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September 13, 2010

Guest Post: A Defense of Vanessa Abrams

TV: Gossip Girl

In celebration of the premiere tonight, I'm turning the blog over to my cousin Liz, also known as the one Vanessa Abrams fan on the planet. Note: Please do not take this as an endorsement of her ideas. I still hate Vanessa, don't worry.

This post came about after I answered affirmatively to an on-line poll that 'Hey! I like Vanessa!' and the results still showed 0% for that option. "Statistics don't lie," I thought. "I literally am the only one." I mentioned it to Katie, and she invited me to explain. At her request, here are the reasons I really like Vanessa.

She encourages her friends to do what they want to do. Not what she wants them to do, and definitely not what their creepily controlling relatives want them to do - what they want to do, and what's in their best interests.
Along these lines, she's an incredibly loyal friend. Just think of her entire relationship with Nate. For a long time Vanessa was the only person he could really talk to about the situation with his family, even though he'd known Chuck, Serena, and Blair since they were all kids.

She's the only one of the Brooklyn kids who's remained unimpressed by the Upper East Siders' money and status. I think it's pretty fair to say that Dan drank the Kool-Aid, and Jenny's just run completely off the rails. They all started the show as misfit outsiders, but Vanessa's the only one who's held onto her initial skepticism and stayed level-headed.
More specifically, I appreciate Vanessa's skepticism of the UES kids' overly complicated schemes. Nine times out of ten, Vanessa is the one advising Dan, Jenny, Nate, and even occasionally Serena that they should just come clean. Even though, in spite of her protests, she always ends up supporting her friends' machinations - without which, let's be honest, each episode would last approximately seven and a half minutes - I appreciate that somebody tries to be the voice of reason.

She became friends - real friends - with Serena. Jump on into my way-back machine, if you will, to recall the very beginnings of DAN + SERENA 4-EVA <3 <3 <3 ZOMG. Vanessa's BFF, with whom she was completely smitten, started dating a ditzy, leggy blonde Amazon who'd run around acting cutely confused about how often she managed to completely screw things up for other people. At Dan's request, and for the sake of their shared history, Vanessa genuinely befriended that chick. If that's not completely amazing friend love, I don't know what is.

The way she slept with Chuck. I admit, maybe this isn't about my fondness for Vanessa so much as it's about my happiness that a female character on television was shown to have gotten what she wanted out of a one-night stand (wasn't it her, rather than Chuck, who stipulated that they never talk about it again?) and then gotten on with her life, with no lovesick mooning about and no all-encompassing regret.

I'll admit to feeling a little nervous about the coming season. I know Vanessa's not the most popular character, and I hope it won't affect the plotlines the writers come up with. I was super disappointed that she initially wanted to turn down the CNN offer for Haiti in favor of staying with Dan, and I'm still figuring out what to make of this.

Posted by Kat at September 13, 2010 03:00 PM

I just wanted to say that your cousin isn't the only one! (I googled "defense of Venssa Abrams" just to see if -I- was the only one who didn't hate the character, and I found this. I had to comment that I agree with everything your cousin wrote above.)

Posted by: Evie at May 3, 2011 04:14 PM
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