Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My year with the GG books


Yesterday, I realized how gossip-hungry we truly are. The more hurtful, complicated, and dirty the gossip is, the more we like it. And what's fascinating about gossip is that we help fuel it, giving it legs until (gasp!) it reaches the unfortunate subjects of the gossip. I haven't really thought about why we're fascinated with gossip. All I know is that we gossip about people we know and the people we know of. Yesterday, for instance, I received an email detailing the raunchy sexual adventures of a local celebrity. I doubt if any of us would be directly affected by this "news," still, it did manage to create a long and interesting thread of conversations among the email recipients. People who are supposed to be working (including myself) posted our on take on this naughty piece of information.

In case you've been hibernating for the past two years, there's this fabulous TV show about a group of rich, spoiled, and horny teenagers in NYC's Upper East Side called "Gossip Girl." The TV show is very very loosely based on Cecily von Ziegasar's Gossip Girl books young adults. When I learned in 2007 that CW was coming up with "Gossip Girl" the series, I got curious about the books and decided to check them out. I ended up reading all the 13 GG novels in 2008. No, I didn't enjoy the novels; I just like gossip.

Similar to the TV series, the books follow the exploits of Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Nate Archibald, Chuck Bass, Daniel and Jenny Humphrey and other forgettable characters. Gossip Girl, a blogger who remains unidentified until the end of the books, broadcasts their affairs to the rest of the young NYC elite. If you want to read the GG novels quickly, I suggest you just read Gossip Girl's blog, which are usually found at the beginning of the chapter. You'll end up not wasting your precious time and money if you do.

There are no distinct plot lines for each of the 13 books. I don't even get how von Ziegesar comes up with her titles (Don't You Forget about Me, Would I Lie to You, etc.). The titles are irrelevant; you can actually interchange them and they wouldn't make a difference at all on how the story goes. von Ziegesar stretches the already thin story line until the last book. The characters all exchange bodily fluids with one another; you get lost as to who's sleeping with whom. It's ridiculous. Blair, the only character that has promise at the start, becomes your cookie cutter mean bitch. The rest of her gang are cardboard cutouts in Prada and Miu Miu handbags. Dan, the brooding high school poet, makes you happy that he doesn't get the rich girl. He gets anxious about problems which are not problematic at all. Maybe it's just the poet in him, or perhaps he's just an idiot. Serena's character is two-dimensional. She only appears to be involved in the story when people gossip about her. Serena's character is symbolic of the rich NYC crowd in the GG books -- effortlessly fabulous, carefree, promiscuous, and shallow.

The Gossip Girl books, despite my having lost several months reading them, doesn't need brain work at all. You read them because they're about the rich and everyone wants to know about the rich. Even the rich would like to know what other rich folk are doing. The GG books are simply books about, well, gossip and nothing much else. Shame on you for thinking that these books would tackle anything profound or serious. Just look at the covers! If you want to get the most out of your GG books, arrange them vertically on your bookshelf with only their spines showing. This way, you add pastel colors to your shelf.

4 comments:

Rhett said...

This sounds oh so familiar.

Charlotte said...

I tried to read the first book... I really tried (I always end up dozing). Perhaps I am not THAT into gossip... BWAHAHAHA!

mitch ramirez said...

"If you want to get the most out of your GG books, arrange them vertically on your bookshelf with only their spines showing. This way, you add pastel colors to your shelf. "

-I really laughed at this. It's so YOU!!! haha

Peter Michael C. Sandico said...

Hi Mitch!!! Ganon, I never really thought about it that way.