Spoiler-Free Review of “Gossip Girl” Reboot on HBO Max: Why So Serious?

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Been a minute…did you miss me?”

The reboot of Gossip Girl premiered on HBO Max on July 8th 2021 with the first episode. The remaining nine episodes will air weekly. Each episode runs for approximately 55 minutes. The reboot stars Jordan Alexander, Whitney Peak, Tavi Gevinson, Eli Brown, and Emily Alyn Lind.

Kristen Bell returns as the voice of Gossip Girl, but the rest of the original cast do not. The Upper East Side is back on display as we follow a new group of teenage elites and witness them go to scandalous measures to get what they want while attending Constance Billard. The original Gossip Girl website may have shut down, but a new source emerges to keep the dirt coming.

Here is the trailer:

Gossip Girl (2021) has a lot to live up to as the original series was an entertaining guilty pleasure to indulge in. Are we ready for a reboot of the series and does it do enough to find a voice of its own? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

A more diverse cast.

Much like the Saved by the Bell and Charmed reboots, we are presented with a more diverse cast for the reboot of Gossip Girl. I think this is a step in the right direction to be more inclusive this time around.

Sibling rivalry and a new Gossip Girl.

The main plot reminded me a little bit of One Tree Hill. We have half siblings who end up in the same school and drama is high as a result. I think this is the best part of the show so far and I’m interested to find out more about the true intentions of both siblings and how far they will go to keep up appearances.

We also get a twist on the new “Gossip Girl” and learn the identity right away. This takes us away from the outrageous reveal at the end of the original series and also gives us a chance to connect with a different set of characters that may see things a little bit differently. I’m intrigued by this so far.

Images courtesy of HBO Max

A familiar voice to put us at ease.

It wouldn’t feel right with anyone else narrating the show as the infamous “Gossip Girl” and hearing Kristen Bell’s voice made me feel right at home. Sure, the dialogue is a little outrageous, but there was a much needed nostalgia present as a result, especially since the rest of the cast is absent…even though we get plenty of reminders and name drops along the way to keep us tuned in.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Don’t lose sight of what made the show work in the first place…

My biggest con with this reboot is that it takes itself way too seriously. The dialogue is beyond atrocious. I understand we are focusing on a new generation, but no one talks like this. While Riverdale presents us with some over-the-top dialogue as well, it still manages to keep us entertained because it knows when to lighten the mood even during some of the angst-filled melodrama.

In similar fashion, the original Gossip Girl worked because it was so outrageous and it embraced this. The cast really elevated the characters and made you care about them…even though they were horrible human beings!

Blair Waldorf is the iconic Queen Bee of television and even though Chuck Bass was beyond ridiculous, he was so entertaining to watch! The back-stabbing and twists just somehow worked because the show understood that it was meant to be a guilty pleasure teen drama.

The reboot is having an identity crisis and is taking itself too seriously, which makes the execution flat and uninspiring. I don’t care about any of the characters yet and it was honestly really difficult to watch a lot of the pilot episode, which is beyond disappointing.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m 50/50 on this one…

I want to give this show a chance to get better because I am a fan of the original series. However, the majority of the pilot episode was painful to watch. I am going to give the show at least three episodes to change my mind, but it needs to really make some major changes if it wants to connect with a new generation and fans of the original series.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on the Gossip Girl reboot in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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Ranking the top 5 Most Fashionable Female Characters on TV: “Fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined!”

Happy Friday TV fans!  The weekend is almost here and these drastic changes in weather here in New York have brought out all sorts of clothing changes.  Heavy coats were swapped out for chic leather jackets, giving each one of us the chance to shine on our own runway.  Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl got it right when she said “fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined.” 

Whether you are channeling a certain era in time or embracing a new trend you spotted in a magazine, fashion is all about expression and creation.  You can change up your style with each new outfit, depending on your mood or destination, which makes it so truly wonderful.  For today, I am going to be looking at female TV characters with some serious style.  Whether they are trying to rule the world…or their high school or looking for an escape from the mundane world of suburbia, these ladies are beyond well-dressed.  They’ve become my inspiration when plotting my own next ensemble.

My top 5 most fashionable female characters on TV are:

5

Veronica Lodge from Riverdale.

