For individuals who aren’t chronically media on-line or fluent in popular culture and social media communicate, it might be sensible to have Google open in one other tab when watching HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot. An in-universe sequel to the CW’s hit teen drama of the identical identify, Gossip Girl follows a bunch of uber-wealthy Manhattan teenagers whose actions are carefully monitored and publicized by the appropriately named gossip account, Gossip Girl. The second season started on December 1st, bringing a bunch of latest well timed popular culture references, a lot of which are not so well timed by the point the episodes really air.
Season 1 was rife with references to present occasions, from movie star gossip to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Season 2 follows go well with. Having well timed popular culture references in a present centered on gossip is a double-edged sword, on condition that the information cycle, particularly on social media, strikes so shortly that by the point the brand new season has been shot, edited, and launched on HBO Max, a lot of stated references will likely be all however outdated. It is unclear what number of extra seasons this iteration of Gossip Woman will run for, however with popular culture references and memes which have such a brief lifespan, would somebody watching the present for the primary time simply 5 years from now keep in mind any of them?
These references are additionally very a lot tailor-made to a youthful viewers or not less than one which spends plenty of time on social media. A few of the extra eye roll-inducing references, like Audrey Hope (Emily Alyn Lind) declaring that “Gossip Woman is in her flop period proper now,” could also be completely incomprehensible to somebody who doesn’t frequent Twitter or TikTok. This sort of reference isn’t completely misplaced in a present about excessive schoolers, contemplating many youngsters do incorporate Web slang into their real-life vocabularies, however it’s a bit jarring to listen to one thing as foolish as “flop period” in a tv present written by adults.
The Pop Tradition References within the Gossip Woman Reboot Are Hyper-Particular to the Time
The character who makes essentially the most frequent popular culture references is Luna La (Zión Moreno), who serves as considerably of a publicist/stylist hybrid for influencer Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander) and her rival Monet de Haan (Savannah Smith) that means she’s at all times up-to-date on present tendencies and movie star gossip. Referring to a Peter Do gown she was capable of procure for Julien, Luna boasts, “It was on its option to Zendaya and I needed to ‘blackmail’ Regulation Roach’s assistant with these footage of her and Cancel Elgort”. To translate: Luna was capable of snag a gown by luxurious designer Peter Do from famously well-dressed actress Zendaya, by blackmailing movie star stylist Regulation Roach’s assistant with footage of her and actor Ansel Elgort, who, in 2020, was accused by a number of girls of sexual assault and harassment once they had been underage, resulting in him being “canceled” on Twitter and past.
In Episode 2, “Guess Who’s Coming at Dinner”, when Luna suggests Julien sabotage Monet’s journal unfold with The Spectator, she convinces her to “do it from the within, making it silently disintegrate, like Neiman’s or Florence Pugh and that outdated man.” Right here, she is referring to luxurious division retailer Neiman Marcus, which filed for Chapter 11 chapter in Could 2020, and Florence Pugh and Zach Braff’s current breakup, whose relationship beforehand prompted dialogue on social media as a consequence of their 21-year age hole.
Pop Tradition Callbacks Had been Widespread within the Authentic ‘Gossip Woman’
Whereas the reboot dates itself by means of its time-specific popular culture references and allusions to present occasions, this seems to be a function of the present’s premise itself. The unique Gossip Woman aired from 2007 to 2012, and likewise dates itself in a number of methods. Since social media was simply rising on the time, as a substitute of an Instagram account, Gossip Woman was a weblog, and the characters would obtain textual content blasts from Gossip Woman each time she posted new bits of data. As an alternative of social media jargon and area of interest movie star drama, the unique collection dates itself primarily by means of its simply identifiable 2000s trend and the totally different movie star cameos all through the present’s run.
Whereas the reboot has made a number of movie star name-drops and included a couple of cameos right here and there, the CW had big-name visitor stars like Alexa Chung, Tinsley Mortimer, Karlie Kloss, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, and even a short efficiency from Girl Gaga. Having these celebrities play themselves and work together with Gossip Woman’s fictional characters helped floor the present in a way of actuality by way of the sorts of individuals these younger Manhattan socialites would probably encounter in New York’s excessive society.
The very nature of Gossip Woman requires it to be a type of time capsule, capturing the essence of a sure second in time, whether or not or not it’s the late 2000s or the early 2020s. The present revolves round gossip in spite of everything, and gossip is fleeting and simply forgotten. Watching the CW’s Gossip Woman over ten years later, it is simple to look again and keep in mind decade-defining trend tendencies, nevertheless it’s tough to foretell what sort of longevity micro tendencies and TikTok references can have a couple of years from now.