Gossip Girl’s unsatisfactory return

The Gossip Girl reboot aired on HBO Max on July 8, 2021, and was a major disappointment. Compared to the original series, a CW production that premiered in 2007, the new version is corny and uneventful. Fans were expecting much more from the reboot, which let down those who loved the original series. 

The original show revolves around an “old money aesthetic”—portrayed through the clothing, artwork, and events—with characters mostly born into generational wealth, making it classy and timeless. The reboot, however, tries too hard to incorporate “new money,” families who were not born into a wealthy social status and instead earned money and influence recently. The production thus revolves around modern-day teenage social media influencers instead of more traditional high school students. This makes the reboot short-lived. Future generations will likely not get the references to pop culture and current fashion. As a result, the show is borderline tacky, giving the impression that it was written by adults trying to impersonate a teenage lifestyle instead of an actual teen experience. 

The acting itself is also not as intriguing as the original. In the original series—starring Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, and Chace Crawford—I felt as if I knew the characters. Their chemistry was evident even through the screen. The reboot, on the other hand—featuring Emily Alyn Lind, Zión Moreno, Thomas Doherty, Jordan Alexander, Evan Mock, Whitney Peak, and Eli Brown—is bland. There is a significant lack of chemistry between the actors and simply not enough emotion shown. Whether this results from poor writing and plot or the actors themselves, I could not focus on the show because it was so dull. 

The presence of “Gossip Girl” itself is also different in these two shows. In the original, Gossip Girl is a social media site where people could send in tips that created issues among the characters. While the website reported on and sometimes caused problems, it was a secondary factor to their already intriguing lives. The main focus was on the characters themselves and the situations they got themselves into. Those situations were reported later to Gossip Girl, where it then stirred up drama. However, Gossip Girl itself did not create the scandals—it simply relayed and spread the information it received.

In the reboot, though, Gossip Girl is an Instagram account run by teachers at the characters’ school as a revenge plot against certain students. The idea is tedious, unexciting, and unrealistic. While Gossip Girl revolved around the characters in the original, the opposite is true in the reboot. This makes the reboot characters’ lives feel unoriginal because, without Gossip Girl, they otherwise wouldn’t be worth following. Therefore, the drama that occurs seems easily avoidable and unnecessary, making the plot a lot less interesting to follow. 

The reboot of Gossip Girl was a flop, in my opinion. It is not worth your time. If you loved the original, you most likely wouldn’t even be able to make it through this one. The original Gossip Girl was far too iconic and left far too high standards to be replicated.

Image source: Everrett Collection and HBO MAX

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