The ‘Gossip Girl’ Premieres Best Music Moments

Gossip Girl is back. The new HBO Max series has a lot to live up to when it comes to its hit CW predecessor. Though it’s already established itself as something different, the Gossip Girl premiere remained consistent with its namesake in one crucial way: Its pitch-perfect music moments.

‘Positions’ by Ariana Grande

'Gossip Girl' premiere (L-R): Zion Moreno, Jordan Alexander, and Savannah Smith
‘Gossip Girl’ premiere (L-R): Zion Moreno, Jordan Alexander, and Savannah Smith | Karolina Wojtasik/WarnerMedia

Despite the many differences between the original and the new series, one thing had to remain the same: Kristen Bell’s Gossip Girl narration. Though the moment doesn’t come until 20 minutes into the episode, it’s well worth it — striking a chord with those who loved it the first time around.

“Sure sex is good but have you heard the Kristen Bell voiceover kick in on the new Gossip Girl while an instrumental interlude of Ariana Grande’s ‘Positions’ plays over the New York City skyline?” tweeted writer Ashley Spencer. This is exactly the reaction music supervisor Rob Lowry was counting on.

“With ‘Positions’ over the title sequence, there’s so much power in that recognizability and in that visibility,” he told Paper Magazine. “When you hear that opening, you’re just like: yes, Ariana, let’s go. The show is so rich in so many ways, pun intended, and there’s something about the wealth and the production value of a song like ‘Positions.'”

The instrumental part of the song continues as Gossip Girl narrates. Then, the lyrics kick in as the characters discuss the new Instagram account in question. Finally, the song transitions once more as it plays through the speakers in the elevator Obie and Zoya ride in together, acting as both a tie between scenes and a division of tone throughout them.

‘Therefore I Am’ by Billie Eilish

The next significant Gossip Girl music moment comes when Zoya wakes up from her night out. Gossip Girl has posted a photo of her and Obie changing in front of the window at his apartment. Again, this moment features Kristen Bell’s narration, but it’s a bit more foreboding.

Zoya calls Julien as the music continues to play, establishing a haunting tone to the scene. Though Julien reassures her that Gossip Girl is nothing to worry about, the lyrics suggest otherwise. Or maybe it’s Julien Zoya should fear? After all, Billie Eilish’s single “Therefore I Am” perfectly encapsulates Julien’s attitude at that moment.

“I Can’t Stay the Same’ by Vanessa Carlton

As the original series did, the new Gossip Girl ends with moments of each character and — you guessed it — more of the titular narrator’s overture. That last song is usually a pointed one, lyrically speaking. And Vanessa Carlton’s “I Can’t Stay the Same” works well in that sense.

But what’s especially interesting is how this relates to the original series. Carlton’s career waned after her first hit. She didn’t have another successful single until “Nolita Fairytale,” which gained popularity after being featured in the iconic Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episode, “Blair Waldorf Must Pie.”

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