An In-depth Exploration of the Ridiculousness that was the Gossip Girl Reboot

This reboot, however, was not as entertaining. Sure, it had its moments, but those were very far between.

So I might be late to the party, but better late than never, right? 

I’ve put off writing this review forever. But, since I was jobless today, I decided to dig it up and vent. 

Yes, this piece consists mainly of me bashing the Gossip Girl reboot and wishing they’d left well enough alone. 

A wise person once said it’s easier to write a review about something you hate than something you liked/enjoyed. Unfortunately, it’s 100% true. 

Don’t get me wrong. The original Gossip Girl wasn’t without its faults. But the one thing it managed to do right was—keep us entertained. 

The Blair vs. Serena drama was prime entertainment—until they milked the life out of it and made it their only source of conflict and drama. 

Also, Blair was just a fun evil character to watch. 

This reboot, however, was not as entertaining. Sure, it had its moments, but those were very far between. 

HBO’s Gossip Girl was cringe-worthy, filled with awkward dialogs and generally unlikable characters.  

To cover all my bases, I’ll break down this review into three parts; the plot, characters, and my analysis/verdict. 

The Plot

The show primarily focuses on Julien Calloway (the Queen Bee of the Upper East Side) and her elitist friend group consisting of Audrey, Luna, Monet, Obie, Aki, and Max.  

Monet and Luna are also Julien’s agent/publicist/stylist, who take their jobs way too seriously, which makes them horrible friends. 

Julien’s estranged half-sister, Zoya, moves to New York and enrolls at her school (Constance Billard), and chaos ensues. 

Apparently, Julien’s mother left her father for another man and died while giving birth to Zoya. As expected, Julien’s father detests Zoya’s father for stealing his wife, and they raise their daughters separately. 

However, Zoya and Julien aren’t mortal enemies like their fathers. 

They connected on social media and devised a plot that led to Zoya transferring to Julien’s private school. Unknown to their fathers and friends. 

The second storyline focuses on the teachers of Constance Billard and their revenge on the students for humiliating and treating them like scum of the earth. They assume the mantle of Gossip Girl (an anonymous blogger/secret spiller) to post the sordid affairs of their students on Instagram and hold them accountable for their meanness. 

Leading the band of teachers is Kate Keller, who believes bullying teenagers online will turn them into upstanding citizens and future Barack Obamas of the world. 

Other side plots include Audrey and Aki’s throuple couple problems, Max’s parents’ divorce, and other unmemorable events with Obie’s activism. 

The Characters 

Julien

The Instagram Fashion Influencer famous for being rich and nice? Other than sibling drama with Zoya, there’s really not much to this character.  

Zoya

The small-town poor girl in the world of New York’s upper echelon teens. (If you thought Jenny Humprey from the OG show was annoying, wait until you meet Zoya).  

Obie

He’s Julien’s “guilty rich” boyfriend and a ridiculous mash between Nate Archibald and Dan Humphrey. Obie is the perfect depiction of the annoying rich kid with the Goofy face who, for some weird reason, has all the female characters fighting over him. 

Audrey

She’s Julien’s best friend. She’s got mummy issues. 

Max

He’s the less intense version of Chuck Bass. Max and Audrey are the show’s only slightly matured and interesting characters. 

Akie

He’s Audrey’s boyfriend and Obie’s best friend. Aki doesn’t have much going for him other than that. 

Monet and Luna

Random mean girls with little to no character development.  

Kate

Ring leader of the teachers cyber-bullying teens on social media.  

The OG Gossip Girl characters vs the new kids on the block

The Analysis 

First off, the Gossip Girl reboot surprisingly lacks gratuitous nudity for an HBO show. Maybe it’s the YAness of it. 

And secondly, the OG Gossip Girl worked because no one knew who Gossip Girl was until the final season. 

The concept of an all-knowing presence made it appealing, kinda like A in Pretty Little Liars (until they ruined it in the finale season). 

Explaining Gossip Girl’s motives ruins the appeal, and dissecting and analyzing how to drop a post makes it less fun. Also, watching a bunch of teachers stalk and obsess over their students is beyond creepy and ridiculous. 

I found one scene in particular quite disturbing; the one where the stalker teacher was creeping outside a window to take pictures of two teenagers changing in front a window. 

They should all be in jail. 

And the funny part of it is that the show tried so hard to make the teachers seem like the good guys. 

I get that they wanted to do something slightly different from the original show, but they focused on the least interesting characters. 

This show desperately needed a Blair Waldorf. But, unfortunately, Zoya wasn’t it. The Serena and Blair drama/dynamic was way more fun than Julien and Zoya’s conflicts. 

The Thanksgiving episode was a mess. It had multiple storylines going on at the same time. 

Mashing it all together in one scene was a terrible mistake since it made the episode an incohesive mess. 

The one good thing they did was retain the voice of the OG Gossip Girl (Kristen Bell). Imagine if they’d decided to make her British or worse. 

Final Verdict 

We’ll add this show to the growing list of unnecessary reboots that made the original series look like a masterpiece. 

The show’s first half was an annoying snooze fest, but the second part picked up a little bit. And I’ll admit, albeit grudgingly, that it got slightly better and funny towards the end. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
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