Warning: spoilers for the premiere episode of the Gossip Girl reboot ahead.
Gossip Girl is officially back, which can only mean one thing: lots and lots of opinions. Remember when the original GG used bad reviews as part of their iconic ad campaign? Let’s just say those involved in developing the 2021 reboot have undoubtedly been preparing to hear a lot—bad and good—from fans and critics.
In fact, reboot creator Josh Safran and the cast have already been subject to criticism before the first episode dropped on July 8 on HBO Max. From accusations that the reboot is trying to be “too woke” for a show about privileged rich teens, to reactions to a quote from Safran that the show would not engage in “wealth porn,” some fans of the original series have been prepared to rip this thing to shreds.
“I feel like if it wasn’t woke, then that would be a problem, and now that it is woke, it’s too woke,” Gossip Girl star Whitney Peak recently told Glamour before pointing to the difference between being aware of privilege and actively working to dismantle systems of oppression. “Unless something directly affects you in a negative way that you’re uncomfortable with, you’re not going to take action or feel like you need to do something about it.”
To be honest, there may never be a time as ripe for a Gossip Girl reboot as 2021. Instead of gossip blogs like Perez Hilton, there are countless drama Instagram channels like The Shade Room and Deuxmoi that could easily inspire a Constance Billard teen (or an entire group of them) to take down their fellow classmates. What many fans were surprised to discover, however, was that the new Gossip Girl is not some mystery student at all: it’s the teachers.
Led by Kate Keller (former teen blog icon Tavi Gevinson), a group of disgruntled teachers bands together to take down their students. Honestly, this was the main part of the new series I had trouble grasping. How would destroying the lives of teenagers—including one innocent freshman that literally just got there—encourage the students to respect authority? Especially when the Keller is hiding behind an anonymous account?
Given the teachers’ place as the “underdogs” and only characters aside from Zoya (Peak) who are not a part of the one percent, it feels as if we’re supposed to root for their success, but how can we? At one point, one of Keller’s minions even takes a photo of Zoya and her half-sister’s boyfriend Obie (Eli Brown) undressing and gives it to Keller to post on Instagram! Zoya is supposed to be 14 years old! Jail!
I’m not the only one uncomfortable about all this. While many fans are very much enjoying the new iteration—we all missed Kristen Bell’s voice-over so much—they’ve been a lot less kind about the group of meddling educators.
Here are the funniest memes and tweets about the Constance Billard teachers:
The new Gossip Girl drops on July 8 on HBO Max and will air new episodes every Thursday.
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