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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Idiot box.

Forgive me if I seem a little flippant. I have crammed the entire first season of Gossip Girl (18 episodes, 45 mins each) within the last 48 hours, and my inner voice still sounds like Kristen Bell.

Prior to this, I had a similar obsession with Jane by Design. Of which was cancelled after one season, and I was very distressed about it because I loved it very much, and also because I have a soft spot for Brits and wanted to see Jeremy with Jane; but I digress.


What draws us to watch these soaps? What fuels our somewhat manic desire to stuff our faces with the scandalous lives of fictitious people, and get hooked onto these characters?

The answer is simple enough: an escape from reality.

These soaps draw us into the world of impossibly good looking people. Every single person is flawless and clearly too old to pass off as teenagers; and after watching so many episodes my self esteem has taken a nosedive. There are never any ugly people in the main cast, which only makes us more attracted to these superior people and their glamorous lives.

They draw us into a world where impossible things happen. A world where a high school teenager can actually succeed in a demanding full-time job in high fashion, and where a high status girl like Serena van der Woodsen would actually fall in love with a lower caste member; but of course things like this would never take place in real life.

They show us stories of mean girls. Of horrible, scheming, selfish bitches who plot heinous schemes against our beloved protagonists, and how they are eventually felled. We've all faced our fair share of assholes that could not care less about trampling on others to reach the top, but more often than not, never receive any form of come-uppance. We live vicariously through our hero/heroine's triumphs, hoping one day justice will actually be served.

Of course, they show us drama. Deceit, lust, jealousy and the lot. We are hooked onto the craziness of these people's lives, because they are such a welcome break from the monotony of our mediocre lives. We feel like we're standing right beside them through all that happens; we cry and laugh with them, and we enjoy the emotional rollercoaster ride we are taken on.


Good scriptwriting clearly plays a strong part too, as everyone needs a plucky heroine to root for, and a beautiful, manipulative bitch with hints of softness to fall in love with. (I'm currently hooked on Chuck Bass, the beautiful bad boy.)

Gossip Girl will probably be my sole companion through many, many nights from now onwards, until I'm done with all six seasons. I suppose I was trying to justify my obsession with it, because I am completely neglecting certain other important responsibilities. Like rehearsing for my dance competition in 8 days.

But then again, season 2 is calling my name. Xoxo.

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