Gossip Girl review – A clumsy but watchable homage to the lovable teen hit | US TV

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Gossip Girl review – A clumsy but watchable homage to the lovable teen hit | US TV

IIt’s worth asking how to judge the revival of a teen show whose flaws were hidden in its appeal. The original Gossip Girl, the Upper East Side high-society series about teenagers on the CW from 2007 until 2012, based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s books, was often funny, misbehaving, and mean. He’s also been beloved, during his time and years in the streaming services, for his utterly absorbing image of the wealthy – a charming stasis-era fantasy where everyone connects with everyone in a people’s war mediated by an anonymous blogger. No one would argue that it was a prestigious television, but many millennials consider the show that launched the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Ben Badgley and others as essential.

The new HBO Max’s Gossip Girl is not a reboot more than a spiritual successor to the original show. The series, created by Joshua Safran, writer and executive producer of its predecessor, and executive produced by the original creators, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, returns to Constance Bellard, an Upper East Side Prep school, with a new cast of ruthless Gen Z students. The original characters are unknown For this new cast, though, the new Gossip Girl shares many of the same tunes as its predecessor: central clique, pop music six months after its heyday, innovative variations of the same plaid uniform, location shots across town, celebrity cameos, footsteps Dead, Kristen Bell as the voice of Gossip Girl.

It also updates the original, most obvious problem: The new Gossip Girl is ethnically diverse, with two black women in the lead roles, gay and sexually fluid. Still, even with Standard changes should be, the new Gossip Girl gets into a weird predicament — a poem from a barely past teenage era, updated for an audience who probably prefers TikToks to feature porn, often baffling pop culture references to viewers in their late twenties or thirties. It’s a mediocre and frustrating homage if necessary, and guarding IP property too ambitious (albeit disingenuous) for HBO Max generation No HBO granules tranceReal success with real teens.

In this 2021 version, set upon returning to personal school from the pandemic, the Queen Bee is Junior Julian Calloway (Jordan Alexander), an Instagram celebrity accompanied by two social media followers/managers, Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) and Luna (Zion Moreno). ), who did nothing but plot the four episodes available to critics. Her perch is threatened by the arrival of her long-lost half-sister, Zoya (Whitney Beck), a naïve scholarship student. Julian and Zoya share a photo of their late mother, single fathers are overprotective, and as per the show’s requirements, they just can’t be friends. As for the rest of the group, it hardly disturbs the roles of the original work; Julian’s boyfriend, Obi (Ellie Brown), is the do-gooder Dan Humphrey but has money (and an eerily similar voice), and is the kind of super hypocrite who delivers donuts to the strike line in his parents’ development. Max Wolf (Thomas Doherty of High Fidelity) is Chuck Bass but a wild sex, less attractive, lupine and is invested privately in the cool monogamy wetness of his best friends, Aki (Evan Mock) and Audrey (Emily Allen Lind).

There’s a fair share of patriarchal drama (divorce, cheating, falling to the ground) but the new Gossip Girl spends far more energy than the original on Constance Bellard’s teachers, led by Kate (Tavi Jeffinson, another nod to New York intellectuals), who worry that their overqualified students have grown boldness. To shed light on the details: Gossip Girl’s unfounded 404 blog, whose author was a mystery until the last episode of the original, is back in pilot as an anonymous Instagram account (a la two me). The creators aren’t a mystery, and the impulse — an experiment on fear of social surveillance and an iron-fist war over privileges — quickly spoils into something gratuitous, the least absorbing part of the show that I’ve found impossible to get to.

The mystery is not who Gossip Girl is, but what havoc an account can wreak. Julian and Zoya compete against each other in the usually elegant Gossip Girl spots – Dumbo House, Fashion Week, Jeremy O Harris play (with Harris cameo). Alexander and Beck, both relatively unknown Canadian actors, are masked amid a sea of ​​charismatic actors on Instagram, but struggle to navigate the demands of scenarios to switch between honest bonding and the unforgivable and unforgivable cruelty of the evening. Attempts to downplay more progressive politics, such as Zoya’s demand for an old Broadway producer to expand beyond white shows with white actors, ground in an awkward visual-driven wokeness would probably be accurate to Constance Bellard’s environment, but the show doesn’t seem clever enough to make that comment.

However, the only real requirement for a show like Gossip Girl is that it can be watched. By this scale, the new Gossip Girl falters, but a hot drama is a hot drama. To quote an anonymous blogger, you know you love him, though a goofy tribute that struggles for relevance is unlikely to attract a new generation of devotees.

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