Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl is a one-hour drama based on the lives of privileged Manhattan prep school teens. The students first learn that Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), once the Upper East Side’s most notorious party girl, is back in town the way they learn all the important news in their lives — from the blog of the all-knowing, albeit ultra-secretive, Gossip Girl. No one knows Gossip Girl’s identity, but everyone in this exclusive and complicated vicious circle relies on her website and text messages for the latest scoop. Even Serena’s closest friend, Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), is surprised to find that Serena has suddenly ended her self-imposed exile to boarding school and returned to Manhattan. Keeping track of the shifting friendships, jealousies and turmoil in this wealthy and complex world isn’t easy, but it’s what Gossip Girl does best!
Read my review of the complete first season DVD after the jump.
Gossip Girl: Season One
Available To Own On (click to purchase): DVD
Official Site Link: www.gossipgirltvondvd.com
Release Date: August 19, 2008
Based on the popular teen-focused series of the same name, Gossip Girl comes to DVD on five discs featuring all 18 episodes of the show’s first–strike shortened–season. Starring Blake Lively as Blair Van Der Woodsen, Gossip Girl takes viewers on a ride through the lives of a group of wealthy well-off high-schoolers. All the while, the Humphrey’s (father Rufus, son Dan and daughter Jenny) learn to adjust to the upper-income lifestyle while living a more moderate one. It’s a good blend between upper class/middle class, and makes for some interesting drama here and there. The behind-the-scenes star of the show is the secretive Gossip Girl, narrated by actress Kristen Bell (Heroes, Veronica Mars).
Many, and by many I actually mean the few but vocal watchdog and family groups, had objected to the content of the show’s first season (what with the teen-sex and the like), but there’s really nothing here that is all that outrageous or unknown to today’s youth.
Gossip Girl has a great vibe to it and though it’s geared to a young-adult audience, specifically young women, I’m confident that there is something here that will entertain most anyone.
There’s actually quite an extensive bit of special features included in this set, surely enough to satisfy not just the hardcore fans but newcomers as well. In addition to what’s listed on the back of the set, WB has also included a promo for season 2 (which began September 1st) and a trailer for the film The Clique. All the special features are listed on a nice 12-page booklet that also serves as an episode guide.
The deleted/unaired scenes are spread across all five discs, appropriately positioned with their respective episodes. This is just your standard fare of deleted scenes, with some more noteworthy additions and some not so much.
The rest of the special features are all included on the set’s fifth and final disc. Here they are in order.
The Beginning, XOXO: Concept to Execution
Running about a half-hour in length, this documentary does exactly what the title implies, taking viewers through the creation of the show. It touches on various subjects from the decision to move production from Los Angeles to New York, to the process involved in adapting the books to TV and casting the characters. Creator Josh Schwartz, Cecily Von Ziegesar (writer of the original series) and more from the cast and crew are included on the feature expressing their thoughts about the show.
Gossip Girl Couture
This 15-minute feature focuses on the invididual styles of the various characters wardrobes and the overall fashion of the show.
A Gossip Girl Wedding
Next up is this six-minute featurette that is basically just a behind-the-scenes look at how the wedding scene in the season finale went down. There’s really not much to it, which is evidenced by its relative short length.
LOL: Gag Reel
Always a favorite feature of mine in DVD sets, this series of bloopers with the cast and crew runs about 12 minutes in length.
The Pierces Music Videos (“Boring” and “Secret”)
Two music videos from the Pierces, with “Secret” more linked to the series as it includes several scenes taken from the show and incorporated with their own performance in an episode on the series.
Downloadable Audiobook of the Original Best-selling Novel Read by Christina Ricci
Rounding out the package is an option to listen to (or download on your PC) a free audiobook of the first novel in the Gossip Girl franhise. The audiobook is narrated by actress Christina Ricci.
Given the relative low viewership the series had during its first season (second season is averaging a solid 3M+), it’s quite surprising how well-known the show is. However, it’s hard not to be sucked in and enjoy the drama. This all despite the fact that there’s truly not anything here that is remarkably fresh. It’s simply entertaining and that’s true whether this is your first trip through or you’re catching up on more. Add in a solid supplement of special features and this makes for a highly recommended pickup.
I rate this series and DVD a 4/5.
Gossip Girl: Season One was released on DVD Tuesday, August 19th. Add it to your collection by clicking here.