The Gossip Girl reboot anticipated the same attempt by another major HBO brand, Sex and the City, and both were met with the same distrust. But while SATC brought the same older characters and even changed its name to And Just Like That, exactly to mark its new proposal, GG proposed to keep the name, scenario, and structure of Manhattan’s millionaire youth, with new faces and technological updates for the blog that caused a sensation in the early 2000s.
It made sense to bring the two series back together because both were sensations with generations of women of different ages, finding common ground in New York’s fashion and cool places. And both turned out to be… dated.
And Just Like That is still finishing the recording of the second season and with so many cancellations at HBO, it is in danger of being the last. Although it went well in the 1st, the reception can be measured as only lukewarm. Seeing the characters in their almost 60s, still adapting to cultural changes, and dealing with grief was strange and has not convinced 100% of the audience yet. Where Gossip Girl was worse, the reception was enough to warrant renewal.
In both series, the cast had to address and compensate for the lack of inclusion of their original versions and GG managed to widen the scope much better than AJLT. Full of self-references, it was also less straightforward, including a trisal (something that in 2000 was still taboo), but felt that the shadow of infinitely less interesting characters.
When Gossip Girl appeared in 2004, we were living in new digital times, but without the impact of social networks. The series takes place at the same school and quotes the previous characters all the time, kind of mirroring their updated versions. Did not work.
Starting with Serena and Dan. Julien couldn’t win us over like Serena, nor did Otto have Dan’s interesting cynicism. Audrey definitely had the Blair vibe, Max is really the closest to Chuck, and Aki is the new Nate. Are we going to agree that stepping out of Chuck and Blair’s shadow was a thankless mission?
Of course, it didn’t. But among the series’ many problems, the worst was putting the toxic revival of Gossip Girl, now an Instagram account, on a teacher. Having an adult gossip about teenagers, playing people off against each other, is as complicated as giving Dan the responsibility for the original blog. At least we didn’t know who was behind the blog while now we had to deal with the criminal absurdities of an adult harassing the young people she was supposed to be protective of. Not even the return of Georgina Sparks reversed expectations.
The series tried – hard – to engage, but the melodrama fell into vacuity and repetition, without a charismatic cast to compensate. Part of the curiosity was the eternal question “Who is Gossip Girl?” and reverting back to let us know the author made the story hollow. Audrey, Max and Aki’s trisal also stopped at the difficulty of overcoming their superficialities and admitting genuine love between them, leaving the parties and glamor with an uninteresting group.
The production team’s hope is to still be able to move on with the story, but on another platform, which is for obvious reasons, unlikely. With the arrest of Kate, the teacher obsessed with her work on Gossip Girl, it’s up to her partner to turn GG into an app. And of all, Max alone and suffering, it was disheartening.
“We are currently looking for another home, but in this climate, this could be an uphill battle, and if this is the end, at least we leave on the highest of highs,” said breeder Joshua Safran. There are controversies…