It was announced yesterday that Gossip Girl will be rebooted for HBO Max, the new streaming service that will feature Warner Bros content and, of course, HBO productions. Per IndieWire:
The plot will take place eight years after the original series and will follow a new generation of New York private school teens who rely on a new Gossip Girl blog. The announcement noted that the reboot would address how social media and the New York landscape has changed in the intervening years. The series, created by Fake Empire and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, will include 10 1-hour episodes.
Reaction to the news has been mixed, mostly because of the word “new”. Which means, of course, that the private school assholes we loved and hated between 2007-2012 won’t be back. Which means Gossip Girl’s greatest character, Blair Waldorf, won’t be back. This is what a lot of people were pissed about on Twitter:
gossip girl without blair waldorf? i think the fuck not pic.twitter.com/VWXssm2wvM— sophie 🕊 (@sophiejperry) July 17, 2019
I get that. But also… I’m not convinced that the Blair Waldorf archetype can’t be reproduced for the Instagram generation. Gossip Girl ended before Instagram exploded, just before the rise of the Influencer. So imagine the stories that were told back then (every week these kids went to a ball, remember? Every week there was a Met Gala!), only updated for “likes” and “follows”, updated with filters and YouTube confessionals. Gossip Girl’s blog will now become like a Shade Room for the Upper East Side. Think about all the people who got scammed by Billy McFarland and Fyre Festival. And think about Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions scandal. If I’m in the writers’ room on the new Gossip Girl, I am FOR SURE working Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade into the narrative. Remember how badly Blair wanted to get into Yale? And what it was like for her when Yale chose Serena because of her profile? Gossip Girl was ahead of its time! Also, who says Blair Waldorf can’t return for a few cameos? In the role of Fairy Godmother? She’d be about 30 years old now, queen bee of the Manhattan mom set at the centre of all kinds of pre-school sh-t. Also? Gossip Girl wasn’t exactly diverse. It’s time for a new class.
There’s a lot of potential here. And every generation has its own rich teen primetime soap. This is why I loved Elite on Netflix. I’m here for the new Gossip Girl. You?