The first teaser trailer for HBO Max’s upcoming Gossip Girl reboot really nails one thing: how annoying and troubling a notification on your phone can be. In the minute-long clip, the newest teen residents of the Upper East Side seem to be in the midst of a typically glamorous but tense night on the town when, suddenly, they all get a notification on their phones that just absolutely ruins the vibe.
The clip opens with Whitney Peak’s character Zoya exiting an elevator to some penthouse party when Kristen Bell’s infamous narration begins. “You’ve gotten so comfortable, thinking you're in control,” she whispers. “But you forgot one thing: I can see you.” The entire thing could almost pass for the trailer of a horror movie about the evils of the surveillance state and social media.
The teaser also gives a few hints about what dynamics to expect from the new characters. Jordan Alexander’s Julien invites Eli Brown’s Obie to pose for a quick selfie, but, clearly, his attentions are elsewhere. Zión Moreno’s Luna and Savannah Smith’s Monet sit and gossip on a couch. Emily Alyn Lind’s Audrey and Evan Mock’s Aki clearly have a romantic entanglement. Tavi Gevinson’s Kate seems like a bit of a loner hanging at the bar (it would seem this should end any lingering confusion as to whether her character is supposed to be a teacher or a teen). Thomas Doherty’s Max Wolfe seems to move ominously in the background. Tellingly, while most of the characters make it to a big couch at the end, Peak’s character is left out, suggesting she’s something of an outsider.
The teaser also finally announces when we’ll actually get to see the show. It premieres on July 8th on HBO Max. Mark your calendar with Xs and Os.