Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
This week’s topic was a page to screen freebie. I’ve decided to narrow down my focus to five books that were made into wonderful TV shows. I’ve left off a couple of the titles that I always discuss on this blog (*cough* The Handmaid’s Tale) so I could focus on stories I haven’t talked all of your ears off about yet.
Tomorrow’s Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge prompt has what turned out to be a similar theme this week, so I had to divide my answers evenly between these two hops since so many of my answers would fit into both of them. I would have otherwise written a much longer post on this topic.
The Haunting of Hill House
Based on: Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”
Why I loved it: Paranormal stories always grab my attention, especially if they rely on psychological horror more than jump scares. The fact that this one had so much subtle foreshadowing on top of the psychological horror made it impossible for me to stop reading or watching it.
I also enjoyed the fact that the TV version found a fresh take on the characters while still remaining true to their personalities. That isn’t an easy thing to do…especially when some of the characters were of dramatically different ages and origins in each version!
Based on: Lev Grossman’s Magicians series.
Why I love it: This universe feels like Harry Potter for an adult audience. I love the unpredictability of the magic in it as well as the fact that the characters deal with serious issues like drug/alcohol abuse, depression, and abortion alongside delightfully joyful moments where talking rabbits deliver important messages or centaurs randomly cross your path.
Everything else I want to say about this series is filled with spoilers, so I’ll stop talking now.
Based on: Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series
Why I loved it: I spent a year of my childhood living in the south, so southern food, accents, and culture can’t help but make my ears perk up. I also enjoyed the parallels the screenwriters made between the prejudice faced by vampires and the real-life prejudice that other groups deal with every day in our world. They did a nice job of gently nudging the audience into being more accepting without ever turning their episodes into an After School Special.
The Man in the High Castle
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle”
Why I loved it: Imagine what the world would be like if the Nazis had won World War II and taken over North America. This definitely isn’t the right thing to read or watch if you’re in the mood for something cheerful, but it is a fantastic alternate history for anyone who has ever wondered how terribly things could have turned out in a different version of Earth.
I’m actually taking a break from this show right now because of how dark and gritty it is. It’s absolutely worth watching, though, and I do hope to return to it in the near future.
Little House on the Prairie
Based on: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series
Why I loved it: This show ended before I was even born, but the stories it told are timeless. My step-grandmother taped some of the episodes on those old-fashioned VHS tapes people once had. I used to watch those reruns in her living room while the adults chatted in another room.
It was so interesting to see how people survived in the 1800s when women cooked every meal of the day over roaring fires, antibiotics and automobiles didn’t exist, and everyone had to work under some pretty demanding (and often dangerous) conditions from sunup to sundown if there was any hope of the family making it through the winter.
This series seemed like an adventure to me when I read it as a young child. Seeing it play out on the small screen really drove home how much easier life is for us now.
138 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Became Great TV Shows
I watched the Haunting of Hill House, and I LOVED it. I’m actually planning on reading the book (whenever my hold comes through) because I loved the series so much and I was curious how much was changed from the book. And because it seems like people really enjoyed the book, so I’m all for reliving the creepiness.
I actually didn’t realize that The Magicians was based on a book series. 😮 How did I miss that? Now I’ll have to check that out.
Here’s my TTT post.
I should warn you that the book is quite different from the film, but I’m loving it so far. Hope you do as well. What other paranormal stories do you like?
And, yeah, The Magicians is a series I believe. Still need to finish it one of these days.
I watched The Haunting of Hill House and it was great, I still have to read the book though. Little House on the Prairie is so cute and has a nostalgic feel to it (I wasn’t born either), I loved the show. Again, haven’t read the book. Great list!
Thank you. Yes, LHotP has a super nostalgic feel.
I love that you included Little House on the Prairie. I grew up with both the books and the show and have such fond memories.
The Magicians is on my list too this week. I really love that show! I watched the 1st season of The Man in the High Castle and thought it was great, but haven’t gotten around to continuing it. Sounds like you’d say it’s worth it!
