Tele-Tuesday: Who’s Behind the Gossip?

This month marked the beginning of the end for one of the CW’s most popular series, Gossip Girl.  After six seasons of witnessing the lives of the very privileged Upper East Side teens (and a few Brooklyn-based teens) at Constance progress from high school to college and now to young professionals, loyal viewers sit on pins and needles to see who the mastermind is behind the “Gossip Girl” email and text blasts.

“XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

And, if the other fans of Gossip Girl are like me, these last few years have been a bit trying… watching every single character silently walk away from college and suddenly find themselves handed the golden spoon to a promising and successful career… waiting to see if any of the characters’ shenanigans would stop or if the same vicious cycle would repeat itself yet again… and needing to know who in the world has been torturing the characters from day one by revealing all of their dirty little secrets.

Who said what about whom?

Based on the young adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl follows five young characters in New York City: Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), also known as “S” and the “It Girl”; Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), also known as B or the “Queen B”; Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), also known as the “Bad Boy” of the Upper East Side; Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), also known as the “Golden Boy” of the Upper East Side; and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), also known as “Lonely Boy” or the lone Brooklynite of the group.  They’re all friends, sort of, and they all have oodles of conflict surrounding them.  Trust me, it never stops.

Queen B’s fashion… remember the headbands?

The early years were great—the latter years not so much.   So why do I keep tuning in for more?  Maybe it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment; maybe it’s because I hate to quit anything, even television shows; or maybe it’s because I can’t give up without knowing certain outcomes after investing six television seasons of my life into the show…

  • Will Chuck and Blair end up together?  They need to.  They deserve each other…
  • Will Dan walk away from the nonsense he has put up with all of these years from Serena, Blair, and Chuck and start a new life?  Please, even if it takes Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) helping him come to his senses…
  • Will Nate ever walk away from all of the drama?  He is always the first to help a friend out of a jam, but his character seems so much more grounded than the rest of them.  He deserves more…
  • Will anyone slap Serena?  Anyone?  One time?  Multiple times?  Please?  She is so whiny and self-centered…
“Bad Boy” Chuck… he’s always been my favorite.

But, trust me; it hasn’t always been frustrating and it’s not all bad.  There are quite a few aspects of the show that I won’t complain about.  And, despite my annoyances, Gossip Girl reminds me of some of my favorite television programs of all time.

The fashion.  While so many outfits are a bit over-the-top and most of us could never afford to dress like these kids, the fashion keeps us all up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s not.  Gossip Girl reminds me of Sex and the City in this way.  Women may have loved Carrie’s and the other girls’ outfits, but deep down knew that we’d never own any of it ourselves.  Not at those prices anyway.

S & B – BFFs 4-Ever… just look at how cute these outfits are! Gotta love the hats…

The music.  Gossip Girl kind of reminds me of the “real” 90210 in a way when it comes to music.  Aaron Spelling’s popular teen drama always included the generation’s best music.  At the end of each episode, he would announce the name and artist of the featured songs.  GG does the same, and I’ve learned of numerous artists I may not have known otherwise if not for this (I don’t really listen to the radio anymore).

Poor “Lonely Boy” – he’s never been able to walk away from his love for Serena… not matter how she treats him.

But the real question is—will we learn who “Gossip Girl” really is?  We know Georgina filled in for the gossip columnist for a while, as did Serena and Nate.  But who is the REAL mastermind?  Will the show introduce a new character played by Kristen Bell?  After all, she’s the voice behind the mischief.  Or will it be someone we’ve known all along?  Jenny (Taylor Momsen)?  She’s been MIA for a few years now…  Vanessa (Jessica Szohr)?  Where did she disappear to?  Eric (Connor Paolo)?  He’s been mistreated so many times that we all know he’d have motive.  Or, let’s go out on a limb here… is it one of the adults?  Serena’s mom, Lily (Kelly Rutherford)?  Dan’s dad, Rufus (Matthew Settle)?  Blair’s housekeeper, Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski)?  Chuck’s uncle, Jack (Desmond Harrington)?  Wouldn’t that be a nice twist if GG was actually one of the elders?!

