When if first debuted, Gossip Girl was decried as an O.C. clone by fans of the recently deceased series. And as the show progressed the characters seemed to mimic their west coast counterparts pretty damn closely. But ultimately which show did the best take on each archetype? That’s what I aim to find out in this edition of Battle Royale.
Round 1: Serena Van der Woodsen vs. Marissa Cooper
The Same: Rich party girls who lead lavish lives to the point of excess, haunted by their past mistakes, have a troubled home life and a rather slutty mom. Fall in love with a boy from the bad part of town and begin a cycle of dating and breakups that last forever.
The Difference: Serena only used to be super ****ed up, now she’s cleaned up her act while Marissa is ODing or shoplifting every other episode. She’s out of control to the point where it becomes annoying for the show to keep having to use her insanity as a plot device.
Who’s Hotter: All girls think Serena is gorgeous, but despite her skinniness Marissa is the more breathtaking of the two.
Winner: Serena (GG: 1, OC: 0)
Round 2: Dan Humphrey vs. Ryan Atwood/Seth Cohen
Yes, I’m using both, watch how the Seth/Ryan pieces amalgam into Dan.
The Same: Poor kids from a part of town that all the prep school kids scoff at (“Brooklyn?” “Chino?”). Has a sharp wit and a propensity to punch people in the face if the situation calls for it. Kind of a loner until he starts dating the rich, troubled girl at school where all her friends sneer at him for the way he dresses.
The Difference: Well, Seth and Ryan are two people obviously, and even though Gossip Girl felt that combining them into one guy was a good plan, I think they work better as a tag team. You can’t be witty and brooding, geeky and a brawler, it doesn’t work like that.
Who’s Hotter: Dan, sorry Ryseth.
Winner: Ryan/Seth (GG: 1, OC: 1)
Round 3: Blair Waldorf vs. Summer Roberts
The Same: Best friend of the girl dating the poor boy, constantly sneers at his appearance and background until they finally learn to live with each other. Is a social leader at school and commands the respect of all those who cross her path.
The Difference: Summer started dating Seth and subsequently stopped being interested for three seasons. Blair is constantly forming new plots against those who have wronged her, and she always, always wins.
Who’s Hotter: Survey says Summer, even though it’s close.
Winner: Blair (GG: 2, OC: 1)
Round 4: Nate Archibald vs. Luke Ward
The Same: Rich kid at an ultraprep school. Has a knack for causing controversy by hooking up with people other than his girlfriend, including much older women. Has a dad with a terrible secret that ultimately tears the family apart and causes him to be mocked and beat up by other kids.
The Difference: Nate isn’t a bully, Luke is. Although he comes around eventually, Luke is the classic prep school foil, where Nate is a ladies man who’s never so much as punched someone and is mainly eye-candy for the show.
Who’s Hotter: Both are pretty much Abercrombie models, but Luke is a bit too cro-magnon. Nate takes it.
Winner: Luke (GG: 2, OC: 2)
Round 5: Chuck Bass vs. Oliver Trask
The Same: Dressed in the latest hyperprep fashions, has parents whose fortunes dwarf the other rich kids at school, but he’s emotionally neglected and ultimately develop deep sociopathic tendencies that culminate in an almost-suicide.
The Difference: They really are exceptionally similar, but Chuck is likable, despite his appetite for the destruction of all those around him. Oliver’s plotting was just creepy, but when Chuck sets a scheme in motion, it’s downright poetic to watch it unfold.
Who’s Hotter: Chuck, in like the same way that the Joker is hot.
Winner: Chuck (GG: 3, OC: 2)
Round 6: Jenny Humphrey vs. Caitlin Cooper
The Same: Little sister that rebels against her parents. Constantly causes older men to fall into temptation with her hotness, but ultimately doesn’t do anything over too the line. Such a tease.
