HBO Max’s highly anticipated Gossip Girl reboot premiered July 8, and while it’s a whole new show (with new characters), fans also spotted some familiarities. Some are big and obvious, like Kristen Bell as the voice of G.G. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s steps as Constance Billard’s watering hole. But others are more subtle. Here’s everything viewers have spotted (so far). Warning: Light spoilers ahead.
The opening shot
A young girl returns to New York City. Feel familiar?
Teacher Kate (Tavi Gevinson) would have come of age alongside students like Serena van der Woodsen, so when she wears a version of S’s outfit from the pilot, it’s more than a nod to the original; it shows the gap between her and her Gen Z students.
There are also shout-outs to brands that featured heavily in the original series, like Alice + Olivia and Zara. And a cameo from The Cut editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner. This series has the fashion bona fides of its predecessor.
Specifically, the headbands
Former Constance Queen Bee Blair Waldorf wore her headband like a crown…but current school ruler Julien shaves her head, establishing a new look. In fact, she takes Zoya’s headband off and refashions it as a scarf.
Dan and Nate, etc.
Nate Archibald gets a shout-out as a distinguished alum of St. Jude’s. Dan Humphrey is mentioned as well; he’s now a famous novelist.
“I did something terrible”
This is one to look forward to! Series showrunner Joshua Safran recently told Town & Country that in a future episode, the dialogue will slyly reference a big Serena moment. “In one of the episodes, a character says, ‘I did something terrible,’ and another responds, ‘What did you do, kill someone?’” he said. “Maybe fans will realize I’m riffing on Serena [van der Woodsen, an original Gossip Girl character] saying, ‘I killed someone.’”
The hip Brooklyn neighborhood–its name stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass –is where Dan Humphrey, the poor outsider of the first series, lived. And though a loft in that hood would have been pretty pricey even in the 2000s, prices have only skyrocketed since. Said Safran in the same interview, “In the original, Dan was the poor kid and he lived in Brooklyn, which was ridiculous then, of course…. And now the richest character of our show lives in Dumbo.”
Besides Nate, another mentioned alum is a student named Rebecca. “That character is actually Rebecca Sherman, which you’d never know because we don’t see her last name,” Safran revealed to T&C. “Rebecca Sherman is the name of a character that didn’t appear on screen but was discussed in episode 25 of season two of the original, when they’re trying to decide who Gossip Girl is. Somebody says, ‘It’s got to be Rebecca Sherman,’ and Blair says, ‘No, she always has her head in a book, it can’t be her.’”