TMP Television Edition: Book Adaptations

Hey, guys!
Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks.
It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme.
For the final post of each month, we talk about TV shows instead of films. So, today we’re going to tackle some book to TV series adaptations!

#1 Nos4a2

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read this book. I’ve known Joe Hill’s stuff for a while and liked everything else that I’ve picked up. Well, this year I finally read Nos4a2, so I also checked out the show after that. I loved the novel, but the show, well, not so much.

#2 Wheel of Time

I’m still in the process of reading all these books (there are sooooo many!) but I finished the first one and watched the adaptation earlier this year. I had so much to say about it, that I even did two posts just comparing the two. 🙈

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Book vs. TV Show: Wheel of Time – Season 1 (Part 2)

Hello, my darling readers!
We’re back for more Wheel of Time. No, there isn’t a new season out, it’s just that I’m not yet done with the first one!

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

Moiraine, a member of a magical organization, takes five young people on a journey, believing that one of them might be the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful individual prophesied to save the world or destroy it.

Book vs. TV Show:

Without any further ado, I’m going to jump right back into the review, picking up just where I stopped last time. As you’ll see, I am discussing a lot of details for both book and show, so beware of spoilers!

As Moiraine goes to visit the Amyrlin, we learn that they have a relationship. That did not exist in the novels. I’m not mad about them adding that in, but there is – as always – something I have to complain about. They are obviously trying to keep the relationship secret, evidence in point: Moiraine using a portal to go there, making sure nobody sees her. But then, when the Amyrlin has to pass a verdict on her (because of her actions outside of the White Tower), she addresses her in such a weird way. In no way, shape or form was that inconspicuous or would fly under the radar. She as good as announced that they are an item. It was such an awkward scene and didn’t make any sense. Books aside, even in the context of the show this was just dumb.

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Book vs. TV Show: Wheel of Time – Season 1 (Part 1)

Hey guys!
Amazon released the first season of its Wheel of Time adaptatin late last year. I was so down to watch this, but – you know me – I was hell-bent on reading the books first. So, here we go!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

Book vs. TV Show:

By now, I have heard so many different opinions on the Wheel of Time series Amazon produced. Some love, some hate it, some of those who read the books have complaints. Well, I do love to complain, so I read the first book and then embarked on a binge-watching journey, finally checking out the show. I was warned that I might enjoy it more without reading the book first, but here we are. I am reading the entire series, and detailed reviews for all the novels will come at some point later this year, so I won’t spend much time talking about the book other than saying that I absolutely loved it.

So, there are several things about the show I didn’t like. Some are directly connected to having read the book, others – and I’m fairly sure about that – would have bothered me even if I hadn’t picked up the novel first. I will be discussing bits of both book and show in detail, so prepare for spoilers up ahead. Also, as I was typing this, I soon realized that this blog post would turn out to be ridiculously long. At first, I thought I should cut some bits as nobody wants to read that much. But then I figured, it’s my blog and I can complain about stuff for as long as I won’t to, even if nobody ends up reading it. 😅 So, I’m actually going to publish two posts just about the first Wheel of Time series and how it compares to the book. Well, here goes nothing…

I think, my biggest issue is that just about every change made for the show tore a tiny hole in the carefully crafted logic of the book. Many of the changes were completely unnecessary on top of that.

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Book vs. TV Show: NOS4A2 (Season 2)

Hello, my darling readers!
I talked about the transition of book to screen for NOS4A2 a few days ago, taking a closer look at season 1. Of course, my opinion on the show wouldn’t be complete without also giving the second season a chance!

The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):

Based on Joe Hill’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, “NOS4A2” is a different kind of vampire story. It follows Vic McQueen, a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx. Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims — without losing her mind or falling victim to him.

Book vs. Movie:

Good news and bad news. I wasn’t too impressed by season two and still prefer the book over the show any day. However, there is one part about the series that makes for an interesting addition to the novel and it gets a big thumbs up from me. Then again, it was maybe a little half-baked in the show but we can’t always be gunning for perfection, can we?

