Hey, Upper East Siders (and everyone else),
You’ve probably already heard the news that a new Gossip Girl is on its way, via HBO Max. If you were a fan of the original series, you might have mixed feelings about a Gen-Z version. Maybe you’re excited, or maybe you’re mad that they didn’t just go ahead and make that “Valley Girls” spin-off about Lily van der Woodsen with Krysten Ritter and Brittany Snow like they promised back in 2009.
To recreate Gossip Girl might seem like a fool’s errand—what could possibly beat that iconic opening sequence in Grand Central with Peter, Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” blaring in the background? (And as much as we’d love a reunion with the original cast, don’t hold your breath).
But, as series creator Josh Schwartz has made clear via Twitter, this new series is an update, not a reboot. And there are, of course, some pros to the new Gossip Girl being on HBO Max. For one thing, whereas The CW had to keep things family friendly, on premium cable anything’s possible— just look at Euphoria. But beyond possible nudity, what might this new Gossip Girl look like? Where will the hard-partying, elite city teens go out? And what will they wear while frantically checking their phones every time they get a new message that reads, “XOXO”? Let’s imagine.
The Character Archetypes:
Sadly, we won’t be seeing the same characters from the original. But just because there won’t be a Blair Waldorf, a Serena van der Woodsen, or a Nate Archibald doesn’t mean we won’t see an update of their general archetypes. Our vision: seven characters loosely based on Blair, Serena, Dan, Nate, Chuck, Jenny, and Vanessa.
Blair Waldorf is a one-of-a-kind. She’s impossible to replicate, but this version of “Blair” would probably bear some similarities to the original. She’s not exactly preppy, per se, but she would probably be a member of The Wing. She’d possibly still want to land an internship with W magazine. She’d replace her housekeeper, Dorota, with Alexa. That she unironically idolizes Carrie Bradshaw underneath it all is the one secret she’ll never tell.
After disappearing for the summer, the Gen-Z “Serena” goes dark on social media. When she returns, she shares her journey back to health and becomes an accidental wellness influencer on the ‘gram.
“Dan” is an obnoxious cinephile with a Criterion Channel subscription who will stop at nothing to get an internship with A24. He runs an anonymous film blog and posts his cinema takes on Medium. One of his stories goes viral à la Cat Person.
“Chuck” is pansexual, polyamorous, and totally thinks he’s woke because of it. He’s still an exorbitantly wealthy one percent-er because of his daddy, though, and wants to use his identity to overcorrect for that fact.
The new “Nate” is a card carrying fuccboi. Ever since Serena left he has become addicted to finding a rebound via Tinder.
“Jenny” is your typical basic younger sibling who thinks it’s a good idea to start a foodie Instagram account in the year of our lord 2019. The older kids obviously ridicule her for this. That is, until she gets some online attention from a successful food blogger who helps her grow her platform to the point where it legitimately takes off.
“Vanessa” is a social justice warrior on Twitter who idolizes the Red Scare podcast team, but the gag is she’s actually really good at it. She lives in Bushwick and goes to school in Brooklyn Heights, unlike the Upper East Side crowd.
The most constant characteristic of New York is that it’s always changing, and since Gossip Girl ended, New York has evolved a ton. Looking back, we can think of the show as a little time capsule of 2007 to 2012, and since then, many of the old haunts have become passé. The Upper East Siders will not be going out to Butter or Panchito’s for a clandestine drink, for example. And Henri Bendel doesn’t even exist anymore. In this new version of things, Blair probably eats at Polo Bar, and Nate can’t help but make an appearance at China Chalet. As a snobby cinephile, Dan loves a Metrograph moment and has a taste for the negronis at the Commissary. (He doesn’t discount the close proximity to Clandestino and Dimes, though).
“Nate” would get his hypebeast threads at Dover Street Market. “Chuck” still wears bespoke suits. Headbands are back in style, and “Blair” would very much adore the resurgence of the accessory (the girl needs a classic staple in her wardrobe, after all). “Jenny” gets a lot of her stuff from the free table at her internship. “Vanessa” is the resident alt so she probably shops at L Train Vintage, and brings “Dan” along with her after she’s brought him out for a night out at Nowadays in Ridgewood. Everyone Juuls.
The actual “Gossip Girl” blog couldn’t be a blog in 2019. Even a Tumblr account would be outdated by now. It would have to start out as some sort of anonymous Instagram account that grows into a very serious problem for our posh New Yorkers and their well-to-do families. The fact that everyone is a lot more online than they would have been in the aughts means that this cyberbully would have to be untraceable, lest an orchestrated hack leak all of their information and make things messy.