My friend Connor is doing a Gossip Girl rewatch, and like any good Blair Waldorf stan, I asked him to send me copious updates. So far we’ve discussed the usual: Eric’s boyfriend (Jonathan) is a monster, Leighton Meester’s music deserves the world, the Lady Gaga episode is iconic.
But one night last week he sent me a text that read, “I can’t stop thinking about the way Serena says…” followed by a voice note he recorded.
That’s when a memory I’ve long had locked away came barreling out, fully on fire.
“Chuck,” Connor said in his voice note, mimicking the mouth-full-of-marshmallows way Serena (or rather, actor Blake Lively) pronounces the G.G. antagonist’s name.
My body tensed up. My jaw dropped. Every hair on me from head to toe stood at attention. Connor had just uttered one of the most nerve-racking sounds in aural history. A sound so potent it fills me with rage—pure, unadulterated rage.
That’s what Serena saying Chuck’s name on Gossip Girl does to me. It makes me so angry, and I don’t know why.
Hear it in action at the 54-second mark:
And in this scene, in which she says his name twice in a row:
Watch a few Gossip Girl episodes and try tuning into Serena’s “Chuck” cadence. It’s annoying! Her pronunciation is deep and throaty, like, I don’t know, Darth Vader talking with a mouth full of spaghetti. The “ck” at the end lingers a little bit too long. The “uc” in the middle reminds me of a baritone singer reading a phonebook. Combined, these syllables in Serena’s voice—for whatever reason—make for a deeply unpleasant listening experience, in my opinion. I’m not saying the sound of her voice is irksome, just the way she says this specific word.