‘Gossip Girl’ Season 2 Review: Monet de Haan’s Vengence Is the Star

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Gossip Girl Season 2. Good morning Upper Eastsiders. The acclaimed and repeated version of gossip girl is back and more colorful than ever. In the words of the show’s infamous narrator herself – “Did you miss me?” The first half of Season 2 has just kicked off on HBO Max and the misadventures of the privileged Brady Bunch and her vengeful high school teachers have been compounded since we left them . Several storylines converge in the middle that are either controversial or disastrous, and viewers couldn’t – and won’t – get enough of it. Audiences are given a front-row seat in the lives of the elite and influential, knowing that even the wealthiest are not exempt from a downpour of dismay, embarrassment, or just plain disaster.

The first season took place in 2021, 14 years after the original series aired in 2007. The reboot began with Constance Billard’s disgruntled faculty fed up with being undermined, invisible and discredited by the elites and their privileged children. So the teachers decide to revamp the Gossip Girl blog that started during the original series. your order? Teaching these teenagers a lesson they won’t learn in the curriculum: shame. This catalyst triggers many twists and turns as the page’s revival collides with many lives, but most notably Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander), the school’s outspoken queen and her wealthy Scooby Doo gang. As Gossip Girl snoops on her every move, secrets emerge (the budding affair between Aki, Audrey, and Max, and the post-protest smooch Obie has with Julien, even while he’s dating her little sister). Feuds reach a crescendo and the season one finale hints that there won’t be happy endings for everyone.

Gossip Girl Savannah Smith

Barbara Nitke/HBO Max

As the second season heavily spreads the burden of drama, it delves into what it means to be a villain and underscores this with money and wealth – everyone gets a little ugly. This reprized version of gossip girl cooks up the pot of what makes a hero and the enemy antagonist, as viewers were hurt into believing that Julien would be the rising phoenix, taking on the mangy legacy of Blair Waldorf. Julien is the Queen of Constance and reigns with influence over beauty and fashion choices. As such, she was branded an it girl for everyone.

However, Monet de Haan is the real snake in the grass. And it’s exciting to see a star being born in Savannah Smith, the actress who plays her. As a refresher, Monet spent her character introductions in the first season being assigned as Julien’s publicist. A fairy godmother if you will, alongside the perceptive Luna La (Zion Moreno) – Julien’s other right hand man. Monet focused her efforts at superiority on doing Julien’s dirty laundry so the influencer could enjoy the sun without ever having to worry about the consequences.

Monet’s character represents true struggles that black women have gone through as being strong is far easier than ever admitting when you can be weak.

The rivalry between Julien and her younger half-sister Zoya Lott mimicked that of Serena van der Woodsen and Blair’s feud – as Zoya possessed the qualities of ambition, belonging and youthfulness to send her sister to the guillotine. Still, Julien scratched the surface of the unfair character arc and pushed it aside once it reflected her relationship between her father, her ex-boyfriend Obie, and her. The student was in a constant struggle and hold influence, fueled by malice and deceit to soar to the top on the one hand, or the importance of love, friendship and self-esteem on the other. Yet this kind of self-versus-self conflict continued to collide with the dangers of power. When Julien falls from grace, Monet is already shedding her crown.

Monet is dashing for many reasons. Many of the characters on the show mirror themselves with good intentions to avoid discussing their own evil behavior. The show’s catalyst was triggered by underpaid teachers who believed that ambushing and shaming their student body would impose gratitude and a generational shift. It’s a thin disguise used to build their own influence. Monet’s revenge is in many ways a touch of truth. She does not hide from envy or manipulation; she refines it. Monet isn’t afraid to be the villain either – a lesson many of the characters could learn if they stopped lying to themselves. Throughout Season 2, she continues to scheme to weaken Julien’s power armor so that she can rise.

Gossip Girl Savannah Smith

Barbara Nitke/HBO Max

While everyone else may lie about their individual desires, Monet possesses qualities no one else has. She is honest, empathetic and passionate. Despite her timeless attempts to outshine Julien, there’s a deep vulnerability and characterization that makes her exciting to watch. Monet’s need to be evil is a projection onto love’s emptiness. “I want to be loved,” she says in one of the episodes alongside Luna during her Valentine’s Day party. It’s a beautiful moment between the two. Monet’s character represents true struggles that black women have gone through as being strong is far easier than ever admitting when you can be weak.

Monet is the fine line between Kate Keller, the face behind gossip girl, and her mother Camille de Haan. Since Kate and Camille are said to lie on opposite spectra representing the pH balance of good and bad, Monet is the outlier. Camille’s developed story as a mother and businesswoman is meant to disparage and arm her character against someone like Kate as one of the few black women on the show who is promoted in a hierarchy. The joke is that they both look in the same direction in the mirror.

Watching this new season and watching the trailer changed my mind that there are two truths. Monet accepts that she’s the villain, but everyone involved impersonated Blair Waldorf in some way. The trailer creates the illusion that the one to watch out for is Monet, when in reality they are all a danger to one another. She’s the real joker of the show and Smith’s performance of the hilarious teen makes her someone you can just keep your fingers crossed for, no matter how difficult it is for you to choose otherwise. With the voice of Gossip Girl – you know you love her.

gossip girl Season 2 Part One is available to stream on HBO Max.

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https://stylecaster.com/gossip-girl-season-2/ ‘Gossip Girl’ Season 2 Review: Monet de Haan’s Vengence Is the Star

Sarah Ridley

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