Gossip Girl, Take 2

So I changed my tune, after my last Gossip Girl post.  I watched another episode with my roommate, and then became a little obsessed with it, catching up on the entire season’s worth of episodes.  I also found that it’s been pretty widely (and constantly) written about, even meriting coverage by the British press. In the beginning of The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James describes Isabel Archer, writing, “She had seen very little of the evil of the world, but she had seen women who lied and who tried to hurt each other.”  In the class I was taking at the time, our professor pointed to that line, and said that Isabel would be encountering far greater evil, evil that would seem incomprehensible to her then, as the novel progressed.  And while I could see his point, I also thought that “women who lied and tried to hurt each other,” was no small sin.  It’s also a type of evil most people encounter, and while the antics on Gossip Girl are more than a little melodramatic, I’ve also come to find them quite compelling.  The show’s depiction of friendship-the ways in which friends can love each other very deeply, without there being a rational reason behind it-is, I think, its strongest virtue. I also started reading (and enjoying) these very loving recaps-the writer draws parallels to Joseph Campbell, among others, and it’s made me feel better about my new fixation.   Tonight’s the finale: 8 pm on the CW, so tune in! 🙂

Gossip Girl

Last night, for the first time, I watched the show Gossip Girl.  My roommate is a fan, and so I finally watched it with her.  Despite having a quite a few friends who are fans, I’ve held off watching, even as the hype has grown.  I remember reading about the (book) series several years ago and thinking it sounded horribleA series about debauched materialistic teenagers, without any moral characters-and it was a big hit? Yikes.  And so I internally groaned, when I read that it was being turned into a TV series.    I think that plays, TV shows, films, etc., as they include human actors, humanize certain plot lines-these events “really” happen to an actual person.  I think this is why filmed or visually represented violence can be so much more disturbing (and lasting in memory) compared to something you read about.  I thought that Gossip Girl was alright, but I don’t plan on becoming a regular viewer. My favorite character is ‘evil’ Chuck Bass, in part because of his clothes-extremely tight yellow jeans, a purple cardigan, with a teal and pink ascot; a bright red frock coat; an orange trench coat; in part because he seems so over the top, and because he’s played by a Brit! Have any of you read the books or watched the TV show?  What do you think?

TV on the Radio

Our video upload attempts got me thinking about video on the web. With the writer’s strike stalling new television shows, I recently read an article on shows designed with internet viewing in mind. It also seems that users (myself included) have come to expect a smorgasbord of free entertainment (including television) on the web. While most networks have jumped on the bandwagon, usually providing a few episodes of their most popular programs online, they hardly offer an exhaustive season catalogue. This past week, I spent a fruitless hour trying to find episodes that I had missed.

Until I purchase a TiVo or DVR, is this a hopeless exercise? Or is the possibility of a complete television canon, free and readily accessible online, in the near future? Or, have users come to demand far too much in the way of free content, and will they be forced to pay for it, one way or another?