Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gossip Girl

This article alludes to the power that Gossip Girl (GG) gives back to a gendered audience of females that watch the show. I hope that I am not making a huge generalization, but I would guess that a majority of the viewers of this show are female. Which then leads me to believe that the power in this show lies in females and it was the female that always ruled this world in the first place. As the fashion, consumer, and gossip obsessed teen, the viewer is simply watching a gendered concept of the teen female already and plays into this structured norm when going online. This show was the, "...first to have been conceived, in part, a fashion marketing vehicle" (p.48). The CW and its partners then extended this concept to the world of Second Life in more attempts as a Second Purchase. They want these girls and/or women to consume more fashion and re-affirm what they see on television by participating in the virtual community where they can buy, gain access to the Upper East Side elite, and talk about other virtual groups to gain status.

This article reminds me how the magazines in the '50s, '60's and on advertised movie characters clothing in their magazines. This way people could see what the characters that they just saw on screen were wearing and how they could look just like them. At this point in time the female audience was being constructed because they were the ones with the disposable income and were being focused on as a specific movie fan that prescribed to these notions of caring about fashion and their appearance. However, now we have better technology and all it takes is a few clicks in GGSL and your trendy new outfit will be on the way. I think that it is great that the CW, fashion, and entertainment companies have come up with this great idea that meshes the two worlds, television and gaming, in order to bring in more points of access with characters and clothing in order to broaden the viewers participation in the Upper East Side.


  1. I do think that Gossip Girl does appeal to women... to the female gender? Because gender is a social construct? Because girls are taught to play with dolls and boys are taught to play with trucks, the same way girls watch GG and boys watch ESPN?--But that's another case entirely. I want to put this whole gender conversation aside for a different one. Doing this will cause me to generalize and say, yes, it does appeal to women/girls. But let's take that a little further and ask what types of females? I remember being a GG fan because, let's face it, it's addicting. But then I pulled myself outside the narrative and felt so removed from the GG world. Yes, we can't watch all shows and expect to relate to the worlds--for example, I watch Supernatural but I can't relate to demon-fighting at all. Yet I can enjoy it. Maybe it's because GG has become to over the top, too far removed from my reality? Maybe the characters are too pretentious and there's too much money floating around in their lives? No, not maybe... that's exactly why I can't watch it. So now, again, let's ask what "women" this show is addressing.

  2. I think you make a good point bringing up the fan mags and how they also used celebs for consumer purposes. I think the main difference though, as Raj suggests through her insistence that she can't watch the show, is that the show adds a pretentious cattiness to the culture that was not existent in the fan mags. This is not groundbreaking to say, but the show is grounded in gossip, which both alienates and intrigues its viewer. Therefore, the show's premise is ideal narratively. Its gossip creates disdain/ separation between characters, which aids story construction by creating conflict that needs to be resolved or further complicated. I think it is this give and take, this loving and loathing of the show's premise that makes it hard to begin watching the show, if you are a casual fan, but hard to stop once you begin.