When I was in 9th grade, everyone was watching Beverly Hills, 90210. Everyone, that is, except for me, because I wasn't allowed! Aaron Spelling's prime-time soap about the Walsh twins from Minnesota thrust into the glitzy world of Beverly Hills, CA was off-limits in my house. No pregnancy scare for Brenda, no Andrea really lives with her grandmother, no "Donna Martin graduates" for me. Sigh. By the time I got to college and could watch on my own, the heyday of 90210 was long since over. Peach Pit After Dark, anyone? Um, no.
Ever since then, I've maintained a soft spot for the splashy high school drama. I fell in love with The OC at first sight. And even though The OC sometimes let me down and did things like bring Oliver on board and send Marissa to a crappy other high school, or make Ryan date that annoying math whiz Lindsay, I stuck it out and stayed true until it was finally cancelled last year. I still miss Peter Gallagher's eyebrows and fondness for morning bagels.
Now, Josh Schwartz, the man responsible for the brilliance of The OC's first year (and then leaving it to do other things and letting it go into a bit of a crapfest spiral) has brought us Gossip Girl. It may not be as great as The OC once was, but I'm still hooked. Parties every week, missed connections and misunderstandings, fabulous hair and fashion, prepping for college applications and hiding your dad's cocaine addiction...love it!
I can admit it, I'm addicted. Ask me to solve a simple algebra equation and I may fail, but if you need to know what Scarlett O'Hara was originally named in Gone With the Wind (Pansy) or what's going on with Britney's custody battle (she just had visitation rights restored), then I'm your girl. With this blog, I plan to exercise my writing muscles and comment on things that are interesting to me now: the books I'm reading, music I'm listening to, movies that stick with me, and, on a more personal note, even my puppy Stella.
On to my first real posting: I first began reading the Harry Potter books in 2001, when the man interviewing me for my first post-college job said that anyone who wanted to write should read them. Before, I dismissed Harry Potter as being a bandwagon I had no interest in jumping on. But I wanted that job and went out and bought the first three books the next day, and lo and behold, I was hooked like millions of other readers.
Through my growing obsessive attention to detail in that series, I never once suspected that Professor Albus Dumbledore was, in fact, gay. Rowling's announcement of this takes me by complete surprise.
One of the strongest and most enduring messages of this series is of tolerance, fairness, and equality. House elves, werewolves, giants, goblins, pure bloods, Mudbloods, merforlk and all the rest of the fantastic people and creatures in the wizarding world -- they all deserve respect and Dumbledore was the most vocal supporter of that idea. But I have to admit this feels a bit tacked-on to me. Why does this come out now? I always interpreted Dumbledore as asexual if anything; he didn't seem to have much of a personal life at all, although Harry even laments that at the beginning of Deathly Hallows. He'd only asked his headmaster one personal question in all the years they knew each other. Perhaps that is the best way to interpret this development.