‘Gossip Girl’ reboot does not meet expectations

Reboot of the show from the 2000s does not compare to the original seriesm

Miel Pearce, Staff Writer

Last summer, the hit 2000s show, ‘Gossip Girl’ was rebooted by HBOMax. The new series features all new characters and takes place in 2021, but the similarities to the original show are still there. The students still attend the Constance Billard School in the Upper West Side of New York City and live extremely affluent lifestyles. I loved the original ‘Gossip Girl’ and was excited for it to receive a modern update, but the new series does not meet expectations.

The original Gossip Girl followed the lives of rich and affluent teenagers/ young adults living in New York City.
The show was filled with drama, and followed the characters as they experienced the turmoil of growing up with the added elements of their wealth and the fact that an anonymous gossip blogger watches and posts about their every move, mistake, and scandal. The show ended in 2012 but still remains popular in 2022.
The new Gossip Girl series takes place nine years after the original show ended. The show is supposed to be post-COVID, which causes some inconsistencies since there are no signs that a pandemic is still going on, despite being talked about in the show.
There is no gossip blogger harassing students anymore, and the students of Constance Billard act superior to their teachers and are constantly getting in and out of trouble due to their affluence. The new series focuses on half sisters Julien and Zoya and their friend group.
Zoya has just moved to her grandmother’s apartment in Manhattan with her single father from Buffalo, New York, after getting a scholarship at Constance Billiards. She does not have the level of affluence that her classmates have and immediately feels out of place.
To the students at Constance Billard, Zoya does not seem to know anyone at school, but she has secretly come to New York for a reason other than school.
Julien and Zoya find out that they are half sisters through social media when they are younger and begn to form a secret relationship. They don’t tell their fathers that they know each other since the two men hate each other because of an affair that Zoya and Julien’s mom had, before she passed away.
The two sisters plot to have Zoya and her father move to Manhattan, by having Juliens wealthy father donate money for a scholarship to Constance Billiards, and then having Zoya apply and be granted with the scholarship. The sisters keep their relationship a secret from their classmates and fathers at first, so as not to have anyone wonder the validity of Zoya’s winning the scholarship.
Julien has lived a very opposite life from Zoya. She grew up in Manhattan with her father, a famous record producer. She has lived in a penthouse her entire life and becomes an Instagram famous influencer as a teenager. She documents her whole life on her social media and has always been in the spotlight.
Right from the beginning of the Julien and Zoya storyline, I was extremely confused. The storyline of Julien and Zoya’s mother makes very little sense to me and feels like the writers are trying to make the story as dramatic as possible, even if it makes no sense. Another small aspect that makes me dislike the show is the emphasis the writers put on Julien’s life as an influencer.
As someone who uses social media and follows “influencers,” I feel like Julien’s social media presence is not realistic at all. She is constantly spamming her social media accounts on the show, which is something that I don’t typically see influencers with thousands of followers do. Julien is also treated as an A list celebrity and is seen on news channels.
While I know some influencers do reach celebrity status, Julien seems to get an unrealistic amount of attention for someone who is famous only on social media sites.
One of the main storylines of the Gossip Girl reboot centers around the teachers. Ms. Keller is an English teacher at Constance Billiards who decides she is going to take action against the disrespectful and careless high schoolers who think they can just solve everything with their money. To do this she and some other teachers decide to relaunch the gossip blog, “Gossip Girl” and center it around their students.
This part of the story is really weird to me and makes me dislike the show a lot more. In the original Gossip Girl, the blog never really interferes with the story until the last season. In the reboot, the blog is the main point of the story, and not only that, but it is run by teachers. This leads to very weird situations in the show where teachers are stalking their students and doing downright illegal things to expose them on Gossip Girl.
Despite all of the things I did not enjoy about the show, there are still some positives that kept me watching.
The show does not lack drama even if it seems unrealistic and over-the-top at times. I also really like some of the characters, especially Audrey and Aki.
Another great aspect of the show is something that appeals to many viewers of the original show: getting a look into the lives of the ultra wealthy in NYC.