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A 'Gossip Girl' Viewing Party Playlist

A 'Gossip Girl' Viewing Party Playlist


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As we’re bidding adieu to the tales of the Upper East Side, we will be celebrating in style

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’m not sitting here typing away with a Jennifer Behr headband on my head, sky-high heels on my feet, and my best Blair Waldorf outfit on. I wouldn't be dressed any other way, as tonight is the last episode of Gossip Girl — ever.

Dubbed by New York Magazine as "the greatest teen drama of our time," the series has essentially bottled up all that is alluring about New York City’s Upper East Side — soirées, scandals, penthouses, and Chuck Bass — into one sexed-up, drama-loaded package that has been nothing short of entertaining.

So as we pour ourselves a glass of Scotch — neat (for you Chuck fans) — and pop the cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon (for you Blair fans), we’ll be sending off the show in style as we serve macarons in every hue and enough desserts to give a French patisserie a run for its money.

However, in order to really send off the show properly, we’ll be playing the tracks of the past six seasons — from Sum 41’s "Here with Me" to Ida Maria’s "OMG," and every brooding, alternative song in between.

Take a listen to our Gossip Girl Viewing Party Playlist.


17 TV Shows With The Best Soundtracks Of All Time

Binge-watching during lockdown, but overwhelmed by too many series choices? Read our ultimate TV list ranked by the accompanying soundtrack only.

Weeks into lockdown and having already ploughed our way through the best new series, funniest films, browsed the offerings of the new streaming service Disney Plus and learned a whole lot from unmissable documentaries, we're taking a new approach.

Combining our love for TV and music along with the excess amount of indoor free time we now have, why not revisit or watch for the first time a series which is acclaimed for its soulful soundtrack among other credentials?

We can even perhaps ignore cheesy acting or questionable plot twists, if we focus on the music alone (though many of our recommendations below are incredible TV viewing, music aside).

Here are ELLE UK's favourite TV series with incredible soundtracks. Even if you've watched the below before (or 12 times from start to finish in the case of Friends), try re-watching them now through the lens of their musical offerings.

David E. Kelley&rsquos Big Little Lies was not only fantastic viewing but became one of the most streamed playlists on our Spotify when it first hit screens in 2017.

When the opening titles rolled with Michael Kiwanuka&rsquos 'Cold Little Heart', we knew this was one to watch. And, when Madeline&rsquos (Reese Witherspoon) daughter Chloe had better music taste than us, as a six-year-old, it was a done deal. Leon Bridges, Sade, Charles Bradley, Elvis, Otis Redding, Frank Ocean&hellip need we go on?

With a soundtrack as eclectic as Chuck Bass&rsquos fashion sense, Gossip Girl knew how to highlight a moment via music. The very opening scene made the soundtrack instantly exemplary, with Serena&rsquos return to NYC marked by Peter Bjorn and John&rsquos 'Young Folks'.

Who could forget the gorgeous Gare du Nord scene when Blair rescues a lost Chuck from Paris, heightened thanks to Sia&rsquos 'I&rsquom In Here'. Or Sohodoll&rsquos 'Stripper' when the pop-culture famous couple first got together during a night out.

Intertwined with addictive drama was song after song: The XX, Lana Del Ray, Janelle Monae, Goyte, Sum 41, Robyn&hellip and, of course, the show also housed music from their very own Jenny Humphrey, aka Taylor Momsen&rsquos band The Pretty Reckless.

Though the groundbreaking show has been praised for actually delivering sex education, championing diversity, portraying realistic sex and relationships and tackling hard-hitting storylines another reason to praise it is its darn good soundtrack.

There are a range of overtly sexual songs Salt-N-Pepa&rsquos 'Push It', Rod Stewart&rsquos 'Do Ya Think I&rsquom Sexy', Tommy James & The Shondells&rsquo 'Hanky Panky', and everything else you&rsquod cringe at if it came on the radio in earshot of your parents, mixed in with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Fleetwood Mac, T. Rex, The Velvet Underground and more. Delightful.

A show about a kickass lawyer (Kerry Washington) whose two main loves are red wine and the President (Tony Goldwyn), in that order. Olivia Pope became our addiction from the very first moment, as did her music taste whenever she turned the volume up &ndash which, luckily for us, was frequent. The show featured the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Edwin Starr, James Brown, Chaka Khan, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye and Johnny Nash.

Starting with a that oh-so familiar title song by Carole King - 'Where You Lead' - it feels like we all grew up with Rory and Lorelai's distinctive music taste. Slumber Party, Sam Phillips, David Bowie, Yoko Ono or PJ Harvey - the seven-series show was peppered with music and cultural references.

A show with a heart-wrenchingly honest depiction of a wonderfully complicated Mother-Daughter relationship and a song list just as complex, this one is a classic.

As mentioned, this list is judged on the soundtrack alone, so we can ignore the questionably cheesy territory that Tom Kapinos&rsquo Lucifer falls into.

The whole soundtrack is, if you excuse the pun here, devilish. Florence + The Machine, Royal Deluxe, Edwyn Collins, The Clash, The Black Keys, Elle King and so many more solidify this soundtrack as epic. The hero song has to be Bryce Fox&rsquos 'Horns'. Pair that with Maze's (Lesley-Ann Brandt) demonic outfits and you&rsquore in for some serious watching.

We&rsquore still genuinely amazed that so many people have skipped this series, because it&rsquos truly one of Netflix&rsquos greatest. Not only does it include the prowess of Úrsula Corberó, this soundtrack deserves to be included based on the opening title alone: 'My Life Is Going On' by Cecille Krull.

