Haven’t you heard? “Gossip Girl” is back for another chaotic season on HBO Max, and we’ve got all the deets.
The first season ends with a disastrous New Year’s Eve celebration that leaves Julien (Jordan Alexander) cleaning up a major mess with her ex Obie (Eli Brown) and sister Zoya (Whitney Peak). Not to mention, the will-they-won’t-they throuple with Aki (Evan Mock), Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), and Max (Thomas Doherty) finally get the green light (though it surely won’t be smooth sailing for them). The biggest surprise of them all, however — aside from Gossip Girl teaming up with Julien to expose everyone’s dirty little secrets — is Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) gunning for the queen bee title now that Julien has turned over a new leaf, but there are plenty more shocking reveals ahead in season two, so buckle up for the ride.
“We waited until season two so by the time she arrives, everybody is at the highest place for themselves to fall.”
With season one introductions out of the way, this season of “Gossip Girl,” which kicked off on Dec. 1, is all about setting the stage for Monet’s hostile takeover of Constance — and the epic return of Michelle Trachtenberg’s Georgina Sparks. According to “Gossip Girl” creator and showrunner Joshua Safran, who worked on the original CW series, the devious character was always primed for a comeback in his reboot.
“I always knew I wanted Michelle to come back, and Michelle and I stayed in touch over the years,” Safran tells POPSUGAR. “When season one was announced, she’s like, ‘OK, when am I coming?’ I was like, ‘OK, you’re coming, but I want the table to be fully set and loaded so you can pull the tablecloth out and destroy everything.’ We waited until season two so by the time she arrives, everybody is at the highest place for themselves to fall, and all she cares about is anarchy and destroying people she doesn’t even know. That’s a game to her, so the idea that she can destroy everybody is where we find her, and I think it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Despite Georgina’s chaos queen title, the “Gossip Girl” cast were actually incredibly excited about her appearing in their reboot, which was a surprise to some. “I read about it in the script,” Grace Duah, who plays Zoya’s good friend Shan, shares, “and so I remember reading it and being like, ‘I know that ain’t who I think it is.'”
Similar to previous appearances from original “Gossip Girl” characters, Georgina’s return was predicted before it was even confirmed as a sort of manifestation by the writers. “Sometimes they’ll write who they hope to get back in the script, and then they’ll revise it depending on who they can and who they can’t get,” Peak explains. “[If] it doesn’t work out, then they just have to rewrite it and it’s completely different, but I was so happy when she actually came through and did it for us.”
“She’s an icon,” Zión Moreno adds of Georgina. “I loved her in the OG series, and it was an honor to get to work with her. She’s a hoot for sure, and there’s never a dull moment around her. It was a little nerve-racking because you want to make her proud, but she was just really, really nice and wonderful.” Lee Smith echoes her costar’s sentiments and wishes she got the chance to film more with Trachtenberg’s character. “I didn’t get to have as many scenes as I wished with her, but I had one good one where it was all of us together,” she says. “She’s just a really fun person to be around on set. It was a little intimidating, [but] I think we did OK.”
Beyond Georgina’s obnoxious antics, season two plans to turn the tables on our favorite tumultuous teens, as Gossip Girl is leaving no stone unturned in the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite — not even the adults are off limits. While GG’s gossip tips are still pulling strings in the background, the group’s own actions are just as much of a threat to their reality, and it’ll put them all to the test. “We were like, in season two, Gossip Girl has pushed them against the wall so hard they have to fight back,” Safran explains. “[So] season two is: who are you when you actually fight back? Maybe you’re a version of yourself that you don’t like or don’t even know, or maybe you’re the best version of yourself and you never knew that you had that strength and resilience in you. That was where we took season two.”
“Now all of season two, you know them and you’re not comparing it to the original anymore, so it feels more like the original because your brain isn’t looking for it.”
For viewers who have been waiting for the HBO Max reboot to restore the same vibe from the original “Gossip Girl,” good news: season two fulfills that. In the show’s defense, Safran says it took two seasons to make it happen because “we decided to tell a story with all new characters.” “I think people came to the beginning of season one last year being like, ‘Where is my original ‘Gossip Girl?” But if they look back at the original [show], you were just getting to know the characters. There weren’t even cliffhangers,” he says. ” . . . Now all of season two, you know them and you’re not comparing it to the original anymore, so it feels more like the original because your brain isn’t looking for it.”
“Gossip Girl” is well on its way to living up to its predecessor’s legacy thanks to the comeback of the decade from Georgina. But only viewers can decide if the drama is bigger and better than ever. Until then, XOXO.
The first two episodes of “Gossip Girl” season two are now streaming on HBO Max.