Gossip Girl - The Complete Series DVD Review
is a television series created and developed by Josh Schwartz and
Savage (who worked together on The O.C.).
Originally based upon a series of young adult novels from American
Cecily von Ziegesar, the show focuses in on the lives of young adults
who live highly
dramatic and privileged lives within the Upper East Side of Manhattan
in New York City.
premiered on The CW network on September 19th, 2007 to the
3.5 million viewers and it had a six season run that lasted until the
17, 2012 series finale. The series is undeniably one of the biggest
successes of the past decade, despite mixed responses and inconsistent
Gossip Girl became a massive
pop-culture success and it doesn't appear to be fading away anywhere
now that a
beautifully packaged complete series release has been made available.
by Kristin Bell (who voices
the mysterious 'Gossip Girl') the basic backdrop of the series is that
online blogger going by codename Gossip
Girl posts gossipy news about the events going on in the lives of
Manhattan youth: the scoops and dishes on breakups, relationships, and
blog posts add up to more
insightful scoops on the characters that populate the show and the
high-fashion environments they inhabit. Of course, who actually is the
blogger who goes by Gossip Girl? People wonder who the character
actually is -
and if it is someone amidst the main cast members. This is both true of
characters on the show and of the fans themselves. Viewers wondering
bit of information will have to be patient, though. Actually, it takes
significant amount of time to find this reveal. You'll be waiting until
series finale if you haven't seen the series before.
this series has
become a cultural landmark as a series considered to be one of the best
pleasures" of teenage and young adult broadcast television programming
a series that actually managed to have a huge impact on the culture of
and style amongst teenagers. Flip to any fashion magazine and there's a
chance of finding one of the cast members of Gossip Girl,
and something about the styles of the stars and the
characters they portray. The series inspired fashion lines, products,
led to a fashion line launched around the same time that season 5
all quite fascinating.
particularly interesting aspect
of a mass culture shift apparent on the show is how the series was one
first series to ever show a widespread use of cellphones. Now almost
uses them to communicate. Elements of culture inherent in this series
add a different, interesting, and surprising element of cultural
its place in television history.
series is filmed in New York and
the use of various locations adds an extra element that is authentic
exciting. The frequent showcasing of actual New York restaurants also
show some good by harkening back to Sex
and the City in the use of a city backdrop that can effectively
quality aspect of filmmaking to the proceedings.
is about the fashion, the breakups, the hookups, the adventures (or
misadventures), the journey, the politics of popularity, the quest for
and all of that other odd fun stuff.
This is basically a high-end, well produced, and unusual teen soap (at
comparison to other primetime soaps out there). It covers all of those
with great panache. The most important thing is it does so while caring
focusing in on and emphasizing the many characters that exist within
the Gossip Girl world. This
ultimately a show about characters. Elaborate
plotlines and twists and turns? That's all groovy gravy (or icing on
main cast of characters includes
Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton
Humphrey (Pen Badgley), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), and Chuck Bass
Westwick). Many other supporting
characters appeared on Gossip Girl as
things progressed over six seasons of storylines and plot developments
these elements opened up the show to a broader scope of actors.
was these five characters, portrayed by five talented leads, which was
focus of the entire series of storylines. The essence of Gossip
Girl revolved around the journey taken by Serena, Blair,
Dan, Nate, and Chuck.
is the most popular girl of
the whole group with a party hard history and a past she wants to
away from. Of course, she eventually finds herself being pulled back
into the big
drama by all of her surrounding friends and annoying frenemies. She's a
and kind spirit of a person at her core. While she is also one of the
main characters on this show, it's clear she is at the center of much
fashion, drama, and situations that are main points of this series.
is a kind spirited young man who
becomes a romantic interest for Serena. Dan happens to be "outside" of
initially as someone who isn't rich or popular. He is faced with
way up the food chain (so to speak) in school and in the social
circles, with the
help of his father, the charming ex one-time rock star wonder Rufus
(Matthew Settle). Dan also has a younger sister named Jenny (Taylor
soon is interested in the popular teen scene and whom Dan decides to
for and to protect from being hurt in a quest for popularity.
is Serena's best friend (can
you say BFF?) but there's a drama
between the two characters. Serena once had a moment with her then
Nate, and it caused all sorts of problems the two needed to work out.
seem a bit selfish and self-centered at times, and she is quick with
names and cheap shots sometimes but you also see she can have many
which she is a kind character and it becomes a bit easier to see how
Blair had had a fair share of moments as close friends (despite also
moments where the opposite could actually be said).
