Books As Seen on TV

By Nicole Vickers, Website Editor

Most people have probably seen, or at least heard about the explosive ending to the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2. Generally, it seems to be widely acclaimed by fans and critics alike, but as for any book turned movie, there is always some disappointment about what the writers and directors choose not to include. This, of course, is inevitable considering the limited run time of movies. Nowadays, especially with young adult books, it is becoming more popular to make a TV show rather than a movie, and they face the problem opposite of movies: how can they come up with enough material to fill the running time of the show?

One of the newest TV shows based off of books is the Shadowhunters, which is adapted from  Cassandra Clare’s popular young adult book series the Mortal Instruments. It is about half angel, half humans who kill demons and police Downworlders (werewolves, warlocks, vampires and fairies) in New York City. Interestingly enough, this is the second time Clare’s work was adapted, as the 2013 movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was based on the first book in the series. However, it was instantly rejected by critics and fans alike, saying that it wasn’t true to the books. As for the show, it is still in its early stages, so it’s difficult to decide if this will be another failed attempt. Despite the fact that most fans would be delighted with a TV show that’s exactly like the books, there have been changes that could be welcomed or rejected. Right now, the show has an avid following because of the book series’ huge fan base, however whether the viewers will grow or  fall off the Shadowhunters is up to the producers.

Pretty Little Liars, also known as PLL to fans is also a Freeform TV show, but unlike Shadowhunters, PLL is not a new tv show, as they are currently in their sixth season.  PLL became more and more different from the books as the show progressed, retaining their cult following after every twist and turn of the plot. The publishing of the books and TV shows overlapped, and the author Sarah Brennan has accredited the show to giving her new insight to the characters she created. Since 2010, PLL has followed four teenage girls who are blackmailed by a mysterious entity called A after the death of their fifth friend. Originally trashed by critics, PLL became the number one show on it’s network.

Something that makes The 100, which is about 100 delinquents who come back to earth from their spaceship after a nuclear war eradicated life on earth, stand out amongst the other shows listed is the amount of original and genuine material given by the author that can be utilized by the directors of the show. While the other programs had at least five books in which the producers could take characters, dialogue and storyline out of to base the show on, The 100 books are a trilogy. Because of this, the directors and writers of the show have essentially created their own show based on the premise and characters of Kass Morgan’s novels. Speculatively, you could say that it could have just as easily been a movie, such as The Hunger Games.

So while TV shows have more time to explore every detail of a book series, very rarely do they stay completely true to the story. What definitely can be concluded is that adaptations, although they might not have an original premise, take a new form based on who chooses to adapt them.


Picture Credits: Freeform


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