Who Is Gossip Girl: What We Learned on the Show's Series Finale

It's that time of year again. That time of year when Park Avenue sparkles from top to bottom and the fanciest boutiques drench their windows in shimmering crystals. If one city does Christmas best — it's New York. So what better time of year for Gossip Girl, a Big Apple icon in its own right, to wrap up its six-year series than now?

Last night we said goodbye to Blair, Chuck, Serena, Nate and Dan (and Dorota) for the last time. Come January, The CW will air a new series in its wake — The Carrie Diaries — brought to us from GG's proud producers, director Stephanie Savage and writer Josh Schwartz, who also created The OC. Remember Marissa Cooper? She died!

Although Gossip Girl lasted longer than anyone expected (we thought we'd bid adieu to the crew once they graduated high school), we're still left wishing we could follow them into parenthood. The finale closed with a snapshot into the future: "S" and "Lonely Boy" tie the knot; a miniature Chuck Bass, named Henry, trots around in a tux; and Lily and Rufus reunite with their respective exes. But what's to become of Nate and the mayorship? Eric and his facial hair? Or "Little J" and her long, bleached-out tendrils.

Unlike conclusions of the series' past, last night's left our hearts intact. No one mourned Bart Bass's death; we cheered Chuck on as he guiltlessly escaped blame. And for the first time in six years, his over-tanned and under-fed brother Jack didn't have a dirty, rotten trick up his cufflink'd sleeve. Even Georgina Sparks veered from the dark side and joined her frenemies in their quest for happiness. At the very least, we can rest assured all is well on the Upper East Side and Gossip Girl, who we can now call Dan, was put to bed.

But can we put ourselves to bed not knowing where Manhattan's elite heads to next?!

Gossip Girl will join the ranks of past television shows-turned odes to New York: Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, and 30 Rock, to name a few. With Mike Bloomberg's seal of approval — in declaring Thursday, January 26th "Gossip Girl Day" — and guest appearances from the likes of Alexa Chung, Diane von Furstenberg, Rachel Zoe, Marc Jacobs and Florence Nightingale, the show once seen as a scandalous take on spoiled youths rose to acceptance as a brilliantly crafted work of art. It didn't take long for the enigmatic show to silence its critics' doubts and surpass parental disapproval. Anyone who watched it, accidentally or not, understood the beauty in its lyrical interplay of power, malevolence, and trust ripened by the temptations of wealth.

Perhaps more poignant than the ever-twisting plot-line on the once-WB, now CW channel, is the congruency of the show's evolution with the transformations of its cast members. As we watched with bated breath, wondering if "S" and "B" would ever get along, Blake Lively catapulted into stardom as Leighton Meester scored a record deal. Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick and Penn Badgley became household names, their chiseled cheek bones appearing on looming billboards and glossy magazine covers. For these actors, signing onto this project may be the best choice they ever made. Not only were they relocated to New York, from wherever they resided in 2007, they scored the prettiest clothes, met the city's VIP, and caught a glimpse of its most exclusive venues. For them, Gossip Girl served as their entrant into a bathtub of gold.

Even in Badgley's pre-finale interview, aired before the show's 10 p.m. start, he acknowledges the parallels between TV and reality. If you can recall, Season 1's tone was set to the underlying theme of, "You're nobody until you're talked about." Now, without Blair and Georgina's cutthroat scheming, we'll be talking about the cast members themselves who, in reality, may have morphed slightly into the people they were playing.

With us we'll take fond memories of a meatier, head-shaven Dan and Serena escaping her regret-ridden home via Metro North. We'll remember Chuck's long scarves and silk ascots; his clustered bangs and forced, drawn out Yankee accent. There will always be Nate's piercing blue eyes and perfectly shaped eyebrows: the most metrosexual laxer we've ever encountered. And then, Blair's collection of headbands that rivals Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos. The essence of each character is forever embedded in our minds.

And lest we forget, there's always the Gossip Girl tour bus that stops at sites such as The Palace, where it all began.