Every Time HBO Gossip Girl Calls Back to the Original Series

Let it be known that HBO Max’s Gossip Girl is a continuation, not a reboot!

As actress Emily Alyn Lind told E! News at the New York City premiere, the series is merely picking up nearly 10 years after Dan Humphries (Penn Badgley) revealed himself as Gossip Girl. “No one is trying to recreate [the OG characters]. We’re new characters,” she explained. “There might be sparks of them inside of all of us just because of the same school… but it’s different and I want everyone to know that. We’re not trying to do the original.”

And, as Emily acknowledged, there’s a lot of pressure to live up to the standards set by those Upper East Siders who came before them.

Showrunner Joshua Safran said that as the writers began mapping out Gossip Girl’s latest iteration, they were keenly aware that it’s the new cast’s time to shine, and Leighton Meester and Blake Lively would’ve otherwise stolen the spotlight. It’s the reason why the first season will only reference Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan, Nate and the rest of the crew. 

As he put it, these first episodes are all about getting “to know the characters,” without any distractions whatsoever.