boyfriend Nate, whom had been at
the center of a lot of the huge drama between Blair and Serena, is the
quote-on-quote "nice guy" with the charm and grace to be at the top of
chart for anyone looking for a successful person in Upper East Side
he's also someone with a more complicated side. Indeed, though... Nate is
fought over by various female characters. Nate just so happens to be
friends with Chuck, who is quite despised amongst many women. Chuck's
with making out with as many women as possible and he doesn't care
fact that he's a womanizer, but Chuck is someone who also has a
troubling past and
is likewise more complicated than he appears.
writing on Gossip Girl is much better than one might
expect given the type of
series it is. I'd suggest that a lot of this success is due to the
contributions of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Schwartz in
one of my favorite television writers. I'm a big fan of the work he did
Chris Fedak on Chuck. Likewise, The O.C.
is another rare teen series
that has more to offer than one may expect, so this was definitely a
placed in good creative hands.
the effort on Gossip Girl, Fedak, Savage, and company
had a chance to create fascinating characters and storylines that are
not high-art but that work far better than one would expect from
described as a teen soap with all of the big drama one might also
along with it. As the characters develop, the series becomes more
has involving storylines, fascinating characters, and a lot more to it
glitz and glamour. With the aid of some fine television directors, it
even more. You can sense that a lot of effort went into this series
behind the scenes. The writing is good, the direction is impressive,
cinematography is definitely aces. The series offers a lot more than
couple of worthy factors. This is one of those series that is so
produced that it can feel and look like a big budget film even within
of the kind of broadcast television one is sure to find on The CW.
of my favorite aspects of the
show is that is has a lot of eclectic and impressive music used
show. The run contains so many good songs from worthwhile artists. It
fits the established expectation because Schwartz's series The
O.C. contained a countless
array of great songs throughout its run. Gossip
Girl often has great music from the likes of Bat for
Lashes, Air, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Feist, Beck, MGMT, Robyn, and countless other musicians. I absolutely love
that so many great musicians have been featured on Gossip
might seem doubtful that anyone
ever called the show brilliant. It's doubtful as no one would probably
of their way to call it an example of brilliant television - because it
Yet this is a well-made television series that taps into its own world
audience so well that it's worth stating that this is something the
that actually displays a sense of brilliance.
is fun and well-made
television. Sure, it's a soap for teens, but it's actually one that is
checking out. Gossip Girl is
a pop-infused, cotton candy flavored confection that
can and does keep audiences entertained and intrigued for hours on end.
is highly entertaining despite a degree of silliness and over-the-top
that constantly permeates the show. I have a feeling Gossip
Girl will walk away with its own television legacy because
of the characters, the journey, the glamour, and everything else
to the series success. This beautifully
packaged complete collection should undoubtedly help in establishing
DVD in the original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it
received an anamorphic widescreen presentation that is enhanced for
displays. The series looks fabulous with its DVD presentation. The
uniformly strong and that's only part of it:
the series has consistently good contrast, overall depth, and a
presentation seems to add an extra element of quality that is befitting
series. This is a beatifully looking show that is well-represented with
a quality DVD presentation across each season.
series is presented with a pleasant
5.1 surround sound presentation that adds a nice layer of high class
elements to this series. The show's main focus in the sound field
dialogue, which is clean, clear, and easy to understand. Yet the series
(including the show's score by Transcenders)
is excellently reproduced with good bass and emphasis in the surrounds.
series places a lot of emphasis on music and it adds a fashionably cool
relevant to the pop-culture landscape that surrounded the series.
are provided in English SDH (for the deaf
and hard of hearing), Spanish, and French.
season of Gossip Girl contains
numerous Unaired Scenes and a season
specific Gag Reel. These features can
be found on each of the season sets. Additionally, all of the season
booklets that can work as an episode guide (each booklet contains a
episode titles, a brief plot synopsis of the episode, and the
credits). There are also numerous images used in these booklets and
there is a
main cast breakdown for each season.
seasons included downloadable audiobooks. Seasons 1 and 2 each contain
a Gossip Girl novel (as read by Christina
Ricci). Season 6 includes the prequel novel It
Had to Be You. The instructions for downloading and accessing these
audiobooks are included with these seasons.
season of Gossip Girl also includes select
supplements that are specific to the season. As these supplements are a
more in-depth these supplements have been described with greater detail
Beginning, XOXO: Concept to
is a making of behind the scenes special featuring interviews with the
the scenes creative team about starting the series, finding the cast,
stories from the actors about some of their experiences while filming Gossip Girl.