This is one opening sequence you won't want to skip, and we give it just three episodes before you&rsquore singing along. From then on it&rsquos littered with Spanish classics, as well as the likes of Damien Rice, Arcade Fire, The Prodigy and Van Morrison.

While it may be better known now for its associations with Meghan Markle, let&rsquos not forget that Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht)&rsquos music taste was nothing short of brilliant.

Bouncing from bluesy classics on his Dad&rsquos record collection to overhead rock-indie track, Suits included Bo Diddley, Freddie King, Charles Bradley, The Blue Stones, B.B. King, Etta James, Henry Ford, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone and too many more to mention. This isn't forgetting either the catchy, soulful theme song, 'Greenback Boogie'.

While we can look back at shows like SATC with hindsight over some of the more questionable aspects of the show, the soundtrack is something that needs no further scrutiny.

We heard the likes of Donna Summer, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

Not only is the plot of the hit show impressively unique with many twists and turns, the soundtrack weaves in 1950/60s classics amid a newer era. There is Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone beautifully intertwined with Shy Baldwin&rsquos original songs created just for our Midge.

Clearly for Amy Sherman-Palladino - who created both this show and Gilmore Girls - the soundtrack is central to any successful series.

Is it cheating if almost the entire soundtrack is original? We think not.

Rayna James (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) star as rival country-music stars, so it's only satisfactory that the characters have a back catalogue of his to support their arc. Not forgetting the darker hues of Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) and the harmonic duets of Scarlett O&rsquoConnor (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio).

Highlights have to be 'Sanctuary', 'Black Roses', 'A Life That&rsquos Good', 'Fade Into You' and the addictively beautiful 'No One Will Ever Love You'.

While Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev were enough to entice you to watch this cult show, the soundtrack is another reason on its own.

Sometimes filthy, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes loving, yet always truly dangerous, highlights included tracks by The Fray, Jet, Gabriella Cilmi, OneRepublic, MGMT and Green Day.

Though 'I'll Be There For You' is a theme song we will never forget the words to, the significance of other songs in the iconic sitcom can be overlooked.

Remember the series most famed proposal between Chandler and Monica to Eric Clapton&rsquos 'Wonderful Tonight'? Or Rachel and Ross&rsquo unofficial theme song, U2&rsquos 'With Or Without You' or even Marcel the monkey&rsquos penchant for The Tokens 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'?

Newer than many on our list, Empire has officially earned its place.

Taraji P. Henson nails the role Cookie Lyon, while music industry tycoon Lucius Lyon (Terrence Howard) fights for the future of his company by pitting his sons against each other. Murder. Stand offs. Fraud. Illegitimate children. All so very dramatic.

Collaborations are at the centre of this one, and original songs, with Jennifer Hudson, Yazz, Courtney Love, Bozeman, Mary J. Blige and Juicy J all give the soundtrack edge, as does featured musical performances from the likes of Snoop Dogg.

Consistently heralded as must-see television thanks to its portrayal of the advertising world in the 1960s, Jon Hamm&rsquos character development of Don Draper and beloved characters like Joan and Peggy, the show's soundtrack also deserves kudos.

Mad Men brings us back to the Sixties with Roy Orbinson, Skeeter Davis, Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra, Doris Day, Miles Davis, and Brigette Bardot. Not forgetting Megan Draper's live and intimate (yet very public) rendition of French classic 'Zou Bisou Bisou'.

Set in a small Indiana town in 1983, the nostalgic soundtrack helps to take us back in time.

Stranger Things features Eighties classic after classic including The Police, The Bangles, Bon Jovi, Duran Duran, and even every family's favourite 'Africa' by Toto.

Starting from the very first episode with Peyton&rsquos CD collection taking centre stage, we could immediately tell this was going to be music heaven.

While watching the feud between half-brothers Nathan and Lucas lessen as they bonded over basketball, and our teens settled into adult life, the soundtrack accompanied the storyline.

There was Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Tegan and Sara, Sheryl Crow, Keane and not to mention the never-skippable title track: Gavin DeGraw&rsquos 'I Don&rsquot Want To Be'.


The Edible Guide to Throwing the Perfect Belmont Stakes Viewing Party

Here’s everything you’ll need—including recipes—to host the perfect Belmont Stakes party at home.

Not quite “off the races?” Host your own Belmont Stakes party at home. • Photo courtesy of the Belmont Stakes

June 10 will be the 149th Running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont. The oldest of the Triple Crown events, the Belmont Stakes was first run in 1867. Also known as the “Test of the Champion,” it is the longest race, at 1.5 miles, in terms of distance. This is the ultimate test of endurance for competing horses and whether you are the betting kind or not, this event is absolutely electrifying to watch!

Throwing a Belmont Stakes viewing party is the perfect way to commemorate this thrilling local event. Gather your friends and family around for a day filled with fun, food, and entertainment. We’ve collected a few ways for you to weave the traditions of the Belmont Stakes into your ultimate viewing party.

White carnations are the flower of the day. • Photo by Anna Bowkis

Traditionally, the winner of the Belmont Stakes is draped with a blanket made with well over 300 white carnations. A quick visit to your local florist will allow you to decorate your home with these minimalistic flowers. The traditional winner’s trophy is crafted by Tiffany, but you can raid the china cabinet for a few silver accents of your own. If you find yourself without an abundance of silver bowls and cups (like myself), improvise! You can find many faux silver gilded cups, plates and napkins in the wedding section of your local party supply store. Additionally, you can decorate your space with a few felt pennants and horseshoes.

Start spreading the news: You need a New York-centric playlist by Saturday.

Load up your playlist with everything and anything that has ever been crooned about New York. A quick google search will provide you with a well-rounded list of songs dedicated to our amazing home state. Everything from Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” to the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” will ensure a party that remains festive until the horses cross the finish line!

