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HBO Max’s ‘Gossip Girl’ Just Brought Back Blair, Chuck, Serena, Dan and Nelly Yuki

But only Nelly was played by her original actress — the others were very meta recreations

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Thursday’s new episode of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl.”)

Upper East Siders who thought that last week’s intro of a pre-teen Milo Sparks was the best that HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” could do in the way of references to the OG series are going to have their tights knocked off by the quintet of cameos on Thursday’s episode.

That’s mainly because one of them is the actual return of fan-favorite character Nelly Yuki (Yin Chang), and the other four appearances come via incredibly meta fabrications of The CW series’ leading couples: Blair Waldorf (played by Leighton Meester) and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley).

On the newly released Episode 5 of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl”, titled “Hope Sinks,” Chang makes a cameo as Nelly Yuki, the frenemy of Blair who has risen from impressive Women’s Wear Daily reporter to even more impressive New York Magazine editor since last we saw her on the original series, at a Halloween costume party attended by Manhattans elite, including teens Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander), Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak), Obie Bergmann IV (Eli Brown), Aki Menzies (Evan Mock), Audrey Hope (Emily Alyn Lynd), Max Wolfe (Thomas Doherty), Luna La (Zion Moreno) and Monet de Haan (Savannah Smith).

Obie reveals to both Nelly and Zoya that one of Nelly’s reporters was impersonating a student to get close to Zoya and try to find out if she is the new Gossip Girl.

Nelly scolds her employee, and also Obie for stirring the pot here: “This kind of drama is exactly what Gossip Girl wants. If you stoop to her level, Mr. Bergmann, you’re no better than her.”

Though Change comes back to play Nelly Yuki, but when we see Blair, Chuck, Serena and Dan, they are not played by Meester, Westwick, Lively and Badgley. However, something possibly even more amazing happens: Zoya and Julien, in an attempt to salvage their botched Beyoncé and Solange Knowles couples costume, transform themselves into Chuck and Dan to latch onto the couples costume of two rivals from another school, who came dressed as Blair and Serena.

We even get a perfect “I’m Chuck Bass” line delivery from Zoya.

See the pairs in all their glory below.


For costume references, here are Dan and Serena on their wedding day, in the series finale of the original “Gossip Girl”:

Warner Bros TV

And here are Blair and Chuck at cotillion in Season 1:

Warner Bros. TV

And here’s Nelly Yuki on Episode 5 of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” dressed as Eva Chen at the costume party:


So we might not have had the real Serena, Blair, Chuck and Dan back — but watching the younger generations take on them was pretty scandalous.

A new episode of “Gossip Girl” launches next Thursday on HBO Max.