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9 Shows Like Gossip Girl to Watch While You Wait for Part 2 of the HBO Max Reboot

You can never have too many soapy teen dramas

kaitlin-photo1.jpg
Kaitlin Thomas

Here's something we all know for certain: Gossip Girl, the extremely 2000s teen drama which followed the lives of students attending a prestigious high school on the Upper East Side and the ruthless, anonymous blogger who documented their every move, is still a cultural phenomenon with a legacy that cements it as one the great teen shows of all time. In fact, it was much of a phenomenon that it spawned an HBO Max reboot series (one that admittedly varies in quality, but is stupidly entertaining), which will premiere Part 2 of its first season on Thanksgiving.

If you've revisited Gossip Girl too many times to count but still want to experience the highs and lows of the teen soap, which was a satire as much as it was a glorification of wealth and extravagance, you should check out the shows in the list below, several of which feature a division of the haves and have-nots and continue to explore wealth and all that comes with it. Others are just really good teen dramas. Either way, if you like Gossip Girl, these are the shows you should watch next.

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Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! And if you're looking for more hand-picked recommendations based on shows you love, we have those too.


Gossip Girl (2021)

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

HBO Max

Obviously, the first thing any Gossip Girl obsessive should check out is HBO Max's reboot, which follows a whole new group of obscenely rich Upper East Side high school students, who are thrown for a loop when a mysterious new girl enters the picture to shake everything up. This is an updated, more self-aware, more politically in-touch Gossip Girl, and while it may not be the same kind of unequivocal hit the original was, if you were a fan of the original, it'll keep you hooked. And don't worry, Kristen Bell returns as the voice of Gossip Girl herself, who's always watching. -Allison Picurro 



Bridgerton

Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Liam Daniel/Netflix

The inspiration Bridgerton took from Gossip Girl becomes clear within the first moments of the first episode: the show has a similarly omnipotent, all-knowing narrator who is constantly in the romantic business of the show's characters, only in this case her name is Lady Whistledown, and Julie Andrews provides her voice. Bridgerton, which is produced by Shonda Rhimes, is set in Regency-era London and centers around the goings-on of the wealthy Bridgerton family, whose eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) is entering her first social season to look for a suitable husband. She ends up in a complicated not-relationship with the famously commitment-averse Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) who agrees to pretend to court her in order to help her find a real husband and secure his own bachelordom. It has the constant flow of high drama you're looking for, interconnected characters all stuck in a tangled web, and a lot of orchestral covers of pop songs. 



Elite

Élite

Élite

Netflix

Elite is one of the few teen-centric dramas of the last five years that could rival Gossip Girl for soap, but that's not the only connection the two shows have. The division along class lines that formed the backdrop of The CW drama is also explored in the Spanish series, which is set at an exclusive private school and follows the lives of several students, including those who attend the school on scholarship, much like Dan did on Gossip Girl. Making effective use of flash-forwards, the show reveals how the teens' ambitions and desires eventually lead to the murder of one student and the disappearance of another, making the show a compelling entry into the teen drama genre while also adding a mystery twist to it. And while the mystery is the backbone of the series, it allows the show to explore more familiar issues of coming of age, like how far one might go to fit in, struggling with being gay in a conservative household, or the pitfalls that come with living in the age of social media.



The O.C.

Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Ben McKenzie, and Mischa Barton, The O.C.

Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Ben McKenzie, and Mischa Barton, The O.C.

WB/Everett Collection

Created by Gossip Girl creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz and set against the sunny skies and fancy pool houses of the wealthy elite of Newport, California, The O.C. is the show that paved the way for Gossip Girl to be a success. Best known for its rapid ascent in the pop culture history books -- and introducing a lot of people to the musical stylings of Death Cab for Cutie -- the series stars Ben McKenzie as Ryan Atwood, a troubled teen from a broken home who is taken in by his public defender Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and his wealthy wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan). It's a fish-out-of-water story that explores class and materialism through Ryan's experiences as an outsider and the lives of the entire Cohen family, who are less shallow and self-centered than their close-minded neighbors. But it's also just full of drama. While the series' decline in the third season initially rivaled its incredibly fast rise, the series, which also launched the careers of Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Rachel Bilson, leveled out in the fourth and final season, allowing it to go out on a high note and remind everyone why it is one of the best teen shows ever made.



