There was a wish-fulfillment aspect of the books that never made it to the screen, in those early years, where Serena and Blair were constantly the Face or the Muse or the Whatever of actual jet-setting famous rappers and whatever; what made the show brilliant was that it was like a boutique inset to the real world, actually taking that even further and more excitingly, because your life as a viewer was exactly as glamorous as their lives, because their lives were all emotional craziness and drama without the consequences.
We've all got a Nate Archibald, he doesn't literally need to have millions of dollars in order to be the Nate Archibald. We've all got a Blair we love more than anything and have to hold onto her through the storm, because best friends are forever.
But by making the metaphor real, the show turned into a soap opera like any other soap opera -- fabulously wealthy people having ridiculous problems; children living out these grownup situations like in any Danielle Steele potboiler -- and the heart vanished, because they weren't us anymore. Just these weird monsters.
Serena's getting a manicure, for the paparazzi's engagement-ring pics, when she gets two things at once on her phone: Steven Spence telling Serena not to bother coming to Cotillion tonight (presumably thanks to a Blair-operated Lily), and then a GG blast about Steven leaving Harry Winston without the ring he went in there with. A lot of information at once, especially for good old Serena.
Georgina: "I know your Chuck chapter puts you on deadline for Vanity Fair, but I'm still gonna need to see your Blair chapter stat. The better to somehow get it published, presumably, and wreck the wreckage that you already are."
Dan: "What if Blair and I really are in love, though?"
Georgina: "All the more important that I ruin everything. Pull your ass together. Oh, and also there's this sex tape I've had since last week, which has taken up a lot of my free time with constant masturbation."
Dan: "Fine. But give me until midnight to show you the Blair chapter while we're all standing around at this Cotillion. The tradition on this show of one big party where everybody is comes first, you know that."