“Unlike the rest of us, sex, lies, and scandal never take a vacation. Instead they take the Long Island Expressway and head East to the Hamptons. Some would say summer is their busiest season. Think Park Avenue, but with tennis whites and Bain de Soleil. The players change, but the game remains the same.”
And for fans of the series Gossip Girl, the place may have changed at least for the season two premiere, but it’s still the show that’s become somewhat of a guilty pleasure to so many viewers. The show picks up during Summer Break in the Hamptons for our East Enders, but don’t worry. They’re back in their East End familiar surroundings before too long at all. As the opening narrative implies, the game does indeed remain the same.
With internet blogging becoming such a common trend, we just knew that someone somehow would work it into a clever little plot. It started as a series of adolescent books that appealed mostly to the teen girls. Combine the idea of a gossip blog with that equally popular trend of attractive young people in complicated and contrived relationships, and you get the general idea behind Gossip Girl. The show follows a group of spoiled high schoolers from the affluent East End as they go through the standard situations. What makes this show somewhat different is that it’s being told as a narrative by an anonymous blogger who appears to have a lot of firsthand information on this group of young people. She knows everybody’s dirty little secrets, and she publishes them on her gossip blog. The blog is the in thing to read, and much like the society pages of old, everyone loves to read about someone else’s dirt; that is until their own soiled laundry appears in the blog.
It’s pretty much a soap opera, to say the least. The stories are very much about who is hooking up with or betraying who. We never see the gossip girl, and just like the show’s characters, we’re not privy to who she really is. Her voice is a constant narration much like can be found by the deceased desperate housewife from Wisteria Lane. There’s tons of modern music in this one. I count at least 6 songs per episode. It likely costs a ton in music clearances, and I can’t speak to any replacements for the DVD release.
Each episode of Gossip Girl is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It’s an overly bright show. Lots of plush and sunlight fills every frame. Colors are pretty good, and the costumes do often jump out at you with some rather exotic color combinations. The show has an artificial feel to it that appears to be a common style choice for these young friends type of shows. Black levels are about average. There is some compression artifact, but it doesn’t tend to get in the way.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track does everything it needs to do and more. This is an extremely dialog heavy series, so that’s what you’re going to want to hear without distractions. The clarity is good, and never does the 5.1 mix interfere with the staples. Musical cues are always solid but never overpower the drama.
5th Avenue Meets Gossip Girl: This is an interactive map that lets you scout out the locations from the series.
Faces Behind The Design: (17:03) The show certainly has a flair for fashion, and this feature lets you eat it all up. The look goes beyond the clothes to the sets and even the music. My, how trendy we all are.
Webisodes: There are 7 little internet features here.
Gag Reel: (10:40)
Downloadable copy of the most recent Gossip Girl audio book.
It’s not the kind of thing I would have watched on my own, I’ll admit. It has a certain sense of style and hipness that translates well for the young and the beautiful. The rest of us might find it mildly interesting. If you have not seen the series, might I suggest you catch it on television before sinking money into the set? It might be appropriate that this one comes out in the hot dog days of August. “The heat makes people do crazy things.”