Sex, Drugs, and Gossip Girl.

I’m a passionate-obsessed fan of Gossip Girl. Clearly, it’s my number one show. I love everything about the show. Their music soundtrack is astonishingly indie-rock with careful precision that expresses the 6 main characters. Actress Kristen Bell provides the voice of Gossip Girl and brings a sense of omnipresence and nastiness at the same time. The men and women shine with their urban and chic style, especially the properly dressed Blair Waldorf and the natural, “Kate Moss-esque” Serena van der Woodson. And for fun, the complexities of the 6 main characters maintain the drama of the show, especially Chuck Bass’ devilish mannerisms and Blair’s manipulations. I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong, but I feel it is appropriately mature watching, even though the characters are supposedly in high school.

So my fellow journalist, Sahar Shahidi, asked for my opinion in the Oct. 16 issue of the Xpress, San Francisco State University’s newspaper. Provided below is the article with a quote from me. Enjoy:

Sahar Shahidi
Xpress Staff Writer

It is 8 p.m. on Monday and the one thing you cannot wait to do is get your weekly indulgence of “Gossip Girl.” You want to find out what is going to happen between Blair and Serena or what crazy scheme Chuck has up his sleeve. But wait a minute—these kids are supposed to be in high school. Why are they having cocktails at chic lounges in New York City?

This television show originally targeted females ages 18-34, but it has been the top-rated show among teenage girls ages 12-17 ,as noted in Media Life. I don’t know about you, but I was definitely influenced by what I saw portrayed in the media at that age. The show never goes into how the young teens can get away with this act, but makes it clear that it is just a part of their everyday lives.

The show has some rich content; like a high school student being paid to have sex with an older woman, young students in runway shows for a New York magazine, and so on. These types of things are clearly embellished for entertainment purposes to an older audience, but how does this affect the younger viewer?

Amy Conley, Ph. D, of the Child and Adolescent Development department at SF State, said that this generation has had a lot of media exposure, ever since they were born. The younger audience is likely to be more influenced by the show if their peers are watching it too, and they are talking about it all the time.

But Conley also believes we should give the adolescent more credit.

“They realize these shows are not reality. They think, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t have any friends who dress or talk like that, or are getting paid for sex, and I don’t live in New York.’ But the problem is, they may think: ‘Is this something I am supposed to be striving to be?’”

In the advertisements for the show, Serena is wrapping her lips around a chocolate-covered strawberry and staring into the camera with sexy eyes while Dan is looking like he can’t resist her. Then Serena grabs him and they run to the back of the bus. While the ad is playing, negative quotes from other forms of media, such as the San Diego Union Tribune saying “very bad for you,” and the Parents Television Council says “Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate,” are somehow spun to appeal to the viewer.

Students at SF State have similar views on the shows influence to younger viewers.

“I would never let my kids watch the show. I don’t agree with what they are doing [at their age], things like the sex, drugs, and alcohol, but the show is very entertaining,” said 25-year-old Jasmine Pacis.

“[The show] is demoralizing children by promoting sexual promiscuity, drugs, and bitchiness or malice,” 23-year-old Chris Huqueriza said.

Here’s the original link: Xpress on Gossip Girl

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