Yes, it sure is. You already know how dark it can get, but the storytelling is superb.
I really loved TrueBlood and The Haunting Of Hill House. They were so well done, unfortunately the books weren’t as good.
I agree with you on True Blood. I haven’t finished The Haunting of Hill House yet, but thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. 🙂
I always loved the Little House book, but never started watching the series. I loved the Anne of Green Gables mini series from the 80’s, though.
Oh, that mini series was fantastic! Good choice there.
OMG, we LOVED the Haunting of Hill House show….have not read the book but wanted to after I watched the show.
I hope you’ll read it sometime if you’re interested.
I’ve always wanted to watch The Magicians and the Man in the High Castle, but I haven’t done it yet. Glad to hear they are good shows!
Yes, they sure are. I hope you like them if or when you check them out. I’d happily gush over them for ages with you if you wanted. Hehe.
I haven’t watched Man in the High Castle yet. It’s a favorite book so I’m worried that the show won’t be as good.
Plus, I’m behind on all the cool streaming shows all the cool kids watch. 🙂
It’s so easy to get behind on shows. I don’t actually remember a lot about the book, so I’ll refrain from comparing them for you. 🙂
I personally even like The Netflix series of the Hill house haunting better than the book! That rarely happens!
Yeah, same here! It was amazing.
I’ve been curious about The Man in the High Castle. It wasn’t my favorite book and I couldn’t imagine how in the world it would play out on screen. I’ll have to check it out!
I hope you love it.
I’ve only heard of & seen Little House which veered way off course late in it’s run. Interesting post learning of books/shows new to me.
Thank you very much!
I think The Magicians TV show is even better than the books!
I totally agree with you there.
Little House On The Prairie was such a sweet show!
Yes, it sure was.
I loved the first season of The Man in The High Castle, I really need to catch up when I have a bit more time on my hands. I’ve wanted to watch The Haunting of Hill House ever since it came out but got put off cause of how scary it looked (not a massive fan of horror films!), it’s at the top of my watchlist though so I’ll just convince my brother to watch it with me so i’m not watching it alone!
Yes, you should definitely catch up on that show. It’s awesome.
The Haunting of Hill House isn’t gory (if that’s something that bugs you), but it is super scary. I hope you convince your brother to watch it soon.
I’ve been meaning to watch THE MAGICIANS. I did watch the first season of TRUE BLOOD and THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. I guess I have some catching up to do!!
I hope you enjoy the rest of/all of those shows.
The Haunting of Hill House was amazing! I didn’t sleep well for ages!
Exactly! It was so creepy in a very fun sort of way.
I love that you included Little House on the Prairie. I just finished binge watching them on Prime. LOL!
Thanks. I didn’t know that show was on Prime. How cool.
Great points about Little House on the Prairie! It really does drive home how much harder, and different, life would have been back then. No time for blogging and other such luxuries I imagine lol!
And I really need to get back to the Magicians. I’ve only seen the first season.
It’s gotten so good in the later seasons. I hope you do get back to The Magicians sometime.
And, yeah, we’re very lucky to live in 2019.
I’ve actually never seen any of these, but I loved reading Little House on the Prairie as a kid. Glad to see that you enjoyed the shows and the books!
The Man in the High Castle was pretty decent! I loved how they were able to pull off completely different alternate history timeline. Magicians, first season at least, was good too. Nice list!
Thank you, and agreed.
I’m happy you tweaked the prompt this week in this way. I have been trying to find good tv lately, and I have not had much luck. Thank you for sharing these. I will take a look at them.
You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy them.
Good twist on the prompt! I wish I had stuck with the man in the high castle but my family got bored with it and I ended up giving up!
Thank you. Do you think you’ll ever give that show another shot?
I’m starting to feel like the only one who didn’t like True Blood! Lol. It wasn’t bad, but I just couldn’t deal with a lot of the changes the TV series too from the books. It just boggled my mind too much and then the way the show ended vs the book’s ending…I wasn’t too happy with the show after that! Lol.
