Mild Gossip Girl spoilers follow
The Gossip Girl reboot has divided critics with a (presumably expensive) bag of mixed reviews.
The Gen Z reboot of the classic CW series drops on HBO Max in the US later this week, with episodes to air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK at a later date.
Produced by the original Gossip Girl team and narrated once again by Kristen Bell, four of the first season's 10 episodes were recently made available to critics — so, what did they think?
While critics praised Gossip Girl's "talented cast" and said it "has the potential" to rival the OG series, it seems the reboot does have some teething problems which could prove fatal if it wants a second run.
Indeed, while praising the reboot's strides in diversity and representation, its 'lack of character development' was flagged repeatedly as an issue, with one critic dubbing the show "fundamentally hollow at the core".
This time around, viewers will also know who's writing the 'Gossip Girl' posts from the start, which some reviewers praised while others dubbed the decision "nonsensical".
Below is our review round-up:
"None of these characters seem to like each other, none of them have chemistry with each other, and none of their relationships feel lived-in. Representation only begins with casting; it has to continue through to building characters into the unforgettable people an audience wants to stay with for years. The ups and downs, the storm and the calm, the love and the hate — that's what this show needs, and the opening episodes just aren't there yet."
"Gossip Girl 2.0 isn't a perfect replica of what made the original so addicting; but it has the potential to get there... If the new Gossip Girl can loosen its grip enough to let its Upper East Siders become the actual bullies they not-so-secretly are, there's a chance it may capture something great once again."
"So much of the new Gossip Girl is a familiar reworking of the first show's tropes and interests. And yet it also wants to be a revolution, and thinks it has to be one, even though it hasn't the foggiest idea of what that revolution should be, or even who it should be against.
"It is fundamentally hollow at the core, frivolous and frothy, studded with sequins and infidelities and students who lust for their teachers (but gay!). It seems uneasy with that emptiness, but it lacks the desire or capability to backfill everything with earnestness or do-goodery."
"With such a talented cast, you'd think there would be enough storylines to go around, but the show becomes tedious quickly due to the lack of development for most of the characters."
"Gossip Girl seems more interested in commenting on the old show than establishing a new one worth watching... Without any interior drama from the characters or exterior commentary about their place in society, Gossip Girl 2.0 feels as glossy, buttoned up, and boring as its influencer's Instagram page."
"There could be something here — if [the producers] are willing to go back to the basics of bitchiness."
The mixed reviews follow Gossip Girl boss Joshua Safran confirming OG stars like Blake Lively and Chace Crawford won't return for the reboot.
Gossip Girl will stream from July 8 on HBO Max in the US. BBC One and iPlayer will stream the series in the UK at a later date.
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