A heritage race calls for heirloom tomatoes. • Photo by Heather Christo

Nothing says New York quite like a delicious slice of warm, cheesy pizza. This beautiful Heirloom Tomato Pizza recipe by Heather Christo will be sure to impress your party guests.

Heirloom Tomato Pizza
Number of servings: 12

  • 1 pizza dough
  • olive oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
  • 5 cups fresh heirloom tomatoes, different colors
  • kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the sheet pan with a little olive oil.
  2. Roll out the pizza crust until thin, and fold over the crust. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake the crust for 12 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking combine the basil and the ¼ cup olive oil in the blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Spread ½ cup of the basil oil puree over the crust.
  5. Add the sliced mozzarella.
  6. Bake the pizza for another 12 minutes until the crust is golden and the mozzarella is melted.
  7. Meanwhile, thinly slice the heirloom tomatoes.
  8. Evenly spread the heirloom tomatoes over the top of the hot pizza and sprinkle the tomatoes with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

Start with the official spirit of the Belmont Stakes: Woodford Reserve. • Photo by Kristy Gardner

With Woodford Reserve as the official Bourbon of the Belmont Stakes, you need to have a proper Bourbon cocktail. Kristy Gardner from She Eats, creates a sparkling whiskey smash with fresh summer strawberries, lime and basil.

Sparkling Strawberry Lime Whiskey Smash
Makes 2 drinks.

  • 4 Ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 1 Lb Organic Strawberries
  • 1 OzLori’s Salt Caramel Syrup
  • Juice of 4 Limes
  • Small Handful of Fresh Basil
  • Couple Splashes of Soda Water
  • Ice
  1. Chuck the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Puree for 30 seconds. If desired, strain to remove seeds (I didn’t bother).
  2. Grab the limes as that works and roll them on the counter with the heel of your hand. This will help the juices release when you’re ready.
  3. Divide and chuck the basil, salt caramel syrup, lime juice and bourbon into 2 tall, wide mouthed glasses – or mason jars – and muddle lightly with a wooden spoon.
  4. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour in the strawberry puree and leave about an inch of headroom at the top of the glass. Top up with soda water. Stir.
  5. Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil and a sliced strawberry.

Nothing says “New York” like cheesecake. • Photo by We Know Stuff

Very few desserts are decidedly more “New York” than cheesecake. Your guests will appreciate this no fuss treat while they watch the race. Nothing beats the simplicity of these sweet little desserts!

No Bake Mason Jar Cheesecake
Makes 4 mason jar cheesecakes


Warning: Major spoilers below.

51. In the final episode, it's revealed that Jenny and Blair finally mended their friendship: Jenny carries a "J by Waldorf" bag, which Stephanie Savage revealed meant that she had her own line with Blair's company.

52. Dan was almost revealed to be Gossip Girl in the pilot episode in a test screening, audiences assumed that Dan was GG because of a shot where he's typing as the voiceover happens, so they edited the scene.

53. Penn Badgley didn't know that Dan was Gossip Girl until right before they shot that scene.

54. The writers and producers always knew that Chuck and Blair would end up together.


Ever see a movie that’s so bad you needed others to experience the horrors for themselves? In “Uncorked” Lemonade gets together with special guest Kombucha (Anja Akstin), and a few others to a viewing party of short films and features of varying terribleness, with a post-viewing roundtable. The goal? To compile a list of the best bad-movies and dive into the movies to find the good and the bad in everything seen that evening.


Planning a Gilmore Girls Viewing Party? Here's What You'll Need

Now that you've decided whether you're going to binge or savor the Gilmore Girls revival when Netflix drops four, glorious 90-minute episodes onto the Internet on Nov. 25, here's another very important question: What are you doing for your viewing party? And, more importantly, how are you catering it?!

We all know eating is Rory and Lorelai's favorite pastime, so we've come up with a few ways to make your Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life fiesta something theyɽ for sure approve. That includes: lots and lots of junk food, some Gilmore-themed beverages (yes, coffee is one of them, we're not amateurs), and some appropriate attire. Read on for our plans, and share your own in the comments!

Coffee
Duh. But you might want to go for decaf if this is happening at night, just saying.

The Rory
If you want to get a little boozy, why not make "The Rory," a.k.a. the cocktail Emily created for Rory's 21st birthday. You can find the recipe in Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls, and it involves vodka.

Founders Day Punch
Want a different type of booze? Try making Ms. Patty's infamous Founders Day Punch. There's a recipe (from the Eat Like a Gilmore cookbook) right here.

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Pizza
Again. duh. Did the Gilmores ever watch TV without it?

Pop Tarts
The Gilmores REALLY like their Pop Tarts too. They taste like freedom and rebellion and independence, according to Lorelai, so no good viewing party will be complete without them. (In the flavor of your choice, of course.)

More Junk Food
Speaking of Gilmore snacks, you should probably take inspiration from the sheer volume of junk food Rory and Lorelai prefer when watching movies. Remember when Dean and Rory had their first date—at home, with Rory's mom? That spread included the aforementioned pizza, but also: marshmallows, jellybeans, chocolate kisses, cookie dough, peanut butter, Red Vines, tortilla chips, M&Ms, Skittles, caramel corn and potato chips. That should do it.

babette ate oatmeal! shirt
Now that you have your viewing party properly catered, you're going to need to work on the apparel. Kirk would want you to wear his "babette ate oatmeal!" shirt, featuring a humorous topical headline of something he saw around town.

Team Shirts
Prefer to get a bit more political with your attire? There's still plenty of time to order a Team Dean, Team Jess, Team Logan—or, better yet, Team Rory—shirt to proclaim your loyalty.

