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I Watched The “Gossip Girl” Reboot As A Huge Fan Of The Original, And I Have A Lot Of Thoughts

Welcome back, Upper East Siders.

Hello! I’m Hannah, and I was completely obsessed with Gossip Girl growing up.


Hannah Marder / BuzzFeed

I know I use this photo a lot, but you need to see it. I wore headbands and colored tights to school every day, bought a replica of a ring Blair wore, and could quote Chuck and Blair scenes line for line. My dad had a pretty mean “I’m Chuck Bass” impression he used to do. I had a Gossip Girl poster in my room, and I made all my friends watch it. My best friend and I called each other B and S and pretended we were Blair and Serena.

I stuck with it for every single episode (yes, even Season 6), and when the reboot was announced, I was pretty excited.


RCF/Everett Collection

I’m very much in a different stage of life now, but I was still excited to revisit something so nostalgic for me. I was also super excited that the cast was so much more diverse. However, I did have some reservations, as the series didn’t end that long ago, and I was worried the new series would bring shame upon the old one (not that the old one doesn’t deserve some shame). 

Now here we are — release day. The first episode is officially out on HBO Max, so I decided to watch it and record my reactions. Read on for my thoughts!

1. Damn. This is already much nicer cinematography than the original.

2. Oh wow, they’re addressing the pandemic. I wonder if we’re gonna get more of an idea of what it was like for the rich. Julien already seems pretty entitled with her “stuck in here” comment about her gorgeous penthouse.

3. Gay dads!!! We love to see it.

4. Okay, so one of these dudes is giving stuff to protesters? I guess I’m starting to see the whole new “socially conscious” vibe they’re going for.

5. Ohhh, here’s the not-rich girl!! And she has the same mom as Julien?

6. In classic Humphrey fashion, this girl (I looked it up and her name is Zoya) still has a giant NY apartment.

7. Alright, there’s a LOT of exposition in this scene with Zoya and her dad.

8. Alright, something sketchy is going on with these shoes.

9. Monet literally just yelled at teachers for getting in her way. Do they not have detentions at school??

10. These teachers are literally talking like they’re bullied kids. I get that they don’t have a lot of control over these students, but this just feels unrealistic. 

11. OMG, Kate just referenced Nate!! She also referred to him as a “great person” along the lines of Caroline Kennedy and Colson Whitehead. Are we forgetting the times Nate was arrested?

12. How do these teachers not know about Gossip Girl? It was at their school, and it only ended like nine years ago. 

13. LOL, this teacher saying “people thought it was me.” No, honey, we didn’t. We thought it was Dorota.

14. “It’s a blog. I haven’t seen one of those in years.” Umm??? It’s not a VCR?

15. Ummm, this dude is flirting with Audrey RIGHT in front of the dude she was having sex with earlier. Is this a polyamorous situation or?? 

16. Also, this dude is doing drugs in the courtyard. AT SCHOOL.

17. Okay, Monet smiled at Zoya! That was…nice, I guess?

18. LMAO, THE CHUCK AND BLAIR SHADE.

19. Also, them mentioning Blair being princess of Monaco for six months…I feel like they should know this??? Blair has got to literally be an international celebrity for that.

20. OMG, wait!!! Zoya and Monet know each other! They’re friends!!! I love this!

21. LOL, Luna La dissing Zoya’s headband. Blair would be upset.

22. Okay, I feel like they’re pushing this whole “Obie is a good person!” thing a bit much.

23. Julien is being way too obvious. Her friends are gonna call BS.

24. What is this “I’m not a lesbian” comment?

25. Okay, these students are completely awful. I get the teachers wanting to do something. Still not totally buying Kate’s “I want to help them” angle, but go off, I guess.

26. THE TWITTER DISSING. I’m on Twitter and I’m under 30!!! 

27. I am LIVING for them dramatically reading old posts. “Chuck Bass, losing something no one knew he had — his heart.” OG Gossip Girl was the best.

28. Ugh, they’re gonna pit Julien and Zoya against each other. Not loving their whole Blair/Serena philosophy. All we know is Dan’s first post was about Serena’s white dress. They didn’t need to do some “pitting girl against girl” nonsense, they could’ve just led with Julien. Also, if they’re all about scaring the students into being nice, they should not be targeting Zoya.

29. OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!! THAT’S KRISTEN BELL!!!!! SHE’S BACK!!!! I literally almost cried at “XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

30. Okay, so the students don’t seem to know about Gossip Girl, either. I’m confused.

31. Ugh, they’re gonna do a whole love triangle with Obie, Julien, and Zoya, aren’t they?

32. They’re totally trying to make Audrey and Max the new Chuck and Blair. I guess only time will tell if they can both live up to the couple while also not falling into the same problematic tropes.

33. “Don’t straight-shame me.” That’s not a thing, Audrey. 

34. Ugh, Max’s jawline could cut GLASS.

35. Zoya asking “Did someone deserve it more than me?” and Julien saying “Why would you think someone else deserves something more than you?”…Damn, the privilege. This writing is good.

36. Why is Audrey so upset? This has nothing to do with her.

37. This “revealing secrets” scene would be a lot better if “Mmm Whatcha Say” was playing.

38. OF COURSE they have to get undressed. This is such a fanfic trope.

39. Um???? Is this teacher following them??? And now he’s taking pictures of them half naked? Those are literally children.

40. This is the first time Obie has actually acted like a human being, but still, it’s really messed up he’s talking about his relationship with Julien to Zoya. I already have a feeling Obie’s gonna be that character that the show keeps telling us is “the good guy” but who actually sucks. See: Dan Humphrey.

41. Aww, Zoya is so nice. She’s the only one I actually like so far. 

42. *Takes casual half-naked photos of teenagers, then shows them to the new Gossip Girl* “You won’t use these, right?” Dude….

43. YES, THIS BILLIE EILISH SONG!!

44. Okay, I don’t get Audrey’s whole…thing. Like….what is her personality? Why is she so annoyed about all this? Also, why are her and her boyfriend always with Max?

45. Fuck it, I ship Max and Aki. 

46. FUCK IT, I SHIP ALL THREE OF THEM TOGETHER.

47. Zoya’s dress is AMAZING.

48. Speaking of fashion…this purple jacket is giving me Master of Disguise vibes.


HBO Max, Columbia Pictures

49. Damn, Julien looks amazing, and I’m getting major Queen Bee vibes. Honestly, she comes off like Serena, but she’s WAY more Blair.

50. I’m still kind of confused on what happened at the show. They just send a dick pic of Max out? Isn’t that a child sex abuse image??? Like, that’s grounds for arrest.

51. Okay, I wasn’t sure about the pitting of Julien and Zoya against each other, and I still think it’d be nicer if they were friends, but this fight is great. I feel like Julien has met her match in a similar way to Blair/Jenny, but it’s more quickly built up, and both characters feel more relatable yet simultaneously powerful.

52. Oh wow, we get a Julien/Obie breakup in episode 1. I appreciate how this show doesn’t drag anything out.

53. Damn, and this scene with Zoya and her dad, too. I kind of love that they’ve again got parents who have history with each other, but not in a romantic way. That’s a tired trope.

54. Yesss, Zoya with her natural hair!!! I feel like there’s some symbolism there.

55. Okay, they’re totally teasing a Max/Aki/Audrey threesome, and I’m here for it. Overall it feels like a much more sex positive show. And anything would be better than the original show’s threesome.

56. I don’t get why they’re being nice to the teachers now? They don’t even know Kate’s Gossip Girl.

57. This final Gossip Girl narration is incredible, and Kristen Bell is, as always, amazing. I also don’t mind that we know who Gossip Girl is — it adds tension. BUT, I don’t find Kate as a character to have the some relatability or the same power as characters like Julien and Zoya. I want to be rooting for her more — I kind of want her to be a more Georgina-like character. So far, she’s the weakest link to me. 

FINAL THOUGHTS


The CW

I really liked it! I felt like it paid homage to the original (respect your elders!!) while already addressing some of its problematic elements and at least attempting to do better. And it still feels like its own thing, too. 

Weak points:


The CW

To me, the weak parts are Kate/the teachers in general and also Obie’s whole charity thing/the “socially conscious” aspect of the show. It feels very phony and, like, not the time to talk about guilty rich people. I’d rather just see them be bad. 

Strong points:


The CW

Julien and Zoya — loving Jordan Alexander and Whitney Peak — have a great dynamic, and I also love Thomas Doherty as the hedonistic Max. I’m a little concerned about the show falling into the whole “bi/pan people are sexually greedy” trope, but for now I’m excited to see what comes of his storyline. Monet and Luna La are fun if a little one-dimensional, and honestly, I’m having a really hard time getting a read on Aki and Audrey enough to have an opinion on them. Can’t wait for episode 2!

What did y’all think of Episode 1? Let us know in the comments!

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