the show ended, “Little House on the Prairie” style, figuratively destroying whatever good had managed to survive.

That's not to say, "Gossip Girl" will not always hold a special place in this fan's heart. It gave TV -- Chuck and Blair, two bold and original characters played by two brilliantly dynamic actors, who shared genuine on-screen chemistry. Had "Gossip Girl" realized what they had in Westwick and Meester, remembering the show would be less bitter and more sweet.

[Featured Image by The CW]

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