Gossip Girl was determined to mark the occasion, and delivered - its centenary episode, which aired on The CW on Monday, was chock full of betrayals, romance, emotion, shocks and twists. So why was my overriding feeling throughout the instalment: "Boy, is this going to p*ss off the Chair fans"?
I'm sure it wasn't ever thus. Television has always been good for giving us those watercooler moments - storylines and characters we could agree upon or argue about. But lately, things seem to have taken a different - and nastier - turn.
Being engaged with television shows is a wonderful thing. It's an art form - yes, even Gossip Girl - and when it affects you is when you know it's working. But to start writing sweary messages to people who disagree with your points of view? To track down the showrunners and writers on Twitter and abuse them for their judgements about where the story should go? Surely that's losing some sense of perspective.
To single out Gossip Girl is unfair - Glee, Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries are all examples of other shows which have found themselves at the receiving end of furious fans (and the familiar refrain: "I'm never watching again").
The problem is that this is counter-intuitive. The internet has provided us with wonderful opportunities to get closer to the people making our favourite series - people we might not have had access to otherwise. But they must begin to question the point of further engagement if they keep getting abuse.
Take Shonda Rhimes - the executive producer of Grey's Anatomy - who wearily rebuts fan complaints on a regular basis (largely based on the fact that Meredith and Derek aren't getting enough screen time, or that a viewer's favourite couple are facing problems). The fact that she's added the motto: "Remember, it's not real, okay?" to her Twitter biography is a good sign of what she has to face.
Or let's return to Gossip Girl, where the writers have set up a special account to keep fans up to date and provide extra information and spoilers. A great idea, right? They live-tweeted the 100th episode - lovely. And yet people still called them "asses" and told them to "go to hell". They must wonder what the point is. (Executive producer Josh Schwartz even joked to E! Online that he was planning to avoid going online that night).
Not only does this overzealous attitude deter the stars and crew of our favourite shows engaging more with fans, but it also appears to blind people to just how great those series can be.
Fans of Gossip Girl who focus solely on the status of Blair's romance with Chuck and/or Dan seem to be missing the wit and compelling plots and intrigue in the problems in those relationships. Viewers who complained about Cristina and Owen's massive fight in the last episode of Grey's... did they miss the absolutely stunning acting turned out by Sandra Oh and Kevin McKidd?
Or take Glee - fans of Kurt and Blaine's romance are furious with the arrival of Sebastian, who's rather attracted to Blaine (and this is despite the fact that Blaine's loyally stuck by his boyfriend's side, at least up to now). Rumours that he could become a series regular next season were met with dismay. But Grant Gustin, who plays Sebastian, has added some much needed spice and snark to the show, and has turned out a consistently entertaining performance so far. Let's focus on that, instead.
Plus, of course, the idea about long form television is that there needs to be somewhere to go. The often-mentioned Moonlighting curse is naturally not always true - Chuck and Bones both seem to be shows that successfully got their couples together - but the point is one worth considering.
These shows are about the long game - how boring would things get if everything skipped along with no problems whatsoever? Happy marriages can work on television - take the magnificent Eric and Tami on Friday Night Lights - but even those characters have their issues.
There's a lot to be said for delayed gratification - when things do happen, they have so much more impact (see, for example, [SPOILER] that Damon-Elena kiss). You've got to take the rough with the smooth, after all.
Let me be clear - I am by no means accusing all fans of this, or libelling all television viewers in one fell swoop. In fact, the internet has provided some great opportunities for positive engagement with showrunners. Just the other day, Rhimes was thrilled when a fan revealed that watching Grey's has inspired them to become a surgeon. And Vampire Diaries exec Julie Plec often drools all over fan-made videos praising the show's couples - she's so pleased that people enjoy the series, it's adorable to see.
That kind of thing is wonderful - passion and opinions are brilliant. And in no way am I saying that you have to agree with writers' decisions all the time - sometimes, they're just plain bad for storytelling reasons. But these shows wouldn't exist without those people sweating it out in offices, so if fans are going to complain, I'd hope they'd consider doing so with at least a modicum of respect. (Though it should be said that this is my issue - as far as I'm aware, the writers themselves haven't explicitly complained about this, and I don't want to speak for them).
After all, it would be a shame if showrunners and stars retreated and pulled back from fans, deciding it's more trouble than it's worth. And it would be a shame if viewers missed some stunning moments because the blinkers were on. Being completely and utterly invested in a show? Wonderful. Abusing the writers and other fans? Well, let's try and stop that, shall we?
What do you make of fan wars? Do you agree that we should live and let live? Or do you think showrunners should accept criticism from fans? Leave your comments below!