I’m Not Sure How To Feel About the Gossip Girl Reboot

Here's everything we know about the HBO Max show

Eight years after Gossip Girl infamously signed off for the last time, it looks like she’s booting up her laptop once again. In July 2019, it was announced that a reboot of the hit CW show Gossip Girl would be coming to HBO Max, starring a new, younger cast. And on November 10, photos of the new cast filming on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were released, giving fans their first glimpse of the actors—and the fashion to come.

The original Gossip Girl—which ran from September 2007 to December 2012 and was based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar—followed Upper East Side teens Blair Waldorf (played by Leighton Meester), Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Brooklynite Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) as they attended private school, drank way too much for teens who didn’t once flash a fake ID, generally ran around New York City like they owned the place (which their parents pretty much did), and gave us iconic yet cringe-inducing lines like this:


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I love them 😍💗 credit: @gossipchairr_ 💕

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The GG crew gallivanted around NYC while an ominous, ever-present someone watched and blogged about their debauchery and secrets. It was epic. Also epic? The genre-defying fashion. I mean, did headbands even exist before Blair donned one atop her raven locks, always paired with a plaid skirt and some sort of fashion cape? No, the answer is no.

It was truly a show that defined an era of TV (I mean, it was called “mind-blowingly inappropriate” by the Parents Television Council). So a reboot of any kind has *a lot* to live up to. Here, everything we know about the upcoming Gossip Girl reboot. Set your PVRs, Upper East Siders.

What’s the premise of the Gossip Girl reboot?

Developed by OG GG creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage as well as executive producer Joshua Safran, the reboot picks up eight years after the end of Blair and company’s NYC reign. Per a press press release from HBO Max about the series: “Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years.”

Which 100% means that at least one of the new socialites is going to be a Tik Tok star.

Who’s starring in the Gossip Girl reboot?

If there’s one thing that stood out during the original run of Gossip Girl (in hindsight, at least), it’s just how white and non-diverse the cast—and the show’s portrayal of NYC—was. Yes, they did have characters of colour like Dan’s BFF Vanessa, but their role was quite minimal compared to others on the show and they were often cast as “outsiders” to the main clique (also, let’s all agree that Vanessa just had a bad personality). Which is why we’re excited about the casting in the reboot. In a November 2019 interview with Vulture, screenwriter Joshua Safran talked about the ways in which the reboot will be more inclusive than its predecessor, telling the magazine: “There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show. I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that. The thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist.”

While much still remains under wraps when it comes to who the actual characters will be on the show, GG 2020 has cast a ton of new talent, including: skateboarder Evan Mock in his acting debut, Eli Brown, Zión Moreno, Jordan Alexander, Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson, Emily Alyn Lind, Savannah Smith, Thomas Doherty and Whitney Peak. Another bonus? Canadian (and former FLARE How I Made It honouree) Karena Evans is set to direct the first two episodes of the season!

The new cast isn’t just *super* diverse (which we love), but they’re also *super* hot (which we also love).

Will any of the original Gossip Girl characters be involved in the reboot?

With all these new faces set to grace our screens, don’t expect to see the original cast popping up in the reboot anytime soon. Unlike other iconic teen shows like, say, 90210, which recycled some of the original cast members as older versions of themselves in the remake, the new Gossip Girl is starting fresh, picking up in Blair and Serena’s world, just without them.

But fret not, because there will be one familiar face voice in the revamp, with Kristen Bell returning as the titular narrator.

When is the Gossip Girl reboot going to be released?

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series was put on hold in March 2020 but officially began filming in New York City on November 2, with shooting expected to take place in the Big Apple, Vancouver and Los Angeles. With this delay, fans can expect to see the series premiere sometime in 2021, although no official premiere date has been announced.

Where can I watch the Gossip Girl reboot?

On a streaming service, of course! While the OG series was available on the CW for anyone with cable TV, because we’re in 2020 and streaming services are king, anyone interested in watching these new tiny, wealthy tyrants can do so with an HBO Max account (check out Nicole Kidman’s The Undoing while you’re there!).

Let’s be honest, do we even need a Gossip Girl reboot at all?

And while a GG reboot is most definitely coming, the question on a lot of people’s minds after seeing the new photos is: do we really *need* one?

While some fans are super excited to step back into the world of The Plaza Hotel and debutante balls, others would prefer to leave the Upper East Side where it belongs—IRL and off our screens, at least in the world of Gossip Girl. Because honestly, why mess with an already great thing? Despite the fact that the remake is set to include a more diverse cast and array of storylines (which is certainly positive), wouldn’t it be great to put all of that energy towards a brand-new show? Plus, you just can’t beat an original (unless you’re talking about 90210, which I firmly stand by being better than the original, sorry!). The storylines, characters and world of Gossip Girl was so specifically perfect for the period of time when the original show was on the air—when flip-phones and Blackberries still existed, social media was something of a mysterious beast and knee high socks were actually stylish—that it somehow feels like the new version won’t be able to evoke the same naïve charm.

Is the fashion in the Gossip Girl reboot even that good?

And also, can a reboot even live up to the fabulousness that was Blair Waldorf getting married in Central Park in a blue Elie Saab lace gown or Serena van der Woodsen running around Paris in a caged dress and fedora combo that Netflix’s Emily in Paris would die for? From the looks of these initial photos, potentially not? While we’re going to give the HBO Max team the benefit of the doubt, as this is literally a handful of looks to go off of, something just seems…out of place.

Maybe it’s the fashion, which somehow looks contemporary yet simultaneously out of the 2000s (I still want those white boots, though). Or perhaps it’s the image of who we can only assume is the Chuck Bass-inspired character eating out of a…lunchbox? Because honestly that is pure blasphemy! Chuck Bass would *never*. And is the blonde, book-ish girl with the on-trend fringe meant to be the 2020 version of Jenny Humphrey? Because we are not buying it.

So there you have it, Gossip Girl fans! Filming may have just begun, but like our favourite narrator, we’ll be watching (and updating you, of course).