Gossip Girl's Eric Van Der Woodsen Was A Gift Unto This World
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Gossip Girl's Eric Van Der Woodsen Was A Gift Unto This World

A manifesto.

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Gossip Girl's Eric Van Der Woodsen Was A Gift Unto This World

Sure, Serena killed some dude, and sure, the entire premise of the show is stalking. But the real crime on Gossip Girl is the lack of screentime dedicated to Eric van der Woodsen. "That show has been over since 2012," I hear you say. Then let it be a tribute to Eric that it's been four years and my heart still beats for him.

You can tell me that this show is an absolute trainwreck of storytelling, and I'll be the first to howl in agreement. You can ask how I can in good conscience root for Chuck and Blair, and I will put my hands over my ears and ignore you. But don't you dare say one word against the criminally underutilized character that is Eric van der Woodsen.


He is the moral compass, the heart and soul of this convoluted show. You could argue that the same could be said of Dorota, and I would agree. The difference is that Dorota gets her fair share of appreciation, while everyone (including the writers) ignore Eric. You don't have a snowball's chance in hell (or a Jenny Humphrey's chance at Constance amirite) of seeing him two episodes in a row. Sometimes it's explained: oh he's off in Gstaad with a boyfriend. Classic Eric.


Often, though, he's not even acknowledged, because the episode just has to fit in a subplot about Rufus making waffles (But Jenny rejects the waffles, and Dan is being too smug and self-congratulatory to eat the waffles. Poor Rufus, I weep for him so.). For a show tag-lined "Every Parent's Worst Nightmare," "Gossip Girl" sure spends a staggering amount of time on the parents, from Chuck's endless mama drama (is this mysterious woman Chuck's mother? Is that one? How about her?) to Nate's boring dad's boring embezzlement scandal to Rufus and Lily's Baby Boomer romance. If Eric got even half the screen time the parents did, it would have been an infinitely better show.


Eric says what the viewer is thinking. In his rare onscreen moments, his searing one-liners give me a flash of hope that maybe the people behind "Gossip Girl" had just an ounce of self-awareness and humor.

And can we just acknowledge what a compelling main character he would have been: he’s a van der Woodsen, for heaven’s sake. He’s a blue-blooded schemer with at least as many problems as his sister Serena. And come on, the tortured gay teen trope was like catnip to mid-2000s TV. So where was Eric’s story arch, executive producer Josh Schwartz? Where was it? Instead of being the center of the action, Eric was relegated to being Jenny Humphrey’s GBF.


Break free of her her devil grip, my sweet prince.

Maybe I’ll break into the presidential race and my platform will be that America needs an Eric-centric "Gossip Girl" spinoff. Or maybe I’ll just re-watch all his scenes—it won’t take me very long.


So pensive. Such rumination. What's going on in that beautiful mind?


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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