Nate… always there when his friends need him.

Bottom line, Gossip Girl, you’ve hooked me.  I must know the answers to my questions, and I will tune in to the final episodes and cross my fingers that we learn the true identity of the face behind the blasts come December when the series ends.  When it’s all said and done, I will wish all of the characters the best moving forward… except maybe Serena.  I don’t know why, but I just can’t bring myself to like the character.

Chuck and Blair… they belong together.

Here’s to hoping the ending doesn’t disappoint.

What do you think?  Are you a Gossip Girl fan?  Who do you think GG is?  Are there any television shows you’ve stuck with from beginning to end simply because you’d already invested so much time into them, but probably shouldn’t have?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Television Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course – Part 2

Does anyone ever watch a television program and think to themselves, “Someone really needs to slap that character!”?  Wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t still love them, but that they need a reality check.  Also, wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we should slap them – this is all figurative of course, not literal.

Many characters on TV today find themselves worthy of a slap, at least in our opinion here at The Ooo Factor.  Some of these characters portray leading roles on some of our very favorite television programs, but we still find ourselves wishing we could jolt them back to reality at times.

Maybe they’re a bit overzealous; maybe they’re a bit narcissistic; maybe they’re a bit dense; or maybe they’re just a bit clueless — regardless, playing a fun game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

Last week we named our first five television characters worthy of a figurative slap.  So who else does Tele-Tuesday believe is worthy of a figurative slap?

*****

6.  Dr. Gregory House – House

Dr. House is about as narcissistic as they come… He’s always right; always.  Even when he’s wrong, does he admit it?  Never.  He’ll stop at nothing to prove his point and humiliate those around him, those who for whatever reason devote themselves to him.  He’s outright mean, callous, vindictive, and ultimately misanthropic; but he’s the best at what he does — head diagnostician at a fictional and prestigious hospital. He has already chased one Dean of Medicine away, and she literally loved him, and now he’s working on number two.  His best friend and his team of rotating doctors understand him like no other and constantly try to break through the barriers known as House, but due to the impossibility, it’s more like a game now – House versus everyone else.

7.  Serena van der Woodson – Gossip Girl

Talk about Little Miss Entitled.  Many may not like the scheming and evil games played by Serena’s best friend, but we personally don’t mind Blair’s tricks here at Tele-Tuesday.  We do, however, mind the constant whining of Serena.  We actually find ourselves rooting against her when it comes to love.  We love that her supposed one true love is now with Blair; Serena deserves that.  After all, she slept with Blair’s boyfriend before she skipped town to go to boarding school.  While at boarding school, she fell in love with a teacher (which ultimately sent him away to jail for statutory rape or something like that).  Since she’s returned to the Upper East Side, Serena is constantly sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and blowing up carefully laid plans by those who actually know how to play the New York socialite game.  And now she’s literally the infamous “Gossip Girl” — what will she blow up next?

8.  Dickie Bennett – Justified

And if we’re talking about Little Miss Entitled, we should probably talk about her counterpart — Little Mr. Entitled.  But where Serena rules New York’s Upper East Side, Dickie believes he rules Harlan County, Kentucky.  Seriously, we all know Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder run Harlan County — Raylan on the right side of the law, Boyd on the not-so-right-side of the law.  And we love them both, right?  But Dickie?  Dickie’s got nothing, yet thinks because his Mamma knew how to run an evil drug empire that he’s entitled and completely trained and worthy of the same power.  He’s not.  He’s just a weasel that needs the living daylights beat out of him, not just a slap.  Maybe Raylan can take a bat to his other knee to even out his limp?  Or maybe Boyd can shoot him in the chest with a shotgun to even the playing field for Dickie’s shot on Ava?  Either way, someone take this Bennett down…

