There are stages one goes through when hearing that a beloved television series is about to get the reboot treatment. There is of course, the first stage: denial that it could actually be happening, then anger at the networks for possibly sullying a classic, followed by bargaining for another show that might seem more primed to be mined for new material, depression caused by the mere thought of the state of the entertainment industry, and then, finally, acceptance. In the case of Gossip Girl, that acceptance comes quickly—after realizing that a teen soap which aired on network television could actually turn out to be quite graphic if it’s going to be shown on HBO (technically HBO Max, but you get the idea).
If it’s based on the CW show that was once touted as “mindblowingly inappropriate” by the Parents Television Council and “every parent’s nightmare” by the Boston Herald, then one has to think this reimagining of the original series premiering on HBO Max next year will indeed get the premium cable treatment. That is to say, Gossip Girl could be headed toward more R-rated content than ever before.
Remember, there’s a reason this network used to run the slogan, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.” As we’ve seen with Euphoria, they really can show just about anything they want on there—with intimacy coordinators on set to make sure people feel comfortable filming graphic scenes, of course. And it’s starting to look like Gossip Girl is going to put the “Max” in HBO Max with this reboot.
Last year, show-runner Josha Safran (who was a writer and producer on the original) arrived at the Vulture Festival to talk about his aims to make the new Gossip Girl more diverse and reflective of “the way the world looks now” when it premieres on HBO Max. He also discussed being the only queer writer in the writers room on the original series, and promised “a lot of queer content” on the reboot.
And in a quick Twitter Q&A last month, the series creator also hinted at the possible explicit nature of the new series. A fan asked about how much graphic language and nudity might be incorporated into the series now that it’s on a less family-friendly oriented network, to which Safran replied, “GG is a classy woman. She will be TV-MA, I imagine, but she will never just show something just because she can.”
Then, most recently, one of the new Gossip Girl cast members, Thomas Doherty, hinted at future sex scenes in which he might be starring on his Instagram Story. A modesty pouch, commonly known as a “cock sock” was pictured on a table in his dressing room, right next to flesh-colored thongs. It seems pretty safe to say this new Gossip Girl could quite possibly be much sexier than the original.