What’s With HBO’s Grossest Obsession?

HBO has always been known for pushing the envelope, and has an uncanny charm that, although we wish they would, they just can’t seem to resist. No, I don’t mean green light from David E. Kelley; we are talking about incest.

Stay away from wearing pearl necklaces, because we’re about to dive into the high-end cable’s obsession with forbidden fornication. That is, if your hand even moves towards your pearls too—incest might be considered one of the ultimate taboos, but you wouldn’t know it because it’s common as a side story on TV series.

Case in point: This week’s episode of Gossip Girl, joins a long list of HBO series that fascinate the family love genre with a plot about a sister and brother having sex at a New York hotel. It’s definitely delicious. It is definitely raw. And, let’s face it, it’s a strange obsession. How is this still so popular?

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones—or, damn it, even just a casual viewer — in the 62 years the show has been on the air, you’ve certainly known a bit about incest. It’s a provocative many times throughout the show, assuring fans of George RR Martin’s books that their favorite forbidden plot, like winter, is to come. And it’s not just Tarkaenians and Dunsdorfs (well, they’re not real royalty characters, but they can) do it. Incestuous relationships are conspiracies on other HBO shows alike Boardwalk Empire and Bored to death—though not passed down with such romantic flair.

This year, HBO didn’t dip its toe into the cold waters of incestuous plotlines, but returned to it.

Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith in Dragon House.

Ollie Upton/HBO

It’s not just limited to expected players, like Game of Thrones Subsidiaries, Dragon Housesaw the marriage of his uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) to his niece Rhaenyra (Emma D’arcy) in the first season.

Who can forget when we go through two episodes together White Lotus Season 2 thinks we’ve just witnessed a glimpse of a sex image the scene between uncle (Tom Hollander) and grandson (Leo Woodall)? That turned out to be a ruse, of course, but HBO won’t stop until we’re incest once and for all.

That brings us to the network’s newest stop on Oedipal Express, HBO Max’s Gossip Girl restart. The fourth episode of the second season, which is currently streaming, features a surprising, twisted sibling plot. In retrospect, perhaps this is not such a surprise. It was only a matter of time before continuing a show that was once called “not suitable” of the Parent Television Council flirting with the damn family.

What is most shocking is how the bomb was dropped by accident in the final 10 minutes of the episode, with barely any fallout other than a broken relationship. In fact, the incest revelation isn’t even portrayed as the most shocking twist of the episode! Have we started to become sensitive to this, what is the most controversial social taboo? If you take Gossip Girl‘ word for it, the answer is probably just yes.

Leo Woodhall in White Lotus.

Fabio Lovino/HBO

In “Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” (an episode titled admittedly genius), the extremely wooden Grace (Anna Van Patten) sneaks in on her equally boring boyfriend, Obie (Eli Brown). But despite Grace’s clean image, the approved Daughters of the American Revolution, she’s caught red-handed by Julien (Jordan Alexander) while dating Matias (Javier Reyes Sanchez), a housewife. Outspoken activist rallied against her mother’s political campaign under the Republican Party.

in the signature Gossip Girl fashion, a stinging activity held at the most public event possible. This time, the big climax comes at the annual Kiss on the Lips party, where Julien and her loyal henchman Luna (Zión Moreno) invite Grace’s mother and brother to testify to their revelations of the secrets. Grace’s work. But, of course, Grace’s transgression goes a little further than secretly dating two guys at once.

While exposing Grace’s plot, Julien and Luna assume that she was staying at the SoHo’s Crosby hotel, whom they assumed was Matias staying with. But when Matias tells the group that Grace says she’s with her mother, Charlotte, and Charlotte thinks Grace is with Obie, things begin to unravel. Charlotte begins to put things together, telling the group that Grace’s brother, Jake, was staying at the Crosby Hotel while he was in New York for a college interview — a vacation she took pay. “Jake, I told you this wouldn’t happen again,” Charlotte scolded her youngest child. Suddenly, the group becomes scandalized by what they accidentally discover.

As all three members of the Boring Byron dynasty stormed out—and, we can assume, left the show—forever, Luna echoed the audience’s train of thought: “Even I did not see that twins come.

Call it a hunch, but with all the generations of money and status clinging to New York’s Upper East Side society, it’s not surprising that incest could be an conceivable storyline in an episode of Gossip Girl. While the original series had many dangerous liaisons here and there, it never finished Freud until the show moved on to a high-end cable streamer. And this is just the latest in HBO’s incestuous storyline. With White Lotus and Dragon House, Gossip Girl participation Rick and Morty, again recital can be streamed on HBO Max featuring an episode of incest this year.

At this point, it would be even more shocking if an HBO show are not includes a plot about a relative’s railing. What could be scandalous in real life has almost become a laughing stock on high-end cable—which I realize is crazy when it comes to things like incest, but it’s the truth. And Gossip Girl Looks like it knows a character fucking her brother in a hotel room would rock the Upper East Side like a magnitude eight earthquake, but instead it barely rocked a chandelier before farting into the next thing.

Who ever thought we’d get to a point in television history when feelings of incest hit? A plot that used to be the most controversial avenue for writers has begun to feel like a tedious play because of some much-needed shocking value. How crazy is it that incest is in its era of failure?

Even more unforgiving, this was a wasted opportunity to get Kristen Bell into the voiceover room and let her say some extremely satirical lines about incest. I was shocked when I didn’t hear Gossip Girl’s monstrous voice say something about hitting his brother to end the episode. We, the people, are worthy successors to the line of the first season of the original series, “The sun will come out tomorrow, even though your boyfriend did today.” At least Mike White is kind enough to let us Quotes by Jennifer Coolidge, “He’s like…fuck his uncle.” If we have to go through the millionth incest plot of the year, let’s at least make it memorable.

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