But first things first. Just like in season one, they took the basic idea but altered just about all the details. If you do that, make sure you are improving the story. Otherwise, why on earth did you have to make alterations just to turn this into something worse than what we started with? This became glaringly obvious in the second half of this season. The book keeps up the pace, leaving you breathless and thrilled. The show on the other hand just leaves you checking your watch. Once we head for Christmasland, it becomes evident that the “heroes” we have here are just about the most incompetent people of all time. Their plan is so weak, barely thought through and the execution is even shittier. It’s not just that, on top of it not making much sense, it’s extremely boring which is arguable to worst thing they could have done. Even though the novel isn’t perfect, it was never boring. It felt like they tried to string as many characters along for the final episodes because fans may have liked them, while in the book they had no place being there (or weren’t even alive anymore). See, Joe Hill surely had a thought process when making those decisions! You can tell that the story doesn’t benefit in any way shape or form this alteration and even if I hadn’t read the book first, I would have been very disappointed.

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Book vs. TV Show: Nos4a2 (Season 1)

Hello, my darling readers!
I finally got around to checking out a novel (and its adaptation) that has been on my radar for such a long time. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son. 

Book vs. Movie:

I’ve had Joe Hill’s novel on my radar for the longest time, even since before the show was announced. However, somehow, I just never got around to reading it, even though I enjoyed everything I’ve ever picked up by him. Well, I finally found some time in my schedule, and all I can say is that I loved the book. It is dark, it is twisted, it is spooky, it is smart.

Joe Hill does an amazing job weaving this story that spans the course of so many years, feeding the reader bits of information, always leaving you wondering, wanting more. Writing horror stories really must be in his genes, but I have to say I think I prefer his writing style of his father’s (Stephen King). Even though the novel comes with quite a hefty page count, it never drags on or feels too long. Hill really enraptures the reader and leaves you unable to put the book down.

I swear, I was hooked from the first chapter on. That was enough to give anyone the chills! The story is super creative and I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen anything quite like it before. There’s also something in the construction of Hill’s characters, something in their development that I really enjoy. I can’t put my finger on it, but he sets himself apart from other writers in that regard as well. Furthermore, I think I need to give him a shoutout for actually writing women well. The protagonist is female and I didn’t have any cringe moments! (looking at you, menwritingwomen reddit)

Reading the book I immediately felt that it would make for a great TV show. There are many elements to the story that I expected to work great on screen, so I was very excited to watch the adaptation.

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Book vs. Movie: We have always lived in the Castle

Hello, guys!
I finally had time to read this Shirley Jackson book, which I was mainly interested in because from the first pictures I saw for the film, I was intrigued. But since I like to read the novel first, the movie sat on my to-watch-list collecting dust. Well, the novel was finished, the movie was watched, so here we are now!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…

Book vs. Movie:

I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this. I can definitely say that I liked the movie better than the novel, but I wasn’t too much into either, to be honest. I know many people love Shirley Jackson’s books but so far, their charm seems to elude me. This is the second novel of hers that I read, and once more I am intrigued by the idea, but the execution just doesn’t hit the spot for me. Maybe it’s simply that her writing style doesn’t work for me. Because, by all means, I should have loved this book. Quite often the main character is such a mood! But ultimately, I ended up finding her irritating and annoying in the novel and wished we wouldn’t spend so much time in her head/her thoughts.

I was, however, really curious how this would turn out on screen. The story has the potential for a great adaptation (and Sebastian Stan’s in it), so I had to check that out as well. First of all, I immediately liked the film better, precisely because of what I said just before. We don’t spend so much time with Merricat’s thoughts. Also, in the book, it struck me as odd that everybody in the village would have such a deep-rooted hate for the sisters. In the movie, there were at least tiny attempts in giving some characters a reason to dislike them (e.g. a guy who was rejected by her sister). Another thing that the adaptation does a better job with is Charles. I get what Shirley Jackson wanted to accomplish there, what kind of person he is, his character. Maybe it’s just Sebastian Stan, but in the film, this character seems so much more intense, and also so much more charming. I can see why Constance would fall for him. In the book, he just seemed like an utter twat every single minute of every day.

While, overall, the adaptation kept fairly close to the book except for minor changes, there is one major plot divergence at the end. SPOILERS AHEAD

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