The “Gossip Girl” reboot fails to live up to the original show


Courtesy of

The “Gossip Girl” reboot was canceled on January 26, 2023, just before the season two finale aired.

If you haven’t seen or heard the phrase “XOXO, Gossip Girl,” then you’ve been looking in the wrong places. The 2007 CW show, “Gossip Girl,” starred Blake Lively as Serena Van Der Woodson and Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf: two best friends living a lavish lifestyle on the Upper East Side of New York City.

This spectacle ran for six seasons and was highly-reviewed. The streaming service, HBO Max thought, why not revive the show? The first episode of the reboot aired in July of 2021. The reaction from viewers represented that the reboot failed to fit viewer expectations. Following a similar storyline from the original, a group of friends live their luxurious lives on the Upper East Side. Scandals, revenge, and gossip are the holy trinity surrounding this new generation.

The reboot is similar to the original in the way that it shows a social media page, called “Gossip Girl,” better known as “G.G.,” which is run by what the characters assume to be a student. The site exposes the high-society teens that run amidst in scandals. A large difference is that in the original, a student was running the website. But that’s completely changed in the reboot, where a teacher was running an Instagram page called “Gossip Girl.” It was created by a group of teachers who had enough with the privileged kids running around, destroying other people’s lives. When the account was made, it was at first just a use of revenge. However, posts started appearing that caused scandals to break out, with each post being more vile than the one before it.

By the second season, the account got so out of hand that the main owner of the account and the person that started it, Guidance Counselor Kate Keller (Tavi Gevinson), got what she deserved in the end. But as this was building up from the end of the prior season, it led to a mediocre finale. The group of friends attempt to take down G.G., but ultimately fail. After a series of “unfortunate” events, the real Gossip Girl is revealed to the world, but the final minutes of the episode lead to a disappointing end.

While the “Gossip Girl” reboot didn’t closely follow the original like many hoped, there were still many similarities, such as the locations. This includes Constance Billard and St. Jude’s, the girls’ and boys’ respective high schools, where both shows took place. This is where a lot of action happened. From fights with friends, to G.G. blasts, it all went down on school grounds. The reboot also captured drama, just as the original did, but instead of revolving around two main characters, the new version focused on one character and her friend group. Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander) is the character who was utterly destroyed on the new Gossip Girl page. But after reflection, she changed and became a better person.

By the finale, many things went down such as the reveal of G.G., but it all became very predictable and boring. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer is at a low 38%, the consensus being: “An ambitious misfire, “Gossip Girl” stutters more than it struts, stranding a stacked cast in a sumptuous sea of rudderless drama.”

While excitement initially arose at the news of a reboot of “Gossip Girl,” the ultimate reaction from viewers after watching wasn’t so positive. So, it came as no surprise to viewers when news broke that HBO Max would not be renewing the show for a third season. Many viewers found the reboot disappointing and predictable. Compared to the original 2007 series, it felt “off-brand” and boring. The original “Gossip Girl” felt original as it overdramatized the lives of privileged New York City kids. In the end, the difference between the two series differed too much, and the reboot was inevitably canceled due to its negative feedback. The idea of “Gossip Girl” really just emphasized what gossip is in the lives of high schoolers: drama and fun.