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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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” on Netflix: They’re Back

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

“Join us and be the best version of yourself…”

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is the sequel to the brilliant horror comedy, The Babysitter, which starred Samara Weaving. The sequel was released on Netflix on September 10th 2020 and runs for an hour and forty-five minutes. It stars Judah Lewis, Emily Alyn Lind, Jenna Ortega, Bella Thorne, and Robbie Amell.

In the sequel, we catch up with Cole approximately two years after that fateful night when his babysitter and her demonic cult friends tried to have him sacrificed to the devil.

Here is the trailer:

The Babysitter: Killer Queen has a difficult job, as it is tasked with keeping up with the original film, which was just pure horror comedy fun. The sequel lacks the presence of Samara Weaving as its lead, which does give other supporting characters the chance to step into the spotlight. But does it measure up? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

 

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

Our favorite characters return!

Well, we are missing one key character, but I have to say that it was a lot of fun to see our favorite demonic cult misfits return from the dead. Sonya is back with cookies, Allison explains the difference between “fuck-me pumps” and “fuck-you pumps,” John shows off his dance moves, and Max just wants to kill people and is actually really psyched to see Cole showing some improvements since he was last here.

The humor and chemistry between these characters is pure magic. More please!

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Jenna Ortega steals the show.

If you’re like me, then you may be worried that the film is missing something without Samara Weaving, but luckily Jenna Ortega steps in perfectly as the character to root for. New girl, Phoebe, is bad-ass and then some. She really gave quite the performance and I have to say that I actually preferred her to Cole.

He could really learn a thing or two from her…and perhaps he will. I loved Jenna Ortega in You season 2 and I am looking forward to seeing her in Scream 5, but she definitely delivered in this film.

A satisfying ending.

There will be no spoilers in this review, but let’s just say that you will definitely want to stick around for the end. A lot is revealed and it actually helped turn the film around for me. 

The Cons:

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

Too much set-up and way too long.

The first film ran for about 85 minutes, which was the perfect length. We got a little set-up in the beginning and then we were thrown into the heart of the movie rather quickly, which kept up the fun and pace. In the sequel, the movie really drags and is much too long. We get a lot of set-up about Cole’s life in the beginning which I could have personally done without.

Flashy over-the-top scenes.

Even though the kills were outrageous in the first film, they somehow felt more raw and believable. The kills and effects in this film were way over-the-top and just felt silly at times. The magic from the first film was absent in a lot of scenes, but there were some flickers of it here and there.

So am I in or out?

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 4

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one.

I absolutely adored the first film and I had high hopes for the sequel, but it felt like the same plot in a different setting for the majority of the movie. There wasn’t anything really original about the film, but it did have its charms. While not all of the humor landed, there were some parts that were genuinely funny and I loved the chemistry between the characters.

The ending helped make this film a lot more enjoyable, but not every film should get a sequel…

That being said, there are glimmers of fun and nostalgia in this film and I think that it is worthy of a watch if you are a fan of the first film. 

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Babysitter: Killer Queen in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

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