The Only Gossip Girl Character Even the Author Hated

The Only Gossip Girl Character Even the Author Hated
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It's been almost a decade since the American drama series Gossip Girl wrapped on CW establishing itself as one of the best TV series of the time and leaving a mark on the cultural landscape.

Back in 2012 New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the show for its positive influence on the world's financial capital and for attracting tourists to New York. Sounds grand indeed.

The series premiered in 2007 and followed the lives of privileged upper-class teens residing in Manhattan's Upper East Side, whose stories are narrated by a blogger called Gossip Girl.

Based on a series of the New York Times best-selling novels written by Cicely von Ziegesar, the show was a smash hit and to a certain degree has become for CW what House of Cards was for Netflix, as the network's executive Dawn Ostroff once said.

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In general, the author of the books praised the TV adaptation. In her 2008 interview with MTV she said that she was worried the showrunners would ruin it but after reading the scripts and watching the pilot she "was thrilled, and I knew it was going to be big."

"I got more and more hopeful, because it sounded like they wanted to stay close to the pilot," she said back in 2008.

However, there was one character on the show, who Cicely von Ziegesar was absolutely unhappy with – Vanessa. Her sentiment had nothing to do with the casting of the actress to play the character. Jessica Szohr portrayed Vanessa and she was fine. But it was the development of the character by the series' writers that made von Ziegesar hate Vanessa's "bohemian hipster look" (via).

"Vanessa is one character they ruined," she said in the same interview. In the novel, the girl is kick-ass with a shaved head wearing lots of black. The author said that she believed that many readers "who don't usually read teen fiction identify with Vanessa."

This was not the kind of Vanessa von Ziegesar had in her books – something which was echoed by the actress too. She said that Vanessa in the show was much softer than she was in the books.

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But this was just a tiny fly in the ointment and the overall impression of the series was extremely positive. Gossip Girls was reincarnated in 2021 as a more diverse and inclusive teen drama TV series for HBO Max, which premiered in July 2021 with the second season released on December 1 2022.