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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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HBO’s Gossip Girl Reboot has promising season premiere

HBO+Maxs+exclusive+Gossip+Girl+reboot+became+available+for+streaming+on+July+8%2C+with+new+episodes+dropping+every+Friday+through+August+12.%26%23160%3B
via imdb.com

HBO Max’s exclusive Gossip Girl reboot became available for streaming on July 8, with new episodes dropping every Friday through August 12. 

The first episode of the Gossip Girl reboot was released on Thursday, July 8 on HBO Max to much fanfare from the original show’s audience.

While the reboot focuses on a different cast of characters in the modern day, it does an excellent job balancing the original storyline. The progression of the first episode has characters rediscovering and reigniting the spite of the original Gossip Girl blog, now on the modern day Instagram platform. 

In the revival, the storyline centers around two half-sisters, Julien, played by Jordan Alexander, and Zoya, played by Whitney Lock. The two actresses somewhat fill the role of the original leading ladies, Blair and Serena, played by Leighton Meester and Blake Lively, respectively. While the original pilot centered around Lively and Meester’s characters navigating a strained friendship, the new series brings the privilege and wealth surrounding the fictitious Constance Billard school. 

While the two half-sisters begin to form a bond, Alexander does a fantastic job representing her character’s desire to stay relevant as a social media influencer and queen bee of the school, while also showing a softer side and generosity to her newly connected half-sister. Alexander plays both sides of this divide well, but in a way that feels complex and genuine rather than a mere black and white difference. 

All the acting within the new series’ pilot was fantastically done, and on top of this, the episode retained another important element of the Gossip Girl series – the fashion. With subtle references to the original through headbands, a beloved item of Meester’s character, and daring outfits that are merely modifications of school uniforms, the fashion paid tribute to the original while still forming its own identity.

The biggest difference between the new and old series is the identity of the titular character, Gossip Girl herself. Thankfully, the voiceover for Gossip Girl’s posts are still done by original actress Kristen Bell, but the hands behind the screen are revealed within the first episode, rather than having the identity of Gossip Girl drive the plot. Though this is an interesting flip, this known identity does beg the question of how the show will keep the plot intriguing through the drama and deceit of the characters on-screen.

Overall, the new series had an exciting premiere, with intriguing characters, beautiful fashion and excellent acting. On top of this, the production value by HBO Max allows it to be a visually stunning show thus far, showing us the original sets of the streets of New York and the Constance Billard school in a new light. While this is merely the first installment of many, the pilot has been well received and leaves viewers wanting more.
 

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