OMG Meets TV-MA! The New ‘Gossip Girl’ Class Tells All (VIDEO)

You know you love Gossip Girl. It’s XOXO-k to admit it.

As an O.G. GG fan from the get-go — read the books, watched the CW’s adaptation allllll the way to the end — the idea that HBO Max was rebooting the property that gave us Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen felt a little wonky. The show has only been gone since 2012 and that song been sang, you know? Headbands and super problematic romances with controlling, borderline-violent Basses have gone the way of flip phones and Bing searches. Also, cyber-bullying? Yeah, Chrissy Teigen would like a word.

So could there be anything fresh and not immediately cancelable for a new Gossip Girl? Turns out, that would be a “yes” and “no.” Because original creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, along with former show writer and fellow EP Josh Safran, don’t seem to care about crossing lines. Free of network restraints and filled with of-the-moment insight, this is more of TV-MA sequel than a reboot.

The series honors (and even mentions) the past events of the Upper East Side while casting its eye on a new generation of uber-wealthy, social media-savvy Constance Billard monsters who have grown up post-Dan Humphries and in the glare of Instagram: It Girl Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander), her humble half-sister Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak), Julien’s Earth-conscious industry scion beau Obie Bergmann (PLL: The PerfectionistsEli Brown), sexually fluid hedonist Max Wolfe (Descendants alum Thomas Doherty), deadpan socialite Audrey Hope (Emily Alyn Lind), and her confused BF, skateboarding sweetheart Aki Menzies (Evan Mock). They have literally everything except an eff to give.

And it’s hot as hell. It’s also the kind of show that critics will likely hate and fans will devour… as long as they can accept how the writers have decided to resurrect and weaponize the Gossip Girl account (voiced, once again by Kristen Bell). The twist, revealed early in the pilot, is risky given that it may not be entirely sustainable. But based on the four episodes we’ve screened, the ol’ Girl hasn’t missed a step when it comes to glam, great music, and fashions to die for in the nine years since she’s been silent. Can’t wait to see how they pull this one off.

As for the kids, well we chatted with them about their characters, the complications coming their way, and what they think of this new take. Some had to sit on secrets to come, while others were able to openly tease things ahead of the premiere. So take notes and pay close attention, folks. Class is back in session and you don’t want to be spotted making a misstep on the steps of the Met, right?

Gossip Girl, Series Premiere, Thursday, July 8, HBO Max (premiere also airs Friday, July 9, 8/7c, on The CW)