OPINION: GOSSIP GIRL REBOOT

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By Cassandra Spurrell

As the producers of Gossip Girl announce a reboot with a whole new cast, fans have mixed feelings as to whether or not they should even go through with it.

“I don’t think there is a point in rebooting Gossip Girl…” Aneesia Small, 19, said. “How the show ended was clear and covered what needed to be said between certain characters.”

Gossip Girl, based on the original book series, is about two best friends who grew up in the Upper East Side of New York. Serena Van der Woodsen, the Upper East Side’s “It Girl” comes back following her abrupt disappearance to a boarding school in Connecticut, leaving behind her best friend Blair Waldorf. Blair is known as the “Queen Bee” to all her peers; her style, attitude, intelligence and wealth are what makes people want to be like her.

The original TV drama filmed its first season in September 2007 and averaged about 2.6 million viewers a week. The show was a big hit for teens when it first aired, not only because of the drama, wealthiness, extreme love for fashion and handsome boys, but because everyone had one question they wanted the answer to, which was; ‘who is Gossip Girl?’

Some fans are speculating whether or not the show should even move forward with a reboot. With an entirely new cast, and the original characters not coming back, what is even the point?

Fans did get a small glimpse eight years ago when the show ended and teased a possible reboot. In the final scene in the last episode of the series, “New York, I Love You, XOXO” we saw the new “Core Four” – which in the original series was Blair, Serena, Chuck and Nate, with the exception of Dan Humphrey who throughout the show is known as “Lonely Boy”- outside of their high school dressing and acting the exact same as the original group.

On the brighter side of things, some fans are excited to see what the new Gossip Girl group in the show will bring to the table.

When the show first aired, fashion was one of the main focuses throughout the series. Now with a new generation of characters and how fashion is represented around the world; it will bring a new visual element that describes how teen’s style is today.

The series will still focus around the main question of who Gossip Girl is and how much the internet world has changed over the years from the original series.

Gossip Girl’s producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who are now producing the new series – spoke about the reboot and said they wanted an entire new cast to be introduced in the new series some time in 2021. “Stephanie and I have been talking about it…,” Schwartz said in an interview by Deadline at the Teen Choice Awards summer press tour on July 26, 2019.

“We felt that a version with just our cast grown-up, regardless of the challenges of getting those actors, didn’t feel like a group of adults being controlled by ‘gossip girl’ made much sense,” he said.

Penn Badgely ,the actor who played the role of Dan Humphrey, also spoke about the reboot on Global’s TV The Morning Show regarding the was any chance he would be making an appearance in the new series. “I don’t believe that’s happening,” Badgley said, but does wish them well for their success.

What the original cast showed in the first series was undeniable. Each actor brought something unique to the characters they played and each character had such an important storyline as viewers saw them grow as individuals throughout every season.

Gossip Girl is one of those shows where you could watch it a hundred times and not get bored with it. There was always something new happening within the group of friends and people didn’t know what was to come. Now with this reboot fans can expect what will happen in the new series just with different characters.

“The dynamic of the show will be hard to compete with,” Small said. “The way the story is set and when it was made makes the show what it is and I don’t feel it is necessary to recreate it to reference times now,” she said.

With Gossip Girl also airing in a different era, certain aspects in the new series will not be as they were in the original. When Gossip Girl first started, being rich and privileged was something different. It is shown throughout the show that money can get you whatever you want. Now being rich and privileged is ‘normal’ to teenagers or young adults on social media. Seeing high-class celebrities spending their money on new things every day is something that is now a daily occurrence. The reboot will show how 16-year-olds are living the ‘high-class life’ which is now very common in media today.

Social media was also just starting to rise as well. Gossip Girl was based around someone who had a very well-known online presence that was cyber-bullying kids at school. It was a site where everyone could get their daily dose of ‘gossip’ about their peers. Now with social media having such a bigger and wider platform than it did before, not everyone will be as involved with just one site.

The reboot is however adding more diversity into the series that the original show didn’t broadcast enough of. The world has changed a lot over the course of eight years, since the show ended, a diverse and wider range of cultures and ethnicities will be represented. Introducing characters that are a part of the LBGTQ+ community, and different races and backgrounds will give the reboot a better sense of diversity.

“I am curious to see what characters will play what roles. Also how the storyline will change or stay the same in some aspects,” Small said. 

Fans have said on various social media platforms that the original characters can’t be topped, “I don’t think the new characters will top what the old characters in Gossip Girl had throughout the show…” Small said, “I feel that there was chemistry between the actors and characters and a sense of humour and fun in the show.”

Fans will have to wait and see when the reboot releases in 2021 to make those assumptions a reality. Until then, viewers can watch the original series on Netflix before it gets taken down by the end of December 2020.

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