Yesterday was a Terry Richardson day — first we saw him sitting on a fire hydrant on Spring Street, and then we got home and saw his “sexy” Gossip Girl photoshoot for Rolling Stone plastered all over the internet. Mildly-interesting photographer sightings aside, we’re kind of bothered by the whole thing: first, Rolling Stone‘s blatantly sensationalist cover, then, the cover’s timing to coincide with the worst episode of Gossip Girl yet (just look at all the Twitter results for “Gossip Girl sucked”).
We at Flavorwire are divided in our Gossip Girl levels of tolerance — some of us never miss it (cough, cough, Caroline), some of us started boycotting it back in January (and the rest of us probably have never cared). But regardless of whether or not we think the show has been the most amazing thing on TV, it’s time to drop the “Best Show Ever” narrative and hope that the actual plotlines get better before we have to deal with Blake Lively’s re-creation of Lindsay Lohan’s Marilyn Monroe re-creation (after this photoshoot, could that one be too far off?).
TV can be an art form, or it can be absolute crap — Gossip Girl is inching closer to the latter while attempting to be the former and failing, then overcompensating with photos like these.
The rest of the Richardson photos include Blake Lively and Leighton Meester sucking on other inanimate objects and each other, as well as the way-overdone “Gossip Girl cast in bed” shot. Now, it’s not that these pictures are aesthetically unpleasing — the cast is obviously beautiful. But that’s just it — there’s not much more to the shoot, or the show. Does the world need another accompanying feature that plays on the “Sexy stars play sexy people on TV in New York and they themselves are also sexy people in New York! OMG XOXO” angle? Especially this late in the game, when Gossip Girl is a few episodes away from getting too-ridiculous to care about? More stories made up of anecdotes about how “Gossip Girl is a phenomenon because schoolgirls accost the whole cast on Park Avenue” or “The cast actually loves each other! They all hang out!” are just bad journalism — not to mention over-eager at a moment when the show is oh-so-close to shark-jumping territory.
We’ll just say it: this tardy and obvious pageview-baiting photoshoot confirms many of our suspicions about Gossip Girl: continued interest has much to do with the draw of fresh-faced “beautiful people,” combined with semi-appealing writing. But once the writing goes stale, can a show survive on more of these “nasty” photoshoots? Are we that easily bought? Or… should we stop worrying and sit back and enjoy it — because it’s a “guilty pleasure” that we’re not supposed to over-think?