All the Times We Thought A New Show Was Going to Be the Next Gossip Girl
Blame it on nostalgia or wishful thinking, but every time a new series bears the slightest resemblance to Gossip Girl, we can't help but latch on and hope for the best. Despite our collective finger-crossing though, Gossip Girl remains one of a kind, defending its Queen B status without so much as lifting a finger (a.k.a. doing a reboot like all our old favorites are these days), even five years after it went off-air. Here's a look at the shows that the internet (including us, sorry!) dubbed as the next Gossip Girl.
After bagging the role of a lifetime in a movie touted as the next big YA franchise, college student Paige Townsen (played by Bella Thorne) is thrown into the glitzy but sketchy world of Hollywood. Not only does she have to juggle a full course load and a hectic film schedule, she also has to deal with her conflicting feelings for her best friend and her co-star.
The verdict: Fame, glamour, secrets, schemes, and cute boys—it has all the elements of Gossip Girl, but something got lost along the way. Despite Bella Thorne's charm, Pretty Little Liars showrunner Marlene I. King's magic touch, and the major conflicts in the story that range from illicit affairs to covered-up crimes, the show lacks a certain weight and the snappy vibe to counteract it. Gossip Girl, on the other hand, had that undeniable swagger that said, we know this storyline is beyond absurd, but you're going to enjoy it, just trust us.
Best described as the fictional British monarchy gone wild, The Royals starts with the death of Prince Robert, heir to the throne, which affects the family in different ways. His brother, the new heir to the throne, grapples with his new responsibilities and the weight of the crown. His sister follows a path of self-destruction. His father questions the very institution that put his family in a place of power, and his mother makes one bad decision after another.
The verdict: The Royals had a promising start. All that juicy intrigue kept us glued to our screens, discussing the latest scandal/s week after week. But it burned hot and fast too soon—with Gossip Girl, there were at least two solid seasons, almost 50 episodes, before the writers seemingly threw all caution to the wind. The king's death in the season one finale also threw things off balance in a way that we could almost hear the arguments behind the scenes as to what direction the show should take.
Talk about exclusive: This reboot of the '80s hit series follows a family that belongs to "the one percent of the one percent." Power play, blood vs. blood, family secrets, sneaky schemes, and obscene amounts of wealth—sounds very similar to Gossip Girl.
The verdict: It'll be out later this year. We're trying not to expect too much, but it's tough when you take into consideration that it's from the executive producers of Gossip Girl and The O.C. and the minds behind the original Dynasty.
Based on Curtis Sittenfeld's best-selling debut novel about the painfully specific yet deeply relatable experiences of a 14-year-old, small-town girl who moves to a prestigious boarding school, Prep is being developed into a comedy on HBO by creatives who are partly behind the success of 30 Rock and Game of Thrones.
The verdict: As much as the book is so good, it should be required reading for all ages, there's very little we know about the show. So instead of projecting our hopes of a Gossip Girl 2.0, we're going to wait until the show premieres. Who knows, it might have a totally different vibe or it might be *gasp* even better! We guess that goes for every new series: Similar they may be to other shows, each one deserves a fresh start and should be judged based on their own merits. Lesson learned!
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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.
The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.
There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.
If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.
And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.
Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.
Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”