52 Thoughts I Had While Watching the Gossip Girl Reboot Premiere

52 Thoughts I Had While Watching the Gossip Girl Reboot Premiere
Photo: Getty Images

Disclaimer: This story contains spoilers for the premiere of the Gossip Girl reboot.

I've waited longer than I care to admit for this day; the series premiere of the Gossip Girl reboot is finally here, and I've been honing my noticing-things skills on rom-coms for literal years in preparation. We've been promised a younger, more self-aware new set of teens to hate-watch, but whether the show will deliver on the original's soapy deliciousness is anyone's guess. Let's dive in and see what creator Joshua Safran and company have in store for us, shall we?

  1. Opening shot of Peter Luger! God, I want a steak (or, more accurately, a rich financier to buy me one).
  2. We pan over the Williamsburg Bridge to subway cars, from which...we're maybe supposed to infer that the new Gossip Girl kids take the subway? A likely story.
  3. OMG, Tavi! It feels like just yesterday that I was logging onto a school computer to read The Style Rookie...oh, how we've grown.
  4. Three rich kids named—perfectly enough—Julien, Monet, and Luna are texting about which jewels to wear.
  5. Wow, Julien's Grammy-winning dad is attired to absolute perfection in a knit beanie that screams "Sure, I may have a teenage child, but I'm still cool!" He wishes her a happy first day of school, and we're given to understand that we're in a post-pandemic universe. (I think?)
  6. Protest signs and sex before the two-minute mark, so you know you're watching a 2021 update of Gossip Girl!
  7. We meet Zoya, the new kid with Jenny Humphrey vibes, whose mysterious half-sister attends Constance Billard, where Zoya is about to enroll for freshman year. She has a cute, nervous dad and expensive sneakers.
  8. Ah, the nausea-inducing sight of watching a teen spend more money than I currently have in my bank account. I genuinely missed it.
  9. I'm sorry...is Tavi playing a teacher? A teacher who the popular kids feel comfortable bullying? I am officially of crone experience.
  10. "They just pick on us because they can," laments one nerdy teacher. Somehow, all the teachers are also young and hot?
  11. OMG, Nate Archibald shoutout! Apparently, he's an esteemed alum. I can't even.
  12. We slowly get the legend of Gossip Girl, described as an "Orwellian big sister" who kept tabs on students—and, thus, kept them in line. Now, though, they're wanton influencers without a care in the world. Sorry, but I call BS on this; I feel like rich kids have to be slightly better-behaved in 2021 than they were in 2009, if only because there's a far more sophisticated system of online tracking now. Can't act out too much in an Instagram world, or Yale will hear about it!
  13. Okay, so Julien is Zoya's mysterious half-sister.
  14. And we're popping Addys and benzos! How very Soundcloud-rapper.
  15. LMAO, there's a really good turmeric-latte shoutout.
  16. The words "cancel culture" have been invoked. Everybody drink!
  17. Tavi is sticking up for the rich kids, saying it's not their fault they inherited privilege. Somehow, I feel she will come to regret this position.
  18. So now the...teachers are Gossip Girl? Via Twitter? Hmm. Where's the mystery?
  19. As it turns out, Zoya and Julien aren't actually estranged half-sisters; they're matching-tattoos close, and they bond over their shared mother in a school bathroom.
  20. "We own this school. They work for us," Julien tells Zoya, which is barf-inducingly similar to the mentality of the horrible prep-school kids I myself grew up with, but I think we're supposed to find it charming, so...onward.
  21. Julien tries to subtly integrate Zoya into her friend group, which one of her friends isn't down with, because "she has a headband on." Shade to Blair Waldorf!
  22. I have no idea what happens next, because I'm so distracted by this one kid's cheekbones, which look quite literally forged from glass.
  23. Zoya gets the invite to the cool kids' members-only club. Score!
  24. Okay, this rocks: nobody even likes the teachers' fake Gossip Girl tweet.
  25. I am so upset by how these kids talk to their teachers! Am I...old?
