Hello, fellow upper east siders. I’m here to give you the inside scoop on whether the newest Gossip Girl in town is worth the rave. Is the 2021 reboot worth the watch? I’ll tell you here.
The original Gossip Girl’s plot followed a group of privileged teenagers from Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The teens were plagued by the elusive ‘Gossip Girl,’ who used text-messaged “scoops” about their personal lives, drama, and heartache in an attempt to ruin their lives. Their lives and complicated relationships that we all loved to hate drove the show.
The characters were multidimensional and complex as the viewers’ opinion of them constantly flip-flopped throughout the show. No character was all good or all bad. The other constant that kept viewers on their toes was the nagging question, “who is ‘Gossip Girl’?” In its final episodes, the show finally revealed that Dan Humphrey was, in fact, ‘Gossip Girl’ all along. The show developed a cult following and achieved great success, and rightfully so.
HBO has brought Gossip Girl back with a reboot that began airing July 8th, 2021, and is currently releasing its first season with weekly episodes. With only six episodes, it is clear the reboot is not trying to recreate what once was, as it is more of a sequel and standalone series.
The reboot utilizes the same setting, the upper east side of Manhattan, and the same high school, Constance.
However, these characters are very different, and their relationship dynamics are as well. Personally, I do not love the changes. The new characters pride themselves on being kind to each other (mostly). The main characters are half-sisters instead of best friends. The most significant change that I do not see working, in the long run, is the fact that in episode one, the viewer knows exactly who ‘Gossip Girl’ is.
A group of teachers at Constance High School brings back the ‘Gossip Girl’ after nine years in an attempt to gain some power back from the affluent, privileged students that seem to run the school. Knowing who ‘Gossip Girl’ is will ultimately remove an element of suspense that kept the original show interesting. There is no sense of mystery in the reboot.
The running plot of every episode is new and primarily based on characters cheating on their significant other, wanting to cheat, or parental issues. It is just not as interesting. I know we’re only six episodes in, but I was hooked on the original Gossip Girl by this point.
Unless some significant plot changes occur soon, I do not see the reboot lasting longer than the first season. The show will get repetitive quickly, and no one character stands out or the audience really knows. The characters are kept one-dimensional and predictable.
The show can only be enjoyable if you do not go in with expectations or compare it to the original. However, if you’re a hardcore OG Gossip Girl fan, I do not recommend it. I only recommend it to those who have the mental power to separate it from the original and take it as a standalone series or those who have never seen the original.