Diminished TV Characters I

Part I of this character segment.

Nathaniel Archibald- Gossip Girl

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(look at him, ain’t he so cute? 😍😍😍😍)

I liked most of the main characters but I really liked Nate. I know a lot of people found him boring and useless (gorgeous though) but I thought he was a light spot in this world of sabotage and deception. I know this might be tl:dr but please read it 😀
The “Golden Boy of the Upper East Side” and throughout the show he’d been involved in numerous romantic relationships though none were successful. He wanted to escape the plan his parents mapped out for him: attending an Ivy League college, law school and marrying Blair Waldorf. He felt trapped in a shallow world. His father is discovered to be using drugs again and he’s accused of embezzling money and fraud. With his father in rehab, Nate is able to breathe.
I think that after a few plot threads were tied up with him the writers didn’t know what to do with him. He was a good guy (with problems) and they didn’t seem to want to put him into storylines that didn’t deal with women. I haven’t read the books so I don’t know his story in the series but in the show they swapped him out for Chuck Bass and Dan Humphrey. Chuck I understand because he was the bad boy, charismatic and while Nate’s best friend, his link to Blair began to grow, not to mention his many dysfunctions. He was interesting. Dan on the other hand… he was annoying, fake, a wannabe and whiny. I did not understand why Nate was glossed over for good writing for Dan friggin Humphrey.
Nate was paired with cougars, married women, or put into stupid situations with uninteresting women. Vanessa started off okay but she got mixed up in the world he was trying to get away from, so that went down the toilet. He had feelings for Serena van der Woodsen and dated her for a while but kept bouncing back and forth between her and Blair. I’m not even going to talk about Jenny Humphrey (or Sage). I’m just glad those did not continue. He kept getting new girlfriends, or meeting new women and for a while that’s all it was. Nate started off with a good story dealing with his family, having to deal with an overbearing father, a quiet “submissive” mother, frozen assets and choosing to live in an empty house by sleeping on the floor to prevent his friends from knowing. It didn’t have to go on forever but dang that was good. Where did the person who wrote those lines go?
Juliet Sharpe (Katie Cassidy) came in season four. She was different, I liked them together and they were good for each other. He was actually given a reason to be with her instead of it being a catalyst for more unnecessary relationship drama. Juliet was a mystery and there were so many ways to go about it, she could have been running from someone causing Nate to save her. Or something happened with him that would cause her to ask his friends (something he wouldn’t do on his own) to help her since they thought she wasn’t good enough for him. There were so many possibilities they could have explored but everything had to be about Serena, Nate was being used to get closer to Serena. Juliet fell for him and later broke up with him because of it. They could of went in a different direction with why she had to break up with him. Ultimately, it didn’t end well and Juliet was gone. Outside of my irritation with how this storyline went, the moment when Nate, Blair, Serena and Chuck take her down is probably one of the best take down moments on Gossip Girl.
This is how it went pretty much. Over and over again.
I wanted Nate Archibald to be given a storyline that would have kept him involved in this world instead of him being the “pretty boy”who messed with women and was Chuck Bass’ less interesting best friend. Compared to the other main characters of the show (even friggin Dan!) he didn’t get love and it bothered me. There’s nothing wrong with good guys, but after a while watching the whirlwind that was Chuck and Blair, and the annoyance of Serena and Dan, it would have been nice for Nate to actually be more than what they reduced him too. They could have kept him involved with his own storylines that did not involve women, everyone else got all of these scandals, they betrayed each other (though Nate was the only one who did NOT send anything to Gossip Girl). Below are some ideas they could have explored with Nate Archibald.
  • The storyline where the FBI investigates his father due to him wanting to hold Nate and his mother hostage for ransom money (from the mother’s side) could have been explored more. It was discovered and closed in one episode.
  • In season 3 he romantically likes a girl who is from the Archibald’s rival political family and his grandfather disapproves. They could have explored that aspect more. Obviously the Archibald men have control issues.
  • In season 5 Nate manages to run a magazine, his grandfather chooses him over his cousin for a retreat causing Tripp (cousin) to be jealous. Tripp sabotages Nate’s car to get him “out of the way”. That plot point went over to Chuck and Blair (because we needed another reason for them to be apart) and once again plot lines that could have gone somewhere was pushed aside for other characters. Nate was the one who found out it was the cousin and helped “take him down”.
  • In season 6, while running his magazine, he has trouble financially and Chuck’s father Bart Bass tries to use Nate against Chuck aaaaand that didn’t go anywhere either. Definitely could have explored that more.
He does get the honor of investigating Gossip Girl in order to finally find out who “she” is and he was rather good at it. Just because this is getting long, I feel that the treatment of his character wasn’t right. If you agree that he was boring, then that’s fine, but I think that might be different if they wrote more for him. Yes, he was good looking (the best looking one personally) but that’s not all that was needed for his character. He was involved in too little plots that were wrapped up too quickly in favor for other prolonged plot lines for other characters that were unnecessary (Charlie/Lola, Ivy, Dan, Rufus).
The show wrapped in 2012 but it’s just been on my mind ever since Season 1. Nate deserved better.
Stay tuned for part II.

 

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