I admit. After a mere week of watching Gossip Girl, I find myself chuckling at the mischievously witty lines of Blair Waldorf, drawn to some fascinating characters, and utterly bored at the others (although I concede that I'm still, largely, a newbie in the Upper East Side universe). Since there won't be any new episodes of Gossip Girl until gasp March 9, let's talk about the most pivotal plotline in the recent episode Carnal Knowledge.
If you're even more of a newbie than myself, Blair essentially let it slip to Gossip Girl that Dan is having an affair with their teacher Rachel (on that note, I totally agree with the comment that casting guest star Laura Breckenridge, while she's 25 in real life, was a little off). Since Gossip Girl is apparently a pretty big deal, they were able to get to the bottom of it and the headmistress decided to expel Blair from the school. Eventually, though, a new piece of evidence courtesy of Serena showed up in a meeting and, after proving that the rumor was more than that, they fired Rachel instead.
An impulsive reaction to the whole thing would be - everyone might be overreacting a tad bit. Let's face it. Gossip Girl, as big as it is in their little lives, is just that - gossip. For her part, Rachel overreacted by feeling and acting helpless over the whole thing, saying that the rumor endangered her future and career. It did? The school also overreacted, deciding to expel Blair for spreading a rumor. If the school fired everyone who committed the same offense, there won't be a lot of students left at Constance Billard.
That being said, how about the decision to fire Rachel after the surfacing of new (albeit flimsy) evidence? It's understandable enough; many people would be scandalized by the thought of a teacher sharing some carnal knowledge with a student. Thankfully, however, they soon realized that firing a reasonably good teacher over a photograph would be ludicrous. Photographs don't move, they don't tell the whole story, they can mislead. Haven't any of these people heard of Photoshop?
The episode reminded me of an (admittedly harsh) episode of South Park called Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy, where Kyle's brother Ike gets into an illicit affair with his teacher. The problem? Ike was in kindergarten, Dan is not exactly a virgin (although at times he has the emotional maturity of a grade schooler).
As the school finally decided to not fire Rachel after all, the issue is moot. However, it bears mentioning that the way people reacted toward Gossip Girl isn't very becoming. Gossip Girl is gossip. To take it too seriously, such that careers and futures would depend on it, is not wise at all.