'Gossip Girl' Recap: Something Fantastic & Horny Is Waiting To Be Born

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'Gossip Girl' Recap: Something Fantastic & Horny Is Waiting To Be Born

The most striking image of Gossip Girl 2.0 is of G.I. Jane-haired influencer Julien Calloway at the end of a runway at an over-the-top fashion show. There is a huge dollhouse set behind her where all the models were previously posing in thigh-high electric blue dresses and a chartreuse and magenta bodysuits with contrasting color circles on the boobs. Julien, in a black-and-white checkerboard stunner of a dress drops a lit Zippo lighter and spontaneously the house behind her lights on fire. A controlled fire, I hope. I mean, this was planned, right? This isn’t like some sort of nightclub fire that no one planned, I hope.

This is an apt metaphor for the first episode of this new HBO Max series, which is relaunched from the mid-aughts CW show with a more diverse cast, a more socially progressive outlook, and much, much bigger budgets. In order to enter into the new era the old one has to be burnt to the ground. Most of this happens in the early scenes when Constance Billard English teacher and wannabe novelist Kate Keller (Tavi Gevinson) finds out about the old blog that was run by a former student: Dan Humphrey. “The novelist?” Kate screams, which is almost a response to the meme, “Tell me you have a stack of New Yorkers gathering dust in the corner of your Brooklyn sublet without telling me…”

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