Friday, July 20, 2012

Movie or TV Series Adaptations

Recently, I've been wondering what's better, books made into movies or books made into TV series? I loved the Percy Jackson books and movie. I loved the Harry Potter books and movies. I also really enjoyed the Vampire Diaries books and the TV series (although they are very different). And while I never read The Nine Lives of Chloe King books, I did enjoy the TV series while it lasted for one brief season. (So sad. I miss you Alec.)


But... I'm not a fan of The Secret Circle, the TV series. It might be the actors, but I'm really hoping the books are better. I think when books are made into movies things have to be cut. But when books are made into TV series, more can be kept in. The problem is that because TV series (if they do well) can run for a long time, extra things are added. This can really change the series from the books. 


So, today I'm posing the question to you: Which is better, when a book is made into a movie or when a book is made into a TV series?


*Don't forget today is the last day to enter to win a zombie deer and other amazing Touch of Death SWAG.

72 comments:

  1. I think it depends. I've read books and then seen the movie and hated the movie. They always change things for the movie which, I think, just ruins it.

    L.- (from Books Blogs)

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    1. Yes, they do change things. I think TV series change a lot too though. The different mediums call for the changes, so I get that, even if I'm always partial to the books. ;)

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  2. I'd have to agree, I prefer books into movies rather than TV shows. Unless it's Bones, lol. They did a good job separating those two things. And I think it's an easier subject because it's forensic stuff.

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  3. I like books into movies. You get a full story that way, but books into TV series seems to focus on getting to really know the characters. I used to love Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys many years ago, but that's only because I'd read the books and imagine Parker Stevens and Shaun Cassidy in their respective roles. :D

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    1. Yes, TV series do allow you to get to know the characters on a deeper level over time. Definitely true!

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  4. I'm a movie girl myself :) All the book shows I've seen I've never read the books for.

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    1. I haven't read all the books I've seen as TV series, but I do read a lot. They tend to be very different.

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  5. I like books turned into movies better. Like you said, with movies you expect them to change somethings but I expect TV series to be more faithful to the book. I loved Babysitter's Club books as a kid but hated the show.

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    1. I forgot they made that into a show. I agree with you about that.

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  6. We don't watch TV so it's definitely movies for me. :)

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    1. I guess that does make it easier to choose! :)

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  7. Movies. For some reason, TV shows change things too much from the initial source.

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    1. I agree, Karen. They really do make a ton of changes.

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  8. I don't know which is better, but I'd be tickled pink if any of my books were made into a movie or TV series. What a nice dream. :)

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    1. Oh, so would I! That's a dream come true!

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  10. Movies. The first year of Little House on the Prairie on TV stayed fairly close to the books, but after that they added charcters (most notably and irritatingly Albert) and plots strayed far from the stories in the books.

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  11. The only series I have read that was turned into a tv show was Litte House on the Prairie. I loved the books and the show- even though the show was different from the books. I always like the books better than the movie- but I still enjoy seeing the movie. I think I would like getting to see my favorite characters each week on tv- if the characters were well done. Interesting question! Love it!
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, Jess. Yes, seeing your favorite characters week after week is nice. Watching the same movie over and over can get old, but new episodes don't.

      I'm very on the fence with this. There are pros and cons to both.

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  12. I think I prefer movies, just because I so rarely watch TV, but I still prefer the books :D

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    1. Oh definitely! Books are always better. :)

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  13. This is an interesting question. Now, let me digress. You don't like the Secret Circle tv show? I like the show it is well paced and exciting. I find the Vampire Diaries sometimes too violent. I prefer if my favorite books become a tv series, because it takes about 40 minutes to get to town and and sitting for 2 hours in a theater seems like an time lost when my grocery shopping is so so ardous task. Uh...Plus in a tv show there is more time to develop the story, characters and even explore short digressions from the main plot. So I give tv series 2 thumbs up.

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    1. Yeah, I couldn't get into the Secret Circle. I really think it's the cast that bothers me. I hate to say that, but it's true. I might like it a lot better if there was a different cast. Yes, Vampire Diaries can be very violent and gross, but I really like the story.

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    2. Vamp Diaries is violent and gross? Guess you won't be watching Walking Dead or True Blood then. lol

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    3. Well, not really for my taste, Lexa, but I can see how others would think so. I'm kind of used to it from other shows I watch. ;)

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  14. Honestly, it depends on the show. For instance, I think the TV 'Dexter' is way better than the book series. I also loved the 'Dresden Files' TV show (even though it had a short run) and thought it was a really good interpretation of the books. A TV show allows you to get so much more invested in the characters and the story than a movie does.

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    1. Yes, TV series do allow you to get more invested in the characters. I completely agree.

