Caution: spoilers ahead.
By now, you’ve probably caught wind that the Upper East Side has once again been taken over by twenty-somethings playing teens in their private school uniforms—fashionably paired with Prada boots and Telfar bags, of course—for the new iteration of Gossip Girl, a continuation of the original series now streaming on HBO Max.
It’s an exciting time for fans of the original, and in the first episode, the big reveal happens much quicker than it did in the original iteration of the teen drama series: Gossip Girl is—gasp—a teacher. And not just any teacher—the digital tyrant is actually a collective of multiple teachers, played by Tavi Gevinson, Adam Chanler-Berat, and Megan Ferguson. It’s a move that may leave viewers feeling both surprised and relieved. Now that we don’t have to spend all of our time wondering who is the mastermind behind the anonymous Instagram account, we can focus on more fun things, like the cameos.
In the original Gossip Girl, the cameo appearances were aplenty, with many socialites, supermodels, and celebrities popping up to perform in the background or utter one simple line. Sure, there was an appearance from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (that did not age well), but the show also opened up guest spots for Tinsley Mortimer, Florench Welch, Karlie Kloss, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, and more. Whomever was the talk of the town from 2007 to 2012 would often find themselves popping up on The CW show during its six-season run. And in this continuation of the original Gossip Girl, the cameos are just as fun—if not more fun—than the celebrity appearances of the past.
So, we’re keeping a log of every celebrity cameo made on this new season of Gossip Girl as new episodes are released each week on HBO Max. Try and see how many of these celebs you spotted.
Season 1, Episode 1: Just Another Girl on the MTA
The very first episode of Gossip Girl gets you acquainted with Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander) and her half-sister, Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak), a new attendee at the recently merged Constance Billard and St. Jude’s private school. The anonymous Instagram account (which we also learn is run by Kate Keller, a frustrated teacher played by Tavi Gevinson) tries to sabotage the sisters and pit them against each other—with Calloway’s boyfriend Otto “Obie” Bergmann IV (Eli Brown) getting caught in the middle, too. And somewhere in there, there’s a runway show at New York Fashion Week, revealing the latest collection from Christopher John Rogers, who makes a cameo during the fashion show.
But before Julien can step out on the catwalk, she runs into Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor of The Cut, who tells her, “I’ve got my eye on you.” Meanwhile, Zoya gets the seal of approval from writer and Gagosian Gallery curator Antwaun Sargent. “Love that,” he says when he spies the outfit her half-sister has graciously lent her for the occasion, as she’s shuffled along to her seat at the Armory, unwittingly about to be caught up in some embarrassing drama orchestrated by Julien’s lackeys—or her publicist and image consultant, however you want to look at it—Luna La (Zion Moreno) and Monet de Haan (Savannah Smith). In the crowd at the fashion extravaganza, we also spotted Tik Tok star Marc Sebastian and Interview’s creative director and Rihanna’s former stylist Mel Ottenberg in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moment during the show. And did you spy singer and cellist Kelsey Lu?
Season 1, Episode 2: She’s Having a Maybe
While no celebrities may have made their way to the Upper East Side for this week’s episode of Gossip Girl 2.0, there were still a couple notable names that popped up here and there. Little Zoya Lott is trying to be all grown up, much to her father Nick’s dismay. And of course, part of the education of every young New Yorker who is trying to be a little bit wiser than their years includes reading material that is certainly NSFS (not safe for school). So, of course Zoya picks up a copy of Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play, and conspicuously reads it in the courtyard, where everyone, including her new “friend” Obie, her half-sister Julien’s ex. Outside of the Gossip Girl universe, Harris has been spotted on Instagram with many members of the cast. Could his Tony-nominated play’s appearance be a good omen of a cameo to come?
And as for Audrey Hope, she’s giving herself a little extracurricular literary education too. Hers comes in the form of Black Swans by Eve Babitz—nine stories about the ‘80s and ‘90s and all of the Hollywood hedonism that someone like Audrey is certainly missing out on in her vanilla relationship with Aki (Evan Mock).
Season 1, Episode 3: Lies Wide Shut
Well, it finally happened. After months of teasing his involvement with the series, Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris makes an appearance at the debut of his new (fictional) play—AARON: The Bloody and Lamentable Tale of the Moor’s N*gga Prince—at The Public Theater when Max’s dads get front row tickets to the show (while the Wolfe offspring convinces Aki to embark on a catfishing endeavor involving his parents and his teacher). Of course, that’s not the only front row show they’re all treated to—Zoya and Obie’s relationship is in a bit of a bind, and Julien, her dad Davis, and his new secret girlfriend (Beck from You, is that you?) experience a seating snafu that causes more drama to make your head spin. (Theater connoisseurs will also recognize The Public’s artistic director Oskar Eustis, New York 1 host Frank DiLella, and theater producer David Binder in the sequence).
But Zoya, being the theater aficionado that she is, is the only one who actually gets to talk to her playwright hero, who shows some special interest and asks her, “Babe, who are you?” after she defends his provocative play. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship for Little Z? Or at least a summer internship Off-Broadway?
This article will be updated as new episodes are made available.
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