By Julie Bogen
Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published December 14, 2015. (That’s why we talk about the approach of December 17 like it’s a thing. Although, it’s technically always coming up eventually.)
Gossip Girl. The land of terrible parenting, reckless spending, and scandalous teenage behavior. It seems like only yesterday that Kristen Bell’s seductive voice-over was guiding us along as we projected our own high school experiences onto our favorite characters. We watched Blair build her empire, Jenny escape the pressures of popularity, and Serena…get handed everything she ever desired.
It’s been three years since the CW show signed off for good, and re-watching the whole thing now, some of it just doesn’t work. The plotlines were always outlandish (it was a teen soap, after all) and they seem even more ridiculous now. What kind of teenager trades his girlfriend to his uncle in exchange for a hotel?!
But the most glaring story lines that would never work today pretty much all have to do with technology. In short, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat would make the series’ entire premise go up in smoke.
So as December 17th approaches, and we prepare for our annual mourning of
Gossip Girl ‘s finale, here’s a look at 12 plot devices that just wouldn’t fly anymore. It’s a brave new world! And Blair would probably hate it.
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Back in 2010, having the Kushners show up at a fictional TV party was cute. It emphasized that the characters in the show socialized with New York’s real elite class. Not so in 2017. Given Jared and Ivanka’s role in the Trump presidency, this is that has aged particularly well. not a cameo
The Brooklyn B&T Stigma In case you haven’t heard, Brooklyn is everything. No, really. As in, no one even wants to live in Manhattan anymore. Upper East Side? Puh-lease. Image: Via tumblr.
Dan & Vanessa’s Pariah Status Dan and Vanessa would be so, so popular. They’d even be able to say that they lived in Brooklyn before it was cool, and they’d have such a superiority complex that — spoiler alert! — Dan would have never felt the need to become Gossip Girl. Also, imagine the rent on that Dumbo loft today. Image: Courtesy of The CW.
The Absence Of Facebook Remember that whole Charlie Rhodes/Ivy Dickens disaster that lasted an entire two seasons? This plotline didn’t even make sense back then, because by the time it started to simmer (circa 2010), everyone had been using Facebook for several years in real life. Serena and the real Charlie totally would have been friends on Facebook, which would have made it impossible for Ivy to steal Charlie’s identity without claiming major plastic surgery. Image: Via Tumblr.
Lincoln Hawk As A Distant Memory Rufus spends so long reminiscing about his band’s glory days. But in 2015, he’d totally relive them with a reunion tour because ’90s nostalgia is king.
The Whole Idea Of A Paper Trail There’s also that minor snafu when Gossip Girl’s email list of sources is leaked, which ruins Blair’s bridal shower and the party at The Spectator. But today, it’s much more likely that people would submit socially incriminating evidence — photos, videos, etc. — via self-destructing Snapchats. Your best friend could be your worst enemy, and there’d be nothing to prove it. Cold. Image: Via Giphy.
Marijuana Laws It was hard to believe then and it’s really hard to believe now that white, wealthy Blair would be arrested for having an unlit joint outside a bar. Plus, Blair’s sister-in-law-to-be, Beatrice, wouldn’t have been able to cover it up by buying witnesses’ phones, because half the crowd would have been Periscoping the whole thing.
Serena’s Blog Today, Serena wouldn’t need to blog at a crusty old newspaper like The Spectator to make herself known. She would be Instagram-famous, make her money from fashion partnerships, and probably end up with her own makeup line or something. Image: Courtesy of The CW.
Mystery Kisses Thanks to #OOTDs on Insta, we can kiss goodbye the days of accidentally smooching someone hiding behind a mysterious masquerade costume. Now we all know what everyone is wearing to any event worth talking about before the revelers even show up. So feigning surprise that you stuck your tongue down so-and-so’s throat after you’ve liked their photo would be pretty challenging…
The Reign Of Headbands Blair’s trademark hair accessories are out, painful reminders of how short-lived trends can be. Today, the Queen B would be wearing an actual tiara from Dauphines.
The Whole Compromised Personal Information Of It All The Gossip Girl website wouldn’t last 24 hours in this age of NSA omnipotence. The government would likely put the kibosh on anyone publishing that volume of sensitive personal info (unless they had Anonymous hacker skills). Failing that, a chorus of everyday internet watchdogs would simply call Gossip Girl out for being a big bully and shut that shit down. Image: Courtesy of The CW.
Dorota’s Clothes It’s likely this is an intentional anachronism meant to underscore how out of touch rich people are, but yeesh. Has anyone ever seen a live-in housekeeper actually wear a French maid outfit in real life? Image: Courtesy of The CW.
Blair’s Flip Phone Even when Blair catches up with the times, she gets a Blackberry, not an iPhone. For most of the show, she uses something that looks like the little gadget she’s holding in the photo here. Maybe Blair’s reluctance to upgrade to the latest and greatest is because she’s secretly practical. Those things are virtually indestructible. Image: Courtesy of The CW.
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