As Season 4 starts to draw to a close, we see that the days of Serena and Blair’s teenage temper tantrums are long gone. In fact, so is a lot of the childish frivolity that I so enjoyed in Seasons 1 & 2, like romance in a room full of fake snow, or the ‘mean girls’ orientated high school politics. Suddenly, the beautiful people that some of us have grown up with for the last three years are at college or have entered the scary world of work and, for the first time ever, are really behaving like adults.
As well as blossoming in front of our eyes into even more dazzling beings than they were before (if that’s possible), some kind of warrior spirit seems to have been injected into the life of the cast. Blair fights for the opportunity to intern at _W Magazine_. Serena battles to free Ben and make up for the problems her family have caused him. Nate combats his father’s idle behaviour in order to get him back in the workplace, while Chuck is using all of the artillery at his disposal to save the Bass industry and keep his new love interest, Leila, on his arm.
In the blink of an eye, our babies have transformed into mature young people, capable of fighting for what they want. This is more than can be said for one of its chief prime-time rivals: _90210_. Here is a world of equally spoilt, dewy-skinned, shiny-toothed teens; but this world is also one of kids simply unable to accept the facts of life.
Teddy can’t accept that he’s homosexual, and Navid will never comprehend that Adrianna’s built-on-lies pop career is now more important to her than her boyfriend, or that he’s now fallen for Silver. Neither Annie nor Dixon can accept that their parents’ marriage has been destroyed once and for all.
Apart from Teddy’s emotional toils with his sexuality, _90210_ fails to tackle any even vaguely adult themes. In contrast, _Gossip Girl_ explores issues of business etiquette in a shady corporate environment, drug dealing, and the many complexities of working in the fashion and magazine industries.
Then we consider the all singing, all dancing phenomenon which is _Glee_. Just for a second, let’s ignore the fact that the show’s artists recently overtook Elvis in terms of the number of songs to reach No.1, or the notion that in contemporary society the show’s stars are more popular than the Beatles were back in the 70s. The second season just doesn’t seem quite as genuine as the first. The song and dance sequences are great, but the characters have lost the emotional impact that they held in the first season.
So essentially, thank god for _Gossip Girl_. Since I left school and now find myself in the active, exciting whirlpool of the Warwick bubble, it is the only show I feel in touch with. I know their Upper East Side college lives aren’t overly realistic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a life like theirs.
_Gossip Girl_ seems to have finally moved on from the days of sex, sex and more sex that was initially used to sell the show to the masses. With the odd casual reference to other hit US shows that match its popularity, like _Mad Men_,(“It’s like living with Don Draper”- Serena), _Gossip Girl_ is celebrating the fact that it is ready to join the ever widening battlefield of top American television, and is prepared to put up a good fight. xoxo