Jul 28, 2021 • 1HR 7M

Gossip Guys

Finchley Place #8

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Do you like games? What about expression games? Language games? Do you think you know how communication works? Shame on you.
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We talk Gossip Girl with our favorite recapper and amateur microsociologist Jacob Clifton. We try to figure out why TV show premises are purposefully unrealistic, what we can learn from fiction, and why modern notions of power differ from those of decades past.

Reason: One of my favorite things about your recaps is that an idea comes out of a scene, and once you put a word on it, it keeps coming back and back—you have this wolves metaphor for neckties, the idea of Serena and her “fever” in Season One.

Jacob: I think it’s university poisoning, the literary equivalent of people who want everything to be canon in the Marvel Universe. I think the idea of reaching back to things I wrote previously, in order to build a language with the reader, is also a way to… click, like a box. When it comes down to it, when you’re reading a recap it’s just you and this person, sitting next to you on the couch… there’s a natural parasocial relationship that comes up out of that.

Crispy: This need to thematize things, and come back to them… I guess I see that as the natural way of all relationships. I think the best example of this, often someone who’s foreign or a child of an immigrant will enter a friend group, they’ll have a certain phrase they use in a specific way and pretty soon it’ll infect the entire group, and people will use it as this new reference point… Someone can reject your use of a new phrase—what is it in Mean Girls? “Stop trying to make X a thing.” But when it happens, it becomes a defining point of a relationship.