Thanks for visiting my TTT post!
You’re welcome. Not every show can appeal to every person.
The Man in the High Castle sounds like such a good show. I’ve seen most of the Little House series.
It sure is. Do you think you’ll ever watch it or the Little House episodes you haven’t seen yet?
The Haunting of Hill House was sooooo good. I loved how fresh it was and am looking forward to what they do with the second season.
I liked The Haunting of Hill House, too. 🙂
Great list! I’ve heard such good things about The Man in the High Castle, and one of these days I need to check out The Magicians.
I hope you enjoy them both.
I remember watching repeats of Little House On The Prairie when I was younger but I had no idea it was based on books!
Oh, yeah! Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote a whole series of them. They’re meant for elementary/middle school aged readers, but they’re really lovely.
Ooh, nice list! The Man in the High Castle is one I keep meaning to check out, it looks really well done. I think the Magicians adaptation is great as well!
I want to watch The Magicians and Haunting of Hill House. And I loved the True Blood (though the books were not as strong)
I hope you like both of them. And, yeah, the TV show was better for True Blood.
Yass!!!! The Magicians, I love these books. I still have to watch the show even though I’m a bit scared of too much comparing it to the books. Great list
I think the show is awesome. And thanks.
I still need to watch The Haunting of Hil House and I want to watch The Magicians someday, but I need to read the book first! Great list! I’ll have to remember some of these books/shows in the future.
Thanks. I hope you enjoy them if or when you check them out.
Little House on the Prairie sure was popular for years and years.
Yes, it was!
Oooh, I watched the first season and half of the second season of the Magicians awhile ago but then I kinda lost interest/became too busy. I haven’t read the actual books though. Would you recommend them? How do they compare?
I’ve only read the first book, to be honest. I thought the beginning was a good representation, though.
I loved the series True Blood, but never read the books. I didn’t realize there were books before I started watching and by the time I figured it out I was already hooked. Usually I prefer to read the books first.
In this case, I think the TV show was better. Feel free to read the books if you’d like, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.
I really loved True Blood until the ending. :/
I never actually watched the ending. Sorry to hear it wasn’t good.
Yes, the first few seasons were the best!
My favorite seasons of True Blood were the first few where they stuck the most closely to the books…I love the book series!
Glad to hear it. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to get into The Haunting of Hill House for a long time now. And you’ve sold me into picking up The Magicians with the describing it as an adult HP! 😀
Yay! That’s awesome.
I actually want to get around to The Magicians one day. I mean I’ve heard some mixed things about the show but the trailers look fun. Plus I can’t really resist Harry Potter for an adult audience! 🙂
I hope you do give it a shot someday!
The Haunting of Hill House was such an incredible adaption. I think I’ll have to rewatch to be sure to catch all the foreshadowing bits that I didn’t catch the first time around.
Happy readings! 😉
Ditto! If you use Reddit, did you read all of the threads on the Haunting of Hill House subreddit where people pointed out the foreshadowing/interesting things happening in the background, etc?
I love The Magicians and it’s actually one of those adaptations where I didn’t enjoy the book as much.
I used to really like True Blood but I feel as though it’s one of those series which deteriorated with time – such a bummer. I didn’t mind the books either but found they had a similar problem. Weird considering the stories ended up being quite different.
I hear you there.
I started watching The Man in the High Castle, but have put a pause on it after a couple of episodes. I definitely want to watch The Magicians too, I’ve heard so many good things about it!
I hope you like it! And, yeah, The Man in the High Castle is a dark and intense show.
Well, I haven’t watched any of these shows but now I am definitely intrigued. Have heard good things about The Haunting of Hill House.
Thank you. I hope you’ll check them out sometime.
The Haunting of House looked so good from clips I’ve seen – don’t know if I’m brave enough to watch it though!
It was scary but not gory. Not sure if that’s something you were worried about.
