Tom Acitelli has an oddly hysterical screed about the Greatest Show of Our Time in today’s Observer. In a blog post called “Is Gossip Girl Dangerous? Yes,” Acitelli complains that the show “is spreading throughout the United States a disjunctive, distorted, ultimately dangerous, view of what buys what in New York City right now.” His specific gripe is that the show makes it seem that “poor” families like the Humphreys can still have sumptuous, airy loft spaces in Williamsburg (duh, Tom, keep up — they live in Dumbo!).
We must dash these notions quickly, lest a fresh wave of flyover country folk flock to neighborhoods like Williamsburg (just like they did in the 1990’s) to waste some of the choicest years of their life coming to grips with the reality that $1,000 in this city is like $100 elsewhere.
First of all, how patronizing. If you were really worried about these people, friend, you probably wouldn’t call them “flyover country folk.” It sounds more like you just don’t want Middle Americans moving into your hood. And second, your complaint is that the show credits its characters with better real estate than they’d actually have in real life. Just like, you know, Friends, Sex and the City, and, oh, EVERY OTHER SHOW THAT HAS EVER BEEN ON TELEVISION. Violating the space-wealth continuum has been a time-honored tradition since Eva Gabor moved to Hooterville on Green Acres (and missed living in Times Square).
Acitelli ratchets up the scorn at the end of his post:
And to those of you who’re going to move to this city after absorbing the mental marketing of Gossip Girl, please, when you wash out about five years from now — six, tops — don’t move in next-door and play your TV loud. We don’t want to hear it.
What? We don’t even know what that means! Yet even with all of the paranoia, elitism, and misunderstanding of pop-culture norms in his piece, this is the part that offends us most: “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being The Sopranos and 1 being Two and a Half Men,” Acitelli writes, “I’d give Gossip Girl a 4.” Oh, HELL no. We don’t know you, Tom, and from this piece of crotchety prose, we estimate that you are white, of moderate weight and height, and roughly 78 years old. But rest assured, if you make a comment like that again, not even your age and frailty will stop us from coming over to the Observer office and crotch-swatting you right in the Depends.