Gossip Girl Prevails as a Major Force in Pop Culture

Show remains influential, popular today

Jenna Thrasher, Staff Writer

There is no better time to binge-watch than the present, and with school coming to a close, Gossip Girl is the perfect mental distraction for a summer at home. I started Gossip Girl in sixth-grade, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve rewatched it. It’s glamourous, soapy, and lots of fun.

Gossip Girl, based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, ran from 2007-2012, focusing on the scandalous lives of young Manhattan elites. All of the characters are constantly under the watchful eye of Gossip Girl, a blogger dedicated to reporting every little bit of gossip about them through “blats.” The show stars Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, who play socialites Serena Van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf respectively. 

At the beginning of the series, Serena returns from boarding school, much to her former best friend, Blair’s, dismay. Though Serena is hiding a scandalous secret, she comes back to be with her brother, who had attempted to commit suicide. Upon her return, she falls for Dan Humphry (played by Penn Badgely), an outsider at school who lives in Brooklyn. Though Dan and Serena come from two different worlds, she lives a glamourous and privileged life and he is on a scholarship, their lives become intertwined for the rest of the series.

Eventually, the characters graduate, some go off to college and some automatically transition into adulthood. As the seasons go on, the storyline gets crazier and crazier. At times, the show even has some major plot holes. However, its highly addictive nature pulls the show forward. It’s filled with gossip, drama, bad behavior, and betrayal: the perfect ingredients for a teen drama.

During its run, Gossip Girl was a major force in pop culture. It featured many celebrity guest appearances, such as Tinsely Mortimer, Lady Gaga, Hilary Duff, and even Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

The show was further made popular thanks to Eric Daman, the head costumer designer, who filled Gossip Girl with some amazing fashion moments. During its run, the show constantly sparked new fashion trends, such as Blair Waldorf’s iconic headbands. The characters were decked out in fabulous clothing from established and emerging designers. From Blair’s preppy school uniforms to Serena’s bohemian outfits, the show is a constant source of inspiration, even over a decade since it premiered.

While Gossip Girl ended in 2012, there is a reboot featuring a new group of Upper East Siders coming to HBO Max in 2020 (though we can expect that it will be delayed due to the pandemic). Unfortunately, none of the original cast is scheduled to join. However, Kristen Bell, who was the voice of Gossip Girl, is set to return as the narrator. No matter what, it will be very exciting to see a group of uber-wealthy teens take Manhattan by storm again. Hopefully, with one Gossip Girl blast at a time.