Watching this week’s installment of Gossip Girl (which was so bland that it didn’t warrant a recap), I was struck by how the Blair Dan love drama is reminiscent of another wildly popular and controversial teen soap.
I’m talking, of course, of Dawson’s Creek. Now on the face it, the exploits of the Capeside crew have little in common with those of the glamorous Upper East Siders we so dearly love to Gossip about.
The former were unfashionable, the high school pecking order’s outsiders. They were poor – not in the “I live in Brooklyn” mould of Dan and Jenni, but poor enough to have to waitress and put themselves through college.
They talked in long, luxurious sentences with the vocabulary of the Bard, and their dramas were invariably internal rather than the results of some convoluted plot or scheme.
And yet. When Dawson’s Creek began, the clear premise was that this was a love story about the boy and girl next door. The clue was in the title, this was about Dawson and Joey, about the obstacles they would face – but ultimately surmount – in their quest for happily ever after.
Yet from early on it was clear that the verbal sparring between Pacey – the intended “supporting actor” character – and Joey, was no match for her rapport with Dawson.
When they sailed off into the sunset a few series later, theirs was the romance we were rooting for.
I’m not sure if we’re yet at the cheerleading stage of Blair and Dan, but looking at it now, Dan’s relationship with Serena seems like the prologue.
Blair has always been the more engaging of the two girls, particularly in her days of scheming on the Met steps against the presumptuous Little J – but Serena’s character has barely developed from the flighty, whiny blonde we met at Grand Central. Her romances are fleeting and repetitive, whereas Blair’s are all great loves, marked by tragedy and anguish.
Perhaps that was what the Gossip Girl team was gunning for all along; the other happily ever after, the one you wouldn’t have predicted in the first place. I doubt it, just as I doubt that Pacey and Joey were anything other than a product of the writers seeing good screen chemistry that fans responded to.
But, as Gossip Girl moves to the twilight days of its fifth series (the point when Dawson’s Creek, too, was obviously doomed) it’s interesting to note just how pointless the majority of the supporting cast have become and how vapid the other plot threads are.