TV Show Critique -- Gossip Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Too bad the only thing suave about him was his outfit. Even if it was only as suave as it could have been if he'd kept the Armani from Barney's" (qtd in Naugle 52).

In addition to this, is the constant spreading of lies and rumors to climb up the social ladder and the constant intrusion into the lives of other people could also teach teenagers to be uncompassionate and cruel in order to get the things that they desire.

It is true that Cecily von Ziegesar wrote about her own teenage experiences (Naugle 19). She also and tried to avoid preaching to teens and creating overly good characters, as she herself hated these types of novels (Ibid). The Gossip Girl novels and the television show do not intend to cause the readers or viewers harm or expect them to imitate what they see on television or read in books. However, it is inevitable for some teenagers to want to try to emulate the "perfect and beautiful" Blair or Serena, blurring reality with fantasy, and having difficulty in separating what is real and what is not (Waters 4).


Media, such as television, radio, magazines and movies have a strong influence on the development of teenagers as well as on teenage culture, in general. This is because adolescence is a difficult period in the life of teenagers and they are more vulnerable to outside influences. Teenagers struggle to find themselves while at the same time conform to societal norms and rules. Thus, media targets such vulnerabilities and capitalizes on them by bombarding teenagers with often unrealistic images of what they should look like and what is desirable.

The lure of Gossip Girl is the author's creation of a world that is both fantastical and yet familiar and still relatable. The characters are stereotypical, being that they are spoiled, rich and physically "perfect," are made human through their flaws. Nevertheless, they are still role models that teenagers look up to and try to emulate with negative consequences.

Conceptually, this review of related literature on the television show Gossip Girl illustrates the socio-psychological dimension that surrounds TV viewing in today's society, particularly among teenagers. While the literature discussed earlier provided insightful information about the nature and dynamics about TV viewership among teenagers, the review is still lacking in that it does not have a strong theoretical foundation, from which the analysis of TV viewership among teens can be best analyzed and interpreted.

It is interesting to note that to achieve triangulation in this review's findings, the author must also probe further into TV viewership among teens, specifically on Gossip Girl viewership, and explore deeper into the effects of TV as a mass medium. That is, media effects towards teenagers, their TV viewership, and self-images are important concepts that must be determined and analyzed in order to best address the issues contemplated earlier in the review.

Completing this triangulation is the study of how the dominant and prevailing culture in the society influences the culture projected in mass media, and consequently, projects onto the perceived self-images of teenagers. By identifying the culture that is influential to mass media, the author can then identify if this culture, does in fact, reinforces itself on teenagers' psyche and lifestyle. If this is the case, then another thesis of this review would be that society indirectly influences teenagers' self-image by projecting itself to one of the most invasive mass medium, the television.

In effect, this critique of Gossip Girl attempts to create part of a picture illustrating how mass media influences teenage culture, and in a related, yet indirect relationship, how the prevalent culture of the society dictates (or does not dictate) the mass media content shown on TV, inevitably altering the way teenagers perceive and project themselves to their core group and to other people in general.


Barnett, Rosemary V. Helping Teens Answer the Question "Who Am I?": Physical Development in Adolescents: Part 1. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 2008

Barnett, Rosemary V. And Sally Moore. Helping Teens Answer the Question "Who Am I?": Physical Development in Adolescents: Part 4.University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 2009

"Frenemies, Season 3." HBO: Sex and the City. 2009. Home Box Office, Inc., May


Irving, Jennifer A. An Exploration of the Influence of Media, Advertising, and Popular Culture on the Self-Esteem, Identity, and Body Image in Adolescent Girls. Diss., Smith College

School for Social Work, 2008.

Naugle, Briel Nichole. Nobody Does it Better: How Cecily Von Ziegesar's Controversial

Novel Series "Gossip Girl" Spawned the Popular Genre of Teen Chick Lit. Diss.,

Graduate College of Bowling Green State University, 2008.

Russell, Katherine V. The Changing Face of Youth: Mass Media Culture and the Life of the American Teen. Diss., Graduate School of…

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