  26. Aw, Zoya has a 9 p.m. curfew. High school sucks, man, even when you look like a model.
  27. The teachers have a Gossip Girl summit at Tavi's house and agree to...bully some teens, this time with a particularly incendiary tweet about Zoya.
  28. There's the Gossip Girl V.O. I missed! Love you, Kristen Bell.
  29. Now, as in actual high school, I find myself wondering how eleventh graders managed to procure fake IDs good enough to get into cool bars. I guess that's what lavish wealth gets you, but my fake (if I had ever had one, which I categorically deny) was only good for occasionally finagling a twelve-pack of Smirnoff Ice from the bodega.
  30. Uh-oh, Julien's do-gooder boyfriend is looking a little too interested in Zoya. Wonder where this is going!
  31. I am LOLing at these kids drinking martinis, a drink I still cannot stomach at the ripe old age of 27.
  32. "Sant Ambroeus or Yura for coffee," Julien instructs, and I am plunged into my feels, remembering how ludicrously expensive Yura was. (Fun story time: When I briefly attended the school that Gossip Girl's Constance Billard is based on, my mom sent me on my first field trip with Lunchables in a paper bag, while every other girl had salmon pinwheels from Yura in a colorful plastic tote. I guess what I'm saying here is...eat the uber-rich, and then their salmon pinwheels?)
  33. OMG, Zoya is getting added to the group text! A bridge too far, at least according to Julien's mean friends. To be fair, I would be mad about this too, as a group text is sacred and consecrated ground.
  34. Bar hookup time!
  35. Everyone gets an IG alert from Gossip Girl, alerting them to the fact that Julien bought Zoya's way into Constance Billard. Zoya didn't know any of this, and is pissed. Sorry, but am I really supposed to believe that a teenage student quite literally decides which kids get scholarships?
  36. I have to say, as far as drama goes, this could be juicier.
  37. Okay, a depressed and joyless teen couple taking a perfunctory IG Stories pic because they feel like they have to (mid-fight, no less) does, in fact, hit home. Protect Gen Z!
  38. Zoya heads home with Julien's do-gooder BF, who confides in her about how he feels like they aren't really dating. They bond about missing some former version of Julien, who's not as...I don't know, influencer-y?
  39. Ew, one of the teachers snaps photos of Zoya and Julien's BF all cozied up and shares them with Tavi, a.k.a. Gossip Girl? That is, uh, closer to a sex crime than I'm comfortable with, but okay.
  40. Do-gooder BF gets quite literally booed for cheating on Julien upon his arrival at school. (Even though he didn't.) Do his fellow students seriously have nothing else going on? I guess it's high school, so nobody has anything else going on.
  41. LMAO, Julien is walking in the Christopher John Rogers show at the Armory, which...props to the series for including a non-dated fashion reference, but I feel like CJR wouldn't cast an eleventh grader?
  42. God, I hope to never hear the words "It's a really big deal for my brand identity" again.
  43. Julien masterminds a plan in which Zoya gets shut out of the CJR show, while she and do-gooder BF (whose name is...Obie?) are publicly seen together inside.
  44. I'm getting huge threesome vibes from Audrey, her cute pink-haired boyfriend, and the Chuck Bass-esque rake who keeps messing with them both.
  45. Sies Marjan ref!
  46. Uh-oh, Julien is shedding followers while Zoya is gaining them. This will not stand!
  47. Literally, can you imagine if you showed up at a Christopher John Rogers show, only to be met with high-school drama?
  48. I can truly ID with the teachers streaming the fashion show while drinking cheap beer.
  49. The mean girls AirDrop the scandalous Gossip Girl photo "from" Zoya's phone and get her kicked out of the fashion show.
  50. Julien and Zoya get in a big fight, with Zoya saying she wishes she never came to New York, and Julien telling her to fall in line. Somehow, I don't think she will!
  51. Do-gooder BF reaches the end of his rope and breaks up with Julien. Sorry, but I refuse to call this person "Obie."
  52. Well, the battle lines are drawn between Julien and Zoya, and while it's no Blair v. Serena, I am 100% on board. More, please!