‘Gossip Girl’ Reboot Finally Finds Its Groove With Monet’s Villain Arc
The reboot of Gossip Girl has always struggled to have a voice and a bite despite pitching itself as a sexier, dirtier reboot of the original 2000 series. In some ways, nüGossip Girl has never understood that what made the original series so controversial and iconic was how over-the-top and ridiculous it was. How it understood that part of the pleasure of it was seeing these “teenagers” on the upper upper upper part of the class stratosphere argue about their petty bullshit. That is fun, and it is finally back, thanks to Monet.
Spoilers for Gossip Girl.
Last season, a lot of the drama was between the relationship of newly reunited half sisters Julien (Jordan Alexander) and Zoya (Whitney Peak). This conflict has always been boring and honestly very lacking in terms of exploring the dynamics between two sisters, who have different fathers and have operated in different stratospheres not just in terms of class, but also in their proximity to racial difference. But since the show doesn’t want to deal with that, I will put my pen down on that topic—for now. However, mean girls Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) and Luna (Zión Moreno) were always behind Julien and her plot to try to “destroy her sister.” Both characters were much more interesting than their Queen Bee. That is why I was so glad that in this season, Monet has decided that she is going to be the powerful one and bring a structured evil back to Constance Billard—one that the show needs because Gossip Girl only works if you have a rich villain, not a bunch of teenagers who are trying to do good while being in the 1%?
In the past three episodes, Monet has been working to use her money and influence to unseat Julien, and it started with a soft play during a debutante ball. She planned on making a big splash, but her plans quickly went awry and instead of getting the glory, she ended up looking foolish. And she was chewed out by her mother in one of the most emotional scenes. It was like the Queen Ramonda and Okoye scene in Wakanda Forever, but worse.
Then, she put herself in a situation where she was going to be on a magazine spread. Julian, trying to be the “Serena” and save everyone from her power trip, attempted to undermine her—except that is exactly what Monet wanted. She wants a war with Julien, even if it is one-sided, because that means more eyes on her. It goes so far that she willingly throws herself back into a fountain to make it look like Julien did it. That was the moment I knew that Monet was ridiculous, and I wanted to see where it was going every week.
But, thankfully, the series also is allowing her moments of humanity. In the last episode, Monet wanted to find a romantic partner to raise her social capital. As a lesbian, she was looking at a girl named Tiffany who, online, was seen as one of the most influential queer women. She manuevers her way to meeting her and they even make out. Then Tiffany reveals—she is actually straight with a boyfriend. She presents herself as a lesbian online for clout. Tiffany tries to sell that having an online relationship would be good for their brands. However, Monet believes in bribery, theft, and manipulation of most kinds, but not queerbaiting for attention. Monet “outs” Tiffany and in a moment that feels a lot like Gossip Girl, she and Julien team up against Tiffany after she calls Monet a slut. Seeing them laugh together and then go out and get high with the polycule and some Germans felt like the kind of stuff we should have had from jump.
This is what people want, and I’m hoping that the series will continue to make Monet an antagonist that Blair Waldorf and Georgina Sparks can be proud of. xoxo
(featured image: HBO Max)
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]