Posted by: Staff | 12.18.2009

Gossip Girl…… The Sequel: The Truth About MacDonald

JAN DEVEREUX

It’s time to officially put the rumor mill to rest: Rob MacDonald has not been offered a role on Gossip Girl…yet. 

Maybe November was too soon for an April Fool’s joke. I honestly had no idea the story would have such legs, which is either a measure of Mr. MacDonald’s inestimable cool, or a sign that I should be writing fake news for The Daily Show instead of real news for Beaver’s website. More likely the former. Sigh. 

I’ve been gratified that the story bamboozled readers far and wide (including my own son, who is in Kenya and heard about it through the Beaver alumni grapevine). And, of course, I’m glad it brought more traffic to The Beaver Reader, which was the whole point, after all.

 When Tyler announced the faculty/staff article contest, I thought of writing something serious, along the lines of what I would say were I ever invited to give the Cum Laude assembly speech. I even had a topic in mind based on the Maurice Sendak book about little Pierre who doesn’t care. (“High school is the time when you start to learn what you care about, and what’s not worth caring about.”) But then I thought, what would really get students’ attention, and naturally I thought of television and celebrities. (‘Fess up – how many of you read Perez Hilton?)

 The Gossip Girl story popped into my head one Saturday morning, and before I knew it I’d spent several hours drafting and polishing it. It did cross my mind that my colleague and friend Mr. MacDonald might take offense, so I shared the draft with him. He was a good sport not to object. (Maybe he secretly wished it were true?) I also very much appreciate that I work at a place where the higher-ups have a sense of humor. Some heads of school don’t.

 It may surprise you, but I watch a lot of TV. I read a lot too – even more since I got a Kindle and can download books anytime – but after spending all day at my computer writing, I need a break from the written word. And there is no better escape from the real world than Gossip Girl! Plus, watching GG gives me something to talk about with my two teenage daughters.

 And there is some terrific writing on TV, even without the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Seinfeld, My So-Called Life and Arrested Development. I’m a huge fan of Mad Men, Dexter, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office (British and U.S. versions), and more recently Modern Family. I loved The Comeback, a one-season wonder with Lisa Kudrow, and Summer Heights High was a brilliant, short-lived satire, too. I was sorry to learn that Flight of the Conchords won’t be back for a third season. I enjoyed Lost until they moved the island.

 You might notice one hit showing missing from my list: Glee. I know, I know. I need to climb on the bandwagon, especially now that its co-creator Brad Falchuk ’89 has agreed to be this year’s Commencement speaker (whoo-hoo!). So I’m putting an iTunes season pass to Glee on my Christmas list, and I’ll let you know which of our performing arts faculty might be offered a role next season. Stayed tuned.

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