Flannel
Pay tribute to your favorite grouchy diner owner with some flannel and a backwards cap (we're planning on a flannel blanket under which to cuddle but any sort of warm, fall-like fabric in any variation will do).

No Cell Phones!
Luke might be a curmudgeon, but he's on to something—how can you enjoy the new episodes while scrolling through Twitter to see what everyone else thinks of them? Stash your phone somewhere while you watch the revival—you'll avoid spoilers from people who are ahead of you, and it'll make your tweets about finishing that much sweeter.

Honestly, the food part of the list could be 100 items long and still not encompass everything the Gilmores are passionate about eating, but that felt like enough. What are you planning to stock up on for your Gilmore Girls viewing party? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Friday, Nov. 25 on Netflix. Be sure to come back to E! News for more Gilmore Girls Coffee Talk leading up to the revival's premiere.


How ‘Gossip Girl’ Shaped the CW

The paradox of Gossip Girl’s legacy can be found in its premise. The CW teen drama, which premiered 10 years ago this week, was in many ways a show about the internet and the panopticon it was rapidly becoming the show took its name from an anonymous blog that chronicled “the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite” with alarming speed and omniscience. Gossip Girl, the fictitious publication, was a convenient framing device that eventually, and inadvisably, became a key plot point of Gossip Girl the show. (Of the many mistakes Gossip Girl made in its later seasons, maybe the most fatal was the show’s belief that viewers were clamoring for its title character’s true identity we were perfectly content with her as a bitchy, if suspiciously all-knowing, narrator.) It was also a harbinger of how smartphones and their cameras would soon turn everyone’s lives into a matter of public interest, not just celebrities’.

An Ode to the Utter Nonsense of ‘Gossip Girl’

Chuck Bass Was an Absolute Monster on ‘Gossip Girl’

Yet a decade later, the setup already seems quaint. There wouldn’t be much need for a tell-all virtual rag in 2017, because today’s teenagers do so much of the telling themselves on social media. Queen bee Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) would have a pre-scripted hashtag for her every social event greaseball playboy Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) would turn his IRL creeping virtual and slide into the DMs of any woman with a pulse. And even if Gossip Girl did manage to establish an audience, her readers wouldn’t send in their tips on a dinky LG Chocolate, ubiquitous in early episodes thanks to a lucrative product-placement deal with Verizon. The real Gossip Girl would exist as a Shade Room–lite Instagram page, or it wouldn’t exist at all.

That’s Gossip Girl for you: the first and the last of its kind. On the occasion of the series’ 10th anniversary, it’s hard to think of a show that feels at once so dated and so ahead of its time. Thanks to a second life on Netflix and an impending spiritual sibling—cocreators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will return to the CW’s prime-time lineup this fall with a Dynasty reboot—Gossip Girl has remained relevant long after its finale and even longer after it jumped the shark. It’s emblematic of a critical time at the start of its network, practically defining the CW during its all-important infancy, and the end of ubiquitous, broadcast-based TV. That’s the downside to starting so many trends: Your successors will inevitably date you, even when they’re just following in your footsteps.

Though Gossip Girl’s influence would soon spread to the rest of TV, its most dramatic impact was on its own network. Gossip Girl was not the first series to premiere on the newly minted CW network the swiftly forgotten Hidden Palms preceded it by a full three and a half months. It was, however, the first native-born hit after parent companies CBS and Warner Bros. merged two separately struggling components: UPN and the WB. Consequently, Gossip Girl’s importance was always outsize. The CW’s breakout show was never merely succeeding on its own terms it was setting the tone for an entire institution.

Rather than starting from scratch, the CW’s identity borrowed heavily from its parent companies. Its first entertainment president, Dawn Ostroff, served the same role at UPN, and the WB’s John Maatta served as COO, ensuring representation from both sides of the partnership much of the CW’s debut lineup consisted of well-liked WB and UPN series, including Gilmore Girls, Everybody Hates Chris, Supernatural, Girlfriends, 7th Heaven, Veronica Mars, and One Tree Hill. That the offspring of two young-skewing networks would continue to target teens, in other words, was neither a shock nor a significant pivot for either of the merging creative teams.

Nonetheless, Gossip Girl established the CW’s ethos in a way no superficial rebranding could. Viewers don’t care about arcane, behind-the-scenes business matters like affiliation renewals they care about consistency and the expectation it creates of what can be found where on a particular night of the week. And Gossip Girl sent a crystal-clear message to the teen girls of America that what could be found on the CW was soapy, purely entertaining hours that starred beautiful people theoretically in our age group but obviously five to 10 years older—the kind of shows that had always been marketed to young women, but updated with to-the-microsecond name drops.

Sure enough, Gossip Girl would soon become the flagship around which an entire prime-time lineup would be built. There were the reboots that aimed to fuse recognizably mid-aughts youth culture with the IP cachet of their parents’ favorite series: 90210, which ran for a respectable five seasons, and Melrose Place, which flamed out after just one. There were shows, like Hart of Dixie and The Beautiful Life: TBL, that took stars of Schwartz and Savage’s breakout hit, The O.C.—Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton, respectively—and transplanted them to the creators’ new home. And there was The Vampire Diaries, a supernatural drama that presaged the more genre direction the CW has taken in recent years—with the help of Gossip Girl’s “hot people hooking up in various permutations” template. The Vampire Diaries would bridge the CW’s two epochs literally as well as conceptually, stretching for eight seasons and bolstering the network’s bottom line through a transitional period before drawing to a closer earlier this year.

