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XOXO Gossip Girl: back and more diverse than before

Spotted on the Steps of the Met: rumour has it Gossip Girl is making a comeback, and I for one am excited. The story of money, power, love, betrayal, secrets and deceit of the elite Upper East Siders was, and always will be, addictive. An avid fan of the completely binge-worthy show, it’s always to hand whenever I fantasise about being Blair Waldorf alongside her meticulous choice of headbands.

Gossip Girl told stories of lives we could only dream of having. But the main focus of this iconic shows’ reboot is to tell the more accurate story of those who really live on the Upper East Side. And fear not fans, Kristen Bell returns to narrate the episodes.

The series aims to explore a more diverse cast and their cultures, as well as queer relationships. This news was met by some lack of enthusiasm by fans, as questions were raised as to why a reboot was happening and why it was not with the OG cast. But bringing back the show with a more diverse cast is essential to demonstrate that there is a representation within every social class.

Screenwriter Joshua Safran talked about the importance of being representative and inclusive to what modern-day Manhattan looks like. Informing the public that the majority of characters will be diverse and/or queer, Safran claims this is the difference between the reboot and original that he is most proud of.

The screenwriter admits that this series will be even more interesting as the characters will be dealing with modern-day social media in comparison to the OG’s less tech- savvy time.

Looking back, it is clear there was a lack of BAME or LGBTQ+ representation. And whilst this was slightly more reflective of 2008 Manhattan when the OG show first aired, what is more important is the reboot cast mirror that of society today. People should be able to see themselves on television and in different scenarios, situations and social classes. Their sexuality or skin colour should not be defined in one role. It should not have taken a backlash from the public for a TV series to become more diverse.

Honestly, it should not be praised as much as it is; it should have already happened, a long time ago. Unlike Gossip Girl, a show that from the offset began with a great cast was Sex Education. For those unfamiliar, it follows a group of teenagers as they navigate sexuality, puberty, relationships and friendship. Whilst it is miles away from the stories of those in NYC, the running of the show highlighted the importance of a representative cast for its audience. Sex Education sets the standard when it comes to TV series today.

As reboots become more and more popular, it may not be a distant dream to hope for reimagined inclusive cast for shows such as Freaks and Geeks (still crying over how the show only got one season) or Friends. And with many of the crew from the OG Gossip Girl series signing back on for the reboot, I am sure we will get to witness more S + B drama very soon. So for now xoxo…

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