We've seen the influence of Gossip Girl on other popular teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale, but the reboot feels like a recycling of plots past. The first episode sees a fashion show go wrong (a storyline that was *literally* used in the original show) and introduces a Dan-like character who even looks like Dan. Meanwhile, we see storylines that just seem stale compared to the boldness of other recent series. For instance, when one character finds out that the boy she's been secretly hooking up with might also have feelings for her boyfriend, it feels like we're being prepped for a three-way romance that Élite presented (more gracefully) only a few years ago.
If there’s one way that the 2021 Gossip Girl feels fresh, it’s the incorporation of the adults—but this notable switch also acts as the show’s greatest downfall.
When a handful of teachers find their jobs in jeopardy because of the unbridled power of their students, they decide to take matters into their own hands and start a new Gossip Girl site, which just feels...unrealistic. Although we didn’t know who Gossip Girl was until the very end of the original series, we always had a feeling that it had to be one of the students. No real-life adult would ever dedicate the time or the energy to this kind of superficial and somewhat illegal act of stalking and slandering high schoolers online.
While the original Gossip Girl had its fair share of messy adults, they still felt removed from the teenage escapades. Now that the series has decided to fully involve them, we have to wonder what the motivation was? The show could have really struck gold with a unique commentary on social media. But instead, it gets lost in a narrative that just doesn't seem plausible.