Book Series Versus TV Show Remains as a Popular Debate: Gossip Girl Edition

Both platforms provide a nuanced depiction of the plot, enhancing the reading and viewing experience


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Blake Lively stars in the Gossip Girl TV series as Serena van der Woodsen.

Maggie Seidel, Features Editor

Over spring break, I was determined to accomplish something. I decided that my activity would be reading fiction. I regularly enjoy reading, however it is difficult to find the time. With the influx of time spent at home and the countless, looming, unscheduled hours that awaited me, I choose to read novels from my favorite series: Gossip Girl

I have been an avid fan and viewer of the Gossip Girl series on Netflix for many years and have more recently begun to read the book series that the television show is based off of. The characters are incredibly similar in both the novels and the TV show. The plot in the book series, however, provides a unique, unexpected nuance that ensures entertainment, despite having previously watched the entire tv show numerous times. 

My reading experience has pointed me toward a question: is the book series or TV show better? I must say that I believe it depends upon many factors. Firstly, the particular plot, the actors, and the viewer have a great bearing on the answer to this question. Personally, I enjoy two particular aspects about reading the series and watching the show. 

By watching the TV show, you are given a real, tangible depiction of the storyline. The visual representation of each characters’ life provides a sense of greater connection for the viewer. The camera work of the show also provides the viewer with entertaining highlights of the thrilling metropolis of New York City. 

It is also no doubt that Leighton Meester and Blake Lively’s work as the starring actresses enhance the plot line with a bit of fame and glamour. 

Although, the book series provides the reader with a deeper sense of the character’s inner thoughts and emotions. The book series also goes more in-depth to certain events such as the college application process and high-school graduation. These two features of the book series enhance and further complicate the very complex and dynamic characters in the series. 

It would be too difficult for me to choose between reading the series versus solely watching the TV show. With the additional time at home and anxiety-filled atmosphere today, both provide the consumer with a sense of entertainment and an escape from reality. This experience must be prioritized always, but especially today. 

I urge you to read a series or book and watch the corresponding movie and TV show to more fully appreciate the plot line and character development. And, maybe most importantly, enjoy some respite from the unsettling atmosphere!