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Is Kate Keller The 'Gossip Girl' Villain Of Her Own Story?

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Is Kate Keller The 'Gossip Girl' Villain Of Her Own Story?

When it comes to a show like Gossip Girl, the “villains” aren’t exactly who you might expect. After all, the mean girl who cuts down her classmates over last season's Prada? On The CW’s version of Gossip Girl, that teen was hardly the villain — she was the beloved Blair Waldorf, and you would do well to put some respect on the name of our Queen B.

Gossip Girl operates on a much different plane than reality. It asks us to sympathize with the rich kids who have everything and more, and whose biggest problems probably pale in comparison to, say, underpaid and overworked middle class Americans — no matter how many times their sister steals their boyfriends or their parents forget to attend their school conferences due to some Big Business Emergency.

So who is our villain on Gossip Girl? If we’re naming names, and Gossip Girl always does, it’s Kate Keller — aka the teacher who restarted the whole titular anonymous blogger thing in the first place.

Images: HBO Max

In the original Gossip Girl, Kate is probably closest in character to Dan Humphrey — who, ironically, was the first Gossip Girl. Dan was from Brooklyn and didn’t have as many nice things as his Upper East Side classmates (though he did live in a $3 million dollar Brooklyn loft with an aging rockstar dad). Dan wanted to get “inside” the Upper East Side world so badly he literally wrote himself into his classmates’ lives — and it worked. He got the girl (Serena van der Woodsen) and a book deal. Kate, also a writer, admires him.

Dan wasn’t the villain of the OG show — at least according to the other characters — however, a close analysis of the series makes it fair to say that YES HE ABSOLUTELY WAS. After all, Dan spread awful rumors about everyone, including his own sister. He ruined relationships, even humiliated his kind father who always had his back.

Maybe that’s what HBO Max’s version of the show is doing this time around: proving that, no matter how noble the reason is to become Gossip Girl, it ultimately turns you into a villain.

Kate goes into the Gossip Girl game with somewhat decent intentions. She wants the students at Constance Billiard to respect teachers again — they keep getting them fired for no reason. Many who are forced to leave can’t get a job again. Kate thinks that if Gossip Girl returns, it will scare the students straight.
Of course, that’s not exactly how it works.Instead, Kate finds herself posting photos of underage teens in compromising (semi nude!) positions. She nearly destroys Zoya’s opportunity to attend Constance Billiard on multiple occasions. She drives a wedge between Zoya and Julien, sisters who are bonded by the death of their mother and are only getting to know one another in person for the first time.

Worst yet? When Kate sees her job threatened due to Gossip Girl potentially being outed, she gets a friend fired instead to protect herself and the rest of the teachers in her mean little club. If that’s not the most Machiavellian, Blair Waldorf game — I’m not sure what is.

We don’t expect more from the Constance girls — that’s why they’re fun. They are unapologetically nasty and while far more woke and dare I say kind than the OG crowd, they never pretend to have a noble agenda. Their elitism is the thing we expect — they were raised with the entitlement and don’t know much better.

But Kate? Well, she chose this life… and is still pretending to be the heroine of her own story. No villain thinks that’s what they are, right?

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