Everything You Need to Know About the 'Gossip Girl' Reboot
Hey Upper East Siders. Have you heard the news? Gossip Girl is back.
A new reboot, starring a whole new host of rich and fabulous New York teens (and their equally rich and fabulous New York parents) is streaming now on Binge. This new series has been long awaited for Gossip Girl fans, with production originally halted because of the pandemic, and the release of the show now staggered in two halves. The first, available now, will be followed by a second parcel of episodes later in the year.
But what can you expect from this reboot? Who will be the new Blair and Serena? (And the new Chuck?) Read on and find out.
What is the plot of the new Gossip Girl?
The core concept of this new reboot is the same: Take a fancy school on New York’s Upper East Side, and zero in on the antics of the privileged teens who go there. Only this time around, the show will be more inclusive and diverse. The gang of teens that you’ll need to keep up with is bigger and they will be both more ethnically diverse and sexually diverse. This new (and improved) Gossip Girl is a product of our current era, for sure.
In broad strokes, this is what the show is about. Julien is the leader of the pack, a new Blair who commands her crew of best friends and their boyfriends from the steps of the Met. In true 2021 style, she’s an influencer with a huge Instagram following, bolstered by the work behind the scenes of her pals Luna, Monet and Audrey, each of whom have problems of their own, especially Audrey, who is torn between her lovely boyfriend Aki and her friend Max. He’s the Chuck character, by the way. And he’s bisexual. Julien’s boyfriend’s name is Obie, and he’s the richest kid in New York. But he doesn’t care about all that and would rather join the picketline outside his parents’ latest construction project. He catches the eye of Zoya, a transfer student to the school and – coincidentally – Julien’s half sister. Phew!
The other people you should keep an eye on are a group of characters led by Kate, played in the reboot by former teen blogger and Rookie magazine founder Tavi Gevinson. Kate is rumoured to be a teacher at Constance Billard and is described by the media materials as “ambitious”. Very intriguing! The action opens in the first episode with the revival of the rumour platform Gossip Girl, this time taken off the internet and onto Instagram for a new audience. How will this new generation of students respond to having their every move documented by an anonymous scribe? That’s one secret we’re sure to find out. Xoxo etc etc.
Who are the stars of the new Gossip Girl?
Tavi Gevinson, who plays Kate, is one of the main ones. Since she quit blogging in her youth, Gevinson has gone on to be an actress on both the stage and screen, taking on roles on Broadway and in small indie films.
Julien will be played by Jordan Alexander. Luna and Monet, her two influencer BFFs, by Zion Moreno and Savannah Lee Smith. Audrey is played by Emily Alyn Lind, Aki by Evan Mock and Max by Thomas Doherty. Obie is played by Eli Brown and Zoya by Whitney Peak.
Of this crew, there are a few obvious parallels to be made. Julien is the Queen B, and thus is set up as the new Blair. Zoya, then, her sweet-as-pie little half sister, is a shoe-in for the Serena role. As mentioned before, Max is a new Chuck, right down to the smirk. Funnily, Obie’s morals and loose ties are total Dan material. And Nate? We can’t put our finger on that one yet.
Will any of the original cast of Gossip Girl return in the reboot?
Though it was rumoured that the entire main cast of the original Gossip Girl had been approached to cameo in this reboot, producers have quashed those hopes when they recently revealed that no cameo will happen in this first season.
"We made a decision early on – and I was nervous about this decision, but definitely came to believe it was right – that the audience would never accept these characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters," said creator Joshua Safran in an interview recently.
That doesn’t mean a cameo from a main cast member might not happen in a later season, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for Leighton Meester or Blake Lively. (Or both!) But just for now, this new reboot is staying main cast free in order to give these new characters room to breathe. Safran did hint that there will be a few cameos from smaller cast-members of the original, so keep your eyes peeled for those. One familiar voice, though, is Kristen Bell, who voiced the anonymous screeds penned by Gossip Girl in the original and is back in the reboot, too. We missed you, Kristen!
Who is the creative team behind this new Gossip Girl?
The reboot is produced by HBO Max, who are fast becoming the nostalgia platform par excellence. This is also the same streaming platform that brought back all of the original cast for a Friends reunion earlier in the year, and it’s the streaming platform that will reunite three of the core Sex and the City crew for a reboot, called And Just Like That...
Behind the scenes, the show is being overseen by Josh Safran, who was a writer on the original and is showrunner of the new series. Nobody knows Gossip Girl like him. Eric Daman, who was the costume designer on the original, is also back for the reboot. Considering that his handiwork single handedly made headbands and Tory Burch flats a thing, we trust him with the costumes in this new show.
How many episodes are in this new Gossip Girl?
The first half of the season comprises 10 hour long episodes. The second half of the first season, which will air later this year, is rumoured to run a similar length. Production on these episodes is currently underway in New York.