Chuck Bass is more than just a fictional character in the teen TV show Gossip Girl. Chuck Bass is American social history. We all know of the American Dream, but what about the offspring of the American Dream? Why Chuck Bass of course!
Much of the glory of the Gossip Girl characters (as well as in the real-life New York social circle counterparts) relies on prestigious family names. Whitneys, Waldorfs, Vanderbilts, but the name that comes out of the mouths of Manhattans young elite with the most impact is short and not so sweet. Chuck. Bass. It is also a name that is neither in the historical repertoire of actual New York and Gossip Girl New York.
In the TV series Chuck’s father, Bartholomew Bass is a highly successful American businessman; an entrepreneur that made a name for himself. Chuck is of the first member of his family to be born into wealth, and Bass only recently become an enviable name on the social registrar. Yet Chuck Bass’s pride of this family entitlement, achievement, and image is infinitely stronger than any of his peers. He is knows and takes every advantage he has been given, and uses them for better or for worse.
Chuck Bass knows how to make an entrance. He knows how to manipulate. He knows how to make both his presence and his identity known. His peers are generations removed from their family name makers; they are so used to entitlement that they don’t even fully realize the amount of power and privilege they have.
People at times wonder the enjoyment and obsession with a wealth-centric show like Gossip Girl. Don’t you get jealous? Don’t you find it isolating? What’s so interesting about rich people? Following the lives & scandals of the elite Manhattan families in Gossip Girl isn’t necessarily a trite, useless, and dangerous activity. It’s understanding the modernization of America’s gilded history & gossip but through a hip savvy perspective of our current communication technology that most of us can relate to.
Gossip has been around since practically the dawn of civilization. The higher up on the social ladder the better, more coveted and juicier the gossip is. It can still be hard to comprehend the social age we are currently in. Who would have thought could execute social digital ‘blast’ of gossip to countless people within seconds. Whispers of scandals between friends may never die down, but our current ability to almost instantly ruin a person’s reputation is virtually unprecedented. Chuck Bass knows how fickle, fast-paced and powerful this system is. For Chuck Bass, it’s not enough to be aware of this dynamic, but embody it. Why else would he say “I’m Chuck Bass” so frequently, and with such conviction?