Gossip Girl Round Table: Verified and Ready to Stalk!

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Gossip Girl is verified and ready to stalk!

Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 2 peeled back the layers on many of the characters and set up some convincing plots to last the season.

Below, TV Fanatics, Laura Nowak, Whitney Evans, Meaghan Frey, and Paul Dailly discuss the account being verified, Audrey's development, the sisters playing nice, and more!

Gossip Girl Rount Table

We delved deeper into the character of Audrey. What did you think of her plot?

Laura: I feel for Audrey. As someone who loved 90s TV, she reminds me of an early Kelly Taylor from Beverly Hills 90210. She’s got the alcoholic mom that makes a fool out of herself in front of all her friends.

I really feel for Audrey, especially since Aki didn’t even truly support her and seemed more like her therapist in this episode. She comes across like an ice princess, but there’s so much hurt underneath.

Audrey Upset - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 2

Whitney: I didn't think anything of Audrey after the pilot, but at least now they've given her some more depth, and I can at least say I know a bit about who Audrey is outside of her relationship. I agree that there's a lot of hurt underneath, and even though she does come across as cold, she's still just a kid. 

Meaghan: I'm actually really enjoying Audrey's character. I'm sure it helps that there are many parallels to her and Blair Waldorf -- absentee parents, a mother who is a fashion designer, infatuation with the playboy, etc. -- who was my favorite character on the original series. 

I agree with Laura and Whitney that there is a lot more to her than meets the eye. A common theme in both this show and the original iteration is that these kids are expected to grow up and be independent at a young age.

Each one of them could benefit from the love and support of a parental figure and are greatly influenced by the lack of one. 

Aki and Audrey Shocked

Paul: Surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I wasn't sold on the character on the series premiere, but finding out why she has such an ice-cold exterior helped me connect with her.

Her mother was also the best parent we've met yet, so hopefully, we get some more of Laura Benanti down the line.

Max got close to both Audrey and Aki. Who does he have the most chemistry with?

Laura: Definitely Aki! The bathhouse scene and kiss was smoking hot! I think Aki has some bi tendencies.

Whitney: Aki for sure. They have a ton of chemistry, and I'll be very interested to see what happens with those two moving forward. Audrey and Max have chemistry as well, but I'm much more drawn to the Aki/Max pairing. 

Evan Mock as Akeno "Aki" Menzies - Gossip Girl

Meaghan: Right now, Aki but I definitely see some major heat building between Audrey and him. I think Aki right now is finding himself and coming to terms with his sexuality, and Max is the perfect introduction to this other side of him. 

However, if Aki is gay or bi, I would love to see him find someone that he can develop a stable relationship. Until then, I'll enjoy the fireworks, though. 

Paul: I'm also team Max and Aki, but I wouldn't be surprised if it all changed as we delved deeper into the season. Audrey definitely has a connection with Max, but now that she's slept with him, maybe she won't be as drawn to him.

What are your thoughts on Max's pursuit of Rafa?

Who Is She? - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1

Laura: They’re kind of hot, but it’s just so wrong, so it’s kind of hard to enjoy…

Whitney: Is it wrong? Of course. But it's also Gossip Girl, and after the original series, basically, nothing surprises me anymore.

I need to find out more about Max in general. He's so intriguing, and his pursuit of Rafa just made him even more intriguing to me. He's like one step away from becoming a full-blown villain, and I'm here for it. 

Meaghan: I feel like so many shows are heading in the complete opposite direction with these kinds of storylines, so I'm actually surprised to see this series go there.

Audrey Pouts - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1

It seems like it is inevitable that something will happen between them, but it would be interesting to see the real-world implications of it. 

I could see it being the catalyst to showing us a deeper side to Max that explores why he would pursue such an inappropriate relationship.

I think it's easy to say right now that he just doesn't care and is focused solely on sex, but as we learned with Chuck Bass, there is usually so much more to these types of characters. 

Paul: If the reboot wanted to hit the headlines, it will probably do so courtesy of this plot. It's inappropriate, but this being Gossip Girl, it shouldn't be much of a surprise.

Obie Reads a Post - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1

Max doesn't like when people say no. He's all about people doing his bidding, but there have to be some severe ramifications for both characters for this storyline to be worthwhile.