The magicians caught my eye because it was on right before Deadly Class. But I havent had a chance to watch it yet. I cut my cable and have to see if it is on Hulu. The Man in the High Castle I kept meaning to watch but I’ve been reading so much I haven’t gotten to it yet. But it is on my list!
Both of those shows are amazing. Hope you like them.
The magicians is pretty well done!
I haven’t been a TV watcher in years so the only one I’m familiar with is Little House. That was always must-watch TV at home when I was a kid. 🙂
It’s a classic for sure.
I’m just about to start The Magicians!
Yay! have fun.
Lydia, I watched the first series of True Blood years and years ago because my friend had it, but sadly I didn’t have the chance to continue to watch it. Some day, I really must go back and watch the rest!
I hope you will!
I still need to watch The Magicians! It’s been on my list for forever.
You totally should. 🙂
Oooh, I’ve been wanting to read The Man in the High Castle! I’ll have to look into the show, too.
I hope you enjoy both of them!
I completely agree with you about Little House on the Prairie. I grew up on both the books and the TV show and loved them both so much.
That’s wonderful. Yeah, those books are true classics.
I do think TV can sometimes do a book series better justice than a movie can. It allows them to get into the level of detail you get in a book. Fun take on the topic!
Yes, absolutely. And thanks.
I am yet to watch Haunting of Hill House! Adding it to my tbw list 💕
Awesome. I hope you enjoy it.
Little House and True Blood are both great – I really enjoy the shows. I’ve read a few of the Little House books, but none of the True Blood ones. Not sure if I would get into the style of them, but I liked watching it as a show from time to time.
Honestly, I think the True Blood TV show was better than the books.
AM I GLAD TO FIND ANOTHER THE MAGICIANS FAN! It’s my favourite show and I haven’t found many others who watch it. Especially here in the UK where we are STILL waiting for season 4 to air. It’s killing me :'( there is no where to watch it for us at all. I’m quite glad I’ve managed to avoid spoilers so far.
Hello! It’s always nice to meet others fans of The Magicians. I hope you’ll get to see season 4 soon. If only every country got new episodes of all shows at the same time.
I really enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House. I fancy watching The Magicians and True Blood as well.
Great list 🙂
You have some really great ones here. I’ve read and watched The Haunting of Hill House and loved it so I can’t believe I forgot it. I loved Little House when I was younger.
Thank you very much.
I loved The Little House on the Prairie when I was young. My mum used to watch them whenever they came on TV when she was a child, so now she has all the dvds and made us watch them 😂 It’s a good show. I was invested. I haven’t read the books though? I think I’d like to try them.
Great list! ❤️
If you liked the Little House TV show, you should totally read the books. They were lovely.
OMG I forgot about Trueblood!! I did like the books more, but the first seasons of the show are so great. And you can’t beat Alexander Skarsgård as Eric <3
Yes. he played Eric wonderfully.
You tackled this topic wonderfully! Interesting read and list!
Thank you for your kind words.
I loved The Man in the High Castle but haven’t got round to watching the TV show yet.
I hope you find the time at some point. It’s a wonderful show.
Oh I hadn’t heard of The End of the Worlds. That sounds like something my husband would like. 🙂
I didn’t know Little House On The Prairie was based on a series of books! I’ve heard great things about the TV show so I might need to check out both the books and the show.
The books are classics. I hope you love them (and the TV show, too).
This is a very cool list as I am searching for new shows to watch and have been wondering about the magicians and what it’s like.
Thank you very much. I think you’d enjoy The Magicians.
All excellent choices. I’ve just started watching The Man in the High and I’m loving it so far.
Lauren @ Always Me
Thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying that show so far. Isn’t it well done?!
Aww, I watched so many of the ‘Little House’ episodes as a kid and teen. They were always favorites. Someday, just for nostalgic sake, I should read the books and re-watch some of the show. 🙂
Thanks so much for the Finding Wonderland visit, Lydia!!
You’re quite welcome. I hope you do reread and rewatch that show. I should, too!
I haven’t watched any of these, but I loved the Little House books when I was little. I don’t think I realized that there was a show!