Every Pop Culture Reference In The 'Gossip Girl' Revival — Because AIM Is Old School

- Gossip Girl -
Every Pop Culture Reference In The 'Gossip Girl' Revival — Because AIM Is Old School

Watching the Upper East Side rich kids of The CW's Gossip Girl was always a timeless experience. Though the series certainly influenced culture (I can't be the only one who wore entirely too much argyle in an attempt to replicate the private school 'fits worn by Blair Waldorf) Gossip Girl wasn't all about pop culture references that made it feel too "of the moment." Instead, Dan Humphrey rattled off monologues about F. Scott Fitzgerald, while Blair waxed poetic about her love of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.

The new Gossip Girl, now streaming on HBO Max, is a bit different. It is decidedly Gen Z, complete with oodles of modern references — everything from the clothes to the music to the social media feels very 2021. In fact, there's no question about when this show takes place: In the very opening of the episode, the teens rejoice about not having to wear face masks or quarantine in a post COVID-19 vaccinated New York.

In terms of pop culture references, though, those are up to the minute, which makes the show a different viewing experience than its predecessor — but a fun one in its own right. Here's what we caught in the first episode of Gossip Girl:

  • As Julien gets ready for her first day of school, her dad David tells her he is leaving town for a "session with Billie." As in, Billie Eilish. Rubbing elbows with one of Gen Z's darling? Exactly the kind of thing that fits into Gossip Girl 2.0.
  • When Julien and Zoya show off their matching tattoos, Julien remarks she got her ink from Doctor Woo, a celebrity tattoo artist with more than 1 million Instagram followers. Miley Cyrus, Drake, and Cara Delevingne are all clients.
Image: HBO Max
  • The gang hangs out at "DUMBO Hall," which, while not a real spot in the city, is likely a reference to Soho House's members only club, DUMBO House. While the original Gossip Girl crew wrinkled their nose at the outer boroughs, these teens know BK is trendy.
  • Olivia Jade, influencer and daughter of Lori Loughlin, gets a shout out for gaining more followers after her parents went to jail for their role in the college admissions scandal.
  • Julien walks in the Christopher John Rogers show, where she and Zoya stage a public falling out that ultimately goes awry. Currently, the fashion designer has a line of dresses at Target, for those who don't quite have the same-sized bank accounts as the Gossip Girl crew.
  • HBO's other series about entitled rich people gets a shout out, too, courtesy of Luna, who warns Julien not to trust her potentially scheming little sister: "Ever hear of Shakespeare? Succession? The Bible?"
Image: HBO Max

With a series that fits so squarely into the zeitgeist, there's likely plenty more pop culture references to come — though in the real world, Gossip Girl 2.0. may find itself carving out its own spot in the cultural conversation, too.

Images: HBO Max

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