9.  Shawn Spencer – Psych

Shawn may be the most overzealous character on our list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still love him (unlike Serena and Dickie).  However, it does mean we’d like to slap him around from time to time.  In his role of playing a psychic detective for the Santa Barbara police, Shawn must put on somewhat of a show, a dramatization, when working a case — like putting his fingers to his head, pretending he’s encountering a psychic vision; or his pretending to see psychic visions instead of admitting he is only using his keen sense of observation to point out something the “real” detectives haven’t yet noticed; or his acting out over-the-top actions, pretending his psychic visions have taken a hold of his physical being.  But there are also times when Shawn’s antics take it a bit too far.  Shawn has toned it down a bit over the past few years; but when we catch episodes of the earlier seasons, we find ourselves wishing Gus would reach out and slap the silly right out of Shawn.

10.  Nancy Botwin – Weeds

Nancy does what she needs to do in order to provide for her sons since her husband’s sudden death – she sells weed.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.  Because of Nancy’s choices, her family is constantly running, constantly trying to escape her bad decisions.  But somewhere along the line, Nancy believes that she is the only one in her family capable of making decisions; she always reminds everyone that she’s the “boss” — boss of the family; boss of the weed-selling business; boss of everything.  It’s time to see someone in her family slap some sense into her; the sooner one of the boys stands up to her, the sooner the Botwin family may be able to stop running.

*****

That’s our top ten, again in no particular order other than alphabetized by television show.  Adding to our list, we had some great slap-worthy character suggestions by our Ooo Factor readers last week:

Lori Grimes from The Walking Dead
Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami
Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle
Stefen Salvatore from The Vampire Dairies
Sookie Stackhouse from True  Blood

Who should we add to this list? 

And remember, we’re not condemning these characters — obviously we watch each and every one of these shows, and these characters hold a special place in our hearts for one reason or another.  But don’t we all want to slap even those that we love the most every once in a while, figuratively of course?

That’s what we thought…

Do you agree with our choices?  Which character/s on television do you wish you could slap, figuratively of course?  Does an annoying character stop you from watching a TV series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night – The Polls

This month marks the one year anniversary (or blogiversary as we’ve gotten to know it around the blogosphere) of The Ooo Factor.  One year seems like a long time, but in all honesty the blog posts have flown by and I’ve had a great time sharing my television addiction with everyone on a weekly basis.  Blogging has actually given my obsessive TV watching purpose, and has made me feel better about the amount of television I watch each and every night.  And whether or not my readers can believe it, I have much more to share!

If we’ve learned anything as we’ve moved through the years, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.

Whew; that sounded borderline serious for a second.   But it’s true…

But other things change too, like the revolving door of television programs.  The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  In celebration of the past twelve months here at Tele-Tuesday, we’ve decided to update a few of our older posts that don’t necessarily stand true any longer (whether it be because the networks moved our shows around or because some new hit has taken its place).

Last year, we blogged about our 2011 Pick Per Night television series.  While some of our choices still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on that particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with the 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one show per night, what would it be?

Did your favorite show make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch programs in a Pick Per Night 2012.

 

Friday FabOoolousness – Jillian Dodd and finding That Boy

Earlier this summer, I found myself reluctantly attending a Meet and Greet with a few other SheWrites.com members that I’d only talked to briefly online.  Having heard repeatedly that writers need to network, I hopped in my car and drove the ten minutes to BJ’s Brewery where I met Jillian Dodd.

Author Jillian Dodd

Jill and I hit it off immediately.  Not only do we share the same profession and love for the written word, we both have a minor obsession (okay, maybe it’s a tad major) with NCAA football.  For the past decade, our alma maters even played each other in the same conference: Jill’s a Nebraska Cornhusker, and we all know I’m a Texas Tech Red Raider.  One might think this would make Jill and I instant rivals, but it didn’t; instead, we were immediate friends.

Jill and I now belong to the same writing group and she’s a frequent lunch date of mine.  We also share a love of movies and luckily live close enough to one another that we can meet at the AMC Theater on occasion for an afternoon of playtime.

Jill published her first book, That Boy, earlier this year and will soon release the sequel, That Wedding.  I hope everyone enjoys getting to know Jill just as much as I have!