It doesn't need to be sensational for the sake of it.

Julien realized why Obie and Zoya connected. React!

Laura: I liked that Julien realized that Obie & Zoey connect because they like doing nice things for others and being spontaneous. I enjoyed Julien’s softer side when she tried to protect them from the dads.

Whitney: This was the best shock, honestly. I like Julien a lot because she's layered, and I loved that she ultimately took a step back to realize two people she cares about have a connection. I'm sure there will be times when I can't stand Julien, but I was pleasantly surprised here by her. 

Zoya in Orange - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1

Meaghan: Are we supposed to hate Julien? If so, they are doing a TERRIBLE job because I absolutely love her. Yes, she has made some poor choices in handling things with Zoya, but she is a teenager -- it happens. 

I'm glad she saw a real connection between Obie and Zoya and that they aren't just doing it to spite her. She genuinely loves the two of them, and I think that once she gets past her hurt, she will want the best for the two of them, even if that means them being together. 

Paul: I like both Julien and Zoya, and I loved the fact that Julien came to the defense of her sister after trying to derail her life on the Upper East Side.

Unlike characters on the original series, Julien is loyal and will probably prove that much more in the coming episodes should Gossip Girl's threats escalate.

Kate Schemes - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 2

Kate and Nick appear to be getting closer. Are you shipping them?

Laura: Not Really. I like Kate, I haven’t warmed up to Nick yet.

Whitney: I don't like Kate, so no, I'm not shipping them yet. I don't think any of the "ships" thus far are all that shippable, but it's SO early. 

Meaghan: Absolutely not. Kate and her cronies are my least favorite part of the show and honestly are the only thing holding me back from fully investing in it.

If Nick and her get together, it will just end up meaning she is here to stay, and that is the worst-case scenario for me unless they manage to make that storyline more compelling. 

Tavi Gevinson as Kate Keller - Gossip Girl

Paul: I'm so happy I came up with this question because I wanted to see whether I was mad for not caring about them together.

Kate is so wildly inappropriate that it's difficult to take anything she says seriously. She may have proven she wants to be a good person, but until she comes forward with her part in the drama and faces the consequences, I can't connect with her.

Davis and Nick understandably have a past, but do you think they will be able to really put their feelings aside for the sake of Julien and Zoya?

Laura: I hope so. It’s obvious their daughters want to have a relationship. From what we have seen so far, I think Davis seems more reasonable, but we still don’t know the entire story.

Whitney: One would hope they would be able to put aside their differences for the sake of two teenage girls who could really benefit from a relationship with one another that wasn't shrouded in anger.

Who's In There? - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 2

Time will tell if they can get to a place where they realize it's not about them consistently and put their children first. 

Meaghan: Can someone please tell these two men that this isn't about them? They don't have to like each other for the girls to have a relationship.

Hell, the two of them don't even have to see each other. I really hope they can get their sh%t together and move on from the past.  

Paul: They handled this whole scenario like adults in the end, and what more could we ask? If the writers have done one thing right, it's this fraught relationship between these two men.

I suspect they will ultimately join forces down the line.

Julien and Her Pal - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1

Gossip Girl is verified on Instagram. Are you surprised?

Laura: Not really. Julien is very influential. She must have made a good deal with Gossip Girl.

Whitney: I do love little things like this and how it differentiates itself from the old series. Instagram verification is a big deal! I wasn't surprised, because like Laura said, Julien, is very influential. 

Meaghan: I agree. Julien has major influence, so it is no surprise that she could get Gossip Girl the coveted blue checkmark.

It's too bad that Julien gave Gossip Girl even more power to further mess with their lives. 

Jordan Alexander as Julien Calloway - Gossip Girl

Paul: The Calloway name goes far, so no, but what the heck was Instagram thinking? The blue tick will likely disappear if someone hacks the account and takes the threats up a notch.

Over to you, Gossip Girl Fanatics!

What did you think of the episode?

Hit the comments with your answers to the questions. Join in the fun with us!

Gossip Girl continues Thursday with a new episode on HBO Max. Return to TV Fanatic on Thursday at 10:00 am ET for a full review.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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