This weekend, it seemed like everyone was busy getting lost in the croissant-and hot French chef-filled world of new Netflix show Emily In Paris. It makes sense — as COVID fall is starting to truly set in, what better time to get lost in this time machine of a show, which feels like an earnest early aughts-era tale of a starry-eyed American hopeful who finds herself unexpectedly transferred to the City of Lights.
With its over-the-top fashion, steamy romances, drama, and ridiculously good-looking cast, Emily In Paris also helps to fill that void that we we've been left with post-Sex And The City (and it makes sense, given that its creator, Darren Star, also helmed the popular HBO show). It also has major Gossip Girl vibes — which is why Blake Lively's timely Instagram throwback has us thinking that she might be watching Emily In Paris too.
Lively, Gossip Girl's own Serena Van Der Woodsen, posted a cast photo from the popular aughts show with the caption, "Class of ‘07 💋." In it, she poses with her co-stars, including Ed Westwick (who played Chuck Bass), Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf), Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey), Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey), and Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald), all in their iconic Upper East Side prep school uniforms.
The show is planning to see a reboot in 2021, which could be a cause for the sudden throwback, but a more likely explanation is that Emily In Paris has thrust Gossip Girl back into the conversation. Not only have the shows been likened to each other, but in the Netflix original, Emily (played by Lily Collins) befriends uppity, mercurial designer Pierre Cadault by bonding over their mutual love for Gossip Girl. Emily is upset that upon meeting her and spotting her kitschy Eiffel Tower keychain, Cadault labels her a "ringarde" (meaning basic). She confronts him and explains that designers need "basic" girls like her who aspire to wear their clothes in order for their work to be fashionable in the first place.
"You want to know why I bought that bag charm? Because my friends and I adore Gossip Girl — we wanted to be Serena Van der Woodsen and have her beautiful haute couture — but the only thing we could afford from those designers was a pendant from a wholesaler like Winnetka," Emily says. "So … I guess we are quite ringardes. We don’t just respect designers, we praised them so much that we spent all our savings on a silly accessory just to feel like we were somehow on their runway."
Cadault, now endeared to her, responds that he too loves the show, but couldn't believe that Gossip Girl was Dan all along. Relatable.
Another random Gossip Girl connection? William Abadie, who plays the perfumer Antoine, also made a brief appearance in Gossip Girl as Roman, Blair's stepfather.
Who knows, it could simply be the recent arrival of fall that is inspiring Lively to want to go back to Constance Billard School for Girls — or she, like many of us, has been imagining herself in Emily's shoes.