The Bold Type

The Bold Type

Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy, The Bold Type

Freeform

If your favorite aspect of Gossip Girl was the incredible fashion donned by Serena and Blair, you might want to check out Freeform's millennial dramedy The Bold Type, which stars Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy as three twentysomething women working at a fictional fashion magazine known as Scarlet. The show is inspired by the life and career of former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles and explores many of the challenges young women face as they attempt to carve out careers, whether it's in journalism, social media, or fashion, but it also doesn't shy away from difficult topics or relationship drama. However, the best part of the series has to be the strong friendships between the trio -- and, of course, Scarlet's fashion closet, which houses any number of incredible outfits and is where the friends spend a great deal of time dealing with the problems life has thrown their way.



Blood & Water

Lindsey Appolis/Netflix

Blood & Water

Blood & Water

Like Gossip Girl, this South African teen drama is also set at a prep school and follows a group of scheming teens. At the center of the narrative lies a complex mystery that propels much of the action forward, though it doesn't have anything to do with an anonymous person revealing the secrets of wealthy teens. The series stars Ama Qamata as Puleng Khumalo, a 16-year-old who transfers to the elite academy because she believes a student there may actually be her long-lost sister. Blood & Water is juicy, but it's never over the top, and it's grounded by standout performances from both Qamata and Khosi Ngema, who plays Puleng's suspected sister, Fikile Bhele.



Outer Banks

Outer Banks

Outer Banks

Netflix

If Dan's relationship with Serena (or Blair!) is what you loved most about Gossip Girl, you should consider checking out Netflix's Outer Banks, which, in addition to telling a story about the haves versus the have-nots, also features a major storyline involving a working class teen (Chase Stokes) falling for a rich girl (Madelyn Cline) and all the drama that entrails. But there's also so, so much more to the show. Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the teen series follows the Pogues, a group of teens who live and work on the island, as they look for the long lost treasure of an ancient shipwreck after a hurricane wipes out power. Along the way, they find themselves in increasingly dangerous waters, with a growing list of enemies, and the teens often make decisions without giving much thought to the consequences of their actions. But that's also why Outer Banks feels so authentic; teens are selfish and impulsive by nature, and they're driven by hormones. We can't exactly call this a good show, but it's addictive as hell.



One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill is another show whose success paved the way for Gossip Girl. Running for nine seasons across The WB and The CW, the show starts out as a teen soap with much of the same relationship and family drama that made Gossip Girl so engrossing. But because of its longevity, and because the show skips the college years, which tend to drag most high school shows down, it is also one of the few series to successfully bridge the gap between teen and adult. Set in a small town in North Carolina, the series tells the story of two half-brothers -- Chad Michael Murray's Lucas and James Lafferty's Nathan -- who were born only months apart but are from completely different worlds. Because their father (Paul Johansson) deserted Lucas's mom (Moira Kelly), who was his high school girlfriend, and got another woman (Barbara Alyn Woods) pregnant while in college, Lucas and Nathan grow up in the same town but with different lifestyles and life experiences. The show begins when Lucas joins the high school basketball team, of which Nathan is the star player, and while we could say a lot more, we honestly don't know how to explain the places this show goes without spoiling some of the wildest TV you'll ever see.



Pretty Little Liars

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Pretty Little Liars

The identity of Gossip Girl, the anonymous blogger voiced by Kristen Bell who documented every move the teens made on the show, remained a mystery for the entire run of the series. The teens at the heart of the ABC Family-turned-Freeform drama Pretty Little Liars face a similar situation, with a mystery person known only as A threatening to expose all of their secrets following the disappearance of one of their own. The show, which starred Troian BellisarioAshley BensonLucy Hale, and Shay Mitchell, managed to keep the ruse running for several years, including multiple fakeouts as to who A really was, and while we can't say it was always successful at conjuring up believable or thrilling new developments to the central mystery, the first few seasons are definitely worth checking out.