Girl Couture (14
min.) takes viewer into the
process of the costume designer in making the costumes for the series.
piece features interviews with the costume designer and some members of
cast and crew.
Gossip Girl Wedding (5
min.) is a backstage look at
the layout and setup of the Gossip Girl wedding from Season 1.
Videos have been provided for The Pierces
songs "Secret" (3:28) and "Boring" (2:10).
Behind the Fashion (17
min.) explores the
individuals who worked on the shows art and fashion elements through
with cast, producers, and fashion artists.
Girl: Chasing Dorota is a
series of six webisodes,
each in segments about three minutes in length.
Fashion Music Video (3
min.) is a video made specifically
for episode 9 of the season, There Will
Ave. Meets Gossip
interactive map style tour of the various locations where the series
Each piece shows clips of the location as featured on the show and
conducted with cast and crew members. Each piece lasts somewhere
between 1 and
Hudson Hotel Rooftop, The Waldorf
Apartment, 1 Oak, Housing Works Bookstore/Café, The Box,
Capitale, The Palace
Hotel, and STK.
and Queens: The
Foundry and Grand Prospect
Hamptons, Old Westbury
Girl Mode: Interactive
Viewing Experience for
Episode 16 The
Empire Strikes Jack: this is less of an "interactive" viewing
and more of a supplemental featurette integrated in-between scenes,
about twenty minutes of interviews about the episode and the cast
addition to the occasional pop-up video style trivia that shows up on a
cell-phone themed picture on the corner of the screen).
Gossip Girl Fabulous Affair (14
min.) is a featurette focused on set pieces such as
parties or events which are featured as some of the "big" moments of
Josh Schwartz sums this aspect of the show up best by saying they take
realities and then "crank it up a notch". This featurette focuses on
director Malchus Janocko and other individuals working on bringing
elements to reality for the series.
Videos are included for "Bitch"
by Plastiscines and "Bad Romance" by Lady
(10 min.) is a featurette about the show's filming in Paris. You can
the behind the scenes crew with information about the location-filming,
information about the fashion used in the episodes, and hear
the producers about why the characters needed a story arc in Paris and
motivations were for these characters.
Gossip Girl: The Making of Episode 418 (18
min.) is a making of featurette for Season 4's 18th
episode, The Kids Stay in the Picture.
This feature takes viewers into the writer's room to see story ideas
pitches, to filming actual scenes, to working on locations, to makeup
costume work, to production meetings, to ADR sessions, and more. This
in-depth making of feature with an array of interviews featuring
writers, and artistic staff.
Girl Turns 100! (16
min.) is a special featurette
celebrating the show's achievement in reaching 100 episodes. It
interviews with cast, crew, producers, and other individuals who have
the show about its success going on for five seasons and with reaching
Years of Iconic Style (16
min.) is a featurette about
the various fashion styles used on Gossip
Girl over the course of its five seasons. It includes interviews
producers and the costume designer, who describes the series as having
bagillion clothes changes". Close enough, I imagine.
Farewell to Our Upper East
is a nostalgic look back at the series from producers, cast, and
worked on Gossip Girl. It has a
bigger emphasis on the cast, and is especially a farewell moment for
to reflect on their roles on the show.
Girl Series Retrospective (32
min.) is a longer, more
in-depth fond farewell piece that explores the success of the series
and the ways
in which the show surpassed expectations for audiences and for those
series. Unlike the "Farewell to Our Upper East Siders" it explores more
of the show's production. Like it, it is also a fond goodbye to one of
greatest successes in teen dramas on televisions.
Girl: The Complete Series is
the perfect collection for fans
of this high quality teen soap, with all the trimmings one would expect
high quality set. The collection contains a quality art-box to house
individual seasons. The collector's box is beautiful and adds something
to the value of this complete series release. Longtime fans who have
been faithfully collecting the season
sets as they have been released separately don't lose out on anything
in the extras section (purchasing the complete set over the individual
only adds the collector's art-box, so if you've been collecting the
seasons all along you should be OK if you just want to pick up the
final season outing).
collection is ideal for series fans who were patiently awaiting a
It would also make an undeniably fabulous gift for Gossip Girl
fans - especially if they don't own the series yet. This release will
be an exuberant delight for fans, who will appreciate having a complete
series set so that they can revisit the entire show for
many years to come.
those Gossip Girl fans out there: You know you
love it. XOXO.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.