Out of the box
I won’t be finding any favour with the male followers of this column this week, but I promise to make it up to you all next time. A new television season is with us, which can only mean one thing. New – and hopefully juicier – girly shows.
Starting with everyone’s favourite: Gossip Girl, with Season 6 premiering on October 8 on CW. Gossip Girl is unarguably the top girlie offering from the crop of current series. The plot line is silly, predictable, at times repetitive... and I have yet to meet a female who doesn’t just lap it up. That includes myself, of course.
Possibly, we find the idea of a never-ending stream of improbable love affairs conducted by females clad in the latest Prada and Westwood as exciting as men find the idea of watching a small ball being chased on screen by 12 grown men.
Sexist much? Probably, life would be a tad too politically correct for my liking if I weren’t allowed to throw in a couple of sweeping statements.
But back to Gossip Girl. If you are a woman reading this and you have never seen it, I don’t believe you. But for the sale of making life easier, here’s why you really should be part of this guilty pleasure – you have just enough time to catch up with the season 6 premiere before it is aired.
The show follows the lives of a group of super-rich, super-attractive (read super bratty) young women as they break hearts/create havoc/drip diamonds around the upper east-side of Manhattan.
With a stretch of the imagination, I suppose you could say that it is not that different from the much-maligned likes of Beautiful, the still-running show that my generation so loved to malign. Human nature being what it is, the trappings may be different, but the base ingredients remain the same: sex, money, power and designer wear. They get a girl, whatever her age, every time.
The elements that make Gossip Girl enough of a winner to grab great ratings also include someseriously, drop-dead gorgeousmale specimen.
The craftiness of screen-writers and casting agents knows no bounds and there is just the right type for all sorts of tastes. Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass, for the girl who likes them mad, bad and dangerous? Yes, I’ll take one of those, thank you.
There is the sensitive writer for those who like the nerdy types. The rich, cute moron for those whoprefer a straightforward pretty face to personality (hey, sometimes it is exactly what a girl needs, right?)... You get the drift. Whatever your personal foible, the screen writers have catered for it.
Season 6 continues upon the cliff-hanger bomb from the last season finale where we had several relationships exploding and new allegiances being built.
My hopes for the new season: a return to the good, old form, with Chuck and Blair getting back to that destructive relationship we all love to hate and Serena returning to her wild partying days. Things are much more fun when our favourite stars mess up their lives, aren’t they?
Which brings me neatly to the other must-watch girly offering. Pretty Little Liars, which currently has viewers keeping their fingers crossed for a fourth season (if any of you reading this are aware of new developments, please do make me happy and share).
It is equally easy to figure out the appeal of this one. It shares most of the same obvious ingredients as Gossip Girl. Pretty clothes, never-ending and improbable love affairs, hot girls and hotter guys, an edgy soundtrack (the track from the opening credits, Secret by The Pierces, became a massive hit)...
Oh yes, there is also a murder and some rather effective blackmail going on, just to keep those of us who require something more than pretty clothes and sex to keep the old attention span happening.
My biggest question with Pretty Little Liars, without giving too much away for those who have to start from scratch, is this: now that the big mystery that was pretty much the raison d’être of the whole series was sorted with this summer’s mid-season finale, what on earth will they invent next to reel us in?
And while we are on the topic, what is it with the growing trend of stopping a series halfway through, chucking in a mid-season finale and then continuing a couple of months later?
This also happened with The Walking Dead last year. Do screen-writers get to this every time they run out of inspiration? There is nothing worse than interrupting the momentum of a story.
If, like me, you are suffering from Pretty Little Liars withdrawals, there are a series of webisodes you can hunt down, although this is easier said than done, as fans keep putting them online and the network keeps pulling them off.
They do smell somewhat of over-milking a good thing but beggars can’t be choosers I guess!