Almost every time a beloved book series is made into a TV series or film, diehard book fans cringe just a little bit. It's not often that every nuance of a written story translates visually on the big or small screen. But the CW's Gossip Girl—celebrating its 10-year anniversary today—may be the exception.
The series diverged from the books, written by Cecily von Ziegesar, on many occasions, but here are the six times that actually improved the show.
Do you agree?
1. Chuck Bass Is Not Just a Pompous A-Hole
Ed Westwick stole the show with his performance as Chuck Bass. In the books, Bass plays a limited role, and his defining characteristics are his nauseating womanizing and flamoyant style. But in the TV series, Chuck and his relationship with Blair and multi-dimentional—that romance basically makes the GG world go round.
2. Eric van der Woodsen Gets Benjamin Buttoned
In the book series, Eric is an invisible character, away at university from the start because he is Serena's older brother. The CW series chose to make Eric Serena's younger brother. GG producer Stephanie Savage told People that this decision was made because the creators wanted a better reason for Serena to come home from boarding school. His plot lines, from coming out as the show's only major gay character to helping Jenny Humphrey through tough times, became pivotal.
3. Monkey (the Dog) Changes Species
What makes a human more human than a canine best friend? In the book series, Chuck Bass had a literal pet monkey. In the CW series, he names the dog Dan Humphrey gives him Monkey. Onscreen, Humphrey gives Bass the dog in effort to get him to feel again after he went numb post-breakup. Monkey helps bring Bass back to life and gives us a reason to aww at him.
4. Jenny Humphrey's Whole Look
In the book series, Jenny Humphrey is a short, busty girl who garners attention from boys because of her chest. In the show, she's blonde and petite. Still, she has her fair share of romance and self-image woes, through which we're given the chance to get to know the three-dimensional character she is. Show producer Stephanie Savage told People, “We made a point of not writing Jenny’s large chest into the script because we just felt we would be saddling–quite literally–a young actress with something that would prove to be difficult over time.”
5. The Humphreys Move to Brooklyn
The Humphreys were originally Upper West Siders. Show creators suspected that people nation-wide might not understand Manhattan's borough geography enough to realize the stark differences between the Upper East and Upper West Sides. So they chose to relocate the Humphrey’s loft to artsy Brooklyn, which fits the family’s persona better anyway. They didn't exactly do a realistic job portraying the family as anything but loaded, but that loft...
6. Lily van der Woodsen and Rufus Humphrey's Romance
What would we ever do without the sexual tension between lovable Rufus and his former sweetheart, Lily van der Woodsen? In the books, Lily is still married to Serena’s dad, who’s barely mentioned. In the CW series, Lily and Rufus’s love acts as a catalyst for so many plot lines, including complicating Serena and Dan’s relationship.