Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 5 of the Gossip Girl reboot.
Fans of the original Gossip Girl series have been excited but apprehensive about the new HBO Max reboot. Of course, we want to love it, but it doesn't take a lot to turn the excitement into cringe with one bad move.
In a previous episode, the new reboot brought back one of its controversial characters: Milo Sparks. And while that was exciting for those watching the show. Fans are extra thrilled to see another character in the reboot from the original series. And the Nelly Yuki cameo was exactly what the reboot needed.
Nelly Yuki is the first original actor to appear on the 'Gossip Girl' reboot.
In Episode 5 of Season 1 of the reboot, titled "Hope Sinks," fans were given a heads up from showrunner Joshua Safran that the episode will have a surprise character return. Joshua took to Twitter to tease the return of a character from the original series.
"Oh wait, I think I forgot to mention tomorrow's Gossip Girl includes an ACTUAL returning cast member from the original!" he tweeted on Aug. 4, 2021. The tease set off a guessing game on social media with curious fans anxious to find out who it would be.
Following the tweet, the official Gossip Girl account put out its own teaser. Writing "Guess who?" in a tweet with a photo of one of the characters from the back, fans speculated further. Some guessed it would be Vanessa, Dan's BFF played by Jessica Szohr, from the original show.
When the show aired on HBO Max on Aug. 5, the surprise character was revealed. The honor went to Nelly Yuki, one of the students from Constance Billard School and a prominent magazine editor.
Played by Yin Chang, she's the first actor from the original series to appear on the new reboot. Nelly was a returning character in the first two seasons of the original Gossip Girl show. She was one of the girls who tried to impress Leighton Meester's Blair Waldorf, following her around with the other girls in the squad.
However, as we all know, Blair and Nelly had a pretty dramatic falling out, and she disappeared from the storyline for a while. Nelly was brought back for Season 6 when she had established her career as a fashion journalist.
And now, a decade later, Nelly is back in the world of Gossip Girl, this time with more sway and say thanks to her continued career in the fashion world.
Of course, fans were thrilled to see Nelly appear in the new reboot and that Yin was still in the role. But some fans were disappointed that the appearance of an original character wasn't one of the ones who had more screen time.
"The audience would never accept these characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters," Joshua said in July 2021. "They're already in the shadow of the original characters, but if the original characters were there with them in some way, why would you want to briefly get to know Zoya if you suddenly can see Nate?"
New episodes of Gossip Girl on HBO Max are released Thursdays.