Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All Hail Queen Blair!

It wasn’t until the meteoric rise of Blair Waldorf on the CW’s Gossip Girl that teenagers everywhere (and secretly their parents) were schooled in the art of treachery. The ruthless socialite embodied the term frenemy to its fullest degree and put all those plotting, vendetta-having, power-hungry princesses to shame. The O.C.’s Summer wouldn’t last a minute in the ring with her, Julie Cooper would cower in fear, and 90210’s Brenda would be shocked into submission. It’s about as much of a contest as Beyonce versus Britney Spears. We might enjoy laughing at one more than the other, but only one of them entertains to the fullest extent.

By Blair’s standards, Priveleged's Sage is an amateur. The unimaginative duplication of her persona is an insult to teenagers everywhere--as though they only respond to one repetitive archetype. Why settle for the knock off when you can have the real thing?

The regurgitation of a popular series, film, character, song—you name it—is a common practice in Hollywood. But what studio execs fail to understand is that what needs to be duplicated is the spirit of the product, not its formula. It’s true that we mourned the demise of “Friends,” but that doesn’t mean you should slap six amateur actors into kooky romantic scenarios and practically dub it “Friends Part Deux” a.k.a. “The Class.” You’re supposed to take the spirit of friendship, love, comradery, and immature hijinks and call it “How I Met Your Mother.” Even with this advice floating around for free, studios bet their earnings on cobbling together a genre after just one hit, resulting in the fairly recent—in the last decade—eruption of super hero films—from the well-known (Batman) to the hardly mentioned (The Spirit)—and pregnancy-related romantic comedies—from the big budget (Knocked Up) to the low budget (Juno) to even low-quality (the upcoming Labor Pains).

I stand by my belief that there is no vindictive vixens on television today that can top Blair Waldorf--not even Georgina Sparks--or replicate her appeal. But I will agree that there are two other ladies that pack their own deadly dose of femme fatality: Desperate Housewives' Bree and Ugly Betty's Wilhemina Slater.

Which TV character do you think could go toe-to-toe with the Queen B?

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