Gossip Girl 2.0 Was Inspired By Succession

·2 min read
Photo credit: Courtesy HBO Max
Photo credit: Courtesy HBO Max

In the years since the original Gossip Girl ended, viewers have had to quell their need for aspirational television in some way. In came Succession, an HBO satirical comedy-drama about the dysfunctional, obscenely wealthy Roy family, the owners of a media and hospitality empire. While the show's sets and clothes are swoon-worthy, the interpersonal dynamics fall along the lines of "more money, more problems." This dichotomy resembles the original Gossip Girl, and also, intentionally, the show's new reboot heading to HBO Max this month.

The series showrunner Josh Safran, who also was the showrunner for the original Gossip Girl, recently shared that Succession inspired the show's new iteration.

“My thing was always like, ‘Succession is where the world is right now,’” Safran told New York Magazine. “So what’s the Succession version of Gossip Girl?”

Safran also noted that Succession, along with the change in times and culture, influenced how the Gossip Girl reboot is going to portray the teens' attitudes towards money.

The New York article notes, "[Safran] makes another Succession comparison: On the old Gossip Girl, not having money was seen as a moral shortcoming; the new Gossip Girl looks at wealth with pointed jokes."

Photo credit: Gotham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gotham - Getty Images

The new Gossip Girl's attitude towards wealth has also been the subject of much hubbub lately. In an interview with Variety, Safran discusses how the 2021 implications of money and privilege impacted the tone of the reboot.

"These kids wrestle with their privilege in a way that I think the original didn’t," Safran said. "In light of [Black Lives Matter], in light of a lot of things, even going back to Occupy Wall Street, things have shifted."

The article continued, with the author noting: "Unlike Chuck Bass, the Gossip Girl crew of 2021 is aware of income inequality. They take Ubers, not limos. They’re (mostly) not rude to service workers."

In a since-deleted tweet, Twitter account Pop Crave posted a link to the Variety article along with the above passage. They then wrote, "The #GossipGirl reboot will avoid glorifying its characters' wealth and lifestyles, according to showrunner Josh Safran."

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These comments caused quite the blowback on Twitter, with fans noting that this attitude could also be insufferable. Many said that part of the fun of watching the show was seeing teenagers be rich, snobby, and catty.

However, Gossip Girl writer Eric Eidelstein disagreed with this summary of the new show, tweeting, "lol if you think for a second this is what the show is." The writer also noted that the passage in the Pop Crave tweet was not actually said by Safran—"lol that's also not a quote from the creator, it's from the variety writer," he tweeted.

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