SPOTTED: The rumors are true. Gossip Girl is back. Last Friday, HBO Max released its first look at the much-anticipated reboot of the beloved mid-2000s CW drama, Gossip Girl.
Starting on July 8, the new show will be available on HBO Max in a 10-episode run.
The original show, which aired from 2007 to 2012, depicted a group of upper-class Manhattan teens whose lives revolved around scandal and revenge. Alongside them was an anonymous blogger known only as Gossip Girl, who would constantly divulge their secrets and stir up controversy. The first series was a tremendous hit, garnering 18 Teen Choice Awards and making stars Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, and Chace Crawford household names.
The teaser trailer, measuring at only a minute long, gives viewers a glimpse of the show’s new characters. The trailer honors the themes of the original series: secrets, lavish outfits, sex and drama. The best part? The narration reveals the return of the original voice of Gossip Girl, Kristen Bell.
Gossip Girl proclaims her return in the teaser, echoing the original series’ ending message: Gossip Girl isn’t just one person, but something that can be passed down from generation to generation.
“You’ve gotten so comfortable. Thinking you’re in control of your image, your actions, the narrative — but you forgot one thing. I can see you. And before I’m through, I’ll make sure you’ll see you too.” Of course, she ends her announcement with her classic line of “You know you love me.”
The new show’s creators see it as more of an extension or spin-off than a true “reboot.” It will follow none of the original characters, including Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgely). However, the show’s screenwriter Joshua Safran noted in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that the show operates in the same world as the original characters and will occasionally refer to them.
The plot of the spin-off hasn’t been made public yet, and the trailer offered little either. We know the show will take up eight years after the original series in New York City, and the new characters will go to Constance Billard and St. Jude’s like the originals. The names and brief descriptions of the characters have been posted on the official Gossip Girl Instagram page. Power, influence, ambition, privilege and perspective were among the key descriptions.
The reboot, according to Safran, will be more varied, with main characters of various ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. The technology will be more modern-day and it has been hinted that Gossip Girl will be sharing secrets via social media platforms.
The release of the trailer exploded on social media and trended on Twitter, the response being a mixture of enthusiasm and criticism.
Some fans are disappointed that the old cast will not be returning, claiming that the new characters could never match their iconic predecessors. The new figures have also been chastised for appearing “cheap” and unfit for the upper classes of New York City.
Other fans defended the new show, asking people not to compare it to the original. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Safran said “There is actually a very different concept this time around, but we’re not telling you… I’m glad to look at it in a new way. It’s different than most reboots.”
While the original show had little to no awareness of social or class issues, this spin-off might attempt to bring them to light. Safran has also alluded that there will be a giant twist in the show, but viewers are not getting any hints.