Can you keep a secret? XOXO



(Picture source)

The ‘popular’ media text that i chose for this week post is an American teen drama show called Gossip Girl as it contributes to the ‘mediated’ public sphere. The very first series of the TV show was broadcasted in 2007 and it caught the attention of majority of the teenage girls living in year 2000, that’s including me (major fan). Hot guys and edgy fashion dressed-up girls with scandalous lives living in Manhattan’s Upper-East side elites.  No doubt the show is over materialised as it would be hard to believe this actually happens in reality.



(Picture source)

The public sphere:

“It’s where each of us finds out what’s happening in our community, and what social, cultural and political issues are facing us. It’s where we engage this issues and add our voices to discussion about them, playing our part in the process of a society reaching our consensus or compromise about what we think about issues, and what should be done about them.” (McKee, 2005 p2-3)

Today’s public sphere develop with new social medias such as the television and the internet. It is evident through the YouTube video above that Gossip Girl caused many debates high and low in the mediated public sphere. The video trailer portrays aspects in the form of scandals, violence, sex, alcohol, depression, high-end fashion, and designer brands that generates both positive and negative feedbacks from the society especially from parents.

Few scenes from the show caused debates in the ‘mediated’ public sphere where a scene of threesome happened and where a girl suffers from depression had attempted suicide. This supports McKee’s idea about the content of the modern media being too trivialized, commercialised, fragmented and apathetic about important public issue. Should TV shows such as Gossip Girl be introduced to teenagers and young adults? Nevertheless, the show was targeted to viewers over the age of 18, but unsurprisingly and obviously there are viewers and in fact, majority of the viewers ranges from 12-17 years old. An example of TV shows like Gossip Girls that will increase and contribute most to the mediated public sphere.


McKee, A (2005), ‘Introduction: the public sphere: an introduction’ in Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp1-31

Lau, D. (2013). Current public sphere vs. Bourgeois public sphere. Available:


About Vivyan Foo

19 years young. Internet, EDM & Food 🙌
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Can you keep a secret? XOXO

  1. smm797 says:

    Hey Vivyan, good blog post I enjoyed reading it. Do you think that gossip girl is the reason some people find life boring without scandal?

  2. taasherr says:

    This was a really interesting post and covers a very important and overlooked topic. The types of behaviours and values portrayed throughout popular television shows are so frequently overlooked and often people forget that majority of any media has an enormous young audience. Gossip Girl completely provides a pedestal for promiscuity, sex, alcohol, wild parties and snarky behaviour, which would make young admirers of the show feel elevated if following all the show glorifies. Your point about viewers being aged from 12-17 was very confronting as they are the ones affected by this.
    A very good example for describing the public sphere and very well written!

  3. jessicafan1 says:

    I found this post of yours particularly engaging as I myself, is a major fan of Gossip Girl (not embarrassed to say so). It was clear to me that you were able to highlight the sense of both reality and the materialised outlook of the show and the portrayal taken by the audience. The factors that you listed, contributing to the public sphere were all on point and they do generate a lot of drama for viewers of all ages i believe, including kids that are still in junior grades.
    A very clear and nice outline of the public sphere!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s