In a world that is a little kinder and more inclusive than 2007, can Gossip Girl still be entertaining?
The Gossip Girl reboot is back. The new episode was full of the same old glamour, beauty, and even some familiar faces from the original series. But I am sad to report that while the reboot delivers the same amount of luxury, its drama is tragically bland.
The 2021 Gossip Girl simply isn’t mean enough to be entertaining like the old series was. Apologies have the same amount of screen time as fights, and we can’t even rely on the intrigue of guessing who Gossip Girl is—because we find out in the very first episode.
The reality is, 2021 can’t recreate the same formulas that worked in 2007. As a society we’ve matured, and the same things that were acceptable almost 20 years ago do not work today. In an interview, when asked if a reboot of The O.C. would be successful today, Adam Brody said, “I kind of don't think it can be done because I feel like, socially, I think we're in a different place. And I think we're in a more conscious place.” Just like with The O.C., we’ve outgrown the structure of Gossip Girl.
2021 Gossip Girl doesn’t try to recreate old drama, but instead aims to critique problematic narratives from the franchise. Try as they might, the show is still a celebration of wealth and typical beauty standards, even through attempts to make statements to the contrary. The cast is more racially diverse, but they all still have impossibly skinny-super-model body types. Characters say they hold values of women empowerment, but sisters tear each other down at every turn. It is simply impossible to preach inclusion from inside the walls of a multi-million dollar penthouse.
Gossip Girl, I think it’s time for something new. We loved you for what you were, but now audiences need a show that reflects now, not 2007. The show is no longer fun. Instead, it’s a hypocrisy of values with very little entertainment. We’ve all grown up, and now I think it’s time for you to grow a little too.