The Difference: At least Jenny does something. She may have gotten all angsty with her bangs and eyeliner, but at least she’s dropping out school, becoming a fashion designer and leading a relatively exciting life. I can’t name one interesting thing Caitlin did on The O.C. besides magically age six years overnight.
Who’s Hotter: Without her bangs, Jenny. Otherwise, Caitlin.
Winner: Jenny (GG: 4, OC: 2)
Round 7: Rufus Humphrey vs. Sandy Cohen
The Same: The prototypical “cool dad” who dishes out sage advice, but sometimes fails to live it himself.
The Difference: Rufus is a divorcee and has way too many unresolved issues of his own to be the kind of effective parent. He’s in love with his ex, can’t control his daughter, he’s a mess. Sandy, in contrast, is the picture of cool, and oh, those eyebrows.
Who’s Hotter: Rufus, despite (or in spite of) Sandy’s eyebrows.
Winner: Sandy (GG: 4, OC: 3)
Round 8: Vanessa vs. Theresa
The Same: The former hometown fling of the poor kid. Gets involved in his life again and makes his current rich girlfriend jealous since they’re both from the hood. They reunite briefly, but ultimately decide things can never be like they were and decide to remain friends.
The Difference: Theresa got pregnant, in the first season. They’re not supposed to pull a stunt like that until season three at least. But that being said, her character had more of an emotional impact on the show, where Vanessa pretty much has no purpose whatsoever.
Who’s Hotter: Vanessa is ****ing gorgeous. That is all.
Winner: Theresa (GG: 4, OC: 4)
Round 9: Lily Van der Woodsen vs. Julie Cooper/Kirsten Cohen
Another combo, stay with me.
The Same: A divorcee who has the propensity to go through men like candy. Her past mistakes haunt her to this day, and even though she cares for her family, often puts herself first. Sometimes she does manage truly motherly instincts however, and is forever in love with poor guy’s Dad.
The Difference: Well, this is another two people one, so there are many points where they differ. Lily is just very schizophrenic, to the point where you can’t really understand her motivations at all. One day she’s happily married, the next she’s off trying to band her fling from 20 years ago again. Julie and Kirsten might be different, but at least they’re relatively constant.
Who’s Hotter: Julie and Kirsten for sure, even individually.
Winner: Julie/Kirsten (GG: 4, OC: 5)
Round 10: Howie “The Captain” Archibald vs. Jimmy Cooper
The Same: A father of spoiled rich children who ruins his entire family’s reputation through sordid business deals, eventually causing them to lose their home and their wealth entirely.
The Difference: Jimmy is more of a whiny bitch, whereas the Captain thinks he’s some sort of drug lord by running away to South America to escape his problems and has a completely “I don’t give a ****” attitude about the whole thing.
Who’s Hotter: The Captain, love that porn stache when he gets back from down south.
Winner: Captain (GG: 5, OC: 5)
Round 11: Bart Bass vs. Caleb Nicol
The Same: Real estate mogul who is exceptionally cruel and mistrusting, even investigating his own family members’ pasts. Ultimately dies and has a lavish funeral where everyone wonders how his business will be divided up.
The Difference: Bart is like a robot, whereas Caleb is like an evil robot, much more exciting to watch. He’s a bastard, but fun to watch, whereas Bart is just boring as hell, and downright nasty to poor Chuck.
Who’s Hotter: Caleb the silver fox.
Winner: Caleb (GG: 5, OC: 6)
So The O.C. takes it by one, in a surprisingly close match. Honestly, The O.C. was twice the show that Gossip Girl is (at least in its early seasons) in terms of writing, plot and direction, but GG does boast some pretty strong characters. I mean, how can you compete with Chuck Bass? Not possible. The show is only in its second season, and The O.C. started to waver during season three before it dropped straight off a cliff in season four. Let’s hope Gossip Girl can avoid such a fate. Could it be the first show ever to escape the infamous college curse? That remains to be seen, but until then we’ve got one last semester of senior year to enjoy.