We can still hear the swanky intro music and Gossip Girl’s breathy voice sneering “You know you love me” we just watched the once wildly popular teen drama on Netflix last night (cough, cough—OK, we did). But believe it or not, it’s been an entire decade since the world was first captivated by Serena van der Woodsen’s (Blake Lively) far-too-chic-for-a-teenager wardrobe and Blair Waldorf’s (Leighton Meester) never-ending battle to keep her “queen bee” status.
Television changed the day Serena stepped off the train at Grand Central Station and made her re-entrance into Upper East Side high society. This was not only because teenaged characters weren’t typically filthy rich and ridiculously good-looking, but because the show pushed boundaries that no one dared prod before. There was something lacking in the TV space and GG creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage brilliantly capitalized on that.
And voilà! Insert Gossip Girl and its high-society galas, Chanel couture and underage drinking, and everyone was hooked. Every hot-button issue—parents with a penchant for divorce, suicide and promiscuity—was accounted for, and it was racy enough for everyone from middle-school girls to soap-opera-loving grannies to raise an intrigued eyebrow. So much so that the Parents Television Council filed a formal complaint about the season two premiere poster, which showed Serena getting hot and heavy with a nice young gentleman.
And then there was the fashion: the headbands, frothy gowns and loose golden waves that swayed a generation of women to want to dress like Serena and Blair (via Filene’s Basement, natch). When the show started, before Blair and Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Serena and Dan (Penn Badgley) married, designers turned up their noses at dressing a CW cast. By the end of season one, every fashion house was clamoring for their wares to be paraded around the fictional UES.
Today, we raise a Nair-spiked martini to Gossip Girl for reminding us to “Have a little faith, and if that doesn’t work, have a lot of mimosas.”
Now, off to eat fro-yo on the Met steps.