‘Gossip Girl’ Episode 2: “She’s Having a Maybe” Drama And Style Continue To Wow As The Show Finds Its Footing – Recap
Welcome back, readers. Here we are once again with Constance Billard’s elite navigating their social status, potential damages to it, and the ramifications of when everything falls apart at the hands of the new Gossip Girl–unbeknownst to them, it’s the faculty of Constance Billard led by teacher Kate Keller.
Although the Gossip Girl reboot’s first episode was off to a clumsy start, I’m a believer in giving everything the good, old college try. And as a fan of the OG Gossip Girl, I felt inclined to tune into the second episode. Thankfully, the high-profile drama and intricate web of messy relationships that fans of the original show fell in love with are manifesting once again. Paired with direction from rising directing star Karena Evans, this episode is as dramatic and stylish as the cast itself.
The latest episode commences with another bane of the Constance Billard teaching staff’s existence, parent-teacher conferences. What would typically be a dreaded situation for a normal high school student, is instead turned into a stressor for Kate Keller and the rest of the teachers at CB who have to deal with their students’ elite parents as well. So, what do well-to-do students do during this time? Naturally, they would hit up a posh bar, except for a grounded Zoya. Everything still isn’t as sweet as the drinks they sip on, with Julien doing damage control on her social media presence sans Obie. All while Audrey tries to navigate her mother’s depressed state and Aki’s devil’s advocate stance on everything she’s experiencing.
Where some try to stay close to home, others need to explore, and Max is the resident hedonistic adventurer of the group. We find out that in addition to his interest in Aki and Audrey, he also has his sights set on queer adjunct teacher, Rafa Caparros. Although Mr. Caparros denies his advances on the basis of his professional standing as a teacher, he still seems to be somewhat interested in his student towards the end of the episode. Although Max isn’t able to physically engage with Mr. Caparros, he does do so with Audrey and Aki separately.
However, Aki and Audrey’s interest in Max isn’t the only thing blossoming. Zoya and Obie have their first date, coordinated by Obie’s financial and social pull at Constance Billard’s fundraiser–casual flex. Unfortunately, this paired with Julien and Zoya’s fathers seeing each other pushes Julien over the edge and causes her to work with Gossip Girl to expose her sister. Yet, in classic conflicted Julien fashion, she has a change of heart too little too late. But all’s well that ends well for the sisters as a truce is formed. Still, when it comes to Julien working with Gossip Girl, we aren’t sure what all was said. So, in true dramatic fashion, it’ll most definitely come back to haunt her.
A few things stick out in this episode, one being the lack of a Monet and Luna storyline. We’re still waiting for substantial plot points from these scene stealers. The duo should be more than best friends to Julien and it seems like there’s an allusion to their own goals for power, but in the meantime, their characters are underused. Also, I think we can all agree that the teacher/student romantic relationship is overplayed on television at this point. Kudos for a queer twist, but the teacher/student romantic relationship is one connection that can take a break from television for a while.
Additionally, certain character monologues that are supposed to add to the storyline feel stale within the overall plot. With so many plots tied to several main characters, the delivery must be strong to keep the audience’s attention, but the mediocre delivery from some of the main characters is what makes it fall apart. The scene where Max is conversing with two men who speak of Mr. Caparros’ talents in bed is supposed to pique his interest, but the delivery of the conversation feels out of place. The same sentiment is felt with Julien’s declaration to thwart Zoya and Obie’s attempt to have a relationship.
Also, this episode shows is that this reboot is straddling the line between sitcom delivery and drama genre-level antics. The filming remains beautiful, but the acting of particular actors lacks the depth needed to bring it all together. It makes for some awkward moments, but episode two shows that this ambitious show is still trying to find its footing.
Time changes everything and hopefully time will bring out some of the best parts of Gossip Girl to come. I will bring you more reviews as the episodes keep coming, the drama keeps occurring, and the mess keeps overflowing. As a fan of the original series, my hopes stay high, but only time and cryptic Insta posts from Gossip Girl will tell what will happen next.