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!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “Saved by the Bell” Reboot on Peacock TV: Bayside Gets a Reality Check

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

It’s alright because Bayside is back! Well…sorta.

Saved by the Bell (2020) premiered on Peacock TV on November 25th 2020 with ten new episodes available to stream now. While the Peacock app is free, you need a premium subscription to watch the show for reference. The reboot sitcom stars Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, and Mario Lopez. Each episode runs for approximately 25-28 minutes. 

Based on the original sitcom, which aired from 1989-1993, the reboot of the beloved iconic 90’s show brings us back to Bayside, but things have certainly changed. Zack Morris is now the governor (still married to Kelly), Jessie is the guidance counselor, and Slater is the gym teacher.

We get a brand new set of students, which include Zack and Kelly’s son, Mac, and Jessie’s son, Jamie, along with a group of students from the other side of town that were recently displaced from their own high school. The students will now all attend school together, which shakes up the Bayside self-absorbed bubble quite a bit.

Here is the trailer:

Saved by the Bell (2020) has the chance to give fans some nostalgia while creating something new and different for a new audience, but does it still capture the charm of the original series while finding its own identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 1

Images courtesy of Peacock

Welcomed nostalgia.

 The gang is back! Well, most of them anyway. While some of our favorite characters only return for cameos, Jessie and Slater have recurring roles throughout the series. While a lot of the references were kind of forced upon the audience, I thought that episode 8 was absolutely fantastic and the best episode by far.

If you have mixed thoughts about the reboot, I recommend that you at least check out this episode. It really was a lot of fun!

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 2

Images courtesy of Peacock

A reality check for Bayside.

When I go back and watch the old episodes, Bayside almost seems like it is completely displaced from actual reality. Real issues are discussed, but a lot is sugar-coated. I thought it was really smart to have the new students attend Bayside, shattering the self-absorbed normalcy some of the characters had while keeping everything fresh and relevant for its new audience.

In a way, the show playfully makes fun of itself, but in a good way.

The Cons:

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 3

Images courtesy of Peacock

Trying a little too hard.

While the reboot has a fresh and new take on things, it tries a little bit too hard to force some of the references on the new audience. I loved the change up with the iconic “Time Out” scenes, but I also thought that a lot of things might be totally lost on the new audience.

There needed to be more of a balance between the nostalgia and the new plot and the opening episodes were almost painful to watch because of this.

Having said that, each episode actually got better as the show went on and I think that’s because the show settled down on its identity and just had fun with it.

Lacking laughs.

As cheesy as it was, the original episodes always made me smile, chuckle, or laugh. While some of the jokes did land, I thought that the majority of them missed the mark. I also felt that Zack’s son was slightly obnoxious and lacked the charisma of his father.

Sure, Zack Morris was a schemer and he made a lot of wrong calls throughout the show, but his son’s character didn’t really have any redeeming qualities and I thought that layers were missing for many of the new characters. We saw glimpses here and there, but I honestly wanted more from them.

Our new principal was the perfect choice, however! 

So am I in or out?

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 4

Images courtesy of Peacock

I’m in about 75 percent.

I’ll be honest. I was initially not feeling this show at all. The first two episodes really didn’t grab my attention and I didn’t connect at all. However, I stuck around (mostly because I just got this subscription to Peacock) and I’m glad I did.

The show eventually did find its identity and also gave us some welcomed cameos and nostalgia to balance things out. There were enough entertaining moments to keep you invested and intrigued.

I would recommend giving it a chance even if you absolutely hate the first two episodes and at least check out episode 8!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Saved By the Bell (2020) in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

 

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

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!