We are three episodes into HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot. It’s still finding its footing. Having a very attractive cast is one thing, but living up to the well-tailored teen soap opera that was the original is a whole other thing entirely. Despite that, I am passively following along and just going with many of the over-the-top choices that the teen characters make. The teachers are another story.
Spoilers for Gossip Girl Season 1, Episode 3 “Lies Wide Shut.”
Since the pilot episode, it has been known that Gossip Girl is made up of four teachers working at Constance Billard: Kate Keller (Tavi Gevinson) the English teacher—played by an actress younger than some of those who are playing students—Jordan Glassberg (Adam Chanler-Berat), Reema (Rana Roy), and Wendy (Megan Ferguson).
These “educators” feel as if they lack the authority to actually teach and give honest grades to students without fear of fallout from their wealthy families. The students are running the ship. Gossip Girl, now an Instagram page, becomes a Big Brother-like eye which enables them to keep the students in line.
Already, this concept was a stretch, and it results in these teachers using their positions to take advantage of these “teens.” Posting pictures of a 14-year-old half undressed is a crime.
Are the students assholes of the highest order? Absolutely, but this doesn’t instantly validate the bad choices being made.
Things get taken up a notch in this episode, when the rich parents, angry at Gossip Girl’s harassment of their children, enlist a group of investigators who scare the teachers shitless—naturally, because I still don’t hear anything about a VPN anywhere. Jordan promises they are safe in the firewall at school as long as they only post there and are careful. It’s a silly plan and only serves to reinforce that these teachers have no idea what they are talking about.
At a dinner, Reema’s husband tells the others that they are risking their careers and will probably not win the war because people with money and power always win. It’s bitter, but it strikes a chord with Reema. Smelling her doubt, the teachers manipulate the only non-white teacher into posting on Gossip Girl and getting caught, temporarily putting an end to the investigation.
I was already against the teachers because I find their campaign against the Gen Z students to be more annoying than anything else, especially since we never see them teach, so who knows how good they are at actually being educators. However, with every episode, they end up crossing more and more lines that only serve to make them look like childish emotional terrorists.
If this is the only way they can serve to maintain control—maybe they deserve to lose it.
(image: HBO Max)
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