Gossip Girl is my all time favourite show. I’ve watched the entire series over and over again, and I love to pick any random episode from any season and just watch it when I’m bored and there’s nothing good on TV. Besides, I’ve watched it so many times that even if I pick any episode in the middle of any season I’ll still know exactly what’s going on.
A little while back I saw this feature on Cosmo via Seventeen about how GG would be different in 2016, and it got me thinking about what would be different about the show if it had been set in London rather than New York. So, inspired by Seventeen and Cosmopolitan, I’ve decided to compile some differences between New York based Gossip Girl and a London based Gossip Girl and share them with you all. There would definitely be loads more than just these ones though, so maybe I’ll make a part two in the future.
Just be warned that this post will definitely contain some spoilers so I advise you not to read on unless you’ve watched the entire show from start to finish! When I first watched GG I knew about loads of big storylines as well as finding out who Gossip Girl was when I had just started season three and I have to say, knowing storylines ruined it way more than knowing who Gossip Girl was. In fact, when Gossip Girl was being revealed I didn’t even realise that was what was happening, despite knowing who it was for so long before.
Instead of arguing over going to Yale or Brown, Blair and Serena would argue over going to Cambridge or Oxford.
Remember when S and B had a brief falling out in season two and Serena, despite always wanting to go to Brown, showed up at Yale knowing it was Blair’s dream uni? Instead, Serena would show up at Cambridge to make Blair paranoid rather than going to visit her lifelong dream uni Oxford. Blair would definitely want to go to Cambridge over Oxford because it does better in the league tables and Blair would love their good rep.
Then when Blair’s only hope at the end of season two and start of season three is going to NYU, that would be somewhere like London Met.
Not that there’s anything wrong with London Met, it would just be where Blair would have to settle. And also where Dan, Vanessa, Georgina and Olivia went. They’re both still good unis but they’re just not up to Queen B’s standards.
Aaaaand then when Blair and Serena ultimately ended up going to Columbia, that would be somewhere like Imperial.
A uni with an amazing reputation and in their city? That’d be Imperial. Although it’s one of those STEM subject based unis but I’m sure the show could improvise and pretend that Imperial offered other courses too.
The characters’ Summer holidays to The Hamptons would be to trendy European holiday spots instead.
Think Ibiza, Marbella, Santorini. They’d have to get a plane instead of a limo or that coach Dan and Serena both got though.
When Serena was at boarding school, that would’ve been in Scotland instead of Connecticut.
And it would be deemed super far away compared to the others being in London.
Ed Westwick would be the only actor not putting on an accent.
Unless they used an all British cast – but who else could pull of playing every character apart from the original actors?
Serena and Dan’s divide wouldn’t be UES / Brooklyn. It would be Kensington / Walthamstow.
All the Park Avenue penthouses would be on Kensington Palace Gardens. It would be West vs East London.
Speaking of the UES, Gossip Girl wouldn’t call her readers Upper East Siders, obvs.
They’d be something way less exciting like West Londoners, or another name that is just as much of a let down as that.
Dan would go on Celebrity Big Brother or I’m A Celeb after his book Inside lost its popularity.
Remember when Dan released his book Inside which did really well at first and then dropped off the NY Times Bestsellers list and Dan became a nobody again? When KC was trying to make him relevant again and they made a dumb hate account for him on Twitter, she’d instead make him go on a reality show with ‘celebrity’ in the name where the people on the show are basically z-list celebs who nobody even remembers anymore.
Lily Rhodes / VDW / Bass / Humphrey would frequent events like Henley Regatta, Ascot and Wimbledon.
She wouldn’t care about the sporting parts of the events, she’d just be there to wear something fancy and drink champagne. (btw, I went to Wimbledon this year and blogged it here)
Bart Bass would be like a violent version of Lord Sugar.
And of course he wouldn’t have any of the sass that Alan has either.
Instead of the Poppy Lifton character, they’d probably just have Alexa Chung.
Alexa actually had a cameo in S6E3, one of my personal all-time favourite GG episodes.
When Blair’s dad comes iceskating in Central Park with her and brings Ramon, that would instead happen at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Winter Wonderland would just make the whole show more festive and Christmassy when it got to the holiday season. I bet it could be worked into the show quite well.
Speaking of holiday season, there would be no Thanksgiving to have all that Thanksgiving drama. When would it happen?!
Funnily enough, Bonfire Night just doesn’t have the same dramatic tension surrounding it. Unless they actually showed Christmas Day properly in an episode and crammed all the drama in then.
Dan and Jenny would be judged for riding the tube instead of the subway.
Which, to some people, may essentially be seen as the exact same thing. There are differences y’all!
Blair’s trashy hen party courtesy of Beatrice would be a weekend in Brighton.
They’d walk around town wearing weird outfits in the middle of the day along with twenty other hen party celebrators, and go to Pryzm at night.
None of them would be as impressed by royals since the UK has their own Royal Family.
Whether it be Lady Catherine and Marcus or the Grimaldis, they just wouldn’t be as big of a deal. Maybe Blair would fall for Prince Harry instead of Prince Louis?
Blair and her minions would sit on the steps of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.
There would be no Met Steps – The Nat Steps maybe?
The big trips to Paris would still happen, they just wouldn’t be a big of a deal.
Anyone can jump on the Eurostar or take an hour and a half flight and be in Paris from London. Maybe the big trip would be to New York instead, and they can visit all the places that are frequented in normal New York based GG.
Chuck couldn’t ‘Affair to Remember’ Blair at the end of S3.
I mean, he could do the same gesture and meet her at the top of the Shard but that’s nowhere near as romantic. Plus it couldn’t be referred to as him Affair to Remember-ing her since the movie uses the Empire State Building too.
The show would start at Kings Cross instead of Grand Central.
Way less iconic, I know.
There wouldn’t be a Debutante Ball or Cotillion
And British proms are absolutely awful. So all the school events wouldn’t happen at all.
Vanessa would work in a coffee shop around Shoreditch
It would be a trendy, hipster one with brick walls and hanging lights, and she’d make Instagram worthy latte art.
Jenny would move to New York from London instead of it being the other way around.
She would move to New York to attend Parsons. And when she came back to the city for a day to go to a Parsons interview after being banished to Hudson, she would instead come back to London for a day from Leicester to interview for CSM.
Chuck would own The Ritz instead of The Empire.
I still prefer the look of The Empire, though.
I think this post just proves exactly why New York is and was the perfect location for Gossip Girl to be set. It just wouldn’t work any other way.
Are there any other differences you can think of, if Gossip Girl had been set in London?