Young women may have been a relatively narrow demographic for a network that was still technically broadcast, but the CW’s strategy was to corner the market on their attention—a strategy ABC Family would soon borrow with Pretty Little Liars, another teen novel adaptation centered on an anonymous virtual presence. Viewing habits were another frontier in which Gossip Girl became an accidental innovator, largely because young people have a habit of refusing to consume media the way their parents did, or the way ad buyers would like them to. Gossip Girl’s first season—abbreviated by the writers’ strike—averaged just 2.35 million live viewers an episode, which in 2007 was an objectively poor showing. It was only when the internet came into the picture, in the form of iTunes downloads, recordings, and views on the episodes naively made available for free on the CW’s website a week after they aired, that the show’s popularity became clear to the powers that be. DVR viewing, Hulu, and syndication via streaming service may now be accepted parts of our media diets, but in 2007, the internet as a TV delivery device was still a novel concept.

The internet was where viewers talked about Gossip Girl, too. New York’s Jessica Pressler and Chris Rovzar became the de facto authorities on all things Upper East Side with their patented (not really, but it should have been) Reality Index on the magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog. Recaps were just becoming a popular form of online watercooler conversation on sites like Television Without Pity and The AV Club, and Gossip Girl catalyzed their rise as an accepted venue for discussion and even criticism. The internet wasn’t just a key element of Gossip Girl’s plot it was integral to its offscreen trajectory, too.

It is in the nature of television to change, however, and the same forces that briefly made Gossip Girl the show of the moment soon left it behind. This was true of the series itself, whether because it hit the end of a high school show’s natural life span when its characters graduated or because the economy crashing suddenly rendered conspicuous consumption both unfashionable and in poor taste. But the end of Gossip Girl’s era had as much to do with the show’s industry context as its content.

The CW of 2017 is a different animal from the CW of 2007. Ostroff was succeeded as programming president in 2011 by current head Mark Pedowitz, a transition neatly located at the exact halfway point of the CW’s now-decade-long existence. While there was no immediate overhaul of the network, in a 10-year anniversary piece run in Variety, Pedowitz describes 2013 as a light-bulb moment that young women, while still a key component of the network’s audience, were no longer enough to sustain the operation. The CW’s current brand still skews young, but it’s since made a concerted effort to appeal to the male half of the age group. The CW had already branched into superhero territory with Greg Berlanti’s Arrow in 2012. Now, the so-called “Arrowverse” is a major building block of the network’s drama roster, with Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and, next year, Black Lightning continuing to expand the mini-empire (and, by carrying out the TV half of Warner Bros.’ DC adaptation effort, achieve corporate synergy). The CW has gone genre in other ways, too: Postapocalyptic The 100 and undead procedural iZombie vastly prefer gore to lifestyle porn. Meanwhile, female-centric comedies survive in the form of Golden Globe winners Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but they’re more interested in interrogating femininity than perpetuating an aspirational version of it. Gossip Girl’s DNA is still detectable in the form of Archie-meets–Twin Peaks drama Riverdale, Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, and the aforementioned Dynasty. But Dynasty now feels more like an experimental throwback than an intriguing new tactic.

In retrospect, Gossip Girl was arguably the last great example of a now-outdated kind of teen show, closer to Dawson’s Creek or its peer Skins than the pointed progressiveness of a Faking It or The Bold Type. Teen television persists on networks like MTV and the recently christened Freeform (née ABC Family), but it’s almost inconceivable to imagine either of those networks flaunting its own hedonism as Gossip Girl did they’re far more likely to brag about their political defiance or broad-ranging representation than their sheer quantity of over-the-top (but still PG-13) sex scenes. The cyclical breakups and betrayals of an insular friend group have given way to attempts at social commentary.

But Gossip Girl doesn’t have to be succeeded by a new generation of pale imitations. It’s still there for us to enjoy, thanks to the CW’s mutually beneficial arrangement with Netflix. You can still revisit the time Serena dramatically revealed she killed someone or revel in the obvious inconsistencies that demonstrate Gossip Girl’s identity was clearly a last-ditch revelation and not a longtime plan (another throwback, to when shows invented plots on the fly instead of getting pitched with a five-season plan in mind). The very institution that helped render Gossip Girl partly obsolete also keeps the show preserved in amber—and ensures that both the show, and the network it shaped, lives on.


40 Best Halloween Songs That'll Turn Your Home Into a Monster Mash

It's time to practice your "Time Warp" dance moves, because Halloween will be here before you know it! Get into a ghoulish mood while decorating pumpkins with some of the best Halloween songs out there. Even though celebrating All Hallows' Eve might look a little different this year, you can still get in the spirit by listening to festive tunes and watching scary Halloween movies. Just follow Ree Drummond's lead: Because her kids are grown, her Halloween nights are much more low-key these days. "You'll find us parked in front of a scary movie with snacks like popcorn and brownies," she says. Turn any of at-home Halloween party ideas into your very own Monster Mash with these haunting tracks.

Many of these songs lend themselves to spine-chilling Halloween quotes perfect for a festive Halloween Instagram caption&mdashjust about every line in "This Is Halloween" will do the trick! There are dance-pop hits like "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and "Monster" by Lady Gaga, as well as tracks from rock bands like The Eagles's "Witchy Woman." While you're at it, listen to the original songs that inspired some modern Halloween favorites, such as The Strangelove's "I Want Candy" and Screamin' Jay Hawkins's "I Put a Spell on You." Once you've queued up this Halloween playlist on Spotify, all you'll need is a big bowl of candy to dive into.

It's not Halloween until you've watched The Nightmare Before Christmas one, two, or 10 times! This song instantly sets a spooky scene.

If you only recognize this song from the Hocus Pocus soundtrack, then you should to listen to the original track. It's got a bluesy, rock-and-roll sound.

