I’m 22 and I Just Watched the Original ‘Gossip Girl’ for the First Time. Here Were My Thoughts

Connivery, thievery, treachery, infidelity, romance, deceit. Are all of these…the characteristics of a Shakespearean play? Perhaps a soap opera? Not quite—try a mid-aughts show about a group of preppy high schoolers whose favorite accessories are thousand-dollar designer shoes and candy-colored leggings. I’m talking, of course, about the original Gossip Girl.

Watching the likes of Blair Waldorf, Serena van der Woodsen, and the rest of New York’s fictional 1% was like entering a fever dream—a dramatic, high-stakes, plot-churning fever dream. But I buckled in, and what I can say for sure is that I was never, ever bored.

I’ve probably seen more colored tights this month on the streets of New York than I have since the 2010s (honestly, I’ve seen red tights maybe three times), and the one thing I knew about Gossip Girl was that the show doubled down on that trend. It did not disappoint.


Here is everything I thought after watching Season 1 of Gossip Girl.

I Wasn’t Prepared for How Many Scenes Would Leave My Jaw on the Floor

Chuck Bass is nasty and petty. That’s the first thing I wrote down after cartoonishly gasping when Chuck—scorned and possibly heartbroken—revealed Blair’s almost-pregnancy to Gossip Girl. It was truly a flipped-switch moment: One second, Blair was dissing him, and the very next, he was furiously blasting her business via text on his Motorola Q.

Also, familiar as I thought I was with the casual plotting and scheming of the Constance Billard girls, I was not prepared for Georgina Sparks to enter the picture. When she cried on command to Dan, pulling that boyfriend-stalker story out of thin air; took the batteries out of his phone; and then hooked up with him, all so that Serena would go back to clubbing with her…I knew I hadn’t even seen the worst of the Upper East Side yet. Troubling as Georgina’s behavior was, however, that girl clearly had a gift. Perhaps she should have channeled it into a Hollywood career instead of just…teenage subterfuge?

Is 2000s Fashion Back? Or Have I Just Been Staring at Colored Leggings for Too Long?

Though the show premiered when I was six, I thought I’d have a lot in common with the girls and boys of Constance Billard and St. Jude’s. I went to school in Manhattan, peddled through the city in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform, and traipsed down the streets of New York City with my crew like thousands of other high schoolers. Although I’m no Upper East Sider (scholarship-based commuter student here), and the closest museum steps to my West 13th alma mater were at the Whitney, I figured I’d at least see a few of my old haunts onscreen and feel waves of nostalgia. All city teens snacked on a slice of dollar pizza and Arizona Tea after school, no matter where they were from, right? Wrong, apparently!