A few years back, I learned that a new T.V. show would soon make its way into homes across America. The show, based on a popular books series of the same name, was called Gossip Girl, centered around the "scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite". Being an avid fan of YA anything, I was anxious to dive right in.
And so, when it began to air, I watched, and continued to do so for the first three seasons. But then something happened. I'd noticed that in the last few weeks leading up to the S3 finale, the show had taken on such a jump-the-shark angle, I found myself less and less excited to see what would happen next. So, when the new season began, I dropped it and never looked back. In fact, each week, I'd roll my eyes at the upcoming episode previews that aired during and after the shows I still watched.
Well, near the end of last year, I'd heard that the GG series finale would be airing, and that the identity of GG herself would be revealed. So I caught it, basically to avoid having to read about it, plus I wanted to see for myself who it was after all. Turns out it was Dan Humphrey, the most logical choice....well, at least to anyone who actually thought about it; clearly I'm not including the creators, writers or producers of Gossip Girl, all of whom obviously had their heads firmly planted up their toot-shooters.
You see, any writer worth the weight of his/her pen would have done one of two things with this show right from the start. Two options that would have saved those involved from stumbling along the halls of B*llsh*t High, where writers' skills are not only lost, but outright slaughtered.
Option 1: DON'T REVEAL GG's IDENTITY. This is a decision that SHOULD have be settled from the get-go, because by all writer's logic, it's a decision that would ultimately shape the entire series.
OPTION 2: If the goal was to reveal her identity at some point, the matter of WHO it would be should have been settled and set in stone from the moment the first line of the first script was written. Not five minutes into writing the finale episode.
And so, as I watched that last episode, breathless with anticipation, when the moment finally arrived and it was revealed that Dan was GG herself, I could literally feel my dinner threatening to make another appearance.
WHAT? It was WHO?
Perplexed, annoyed, you name it, I felt it. It was like those involved had just taken the five-year question and half-ass-answered it with a feeble whatever-just-make-it-him, throwing it out into the universe in the hopes that no one would notice how profoundly devoid of talent the writers were in their lack of forethought.
But, to be fair, it had been so long since I'd seen the show, I decided to hold my tongue until the near two-year blank could be filled in.
Enter Netflix...the T.V. show addict's very dear friend. I had known for some time that Gossip Girl was available for streaming, so, I decided to watch the show from the beginning partly for sh*ts and giggles, but mainly to see if any clues as to GG being Dan Humphrey had been planted from the start; although thinking back, I couldn't recall a single clue. Sadly, Netflix only had all episodes up to the end of season 5, so I have to wait for 6 to become available to finish it.
Now, as I began watching from the beginning, I paid close attention, and each time it was clear that Dan Humphrey WAS NOT Gossip Girl, I actually had to pause to comment to my hubby about it. He's also into writing, so you can imagine how many fascinating writing convos we've had about this show, as well as about other facets of writing.
What I don't get....what I absolutely DO NOT understand, is how the creators and writers could have so obviously missed the mark here.
End result, writers have the freedom to create as they go. This, though not my particular style of writing, is a completely valid method of story creation. BUT, that DOES NOT apply when it comes to television, seeing as how once the show airs, there's rarely room to turn back. The fact is, television writers SHOULD and MUST consider all angles ahead of time in order to avoid looking like unscrupulous, talentless hacks.
There, I feel a little better now. Well, at least until I go back to the show to see all the clues that were NOT planted in the show to indicate who exactly was spilling all the details about the scandalous lives of Manhattan's Elite. From what I understand, the book series has come to an end. An end that makes no mention of Gossip Girl being Dan Humphrey. As a writer who takes her craft seriously, I can only hope Cecily Von Ziegesar, author of the book series, is able to turn a blind eye at how the creators of the show toyed with and warped all her hard work.