This past Monday, I was bored and had a sore throat so did not have a lot of energy. I was flipping through the tube and stumbled upon The CW’s Gossip Girl at 8pm. As I follow some of these teen dramas from time to time because of my work, I watched this and was nothing short of appalled. Why do we watch this and why do we want more and more?
The show begins with the first day of school. One character named Jenny is scared to go because of a fallout she had with some girls the year before and declares that last year she was a “project“ but this year is a “victim“. Soon, we see a group of girls sitting on the front steps. The obvious Queen Bee named Blair is sitting with a group of minions leafing through some folders of different new girls in the school. We also see these new girls being “interviewed” by this group and these newbies are classified as either “projects” or “victims” based on the decision of this girl Blair. Later in the episode, we see the same group along with one named Serena barreling down the hall. One new girl, Amanda, has attached herself to Serena’s somewhat ex boyfriend Dan which upsets this little beehive. They invite Amanda to lunch only to warn her to stay away from Dan. Serena seems to be a nice kid who warns Blair not to be so horrible about the situation. Well later, Serena, Dan and this new girl are on a “date” which is very awkward. Serena and Dan of course have a huge blow up. Blair is nowhere to be found but her minions are there. A guy named Chuck who would make a great candidate for the Anti-Christ shows up to the minions with some gel to put in Amanda’s hair and burn it off. So, these minions do so and Serena lets them know not to let anything happen again without going through her first. After this, we see Chuck paying Amanda for a job well done. A job well done? It seems that Chuck set this whole scenario up to shake up Blair’s standing as a Queen Bee and have Serena de-throne her. He does so because he loves Blair and wants her upset so she will run back to him. Then we see these girls together the next day at school where Serena is the obvious Queen Bee and Blair has been de-throned as Chuck wished. In the meantime, these same minions are making Jenny’s life hard by throwing her belongings on the ground and letting her know that the fun is just beginning. Jenny is now skipping school and showing up at a design shop where she interns.
First off, when is burning someone’s hair off a form of entertainment? I am really trying to wrap my head around this one. Second, interviewing people as possible projects or victims? This is school, not a battlefield! Wait, school is a battlefield and this show makes no bones about it. Also, this Chuck is nothing short of a psychopath and will probably be in prison for some white collar crime or become a politician when he becomes an adult. What is entertaining about a smart girl skipping school? A girl who could have a bright future but is being ripped apart by a group of vipers? Most importantly, why does there need to be a Queen Bee? This show is nothing more than a group of kids seeing life as a game of chess. Why must life be a game?
I find this show to be disturbing on so many levels. It glorifies bullying and peer abuse. Kids not even in college are already scheming, plotting and manipulating. Several of them have no conscience. One exhibits sadistic behavior for the love of a girl. This is how they express love for one another? It also proves my theories and what I have said all along. Bullies are pathological, narcissistic and even sadistic. They are mean, selfish, void of compassion and see life as a game. Is there a bright light at the end of this vicious tunnel? Lets face it, we are becoming a culture of psychopaths. There is no other way to say it.
Resources Cited: http://www.cwtv.com/cw-video/gossip-girl
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info/ .