Very often adaptations of things we love suck! There are so many great books that have died terrible deaths on the silver or small screens. I have lists of criticism about the Harry Potter movies, the Spiderwick Chronicles movie was so bad I’m not surprised at all they didn’t continue with the series. And we’re not going to talk about The Giver movie. My heart just can’t take it.
And it’s not just books that get shitty treatment. You don’t want to hear how I felt about the Avitar The Last Airbender movie. And you don’t want to be anywhere near me if you played any part in that abortion. Awful casting, terrible special effects, misrepresentation of all the characters. It was humiliating to our species.
All that being said, sometimes adaptations don’t make me want to put a pickax in my temple. Some of them are pretty good. You might have heard me talk about some of these before, but I don’t think I’ve gotten to all of them. So here are the seven adaptations that I really love.
Series of Unfortunate Events And I specifically mean the Netflix series, not the train wreck of a movie.
This show was fantastic! While I would love a straight-up line by line adaptation, I’m realistic enough to know that if that’s all you accomplish, that’s not much to accomplish. Why not just leave the source material alone?
Well, this show was the perfect combination of those two situations. There are great long pieces that are just word for word from the book, and I love that. Then, some additions just couldn’t have been created in book form. Like Neil Patrick Harris singing. That man makes me feel things. The casting was good, the set was wonderful. I loved everyone on this. And it was beautifully true to the book.
This show on Amazon was phenomenal. I know I did a whole review of it, so I won’t go into too much detail here. But I will say it’s always a good idea to get the creator of the source material in on a project if you can. Gaiman, as always, did himself proud. Some additions made a lot of sense, especially near the end. Honestly, I think it improved it.
I’m being cautiously optimistic adding Limetown to this list. As of the writing of this post, I’ve only seen the first two episodes. And, if you’ll recall my blog post from last week, I had mixed feelings about it. But the thing is, Limetown has more source material than most. There are two seasons of the podcast, sure. But there’s also the prequel book to take into consideration. Much to my joy, they seem to be weaving in both. And that’s pretty cool.
I love love love Lore. I look forward to every episode, I haven’t heard one yet I didn’t learn something cool from. I love it every time Aaron Manke says, “I like it when people say hi.”
The show is everything it should be. It’s beautifully filmed, I love the stories it tells. It really is like an episode of the podcast, with actors. I adore it.
This is an older one, I know, but I kind of love the book The Stand. I’ve read the original, and the author’s extended edition. And I’ve watched the mini-series about four times.
I can’t read the book without hearing Don’t Fear The Reaper. I can’t help but see the actors in place of the characters in my mind. It all just blends so well together, the book and the show. Yes, there are some changes. For some reason, people who write tv shows and movies just love to shove characters together to make one person out of two.
But I digress.
It’s a little older now, and it might be hard to find. But it’s worth it to hunt down the mini-series if you’ve never seen it.
If you’ve never heard of 10th Kingdom, it’s amazing. It’s a twisted fairytale story about a young woman from New York who meets a big bad wolf and falls into a world where our fairy tales come from. They have to save a prince who’s been turned into a dog. It’s wonderful.
Now, this one is a bit different from the other’s on the list, because it was the mini-series that came before the book. And I swear, when you read the book you can see the show in front of your eyes. I remember watching this show every week with my aunt as a child. It was an experience, and probably the birth of my love of fairy tale retellings. Reading the book brings that back to me every time.
Let me be clear here. What I’m talking about is not the recent travesty of a movie that kind of made my childhood die.
No, I’m talking about the holiday specials that they used to play on ABC and now I had to buy on DVD because I can’t always find them.
They are perfect. They are the purest representation of a comic character coming to life that I have ever seen. I don’t know what a whole series of dashes should sound like, but it’s exactly right when Woodstock starts chirping. Snoopy transitions so well onto the screen that it’s uncanny. Not an ounce of his sass is lost. And good old Charlie Brown is the same good-hearted, optimistic wishy-washy kid he is in the comics. And I will forever treasure both the comic and the specials, no matter how old I get. I imagine that as I grow older, they’ll mean even more to me.
So, those are seven adaptations that were as good as or better than their source material. But I want to know what you think? What’s your favorite adaptation? Let us know in the comments below.