Composing what is primarily an episode guide to the first two seasons of Gossip Girl, Crissy Calhoun takes an almost scholarly approach to the popular show based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s scandalous book series. Spotted includes actor biographies, but the main focus is the episodes. Each episode write-up receives a bit of analysis followed by some interesting tidbits in a section titled “JTLYK” (that would be “just to let you know”). The music and clothing featured in each episode are also detailed. Some of the sections, such as Oops and The Original Gossipverse, are only included for some episodes since they don’t apply to each one. The Original Gossipverse was particularly fun for someone like me who read the series long before the show debuted. While I remembered some book plots, this section reminded me that Georgina actually is a book character though her story has been dramatically changed.
Although I’m a fan of Gossip Girl, Spotted revealed two things I was completely unaware of. Each episode derives its title from a movie. That movie generally has some relation to the episode plot which Calhoun explains. Additionally, the show parallels in many ways another Josh Schwartz show, The O.C. I didn’t watch The O.C., so I didn’t notice. Calhoun points out where the plots of two shows overlap. Teens in New York and California experience the same things when they share an executive producer!
Calhoun gives an in-depth look at Gossip Girl that can be appreciated by those who were fans from the beginning as well as those who have just started watching. Spotted also educates the reader on the many references the show makes to pop culture, historical events, and works of literature.