The 2007 adaptation of Cecily von Ziegesar’s young adult novel series into a television show was a gamble. Though the franchise, Gossip Girl, had been wildly popular with its teenaged fanbase, the propulsion of its characters—rich, private school kids that bounced between Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the Hamptons—onto the real, three dimensional world was not a guaranteed success. And after a failed film attempt (with Lindsay Lohan as its reported star), Josh Schwartz, who was given the show following his success creating The O.C. was admittedly “skeptical.”
Centered around the friendship between mini Manhattanites Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf (played by Blake Lively and Leighton Meester), Gossip Girl was titled after its all-knowing narrator (voice by Kristen Bell), who chronicled the besties and their close group of friends on a Page Six-style tabloid blog. Years before Instagram influencers and street style stars, Bell as Gossip Girl was always updating, always everywhere. Everyone and no one, the character was the product of crowd-sourced reporting and a generation addicted to Sidekicks and BlackBerrys and the-then emerging social media scene. Every kiss made and crazy corner turned was revealed through an instant (and often soul-crushing) GG blast.
And Bell, whose narration provided not only the framework for every episode but nearly every motivating factor for the series itself, delivered her lines with a taunting bite and catty delight. So much so that years after the show ended, Seth Meyers asked Bell to voice real tweets made by Donald Trump in her signature Gossip Girl voice.
Of course the show, which debuted on The CW at the height of MySpace and the onset of of blog culture—two years after Perez Hilton began his infamous celebrity rag and one year before Tavi Gevinson would launch Style Rookie—turned out to be a hit. It garnered accolades naming it the “Hottest TV Show Ever” and “Greatest Teen Drama of All Time” One network executive relayed the series as “the show that defined its network to House of Cards for Netflix.” Culturally it was the first of its kind to be conceived as a fashion marketing vehicle, and seamlessly integrated the glossy world it reflected into its actual production; the list of guest stars range from Lady Gaga and Tyra Banks to Sonic Youth and No Doubt. Bell even made a cameo on the series’ finale, where, in a bizarre twist, she plays herself auditioning for a movie adaptation of the series.
With the news of the series’ impending reboot, it remains unclear if Bell will be reprising the role as villain-slash-narrator for Gossip Girl‘s next generation. So for now the Upper East Side can only wait anxiously for the next blast.END
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createdAt:Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:25:30 +0000