That Boy:

You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits.

There’s Danny, the golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or has been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy that every girl crushes on; he’s the hot quarterback that no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure; he’s the boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.

Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth. Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. He’s the boy who rescues me; the boy who can read my mind; the boy who is always there for me; the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble; and the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me. And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.

One boy will give me my very first kiss.
One boy will teach me to make out.
One boy will take me to prom.
And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him.
They will both be my best friends.
But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.

Only one of them is That Boy.

 *****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

When I was a little girl, I loved to read, but writing never really crossed my mind. I grew up on a farm and dreamed of adventure. I wanted to be a spy. My parents owned a clothing store when I was in college, so I majored in Textiles, Clothing, and Design. I wanted to be a buyer, own a chain of stores, and make a million or so. LOL.

I never dreamed of being a writer, but I did dream about the story I wrote, which is what made me start writing. I’ve always written stories in my head for my own entertainment. Like on long drives, I would dream up and act out stories in my mind. When I was forced to clean our family’s basement every Saturday morning, it always took me forever because I acted out a musical I wrote to all the Beach Boys songs on Endless Summer.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

Honestly, I dream vividly. Many of my ideas come from dreams.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

All time favorite in Carolyn Keene, who wrote the Nancy Drew series.  For fun, I read a combination of YA and thrillers: James Rollins, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Alex Horowitz, and Sophie Kinsella.

Did you design the cover art for That Boy yourself?

I did. I illustrated the inside of the book with lots of silly little doodles. I envisioned something like what I would’ve drawn on my notebook as a teen. I also wanted something very simple that stood out amongst all the photos of people on most romances. I originally planned to do three books – That Boy has the heart; That Wedding will have a wedding cake; and That Baby would have a rattle. Simple, bold, and similar.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing your characters and why?

I didn’t really for That Boy. I sorta combined some people I knew with other people’s personalities. The relationships between Danny and Lori and Phillip and Jadyn were inspired by my husband and our friendship with another couple (the guy in the couple is one of my best friends).

The new series that I’m working on is set in a boarding school and has a lot of characters, so I do have photos of each character in front of me when I write.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer. Really, the entire cast of Magic Mike.

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to paint, see movies, cook, shop, and spend time with my family. My son is a semi-pro kart racer, so I spend lots of time traveling with him as well. I’m also a bit addicted to Twitter.

You are an avid college football fan like me.  If you could play, which position would you choose and why?

Part of me wants to say the quarterback because I like to control things, but I was the pitcher for my fast pitch softball team for years, and that was a lot of pressure. When I didn’t pitch, I played first base. It was much less stress. So I’d say I’d want to be a wide receiver. Run down the field, catch the ball, and score.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

I’m loving Revenge, and I LOVE Gossip Girl, even though it is NOTHING like the books. I have been doing research for That Wedding and have become addicted to David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding, as well as, Say Yes to the Dress.

 

You review a new movie every Friday on your blog, what is your favorite movie all-time?

Oh, wow. I don’t know if I could pick just one. I loved Independence Day. I can watch it over and over. I could also watch The Hangover a million times; it just keeps getting funnier. I would also include Harry Potter, Star Wars, Transformers, Talladega Nights, The Golden Child, Boomerang, and Titanic. I could go on for days. Avatar. I’ll stop now.

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

I get the same thing every time – large popcorn, to which I add way more butter than is good for me, and a large Diet Coke (the Diet Coke counteracts all the calories I consume. Like, in theory.)

*****

Isn’t Jill almost like that girl we’d all like to know?!

Want more Jill?  Be sure to visit her website and blog, follower her Twitter and Goodreads, and like her Facebook author page.

And don’t forget to buy a copy of That Boy here – Jill has Kindle, Nook, iPad and PDF copies available!

Do you have a question for Jill?  Have you read That Boy, and if so share your thoughts here!  What’s your favorite love story and why?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Before we go, here’s a special sneak peek of That Wedding

I know Phillip is that boy. The boy I want to marry, my prince, my happily ever after. I feel like I’m living in a dreamy fairytale.

