The New ‘Gossip Girl’ Unveils a Major Twist in the First Few Minutes—the Reboot Creator Explains Why

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*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

The hotly-anticipated reboot of Gossip Girl finally premiered on HBO Max this week, and while the new series follows many of the same formulas as its predecessor, there is one way in which it takes a sharp left turn.

In the original series, fans had to wait six seasons to discover the identity of Gossip Girl. But this time around, many viewers (including us at PureWow) were shocked to discover that the digital rumormonger is disclosed in the very first episode.

The new Gossip Girl (played by Tavi Gevinson) is Kate Keller, a frustrated high school teacher who decides to take matters into her own hands when she realizes that her privileged students hold all the power.

Joshua Safran, the creator of the reboot and a contributor to the original series, explained the reasoning behind this decision. He told E! News that he wanted to give viewers a chance to see the rise of Gossip Girl. “We never saw how Dan being Gossip Girl actually happened in the moment,” he said. “If [Dan] was sitting next to Jenny at the breakfast table and sending in a tip about Jenny that would destroy Jenny, while watching it land and seeing it destroy could redo the entire series from the beginning and put that in everywhere, and it would be suddenly a new thing.”

Safran said that this new perspective helped him feel confident in the project, adding, “To me, that's the only reason to do another version, to come up with something you hadn't seen before.”

While the original Gossip Girl didn't put much focus on the teachers at all, Safran, who grew up within the Upper East Side private school system, wanted to show that perspective. He said, “[I envisioned] a teacher in those spaces, where your job is to try to teach children who don't really care, because they have all the privilege in the world.”

And thankfully, we should expect more development from Gevinson's character as the series progresses. “The more the series goes on, and the more Kate gets both more connected to the students and more connected to Gossip just gets more and more complicated,” Safran said. He said it will also change the experience for the viewer because “You become complicit. You're now a part of Gossip Girl.”

There's nothing we love quite like a villain origin story.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...