Goodbye, Gossip Girl

old skool

The end of Gossip Girl is upon us, and it’s making me all nostalgic for seasons past… Season 6 has not been my favorite, to put it kindly, but as the plot meanders and the characters spin in circles, one thing that has not wavered since the show’s premiere back in 2007 is how flipping good this show looks. So well made. I wonder how it will all end tomorrow…

I went to NYC a few weeks ago, and somewhat unintentionally it turned into a Gossip Girl Nostalgia Tour. First off, we were staying at the Empire Hotel (which I stayed at a few years ago), and just across the way is the Lincoln Center and the David H. Koch Theater (another GG location). Wandering around the city, it’s hard not to think of what’s been filmed there, and of course when we happened upon the Palace Hotel, it was mandatory photo taking time. Luckily, we ran into Maurice, the Palace Hotel employee who takes GG fans on impromptu mini tours of the hotel. He was the best.

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He showed us the Gilt bar, the kitchen where Chuck had the grilled cheese made for Serena, the cotillion ballroom, the brunch room and the staircase S and N scurried down, the library — and every room is stunning. This hotel is well named, and built in 1882 as a private residence. Wander around the lobby if you get the chance. It is luxurious. [Sorry for the slightly terrible photos — we were moving quickly!]

"The Big Sleep No More" So many creepy masks. Less smooching IRL.
“The Big Sleep No More” So many creepy masks. Less smooching IRL.

That night, we went to Sleep No More, which you may remember from last season, at the suggestion of my friend who does not even watch Gossip Girl. I could pretend like I was just super cultured and into experimental NYC theater and that’s why I knew what she was talking about. It was creeeeepy. At first, I was giggling under the mask that I wasn’t allowed to take off (and no talking!) but then I got into it. The “hotel” is huge and full of all the nightmarish things you can think of. You just wander around, you can follow the performers if you like, or open up drawers and peer inside. Sometimes it felt like being in a live immersive episode of So You Think You Can Dance — the performers don’t really speak (they make some grunting noises at times) but they dance the scenes. I think you could go multiple times and see different stuff — we didn’t follow the performers around too much (it can get a bit crowded with other masked audience members) so I’m sure we missed some of the Macbeth-ish action. (Tho we did see the King killed!)

All to say, that trip made me wistful about Gossip Girl. It was the first show I ever wrote seriously about. My book on the first two seasons of the show was a huge undertaking for me, one I was not sure I was capable of, and it set me off on a path that I didn’t know was ahead of me! I loved writing about Gossip Girl; I loved talking about GG with Angela and company on TGAD; it’s the first fandom I was a part of and the first show that introduced me to awesome people online with whom I became friends.

Gossip Girl gave me a crash course in classic American film, in fashion, in New York. It led me to discover people like Norman Buckley, who I think the world of, and it paved the way for other series I adore like Pretty Little Liars. (It also gave me a go-to Halloween costume for a couple of years: my B was only 100% less elegant than Leighton’s.)

So it’s with a heavy heart that I bid Gossip Girl adieu, and I know I’ll be busting out my DVDs for rewatches time and again when I have that Upper East Side nostalgia for waffles, Cedric, gossip bombs, the steps of the Met, the lobby of the Empire, hairbands, summers in the Hamptons, cotillion, Thanksgiving hijinks, trans-borough pop-bys, Chuck’s limo, B hollering for Dorota or her spot to feed the ducks in Central Park, but, most of all, for the Non-Judging Breakfast Club.



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