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I’ve been quite impressed with the fashion on Riverdale.  Every character really embraces it and is not afraid to try out new trends, but I have to give the top spot from the show to Miss Veronica Lodge.  When she arrives from the big city, she brings her expensive wardrobe with her and is not afraid to show it off.  Veronica truly has an Audrey Hepburn inspired look, carefully completing each ensemble with simple but classic accessories, such as her pearl necklace.  Veronica always looks flawless and ready for anything.  It’s no wonder she is able to stand up to her parents and the other adults in this town.  She’s dressing the part and means business.

4

Emily Thorne from Revenge.

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You can’t help not rooting for Emily on her quest for revenge against the Grayson family who she believes is responsible for the downfall of her father.  Emily takes on her new identity and plans to step into the elite world of the Hamptons, Long Island.  You would never doubt for a second that she doesn’t belong, as she makes an entrance with poise and confidence.  Emily’s wardrobe is beyond beautiful.  She tends to favor reds and floral patterns, typically leaving her long blonde hair down in soft waves, giving her a certain Veronica Lake vibe.  Emily even challenges the notorious Victoria Grayson without batting an eyelash.  Even her casual wardrobe screams The Hamptons, embracing simple cardigans and nautical sweaters with fitted jeans.  No matter where the social event is, Emily Thorne is there to make a statement and her wardrobe absolutely helps her accomplish this.

3

Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives.

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When ex-model, Gabrielle moves to Wisteria Lane with her rich husband, Carlos, she has traded in her runway days for the quiet life of suburbia.  However, that doesn’t mean Gabrielle is about to sacrifice her wardrobe in the process.  Even though most of the other women on the block dress casual and simple, Gabrielle looks fabulous in brightly colored ensembles.  Even when she does her Yoga, she has on brightly colored matching velour sweats.  Gabrielle’s dresses are her trademark, however.  She absolutely adores anything that is couture.  In a hilarious moment on the show, Gabrielle’s entire walk-in closet is destroyed by a horrible leak in the ceiling and her screams of distress are absolutely sympathetic.  When Gabrielle begins dating her second husband, Victor, she seems to have more fun going through his ex-wife’s closet, even borrowing a few outfits.  Unfortunately for Gabrielle, the ex spots her in the outfit and Gabrielle is forced to strip in the bathroom and hand over the goods.  Luckily, Gabrielle can pull off any outfit…or lack of one in this case, so she was in the clear.

2

Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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I was a teenager myself when watching Buffy and I have to say that she was my inspiration for my own style.  I remember trying to find the perfect prom dress that looked like hers because I adored it that much.  Whether Buffy was rocking a pair of cute leather boots with a short dress or skirt or wearing one of her beautiful statement coats, she always looked fierce while defeating the many threats in Sunnydale.  While she was great at accessorizing, perhaps her best accessory was her cross-bow which really went with every outfit.  Later in the series, Buffy traded out many of her short dresses for cute leather pants and soft sweaters, embracing hoop earrings and cute hairstyles.  No matter what outfit she wore, she always looked comfortable and cute, which is sometimes really hard to do!  Either way, Buffy still remains an absolute influence on my own fashion and style.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Hanna Marin from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Cheryl Blossom from “Riverdale”
  • Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”
  • Olivia Pope from “Scandal”
  • Victoria Grayson from “Revenge”
  • Aria Montgomery from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Felicity Smoak from “Arrow”
  • Joan Watson from “Elementary”

1

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

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So if the quote at the beginning didn’t give me away, my number one pick for most fashionable female TV character has to be awarded to Blair Waldorf.  The Queen B herself, Blair embodies fashion and style.  Her number one accessory is always her headband, which basically represents a crown, but she wears it so well.  Blair, like Veronica Lodge, has an Audrey Hepburn vibe going on, but takes it to an entirely new level.  Whether she is rocking a preppy outfit with knee-socks or a breathtaking gown, Blair plans every single detail of her outfit.  Her endless amounts of coats are to die for and her handbags are elegant and the perfect pop of color.  I’m sure fans around the world (including me) would love to go through her closet just to be that close to a work of art that will never go out of style.  Blair’s love for fashion is absolutely apparent and even when she is scolding her minions; it’s hard not to root for her because she looks absolutely fabulous in every scene.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your picks for the most fashionable female TV characters.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl