I started watching "Gossip Girl" in my freshman year of college, shortly after it stopped airing on tv and became available on streaming services. I loved everything about it, the drama, the made for cable love scenes, the parties. It all felt so...glamours. A friend of mine started watching it for the first time which made me revisit the show. It did not age well.
Here are a few things "Gossip Girl" got away with that wouldn't fly now in real life.
Minor Spoiler Alert but this show came out over 11 years ago so, yeah.
The amount of underage drinking and drug use is absolutely absurd.
Look, I was a teenager in high school once. But the most underage drinking most kids my age did involve raiding their parent's liquor cabinet and pouring a shot out of every bottle to feel a buzz. You were considered LUCKY if you had a cool older sibling or cousin who would buy you a case of beer from 7/11.
Yes, I know these kids are extremely rich but STILL, you're telling me every bar these kids went to the bouncers and bartenders didn't care at all about getting their liquor licenses revoked? Not one?
And don't get me started on the drugs! I don't believe even the wealthiest teenagers would
a) be able to score literally any drug they wanted and
b) not have their parents get a little suspicious.
The closest we see to how a parent will actually act is when Nate's mom finds cocaine and assumes it's Nate's but it's his dad's. Also, if you are doing cocaine in high school PLEASE get some help.
They attend a LOT of parties.
One of the main plots of the first season is everyone's obsession with getting into an Ivy League school. That's wonderful and all but these kids are throwing and attending EXTRAVAGANT parties, balls, and events on a weekly basis. How do you have time to study? How are their parents not even a little concerned their kid is going to a party on like a Tuesday with probably an ABC store worth of booze and mountains of drugs?
Even the parties the parents attend, they seem really relaxed about their kids throwing down glasses and bustin' a move when they should be doing better things like actually going to school? Just a thought.
Chuck would probably have a criminal record if he acted the same way in 2018.
Chuck is supposed to be the "bad boy" of the group but how he acts isn't just bad, it's down-right illegal. He sexually assaults two different girls in one episode yet he gets off without even a warning. Yes, I understand in 2018 today rich affluent white boys get away with even worse things than sexual assault but nothing is stopping any of those girls from pressing charges civilly.
He would at least have it on his record about how he acted which would definitely hinder him from getting into that Ivy.
I'm not going to even mention the mounds of drugs he does as well as the multiple prostitutes he has sex with when it comes to his illegal activity. Also, who in high school wants to have sex with a prostitute? That seems really unrealistic.
Dan is ridiculed for not living in Manhattan.
Dan is teased by his classmates and seen as "less than" because he lives in Brooklyn with his family in a spacious loft who also own a successful gallery. According to Business Insider there are multiple areas in Brooklyn that are on the most expensive places to live in NYC list. Having any property that's not the size of a postage stamp in New York City is a feat in itself yet his classmates tease him?
Even though he's on a partial scholarship, Dan's dad makes enough to send him to one of the best private schools in the country. This Manhattan elitism truly just doesn't exist the same way anymore. More and more influential people are moving to other boroughs (including Beyonce) and Brooklyn was named the fasted growing borough of them all. Everyone needs to chill.
Everyone is so shocked that Serena got with Dan.
You're telling me that a guy who is the son of a retired rock star who owns his own gallery in a hip part of Brooklyn who is the second best student in their grade has ZERO chance of scoring the pretty girl? Really? Serena's friends and family torment her and Dan constantly about their relationship and make Dan seem like he actually has leprosy.
If there is a question between Dan, a smart guy who is handsome but doesn't have millions of dollars (but is doing fine) versus Chuck, who has a ton of money but spends 85 percent of his time doing drugs, drinking, and assaulting women, who would you pick? Really?
Serena and Blair are the worst friends ever.
If I had friends like either of them, I would actually consider my abilities to judge people. Individually they both have some redeeming qualities but they are possibly the worst friends ever. I actually think the term frenemies was invented because of this show. Serena sleeps with Blair's boyfriend...who does that? Blair gets back at her by telling a room of college reps that Serena has a drug and alcohol addiction...WHO DOES THAT?
I don't actually know what would compel you to want such a bad friend like either of them but that's their choice.
Mental health is taken as a joke.
(TW: graphic talk of suicide and eating disorders)
Eric, Serena's little brother, is institutionalized for a portion of the first season because he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself. Not talking about, but actually sliced his wrists open. Eric wanted to die, but his character is treated as barely a background character. To make matters worse, Lilly chooses to leave Eric in the institution and barely visit him. She doesn't have a job, so why isn't she there constantly?
Blair struggles with Bulimia which is triggered by stress and her family life. Eleanor chooses to exploit Blair's problem by constantly reminding her that she's not perfect. It's brought up a few times, but they never talked about it again.
Both Eleanor and Lilly's hush hush demeanor on a very serious problem is exactly what is wrong with the topics of mental health and suicide in shows even today. We need to have an open line of communication about mental health and try normalizing it with media, not act like it's a dirty little secret.
Not one person gets Starbucks.
"Gossip Girl" aired from 2007-2012. The first episode aired when I was in 7th grade. When I was in 7th grade you were looked at as SOOO COOL if your parents took you to Starbucks before class started. I understand you have to pay for product placement but I feel like they should have some sort of Starbucks-like coffee shop for Blair to make Jenny run and get cups of coffee or smoothies for her crew?
All of the coffee is from bodega or delis and I don't believe glamorous Blair would ever be seen at either of them.
Virginity is such a major theme, but not for the right reasons.
Blair and Nate are dating but break up because Blair finds out Serena had sex with Nate over a year ago. While broken up, Blair has sex with Chuck in the back of a limo. Serena finds out about it and judges Blair for her choice. That's right, Serena who hooked up with Nate judged Blair for having sex with Chuck even though she had sex with her boyfriend.
Blair is judged for being a virgin, then is judged for having sex. The same goes for Dan, he finds out about Serena and Nate and suddenly feels inferior because he hasn't had sex.
In this day and age, people truly have started believing that virginity is more of a social construct. What really counts as "losing your virginity" anyway?
If Serena was a real friend, she wouldn't judge Blair for having sex (even if it is with problematic Chuck) and she would be more understanding with Dan because she does have more experience.
Even Serena is slut-shamed by both Dan and Blair because she's had sex multiple times. Chuck is seen as a player because he has sex with anything that moves and never gets judged. In real life, friends don't judge each other for their personal choices. As long as they don't hurt anyone, we shouldn't judge.
The whole concept of Gossip Girl is really creepy.
The whole idea of the Gossip Girl website is really creepy and invasive. Some random stranger who MAY or may not go to the same school as everyone posts anonymous gossip about underage children. A lot of the posts aren't just gossip but actually, show (in grainy 2007 flip phone photos) actual photographic evidence of CHILDREN doing illegal things.
Sure parents, bars, nightclubs, and even Ivy League reps might not care about illegal activities but the police do. The police will definitely be interested in you if you've been seen doing something highly illegal.
Plus, these parents of the kids are almost all millionaires. They seem to know Gossip Girl exist, yet do nothing about it. I truly doubt (spoiler) Dan knew how to make his IP anonymous or set up a server that couldn't be linked right back to his apartment. You wouldn't even need a police officer, if you have someone who has more than basic computer skills you can probably trace an IP.
Plus the gossip is super rude and mean! The headmasters of the school would definitely have that stuff SHUT DOWN as soon as they saw how bad it was.
"Gossip Girl" is like eating a giant bag of cotton candy, definitely not filling but very enjoyable. If you can look past some of the cringy writing and terrible characters, it's a fun thing to watch. Realistic? Not at all. But enjoyable? Very.