#203; the thinking gal’s Gossip Girl

After my recent discovery of the charming acting persona that is Penn Badgely (thanks to a surprise viewing of Easy A), I went looking for more of his work and found a show called The Bedford Diaries. It is awesome. I found all 8 episodes (I truly cannot believe they canceled it!) and I love just about everything about it – every storyline, the quotes, the premise, every character (even the ‘adults’). But I got thinking, it’s essentially the thinking gal’s Gossip Girl, right? The difference being: these are adults dealing with adult issues (family, pregnancy, addiction, suicide, education, socio-economic disparity) in ways that are far more realistic than the teenagers of GG. And so, in true OCD and tv-fandom fashion, I did a character comparison. The two shows match up nearly perfectly, with the exception being that Bedford Diaries doesn’t have a Serena-like character. Which makes a lot of sense to me – if BD is the intellectual version of GG, then there isn’t much place for a Serena, because she hasn’t had much in the way of thinking storylines. Am I wrong? Thoughts? Either way, my reasoning behind the matches and thoughts on each charcter/relationship to follow.

Blair Waldorf/Sarah GregoryBoth ladies are immense over-achievers. Blair is… Blair. Sarah is the President of Student Government, top of her class, and has only ever missed one class in her life. She’s the former lover of a Bedford Professor, the current tortured love interest of UES Bad Boy Rick, and the pillar of fashion perfection.Charles Bass/Richard ThorneBoth Rick and Chuck are the dark leading men of their shows. They’re both incredibly wealthy, with tons of daddy & mommy issues, they start the series as man whores with very hidden very vulnerable hearts, and both have immediate antagonistic relationships with Blair & Sarah.Nate Archibald/Natalie DykstraBoth I find both Nate and Natalie to be enigmas of sorts. They both have tons more going on under the surface than what we see – intelligence, history, family, and a strange relationship with the Chuck/Rick character that we can’t quite understand because we’re not in it.Jenny Humphrey/Owen GregoryYes, I find it kind of awesome that Dan essentially played the Jenny of Bedford University. The outsiders who want in, the innate sexuality of both characters and how it’s almost wrong to feel that way about them, the close relationship they both have with their shining, brilliant older siblings.Dan Humphrey/Lee HemmingwayThe scholarship kids from the wrong side of the tracks. They’re intellectuals at heart, a little too serious for their own good. Lee’s girlfriend is pregnant, Dan spent the first part of Season 4 with a baby he thought was his own.Vanessa Abrams/Zoe LopezBoth of these girls are the ones we love to hate – they go against the grain, make the lives of our favorites far more complicated, have intense sets of morals. They’re also both outsiders from different geographic, socio-economic, and ethnic backgrounds than the rest of the casts.Rufus Humphrey/Professor Jake MacklinThe cooler of the older generation – the one you talk to, the one who’s been there, the father figure of sorts to many of the kids, not just his own.Lily VDW-Humphrey/Professor Carla BonatelleThe mother figure, generally the attempted-moral-compass-who’s-way-off.

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