The original dance to this Halloween hit is a variation of the "Mashed Potato," which was a popular move in the '60s.

Written as the theme song for the 1984 ghost-busting movie, this track reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

Stevie Wonder was only 22 when he released this timeless classic. It's the perfect Halloween party track: catchy with a hint of mystery.

While Bow Wow Wow and Aaron Carter have popular recordings of this candy-inspired tune, the original version actually came out in 1965.

When "madness takes its toll" on October 31, it's time to do the Time Warp. Even if you've never done the dance before, the song lays the steps out clearly so any beginner (also known as a Rocky Horror "virgin") will catch on quick.

The music video for this haunting song is like a mini horror movie, filled with ghoulish apparitions and zombies.

Whether you like it or not, this howling tune is insanely catchy. It was originally written as a joke but ended up being Warren Zevon's most popular song.

Looking for a dance track that's loaded with Halloween imagery? This Yeah Yeah Yeahs song, written from the point of view of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, is the perfect fit.

What's more terrifying than being bitten by a vampire? Falling in love, of course!

Give this upbeat song that was written for the Hotel Transylvania 2 a listen on All Hallows' Eve. This monster-packed music video will get you in the Halloween mood.

Get a dose of some groovy '60s sounds this Halloween with this witchy song by Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. Lana Del Rey covered it for the movie Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

While this song was written for the horror film Pet Sematary, it ended up becoming one of the Ramones' biggest radio hits. Get an extra dose of Halloween by watching the music video that was filmed at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery in New York.

This '80s earworm is performed by Brooklyn hip hop group Whodini. Stick it on your playlist for the perfect way to kick off Halloween night!

A song about the monster under your bed? Check! This pop hit by Eminem and Rihanna is a must-have for any All Hallows' Eve playlist.

This song gets its name from the Black Widow spider that's know to devour its mate. Sounds creepy enough for a listen on Halloween!

If Halloween is about all things strange and creepy, then The Doors' hit song "People Are Strange" is a perfect fit.

Because you're likely to watch Men In Black sometime in October, you should also give its catchy song a listen. It's Will Smith&mdashdo you need any another reasons?!

You'll feel extra devilish this Halloween listening to this 1978 Van Halen rock hit.

Shakira wrote the melody and lyrics for this dance-y, werewolf-inspired song in just 10 minutes.

Don Henley was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald when writing this bewitching track. He says he actually coined the lyrics while delirious with a high fever.

Fans of musical theater will enjoy this upbeat Wizard of Oz song performed by none other than Barbra Streisand.

This 1979 banger reflects life on the road for a touring band. Its chorus makes it a Halloween hit too, as the narrator's on a "highway to hell."

Queen Bey references ghosts, haunted lungs, and wicked tongues in this eerie song, perfect for a listen during October.

The creepy, other-worldly music video for this classic Rihanna track should be essential Halloween viewing.

Listen to this bluesy single on All Hallows' Eve to weave some dark magic into your night.

A harpsichord and finger snaps make up the main melody for America's most mysterious and altogether ooky family.

This Bowie song is about descending into madness and the "scary monsters, super creeps" that'll keep you "running scared." Yikes!

The devilish story that unfolds in this bluegrass favorite is perfect to listen to when you want to get in the Halloween mood.

Grapple with death and the Grim Reaper in this song that's perfect for a spooky Halloween night. Or, you could just watch the hilarious SNL cowbell sketch.

Lady Gaga sings about a "monster" who ate her heart and then ate her brain in this dance hit. Appropriate!

Tim Burton's quirky movie is about a man who accidentally marries an undead bride and visits the underworld. This chilling, yet catchy, song tells the story of the Corpse Bride.

Billie Eilish says this song is told from the perspective of the monster under your bed&mdashhence its dark lyrics. Give the music video a watch, it's like a mini horror movie in itself.

Queue this Elvis classic up for a guaranteed Halloween jam. It's all about someone who looks, walks, and talks like an angel but. well you know the rest.

Relish in the creepiest night of the year by listening to this iconic Radiohead song.

Get up and dance to this '80s hit that lends itself well to Halloween with its wolfy theme.

This Meat Loaf epic was inspired by Peter Pan, just like the other songs on the album Neverland. This one just happens to be a fitting song for Halloween too.

What's more Halloween than the famous mystery-solving gang's theme song? It's even better if you've got a cute '70s Halloween costume on too.

If you're a fan of the hit Netflix show, you know the eerie atmosphere its theme song creates. It's an ode to synth-heavy '80s music, which is why it's so much fun to listen to, despite lacking lyrics.


23 Mildly Cringey Details About Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's Relationship

Here's what you might not know about the power couple.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have been together for a decade and have made three babies and lots of headlines together. What began as a buzzy socialite union has culminated in their transformation into the "de facto first couple" following Donald Trump's election victory. Ivanka and Jared are rich, famous, gorgeous, and they seem to really like each other, but their relationship hasn't been without its quirks. Here are a few of the awkward details that have surfaced about the couple since they became a thing.

1. They had a couple name when they went public: J-Vanka. The New York press took gleefully chronicled their relationship, which started at the height of the supercouple: There was Bennifer, Brangelina, and J-Vanka.

In the spring of 2007, questions of are-they-or-aren't-they first surfaced (J-Vanka insisted for a while that they were "buddies"). They were "caught making out" while at Bowlmor Lanes. They arrived at an art party separately but they weren't fooling anyone "Jared and Ivanka never left each other's side" the whole night. They were spotted at a Maroon 5 concert, though he was on his Blackberry most of the time. Once the relationship was confirmed, the PDA was on: Ivanka greeted Jared with a kiss on the cheek and said, "Hi baby," when they attended a fashion show together. (He calls her Iva, by the way.)

