HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot dropped the curtain in its premiere episode and revealed the identity of the mysterious Gossip Girl blogger. Now, series boss Joshua Safran is opening up about the decision to unveil the mystery, and why it was the right call for the new series. [Please Note: Spoilers Below for Gossip Girl.]
In the original series — which Safran worked on as a writer and executive producer — Penn Badgely's character, Dan Humphrey, turned out to be the elusive Gossip Girl. In the new series, Gossip Girl is Constance Billard private school teacher Kate Keller (played by Tavi Gevinson), who takes up the torch after a fellow teacher is fired over a student's lies. "Coming up with the idea of knowing who Gossip Girl was from the top — and having it be a teacher — was the thing that excited me the most, because it's doing the show in a new way instead of just retreading," Safran told The Daily Beast.
Gossip Girl was created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who had a very firm "no classroom" rule with the original series, maintaining that the teacher-student dynamic be kept out of the storyline. However, the pair was fully on board for the new idea: having Gossip Girl be a teacher trolling students. Safran explained that it was actually HBO and WarnerMedia executives that needed convincing this new direction would work.
"When you hear 'teachers' you think older, more stodgy, more matronly," Safran said, "all these things that are actually unrealistic to teachers." He then clarified that "in reality, private school teachers' median age is 31." The new Gossip Girl being a millennial teacher adds an element of tension that fans may find partially relatable.
"I'm Gen X and I'm sure it came out in the fabric of me being older than I was during the first Gossip Girl," Safran shared. "When I first watched My So-Called Life, I so very clearly identified with Angela and all the kids, but when I found myself watching it on TV years later, I found myself identifying more with the parents. Weirdly, I can actually identify more with the parents of the first Gossip Girl than I did at the time, so this was a way to bring myself into it."
Safran then added, "I am the teachers, and in a way, I am Gossip Girl." The Gossip Girl sequel series debuted Thursday on HBO Max. Those who are not subscribed to the service will still have a chance to see the series premiere, however, as it will be broadcast on The CW on Friday, July 9.