It was terrible. But what I couldn’t believe was how messed up it was.
I’ll explain why but, first, a refresher — or to the fortunate souls who have never seen Gossip Girl, an initiation.
Gossip Girl was the talk of teens and, I assume, some other people during its run from 2007 to 2012.
I have not seen the entire show, but know enough to relate the following.
The program follows the lives of high-class Manhattan young adults and their families who are connected by school, business, romance and Gossip Girl.
Gossip Girl is like Facebook except only one person posts content (called blasts, usually based on tip-offs).
The main characters are Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, lifelong friends turned rivals, as well as Chuck Bass, Nate Archibald and Dan Humphrey. Throughout the show they all become entangled romantically — it’s episode one, and some already are — and strangely most of them also end up becoming step-siblings.
Somehow this show became a world-wide phenomenon despite the pilot episode being, in hindsight, very disturbing. Here is your spoiler warning.
To start with, viewers don’t find out until the end of the series, but Dan is Gossip Girl. Yet in this first episode he anonymously posts that his own sister, Jenny Humphrey, might be “another of (Chuck’s) victims” when the two meet at a party. That is pretty sick.
And, as it turns out, true. Yep, Chuck is soon trying to force himself on the much younger Jenny.
In fact, Chuck attempts to rape two girls in this first episode. Yet he is a main character the audience is supposed to like as the show goes on.
Later in the show Dan, under the online anonymity provided by Gossip Girl, also tells the world about his sister losing her virginity. Which turned out to be untrue. What the hell, Dan? But I digress.
Dan is smitten by Serena, and it is revealed their parents have a romantic history as well.
Dan’s father Rufus is a washed-up rock star and Serena’s mother Lily visits him to ask about their children’s upcoming date.
Dan’s father, supposedly a nice guy, responds by instantly slut shaming Lily for sleeping with rock musicians and businessmen.
They later end up married, as do their children. Oh, but Lily leaves Rufus for Chuck’s father Bart. I’m telling you, this show is as incestuous as Game of Thrones, and even less believable.
There is more where that came from but I’ll spare you.
All I know is it’s highly unlikely such a pilot episode would get off the ground these days, and that is probably a good thing.
Soon after this episode, the characters all forget about each others’ betrayals and Chuck’s sexual assaults are glossed over. Hopefully I can forget about Gossip Girl just as quickly.