But then Pastor starts asking questions I don’t know the answers to.
I have horrible wedding disaster dreams.
I can’t find a dress.
I have to manipulate Phillip to get my way.
And then, an old boyfriend asks me to run away and marry him.
My best friend tells me I’m going to ruin everything.
And forever is starting to sound like a really long time.

Which makes me start to wonder…

I wonder if best friends should get married.
I wonder if I’m settling.
I wonder if the fact that sex with Phillip is so amazing that it’s clouding my judgment.
I wonder if it’s just cold feet.
I wonder if marriage is all that fun.

And then I have to decide. Am I willing to give up on true love forever, or should I say, what the hell, and marry him?

*****

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor #2

The endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

 

Happy and carefree high school students in Springwood, Ohio transformed overnight into terrified teenagers afraid to fall asleep.  It all started when Tina dreamed of being chased by a horribly burned man wearing a green and red striped sweater, teasing her with his razor-sharp knives in lieu of fingers on his right hand.  Tina escaped his clutches just in time, and woke up with tears in her night-gown.  How can something that occurs in a dream actually happen?

Tina’s best friend, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), experienced a similar dream the very same night.  Nancy dismissed her nightmare as just that, a nightmare.  Being the good friend that she was, Nancy agreed to spend the night with Tina so that she wouldn’t be alone.  Joining the girls, of course, was Tina’s boyfriend, Rod, and Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen (introducing Johnny Depp, ladies).  Tina fell asleep feeling safe with her friends nearby, and Freddy appeared again; only this time, Freddy didn’t miss slashing Tina with his razor-sharp claws.

Do you remember that scene?  Tina, wearing the oversized, white button down shirt, flailing about, blood spraying everywhere, levitating, crawling on the ceiling, and finally crashing into her bed — dead.  Her boyfriend standing helplessly by, watching an invisible knife slash through his girlfriend, screaming her name, “Tina!” – completely terrified and confused.   

The nightmares continued for Nancy, finally convincing her that she and Tina were dreaming about the same man.  Continuing to have nightmares, Nancy saw the burned man kill Rod; and, later found Rod dead in reality too – just like Tina.

Finally, Nancy’s mother confessed that the man haunting and stalking her in her dreams was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) – a child murderer that was burned and killed at the hands of the children’s parents.  Together, Nancy & Glen devised a plan to trap and kill Freddy, but Glen made one fatal mistake – he fell asleep.

Do you remember that scene?  Glen lying on his bed in his midriff jersey t-shirt with his television & gigantic head phones, sinking through the bed as Freddy sucked him in, the blood rushing through the mattress with the velocity of a fire hydrant.

Alone, Nancy battled Krueger to the end, living to see another day; actually, Nancy survived to see another few installments of the Nightmare franchise: Nightmare 3 and New Nightmare.

Do you remember the eerie nursery rhyme?  The little girls dressed in beautiful white baby-doll dresses playing hop-scotch and jumping rope in the parks?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful, children’s song.

Wes Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.

A Nightmare on Elm Street opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.  The original Nightmare will always be great; but, the remake included more of the back-story of Freddy Krueger, and the children he preyed on, making the 2010 film very exciting for a Nightmare-aholic like myself.

Wake Up!

The Nightmare franchise has also featured an array of popular actors over the years in addition to Langenkamp, Englund and Depp, such as Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Ritter, Breckin Meyer, and Lochlyn Munro.  Additionally, Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold appeared briefly in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.  The 2010 movie successfully catered to today’s teenage audience by casting the brilliant Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy (in an absolutely FaBOoolous performance assuming the role from Englund), Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Movies), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), and Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

Hopefully, the franchise will live on.

Do you believe that if you die in your sleep, will you die in real life?  Do you prefer the 1984 original or the 2010 remake?  Do you fear Freddy, Jason, or Michael more?  What’s your favorite scary movie?   I’d love to hear from you!

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