“Gossip Girl” Doesn't Need a Reboot – TeenVogue.com
In this op-ed, writer Gianluca Russo addresses the news that Gossip Girl reboot discussions are happening at The CW, arguing that GG and its glamorization of Manhattan’s elite belong in the past.
In hindsight, we should have seen this moment coming. After all, we are living in the age of the reboot, with shows like Charmed and Will & Grace finding their way back to television. And while some of these reboots and revivals flop, others excel, combining nostalgia from when they first aired with relevance to today’s culture (looking at you, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). But not all shows that were popular in the past are able to be reflective of the time we currently live in. And, unfortunately, that includes Gossip Girl — the show that gave us Blair Waldorf’s iconic wardrobe, yes, but that also entices us to relate and aspire to the 1%.
On February 1, news broke that The CW is currently in talks to reboot the once-popular, now-iconic series Gossip Girl, which premiered on the network back in 2007. The series lasted six seasons before coming to an end in 2012, and since then, largely thanks to Netflix having the program available to stream, new generations have been able to bask in the secret lives of Manhattan’s elite.
I’ll be the first to admit it: Gossip Girl is among my favorite shows of all time. Though I missed it when the show first premiered, I remember binge-watching the entire series — all six seasons — within three weeks during my senior year of high school. The show impacted me so much, even, that a few close friends and I created an anonymous Gossip Girl account to expose those in our school who made our lives less than ideal. (A great, if very petty, plan — until word got around and the account’s time was up.)
All of this is to say that, yes, I am a true stan of Gossip Girl. The manipulative antics between Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, the many love stories, the unfortunate demise of Jenny Humphrey, who deserved so much better — clearly, the show mesmerized and sometimes even hurt me. Despite that, I will be the first to say that we absolutely don’t need to see Gossip Girl rebooted.
Would it be nice to continue their stories and see where Dan Humphrey and Serena end up? Yes. Am I dying to see Jenny get the comeback she deserves? Sure! But a show like Gossip Girl needs to live in 2007, not in 2019.
It’s already been argued before that Gossip Girl has had its fair share of problematic plot points. For starters, the series seriously lacked in terms of diversity. The first season featured no person of color in the leading cast, and not one plus-size character was ever featured. It also included a sexual assault storyline in which Chuck Bass preyed on young girls and got away with it — largely because he was a rich white man — only to have the show make him out to be a good guy and someone we should root for by the end of the series.
In 2007, those elements may have been able to slide under the radar, but not today. Sure, the writers could adjust these issues, diversifying a new cast and addressing Chuck’s repulsive history. But the bottom-line issue with a Gossip Girl reboot lies within the foundation of the show itself: the premise.
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