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.