by Janelle Sessoms
This summer, the world was gifted with a reboot of the beloved teen drama “Gossip Girl.” Taking place a few years after the original cast, the reboot features a whole new group of Upper East Side characters. While members of the original cast are referenced, this new group of students have no association with the originals and have their own stories to tell.
The reboot was wilder, more scandalous, and more diverse than the original ever was. It all worked. The wait was worth it, and one can only imagine what part two holds for us. However, as amazing as part one of the reboot was, there are areas that can use improvement. Anything goes on the Upper East Side, so the show creators have an interesting opportunity to push beyond the bounds of what we would typically expect from a teen drama. “Gossip Girl” 2.0 has so much more potential than what they have shown so far. With the second part airing on November 25, here are 5 things I hope to see in the “Gossip Girl” reboot part two.
More People of Color
If there was one thing that the “Gossip Girl” reboot did right, it was their decision to include more characters of color. The OG “Gossip Girl” severely lacked characters of color. If there was a person of color on the show, they most likely were a side character with no real significance to the plot. In all six seasons, other than Vanessa, every single main character was white. So imagine our surprise when the reboot was centered around a biracial Black girl that has a Black sister and is in a friend group where half of them are a minority. “Gossip Girl” finally got it right. Hopefully, for the second part of season 1, the show continues to keep that momentum. It’s so rare for television shows to depict affluent characters of color, so “Gossip Girl” has a real opportunity to be different from all the other TV shows out there.
More LGBTQ+ Representation
If it wasn’t for Eric van der Woodsen, LGBTQ+ representation in the original “Gossip Girl” would have been nonexistent. So far, the reboot has taken that issue and completely turned it around. Max is pansexual, Monet is lesbian, Luna is transgender, and Aki has hinted at being bisexual. The reboot has done much better in having queer inclusion, and for part two, there definitely should continue to be more LGBTQ+ characters introduced. Beyond having queer characters, there should also be queer relationships happening. What good is having an LGBTQ+ character if they stay single throughout the show? We have surpassed having token queer characters, and now it’s time to rightfully provide them the queer relationships that the TV industry still lacks to show. Hopefully, part two of the “Gossip Girl” reboot isn’t afraid to keep pace with LGBTQ+ characters and provide developed queer relationships.
Less Activism, More Attitude
The appeal of the Upper East Side is that the people live in nothing but wealth and privilege. Part one of the reboot went terribly wrong with centering a portion of the plot around activism. No one wants to see filthy rich kids fighting the good fight against capitalism and all the unfair obstacles integrated into the division of social classes. It is much more interesting to see the wealthy embrace their wealth and go through life taking advantage of all of the privilege they are given that comes with their money. That mindset is what made the original “Gossip Girl” characters so interesting. The way they lived was so unattainable you couldn’t help but want to keep watching their storyline. But when the reboot has their characters actually caring about the issues of the lower class, their lives don’t seem that unattainable anymore or a life worth being envious of. It would be best for part two to shift away from the activist aspect and tap into the privileged areas of their lives, which is the most interesting part.
A Sense of Mystery
An area that the reboot needs some serious development on is their ability to create a sense of mystery in their storylines. As each episode ended, there was nothing to look forward to for the next episode. There were no major cliffhangers or plot twists that kept us anxiously waiting for what came next. In the original “Gossip Girl,” it seemed like in every episode, there was always a major plot twist of some kind that nobody saw coming. Just think of when Carol Rhodes hired an actor to play her daughter and steal money from the family or when Bart Bass faked his death and unexpectedly came back without anyone knowing. You never knew what each episode was going to bring, and that level of mystery was missing in part one of the reboot. It was pretty easy to guess what you might be watching each episode, which didn’t make it nearly as exciting. As part two debuts, hopefully, there is a better sense of mystery created, so we don’t know what to expect as each episode airs.
More of Monet de Haan and Luna La
Without those two, the show just doesn’t work. Monet and Luna have carried “Gossip Girl” 2.0 since episode one, even with a minimal amount of air time. The duo should absolutely have more screen time for part two of the show. They embody everything you would expect from Upper East Side royalty: privileged, conceited, and deceptive. They are the mean girls that you want to be friends with, and that is exactly what we wanted from “Gossip Girl.” Part two needs to have more of the mean girl storyline. Without it, it just doesn’t have the “Gossip Girl” spirit we all know and love.