2. Ivanka describes their first date as "the best deal we ever made!" They were introduced by a real estate developer who thought of it as a good networking opportunity for them, but they ended up falling for each other instead.

3. They broke up briefly in 2008 over religion. "One of the jokes I first started making when Jared and I first started dating is, I'm a New Yorker, I'm in real estate. I'm as close to Jewish, with an &lsquoi-s-h&rsquo naturally as anyone can start off," Ivanka told New York. Jared's mom Seryl apparently had a hand in the breakup but it didn't last long. Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism but even then, there were lots of tough tests from her future father-in-law, according to Esquire. (She passed.)

4. They're both workaholics. "I'm happy for him when he is in the office working late," Ivanka told New York. "I know how good that feels when you sit down and return e-mails." She told People in 2009 that "Jared and I both work long hours . Jared is not intimidated by my work, he is incredibly busy too." At home, they sit together at the end of the day and work on their laptops side-by-side, Ivanka said on the Today show. "It's nice being able to do that together, next to each other."

5. When they got engaged, Ivanka learned how to cook. "I was a total incompetent in the kitchen. I probably would have Googled how to boil an egg at that point in my life," she told Wendy Williams. "There's something that feels very feminine to me about being able to do that for my husband. Just the ability to come home and be able to offer him that once a week and to be able to cook a dinner for us as a family." Ivanka told the Wall Street Journal in 2012 that the best gift Jared had ever given her was "an immersion blender" because she was "really into soups."

6. Ivanka told Forbes that Jared and her father "initially bonded over a combination of me and real estate." When Jared thought that his relationship with Ivanka was really going somewhere, he had lunch with his future father-in-law at the Trump Grill to discuss the couple's future, he told Forbes . Kushner said to Trump that "Ivanka and I are getting serious, and we're starting to go down that path." According to Kushner, Trump replied, "You'd better be serious on this."

7. Jared did not help with wedding planning. "He put so much time and effort into designing the most perfect ring for me!" she told Brides.com of her 5.22-carat ring. "I think he is now enjoying taking a backseat as I handle the rest." Ivanka took the process pretty seriously. She tweeted, "relax, it&rsquos just another party, just another party, just another party . sigh," before her wedding.

8. Ivanka included a Trump golf course promotion along with her wedding invitations. According to the New York Post, it was a flier for "Donald's other golf properties," while the New York Times reported that "an insert offered guests a free round of golf at one of Mr. Trump's courses." Ivanka denied this, telling New York that the Post report of "the 'marketing flyer' included in the invitation" was an inaccuracy. "My wedding was a private, perfect occasion, the memories from which I will treasure for a lifetime."

9. "During the ceremony, the bride kept trying to take the groom's hand." This according to the report in the New York Post.

10. Donald Trump apparently gave a bad wedding toast. Esquire reports that "he floundered miserably. According to one guest, he 'gave the most pathetic, lame, embarrassing speech I've heard in a long time.'" Trump told People in 2009 that he simply told the couple, "Be happy and enjoy your life."

11. Their wedding song was kind of sad. It's ultimately hopeful, but the lyrics also include stuff about how the "heart gets torn." Later, the same plaintive song played as Ivanka was giving birth to their first child Arabella. "Jared and I made a playlist for the delivery of all the songs from our relationship. Arabella was actually born while my wedding song, 'This Year's Love' by David Gray, was playing. It was a coincidence, but it was cool!"

12. They gave flip-flops and "a book in Hebrew" as wedding favors. The flip-flops had "'Jared' and 'Ivanka' on the insoles and a tag reading, 'A Great Pair,'" according to the New York Times. The New York Post added that guest also received a book in Hebrew.

13. After their wedding, Jared's parents gifted them with a spa weekend while Donald Trump took them for a round of golf with Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Anderson (at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, the course in New Jersey where J-Vanka got married, obviously).

14. Donald Trump said he didn't think Jared and Ivanka should do business together. "I don't think it is a good idea," Trump told Crain's. "When it works, it can be great, but when it doesn't, I think it would be really ugly." Ivanka really didn't like the article.

Crain&rsquos wrote a cover story on me and my husband this week that was both misinformed and pointless.

&mdash Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 16, 2009

15. As a newlywed, Ivanka went on The View without wearing her wedding ring. She explained, "I was engaged for three months and then I've been married around eight days, so it's sitting on my bedside table. I forget about the hardware." Ivanka doesn't seem to wear her engagement ring much at all.

16. They made a cameo together on an episode of Gossip Girl in season four. "I have to confess I have a 'thing' for Chuck Bass myself," she said to People in 2009. She told InStyle that she watched the show religiously. "We had so much fun filming together but I am not sure if you could characterize our cameo as acting per se," she said. "And the fact the episode aired on our one year wedding anniversary . was just the icing on the cake!"

17. Rosie O'Donnell saw the couple once by chance at Nobu in New York and was so moved by the experience she wrote a poem about it. A longtime foe and victim of Donald Trump, Rosie spotted Jared and Ivanka at a restaurant in October but didn't recognize them at first. Rosie wrote, "i watch them / stunned by her face / and his calming charm." Continuing to observe them, Rosie thinks, "oblivious to all seeing them / love works like this." She says out loud, "that is the most beautiful woman i have ever seen," before she's told it's Ivanka. Terrified of triggering an emotional catastrophe, Rosie hesitates but ultimately approaches the couple. "She smiled genuinely / her husband was warm and gracious." Rosie speaks to them for "4 minutes / max" and leaves.

