Although Gossip Girl ended almost 7 years ago, it’s still one of my favorite guilty pleasure series’ of all time. The show gave us all the drama, cliffhangers, romance and intrigue one would need to be entertained. It was a great escape into the world of fashion, money, the upscale life and a city that never sleeps.
There was a wide array of characters that one could relate to or aspire to be. Since this is another piece of my woman series let’s focus on the ladies in the show. There was a plethora of women on the show, but I want to keep the focus on the two main female characters, who taught us about a lot more than just the newest Chanel collection or Laboutin heels.
Serena van der Woodsen
We meet the main character of the show when she comes back to the Upper East Side from boarding school. The show is Serena’s story told through posts from the mysterious “Gossip Girl,” whose identity we finally learn in the series finale.
Serena is the It girl of Manhattan. The most popular girl in school. With her blonde hair and blue eyes she’s the stereotypical mean girl, although she is rich and sometimes bitchy she isn’t really mean. She hardly ever does something malicious. If her actions hurt someone it’s because she didn’t know all the facts or couldn’t foresee the consequences of her actions. That being said, she can bite back and be sassy and sarcastic. She will also do anything for the people she cares for. Her family and friends are always her priority even if they fight or hurt each other.
She comes from a rich family but doesn’t really look down on those who have less. As evidenced by her long relationship with Dan Humphrey. If you follow Serena’s relationships you can easily see there were quite a few. Her longest was with Dan Humphrey. They had their ups and downs but in the end, the two got their happy ending, with a quite understated wedding in the series finale. I have to admit Serena’s gold wedding dress was breathtaking. It was especially shocking considering that Dan was Gossip Girl.
This relationship also had a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet vibe for me personally, since Dan was from a rather poor, at least by the shows standards, family while Serena was a wealthy socialite. Yet, in spite of that, love won in the end.
Although Serena married, Dan he wasn’t the only one she dated. There was her relationship with Nate Archibald, long time friend and confidant. Their romance reminded me a little bit of high school sweethearts and overall seemed very platonic. I enjoyed the relationship and really rooted for the couple, sadly the producers decided to take a different route and Nate and Serena went back to being friends. She also briefly dated an older guy before she finally ended up with Dan again.
Even though her life seemed like a fairytale she had her fair share of hardships. Serena battled with drug addiction, backstabbing friends, and family drama—all of it in the spotlight of Gossip Girl’s blog.
Through all of that she could count on her best friend/sister/enemy Blair Waldorf. Although I enjoyed all of Serena’s romantic relationships, her relationship with Blair was the most interesting to explore. They seem like complete opposites but share a lot of values. Even though they spent quite some time as frenemies rather than friends, when it really counts they are there for each other.
If I were to describe Serena in a sentence I would say: she’s the romantic girl that wears her heart on her sleeve and has her head in the clouds more often than not but is capable of fighting for what she believes in.
Ah Blair: the heiress to the Waldorf fashion empire, the Queen bee on the show. Portrayed as the mean girl who will do anything to win. These characteristics, although true, are only a facade seen by most people. If you get to know her better, you’ll know that there’s more to Blair than what meets the eye. Her sarcastic comments and constant plotting made her journey and development a lot more interesting and fun to watch.
Blair is by far one of my favorite characters on the show, definitely my favorite female character. Although I like Serena, I personally think that Blair has more depth to her and her story arcs were a lot more engaging for the audience than Serena’s. For example, Blair often struggles with living in Serena’s shadow, or at least she thinks she is, which is in my opinion one of the reasons for her confidence issues at least in regard to Serena.
Blair had a long relationship with Nate Archibald (which made me think that everyone was in a relationship with everyone on that show, but maybe it’s just a genre thing) that fell apart quite quickly. But like Serena she had quite a few love interests on the show. A brief hook up with Dan and even a marriage with a prince.
The most memorable and the one that weaves through the entire series is her romance with Chuck Bass, admittedly one of my favorite romances on tv. What makes it special to me is how they are the ones who love each other unconditionally and would do anything for the other person, but they are also the ones who hurt each other the most. It’s admirable how well they know and understand each others’ needs and feelings. Their love story is by far my favorite arc of the series. Ended in a perfect (at least for that crazy couple) wedding.
Throughout the show, Blair struggles not only with her self image and her new place in society after high school, but also with much bigger things like loosing her baby, the consequences of her marriage to Louis, and her sometimes toxic relationship with Chuck. Throughout all the hardships, she prevailed, although it sometimes required some serious shopping to lift her spirits. She also always had Serena by her side when it counted the most and her ever loyal maid Dorota.
Something that Blair shares with Serena is her fierce readiness to protect the ones she cares about and to do that she’ll do anything.
While Serena is the one with her head up in the clouds, Blair is more of a realist who knows that sometime you have to get dirty to get what you want and that you’ll likely get hurt. That doesn’t mean that she’s not a romantic, she simply hides it better. Blair’s hard exterior hides a soft and gentle heart that only a selected few get to see.
Although so different, Serena and Blair show us that there is a place for everyone in society and that female friendship despite its hardships can be a beautiful thing that’ll prevail through everything. Because a socialite or not, Blair and Serena were just two teenage girl who grew into strong, successful women with loving families. Maybe their lives were a little crazier than normal, and with a little more glitz to them, but that’s just the Upper East Side.