Sunday, 4 August 2013

Film and TV show adaptions

When I first started writing this post I have to be honest with you, it was just a ramble of complete annoyance.

As some of you who follow this blog may be aware I have been reading Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series, when I started I was only ruffly aware that they were the books True Blood was based on.
Well I loved the books and couldn't read anything else until I finished the series, then I could not wait to watch the TV show that everyone had raved about. Everyone seemed to love it, even people who read the books, which I think is sometimes a rarity.
It's safe to say that I had high hopes. So can you imagine my outrage when I realised that the TV show I was so excited about wasn't really what I expected!
I had the house to myself, and i sat down to watch it, giving my full attention, laptop away, ipad/phone ignored, just me and Bon Temps, and my commentary went something like this:
Now don't get me wrong, I expected some changes but it almost felt like someone had skimmed the books, and taken out the main events, it didn't matter if the characters where right, or if the events leaving up it were correct as long as they where there that's what counted.

I feel like there is a danger of turning this into a massive rant against True Blood, and I can promise you its not, as episodes pasted, I fell in love with the show in its own right, and once I regarded it as something in its own right I learnt to love it. Enjoy each characters development and just enjoy the show (I can't wait to see series 6)

However this did bring to my attention something that I find conflicted with.

I don't really enjoy Films and TV shows made out of books I enjoy, however am like a gold fish and every time I see they are getting made, I get really excited, bug everyone I know into going to the cinema with me or to come over and watch a show, to just leave disappointed.

I understand that with films where is a time constraint, you have 2 hours to tell a story that could last weeks, with TV shows I find it harder, because I think that you have to a certain about unlimited time to again tell the story.
However what frustrates me is the complete reworking of things, if something doesn't or wont translate to the screen that well then fine, remove it, and work it in somewhere else. But DON'T just remove stuff and then add random extra because if this is done it changes the main body of the film/show and it stops being part of an actuate representation of the book.

This is true in so many films, everyone has who has accidentally been stuck listening to my rant about this has agreed! I always get the response "Yeah I had that in *insert your film/show*"
The problem doesn't even just belong with book lovers, i find it with everyone who had read ANY book that has had a film/show.

My main problem with it is this, the fans of the book are the reason the film/show is being made in the first place, and what do they want to see? The story in the book! Not some story that someone else thinks is an improvement on the original.

Now am pretty sure i know where i am in this argument but i have two main problems:

First, I still want to see the Films/Shows because eventually I will get over it and enjoy them. And if am not reading I love watching films, I find now it almost replaces music if someone if over, I have a friend and when we get together we sit and chat and then just watch all the crappy telly that we shouldn't enjoy but do. If books I enjoy stopped being made into films we would loose some of you viewing!

Second and really more important is that even though it drives me crazy, it makes some people read. For example years ago I watched the film Chocolate and fell in love with it, this then drove me to read the book, at the time i has having a book funk and just couldn't get into reading, that one film, drove me back into the world of reading that i missed.
I think for some people it can broaden there reading, after all you are more likely to give up 2 hours of your time to watch a film, which you may not like, than depending on your reading speed, maybe a week, or longer on a book my may not like.

For this reason along I cant stop watching the films, in general I will try and read the books before the film as a personal preference, however if i watch a film, enjoy it and then learn there is a book you can almost guarantee I will read the book, because no matter what is it always better because its more fleshed out, you can understand the characters more clearly, some things in the film which just happen are put into better context!

Writing this post has been hard because in the moment it was so bitterly disappointing I wanted to tell you all that the films/shows are dull and week in comparison, and that I wouldn't watch any again. However that's just not true, Vampire Academy is being made into a film, and I know I will see it, along with countless others, there are books I still wish would be made into them. Also while writing this piece am on my second viewing of The Hunger Games which makes me want to read the books, which I would not have done if I had not stumbled across the film.

And above all else I love that they can make myself and others read books, and this is something I hope continues.

Do you always see films based on books? Have any films inspired you to read? Any books to films that you like?


  1. I LOVE films and TV series based on books. At first with True Blood I was a little perplexed by the different plot direction the series was taking, but as soon as I understood that it was more of a loose adaptation or spin-off of the books, I really got into it. I don't really mind! My only real disappointment was not getting to see Eric wearing those flame-design leggings to a sex party like he does in the books. :P

    One of my favourite book-to-movie adaptations is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The cast was perfect, and because Stephen Chbosky (the author of the book) wrote and directed the movie as well, it kept the same feel and tone as the original. Highly recommended!

    1. Oooh, I was flipping through my blog archive and I realised I actually did a post on THIS VERY SUBJECT during a 'Page to Screen' event I held a couple of years ago, with guest posts and reviews and stuff. I wrote a post about when page and screen diverge, using True Blood as my focus. See what you think!

    2. Hello! Sorry its taken me forever to reply to your comment, I read it and your artical at the time, and then some how dropped on the internet for a while. Though the two events are unrelated!

      I love your points and do agree, and I do try and take your perspective like seeing them at seprate thingsbut sometimes i cant help but compare :( xx