‘Ever heard of the guilty rich?’ Dark new reality of Gossip Girl reboot

It’s been a turbulent 12 months in the United States with political upheaval, civil unrest, and extra coronavirus circumstances than every other nation. It’s subsequently superb {that a} present about wealthy and privileged youngsters addresses these points – whereas nonetheless having enjoyable.

Yet the Gossip Girl reboot does all this and extra, including zeitgeisty matters like gender fluidity, sexual orientation and woke tradition into the combine.

“Part of the DNA of the show is that it’s engaging in public conversations and things that are going on in the real world,” stated govt producer Stephanie Savage, one of the co-creators of the authentic 2007-2013 collection. “We definitely want to feel like everything that’s happened in the last couple of years is reflected in the material.”

With the first episode dropping on BINGE final week, viewers can already spot some sizzling button matters rising. Here the solid and manufacturing heads take us by means of what else to anticipate.

xoxo. Luna La (Zion Moreno), Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander) and Monet de Haan (Savannah Smith) in a scene from the rebooted Gossip Girl series. HBO/Binge
Camera Iconxoxo. Luna La (Zion Moreno), Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander) and Monet de Haan (Savannah Smith) in a scene from the rebooted Gossip Girl collection. HBO/Binge Credit: Supplied

The pandemic

Queen Bee Julien Calloway is preparing for her first day at Constance Billard School for Girls on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “You’re normally not this excited for the first day of school,” says her dad.

“It’s better than being stuck in here another year,” quips Julien, a nod to the Covid-19 state of emergency which stored New Yorkers in lockdown from March 2020 to May 2021.

Perhaps the largest function coronavirus performs in the collection is behind the scenes, with the present’s producers adhering to strict Covid-19 protocols in a collection that has excessive ranges of bodily intimacy.

“We never shut down once. We really have an incredible Covid team that work really hard to protect everybody, and we have a really great intimacy co-ordinator who helped with that,” revealed producer-writer Joshua Safran.

The new Gossip Girl cast is diverse and the plot tackles some serious issues that weren’t addressed in the original series. HBO/Binge
Camera IconThe new Gossip Girl solid is various and the plot tackles some critical points that weren’t addressed in the authentic collection. HBO/Binge Credit: Supplied

The super-rich

When the authentic Gossip Girl aired in 2007 the phrase “the one per cent” hadn’t but been coined, nobody knew easy methods to “check their privilege,” and the collection was in season 4 when the Global Financial Crisis hit.

The reboot is extra self-aware of the wealth hole.

“Ever heard of the guilty rich? This one’s the guiltiest and the richest,” says Julien of her property developer inheritor boyfriend Obie (Eli Brown). These characters wrestle with their privilege, and Obie initially bonds with new lady and Julien’s half-sister Zoya (Whitney Peak) over their shared curiosity in an anti-gentrification charity. While Julien is perhaps Queen she genuinely cares about her a lot poorer sibling, and ships Zoya dear merch on the sly to provide her some style cred at college.

“We’re high school students and whether we’re well-off or not, these kids are still going through things and figuring things out as they grow up,” says Evan Mock, who performs Aki. “So I feel like no matter how well-off you are, you still go through everyday problems.”

Max Wolfe (Thomas Doherty) is the new Chuck Bass. HBO/Binge
Camera IconMax Wolfe (Thomas Doherty) is the new Chuck Bass. HBO/Binge Credit: Supplied

Gender fluidity and sexual orientation

Generation Z is way much less seemingly than earlier generations to establish as heterosexual, with one in six figuring out as LGBT, in accordance with Gallup.

Gossip Girl displays this with homosexual, bi, pan, and trans characters — and lots of experimentation in-between.

“I’m a queer man and my experiences of being gay and the way I relate to that have changed over time,” stated author and producer Joshua Safran. “I understand the non-binary world. I’m not 17, my friend’s kid is 17, so I’m going to ask her questions and I’m going to listen to what she tells me, and I’m not going to tell her that she’s wrong.”

Maximus, the “new Chuck” (Thomas Doherty), identifies as pansexual and is intent on seducing his male instructor. “That’s been really interesting for me,” stated Doherty. “Gossip Girl is a reflection of society right now, which I really have a lot of respect for, and I’ve learnt so much from it.”

He hopes viewers shall be “a lot more open and investigative, sexually, in terms of questioning their own preconceived notions of sexuality and what that means. I think that that’ll definitely broaden people’s minds and make for a much more tolerant, accepting society.”

Zion Moreno (Luna) is amongst the solid seeing an growing tendency for kids to not outline as straight or homosexual. “There’s no need to label yourself,” she stated. “You just live. You just experience. You just exist and you try to help others along the way. Gossip Girl really does showcase that because pretty much everyone is queer on the show.”

Black Lives Matter and woke tradition

When Zoya wins a scholarship to Constance Billard she swaps daggy Buffalo for fancy Manhattan. It’s a fish-out-of-water fairytale mirrored in the casting as a result of nobody was extra shocked about touchdown the function of a 14-year-old freshman than Peak.

“I watched Gossip Girl maybe three years ago for the first time and I guess I didn’t really think about how much it lacked diversity, because that was kind of what was always put in my face,” stated Peak. “Every sitcom that everybody was watching was always just predominantly white people. And so I never even thought about it until I got the audition. I was like, Wow, this is weird, OK. Sure. I didn’t think I was going to get it because I was young and I did not fit in with the original cast.”

With 4 of the feminine leads ladies of color, the present embraces variety and inclusion.

In Peak’s view, whereas it “isn’t the pinnacle of diversity entertainment,” it’s “a step in the right direction”.

The new cast channel Blair and Serena on the steps of the Met. HBO/Binge
Camera IconThe new solid channel Blair and Serena on the steps of the Met. HBO/Binge Credit: Supplied

Social media and imply ladies

Showrunner Safran stated the largest shift has include how social media has modified the method the invisible narrator, the titular Gossip Girl, works.

“Back then, Gossip Girl was the disrupter. Serena (played by Blake Lively in the original show) thought she was going around her daily life being Serena and Gossip Girl’s like, ‘I’m going to show what you’re really doing.’ Now we all curate ourselves so much that we present a false front and we know who we really are. Gossip Girl isn’t disrupting one thing. She’s actually showing both things and throwing them into context. Julien isn’t who she’s showing you she is, and what’s worse is she knows the truth and she’s choosing not to show you.”

While the imply lady trope just isn’t new, social media has infected this stereotype. Julien and Zoya is perhaps blood relations and sport matching neck tattoos however they go from reunited to rivals in a single click on of an Instagram put up. But it’s enjoyable to observe.

“We can all relate to being bullied in one way or another, so it’s fun to put ourselves in positions of silly power,” stated Savannah Smith. “In this show that power is taken a little too far, but all in a fictional, mean girl, exciting, dramatic, fun way.”

The new Gossip Girl reboot and all seasons of the authentic are actually streaming on BINGE.

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