@IvankaTrump in a city of 8 million - we meet face 2 face - i thank u 4 listening - mother 2 mother - on this new years week - my best 2 u

&mdash ROSIE (@Rosie) October 6, 2016

18. They have weekly date nights and take turns planning them, except Jared usually involves his work somehow. In a Vogue profile, Ivanka said, "So, my husband's idea of a date night somehow always involves me looking at one of his development sites."

One of their non-work-related dates in March was to see Hamilton on Broadway. *Frisson.* Ivanka wrote on Instagram that she "was blown away. I had very high expectations and they were still surpassed! It's definitely a must-see!"

19. They look at their real estate properties during their off time. She told Harper's Bazaar, "I try really not to try to schedule anything on the weekends, though just because of what we're passionate about, Jared and I will go walk around neighborhoods and look at properties that he owns and that I own, but that's fun."

20. Jared talks about their relationship in business terms. "I would say she is definitely the CEO of our household, whereas I'm more on the board of directors," he told Vogue. "We both pick up slack for each other where it's needed, but she doesn't want to outsource mothering, so she's very involved."

21. They tried to be the "Follow Me" couple once.

22. Jared brought Ivanka a coffee on International Women's Day. According to the Daily Mail, Jared snuck off for an early workout March 9 before returning home with a coffee for his wife. Not a bad way to celebrate!

23. They haven't been very effective in the White House.

Ivanka and Jared haven't been the moderating influence on President Trump that some hoped they'd be. They failed to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate accord or keep the president from praising white supremacists. And according to a Vanity Fair story, they just don't get that they are ineffective.

&ldquoWhat is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance," a source told the magazine. "They think they are special.&rdquo


Grab Your Girlfriends: 15 Galentine's Day Party Ideas For An Unforgettable Bash

Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation taught us a lot of lessons, the most important being that February 13 is the best (unofficial) holiday ever created: Galentine's Day. As she so eloquently explained, "Oh, it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas." So gather your girl and guy friends, and spread the platonic love with these 15 Galentine's Day party ideas (including 5,000-word love letters about why they're your heroes, á la Leslie Knope).

Instead of cooking for a bunch of people or hiring a caterer for a formal sit-down dinner, go out together instead. Rent the back room at a special restaurant or just keep things simple with drinks at your favorite watering hole.

Whether it's calligraphy, painting, ceramics, cooking, floral arranging, or skydiving, learning something new is a great way to practice self-care and bond with friends. So sign up for a class or activity to explore together.

It's safe to say we're all craving a little sunshine once mid-February hits, so why not plan a weekend getaway somewhere sunny with your friends? If a warm-weather destination isn't feasible or a road trip sounds more realistic, rent a cozy cabin and cuddle up indoors. A fireplace will do for now.

Book appointments for a group of friends at your go-to nail salon. Or treat yourselves at a more artisan, design-y salon you've been wanting to check out. It's simple, affordable, and makes an errand you'd probably do anyway a lot more fun.

Give your Galentine's Day party a healthy-living angle and have an instructor come over to give you a private lesson in yoga, pilates, or whatever else. If you're looking for something a little more low-key, you could also just get a group of friends to go to SoulCycle together and then head out for a brunch date afterward.

Invite your friends over for a night of dancing, and make a playlist with classics you know everyone will have fun singing along to. Add some on-theme cocktails like these, and you've got yourself a party. You could also go out to a karaoke bar if you're feeling extra rowdy and vocal.

Though you probably do this every day already, Galentine's Day is the perfect occasion to gush about how much you love all your friends. So write each other notes of appreciation. If there are too many people to write a note for everyone, have everyone pick a name out of a hat, or write about the person next to them. While the entire Galentine's Day bash doesn't have to revolve around this activity, it's definitely a great way to supplement a dinner or cocktail party.

If there's ever a time to pamper yourself, it's Galentine's Day. Book massages at a spa and then spend the day lounging and detoxing in the sauna with your nearest and dearest.

Get out of the house and do something out of the ordinary and nostalgic together: anything from bowling to paintballing, racecar driving, ice skating, hiking, rock climbing, trapeze-ing, rollerskating, or even laser-tagging. Just think of all the birthday parties you went to as a kid&mdashand replicate them.

Let's just say it: Valentine's Day tends to dredge up some painful emotional memories. But addressing them with close friends by your side is a good thing. Make it more fun by bringing in some positive energy. Learn how to do crystal readings, bring in a fortune teller and/or chakra healer, or do a group meditation to rebuild and practice self-love together.

Now's the time to embrace all the cheesy bliss of Valentine's Day with a marathon of romantic comedies or dramas. Unless, of course, you're more of an action or true-crime kind of crowd? Or, choose a book to read together and make your Galentine's Day party a book club.

When was the last time you had a full-on slumber party? Invite your friends over for a sleepover, and make sure they pack their favorite pajamas and slippers. You can watch movies, do face masks, cook dinner, and, my personal favorite, make some funny prank calls.

Go grocery shopping and make a feast together, or whip everything up in advance. You can go all out with the Galentine's Day theme, or just use it as an excuse to gather all your loved ones to eat good food and drink mimosas.

Organize a fun card game that helps conversation flow without putting people on the spot at your Galentine's Day party. You can stick to the classics, or you can try something new. A personal favorite is the funny (and really insightful) deck of cards called Who Should I Be With? It's designed to help you and your friends "identify a good enough love match." Seems fitting for the holiday.

An arts-and-crafts table is always a fun party trick. This way, everyone will have something to do with their hands and have a goodie to take home with them. Things like DIY potpourri, terrariums, and candles are always great options. Here are plenty more ideas to help you get started.


Watch the video: inside blair waldorfs room a playlist ib anjalis video diary


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