Gossip Girl shocked the world in 2009 when Dan (a college freshman), Olivia (Hilary Duff), his best friend Vanessa, and Vanessa (Jessica Szohr), engaged in a menage-a-three on primetime.
The episode was a rating hit (duh), but it sparked a backlash from the Parents Television Council — and from devoted fans who thought the threesome was, well, underwhelming. This is what happens when the most boring characters are joined by a trio!
The scene is still one of the most memorable on the teen soap. The problem is that it took three seasons to get a show about drugs and sex to air. This is almost Puritan by today’s standards.
Gossip Girl‘s latest version introduces a new group of Upper East Siders. They are more diverse and more sexually liberated than ever.
“We are so fortunate to be living at a time when the status quo, the social structure that we have been conditioned to believe and adopt as individuals, has been greatly questioned,” Thomas Doherty tells Teen Vogue. “Now people will be able to ask themselves, ‘Is this how I feel? Or was that what I was taught?’ It’s important that a show like Gossip Girls is sexually liberating and explorative in regards to identity and [sexual] preference.
Max is at the heart of this exploration. Max is the center of this exploration. While it’s easy to think of him as Ed Westwick’s smart lothario Chuck Bass (although his jawline is still sharp), Max is noticeably soft around the edges. Thomas says that Max is always looking for the next challenge, the next high when he meets him. He’s always looking for the next party. He just wants to have some fun. He is more interested in the experience than the end result.
This is his dynamic with Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) and Aki (Evan Mock). The scenes show a simmering tension and the question of “Will-they-won’t-they” lingering. They do have an extent. Max has already had sex with Audrey and Aki.
Emily states, “Everyone is attracted to Max.” “Who wouldn’t? Are you able to see him? She continues, “It has been a long time since I last saw him. And when Audrey and Aki return to school and meet Max, it will be a dynamic shift.” Audrey and Aki are also trying to figure this out.
Aki’s quest for self-discovery takes him to a bathroom with Max. There, they have sex, and Aki discovers that he might be attracted to men. Evan says that Audrey and Aki have been boyfriend and girlfriend for a long time and that he is trying to discover himself and spice things up with them. He’s trying to find out what he loves and doesn’t love. Audrey allows him to do that. Because she feels Aki’s confusion, she understands it. Does her attraction to Max only stem from sexuality? Is it purely sexual? Or is she looking for something more?
Emily states that Audrey wants to have some fun in life. “She is very much a bookworm when it comes to the things she loves, such as classic literature… She tries hard to keep things organized in her life due to some hazy things going on in her personal life.” Audrey is acting out because of the stress from her messy divorce and her mom’s drinking problems. Things start to get murky, and she is really confused.
Emily says that Audrey isn’t going back to her normal method of putting things away, which is to tie them with ribbons and place them in a box. Instead, Audrey thinks about what Audrey might do if she just said ‘fuck it’ once in a while. She might find that it works out better for her.
The trio said that it is impossible to predict if her “fuck it” attitude will result in a friendship trust. We’ll have to wait to see what happens. It won’t happen because of a list of “things you need to do before graduation.” There’s real chemistry this time.