Southeast Missouri State University student publication

A new generation of Gossip Girl

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Graphic by Nicolette Baker

If youíre up-to-date on your Netflix binge-watching, youíve definitely seen a few episodes of ďGossip Girl.Ē

The teen drama, which ran from 2007 to 2012, delved into the lives of Blair, Serena, Dan, Chuck and Nate as they navigated the Upper East Side of New York City. A mysterious online force named Gossip Girl narrated their lives, dropped gossip into their inboxes and tracked their every move.

The often boundary-pushing storylines of the CW series caused constant controversy. At one point, the series used angry parentsí reviews in their advertising campaigns. The series was wildly popular when first released and is back again for a 10-episode reboot on HBO, according to Glamour.

The first still photos from filming dropped last week, and weíre looking at a whole new generation.

One of the top changes in the new series: the cast is much more diverse than the original series! One of the largest critiques of the original series is that many of the characters are white, cisgender and straight. According to the Nov. 11 article by Glamour, many of the new characters are diverse in ethnicity and sexuality.

The article also details a shift in other attitudes. In the original series, the characters constantly snubbed Brooklyn; in the reboot, Glamour says theyíll be more accepting of the east New York borough. From personal experience, I can say Odd Fox cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has the best coffee in the city, no lie. Youíre missing out on a lot when you diss an entire borough.

Another notable player in the new Upper East Side games? An unmistakable Dan lookalike. Letís hope Lonely Boy is exactly as clueless as the original. Or, not Ö I donít want to drop any spoilers!

Iím also excited to see how the reboot integrates tech into GGís world. In the original, characters were typing away on their Blackberries and chunky laptops without an iPhone in sight. Itís going to be interesting to watch how the creators integrate Instagram, Snapchat and iMessage into Gossip Girlís updates. If we placed the original cast in 2020, Iím 100% sure Little J would have a TikTok account. Just saying.

As much as I loved the unique, beautiful clothes in the original, they always felt so structured and excessive that they were completely inaccessible. Blair was constantly wearing outfits that were incredible, but at the same time, felt a bit ridiculous outside of a filming set. I love how the new cast wears much more casual pieces with a very distinct streetwear look.

When I visited New York in March, I made a specific trip to the Upper East Side (aka, nearly an hour on the subway!) to have breakfast on the steps of the Met, a la GG. I can confirm Iíll definitely be the most excited person for this new season. If you think youíre a close second, letís discuss at @nbakerARROW!