Gossip Girl 2021 Reboot: 5 Things We Want To Know
Name dropped by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, in the middle of his presidential address during the height of the show’s popularity in 2009, Gossip Girl’s cultural impact was undeniable. But labelling the original critically acclaimed television show about social surveillance as merely ‘iconic’ would not only be doing it a huge disservice, it would also be a colossal understatement.
Apart from being an irrefutable zeitgeist that defined an entire generation, the original Gossip Girl also helped redefine whistleblowing for millennials and left an indelible mark on fashion and pop culture. Informing the way we dressed, spoke and signed off our text messages, the series that made headbands, bowties and even frenemies fashionable, also made instant household names out of Blake Lively and Leighton Meester.
And since her return to the small screen this July, Gossip Girl 2.0 promises to introduce a new brood of prominent progeny for us to fawn over. But before we fall madly in love with them and rekindle our passion for one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the Big Apple all over again, the new reboot has been drawing its fair share of criticism from the franchise’s hardcore fans and new viewers.
From its feeble premise to glaring loopholes, it is our civic duty at Tatler Singapore to hold the mirror up to the highest echelons of high society—fictional and the likes—and ask Gossip Girl the hard-hitting questions. Here are some things we desperately need answers for.
1/5 So, the new Gossip Girl is Tavi Gevinson?
Wait? That is the premise? While we are still recovering from the worst plot twist in television history—lest we forget how Penn Badgley’s Dan Humphrey (read: Lonely Boy) was the true identity of the original Gossip Girl, this reboot spares no expense in laying bare the identity of the current author to the viewers. Revealed to be one of the teachers from the infamous fictional all-girls private school Constance Billard, former fashion darling Tavi Gevinson’s character Kate Keller is the new mastermind behind Gossip Girl. Hoping to “take back power” from their unruly spoilt students, the tutors have banded together to bend the will of their students through blackmail with an anonymous Instagram account. What? Is suspense suddenly dead?
2/5 How can this new fictional generation not know about Gossip Girl?
Given the notoriety of the OG clique that Gossip Girl (again, read: Dan) was obsessed with and her (his) supposed far-reaching influence and impact (remember how even former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “…thought it was Dorota” during his cameo in the original’s series finale), it baffles us that this new fictional generation of Upper East Side crown royals is entirely unaware of the catty gossip blog that blew the whistle in the social groups of their parents. It is as if Gossip Girl never existed and parents stopped oversharing with their children in this make-believe universe.
3/5 Who are the new Blair and Serena?
The original Gossip Girl was never short on love triangles. And taking over the toxic relationship that Meester and Lively’s characters had, are a pair of rivalling half-sisters—played by newcomers Jordan Alexander and Whitney Peak. While these two feuding siblings redefine geometry and affection to much aplomb, we are confused by the parallel storyline surrounding Scottish actor Thomas Doherty’s pansexual character Maximus “Max” Wolfe—no doubt to fill the role of the hedonistic heartthrob that Ed Westwick’s character Charles “Chuck” Bass made famous in the original series. We do so love the extent of racial inclusion and the unbridled celebration of LGBT diversity—both of which were glaringly missing from the original—in this continuation, but the plot points are incredibly confusing, oft-times grating and hard to keep up with.
4/5 Where is the original clique now?
To date, only Dan Humphrey and Chace Crawford’s charming and saintly Nathaniel “Nate” Archibald were referenced and name-dropped in the reboot, only once—quelle tragédie! Shouldn’t the rest of “Manhattan’s elite” have at least some sliver of fame and reputations that precede them? Which beg the question, where are the rest of the non-judging Breakfast Club now then?
We would like to think that Blair, now an effective polyglot, also properly rules the realm of high fashion as the first American woman to debut at Paris Couture Week after inheriting her mother’s fashion legacy. Manhattan’s favourite golden girl Serena now owns a film production company, Got To Go Film, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband Dan—now a Pulitzer-winning writer—and their triplets: Neroli, Sky and Nine. And going off on a tangent just a little, what with suspending disbelief et al, we would also like to believe that the Upper East Side’s infamous prodigal princess Jennifer “Jenny” Humphrey (now surely Humphrey-Arnault—yes, that Arnault!) is currently heading the design team of a lesser-known LVMH brand after she graduated from Central Saint Martins.
And with so many accolades, we really find it very hard to believe that the Gen Z in this reboot are not familiar with any of their privileged predecessors.
5/5 Which original cast member is returning in the series finale?
Well-placed sources have told Tatler Singapore that a major character from the original Gossip Girl will be making a return to the UES in the reboot’s series finale in September. And we cannot help but wonder if it is Michelle Trachtenberg’s character Georgina Sparks who will make her triumphant comeback as the now world-famous literary agent who presently also represents Carrie Bradshaw. Because that is what we would call a crossover.