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  15. In my opinion, when they make books into T.V. series, they have more time to develop the characters and plot. If a book becomes a movie (unless it's a series like Harry Potter), they only have at most 3 hours to get the gist of a whole book. There's always something missing.

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    1. Very true. You can't get everything into a 2-3 hour movie. It's just impossible.

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  16. Interesting topic. A movie is more similar to a book, IMO. You read the book, and you're finished. Same with a movie. You watch it, and it's over. Both are single, though repeatable, events. A series is more persistent, returning week after week and getting into your head. Also, they require more material, which means a TV series is bound to diverge from the book more and take on a life of its own. I'm more interested in books turned into movies. The exception might be MASH (though that was a movie first).

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    1. Very well said! Books and movies are similar in being singular, repeatable events, yet books offer more in that aspect. TV series do have the ability to go into more because they require a lot of material. They add, where movies have to cut.

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  17. I think it depends on the writers - both for the movie and the television show, following closing by the casting director and who is in what role. It pains me when I see a great book garbled at the hands of script writer and then cast poorly. It makes me weep to see a book ruined on the screen but it happens all the time. I don't think there is a perfect answer. Some tv shows are done very well. I got caught up with Grim last year - a total surprise to me, but I thought the writer's did a good job with it.

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    1. Yes, it does come down to writers--whether movie or TV series. The writers have to do their best to maintain what's in the book in the different format. Can't be easy to do.

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  19. I've been on a Justified kick this year (and just read Pronto), so my first instinct would be to say TV!

    I also find the book-to-TV Dexter situation interesting - I'm a big fan of the show, but the books were kind of flat since they are told from Dexter's perspective only. Yet, this gives the TV writers a lot of creative freedom to expand on the other characters (something that they may not have had time to do in a movie version).

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    1. Great point. You can take a 1st person book and turn it into a multiple-POV TV series that gives the audience more.

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  20. I agree with Brenda about how important it is to have good writers or a good screenplay depending on whether it's a TV show or a movie adaptation.

    I thought the Hunger Games movie took a lot of liberties (similar to what Susan said about Dexter) that helped shape the world that was otherwise shaped by narration.

    The Twilight novel was pretty weak in terms of dialogue, but the writers for the movie wrote great intermediary dialogue to make up for it. All the scenes that were not direct from the book were funny and well-written.

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    1. Good points. I haven't seen or read Hunger Games, but I see what you're saying.

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  21. I'm one of these people who either reads the book OR sees the movie, but rarely do I do both. I have almost never read a book, liked it, seen the movie and also liked it...or vise versa. One or the other always is missing something that was important to the original version. I think the last time I read a book,and then saw the movie it was the "Borne Identity", and the only thing it had in common with the book was the title!

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    1. Oh, that's disappointing when only the title is the same. Not at all what a fan of the books wants to encounter.

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    2. Generally, I'd say movie. There are a few exceptions, but typically I prefer a one and done approach! :)

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    3. I can see your point. A TV series needs really good writers to keep it going since a lot needs to be added to the original plot of the book.

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  22. Like Mikki, I either read the book or see the movie, not both. In the past, I've found the movie is never as good as the book. It's just that I can watch more movies than I can read books...it's a time thing.

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    1. Yes, time can be a factor. I put off watching the Percy Jackson movie because the trailer looked so different from the book and I loved the book. But I finally broke down and I'm glad I did. Yes, they are different, but the movie was done well, so I was able to appreciate it in its own way.

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  23. I've taken two screenwriting adaptation classes and I gained a whole new appreciation of the work that goes into changing a novel into TV or movie. It is way harder than people think. And following the book rarely works as people think it does.

    Though personally I often wonder about movies where maybe the main character and the title are the same, but everything else has been changed. Why adapt the book? But I know in some cases the original screenplay adaptation was a lot truer to the book and then with each redraft (screenwriter, script doctors, director, and producers, and occasionally actors if they are big enough names) the movie has suddenly morphed into something else completely. How To Train a Dragon comes to mind as something that was very close to the book originally, but the "bosses" didn't like it that way and it was revamped.

    And there are times where the producer has no interest in the actual "story" all they want is the title. So they buy it and then have a writer do the story they want. This of course leads to a lot of disappointment from fans.

    On The Bourne Identity, though a lot of details were changed, the basic plot, the major characters, etc. were kept the same. I can see in this case it came from the book being too "big" a story and had to be condensed a lot to make it work.

    I also just watched and read and then rewatched One For the Money. Many of the changes I can totally see the reason why. Too big a story - need to condense. I really want to go and read the original screenplay. Will have to hunt it up. I've done it with several movies and it's been a great education in seeing what makes it into the original screenplay and then into the actual movie.

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    1. I've come to understand and accept that the movie version can't be the same. Time won't allow for it. And it's also a different medium so we can't expect them to be exactly the same.

      Thanks for sharing all your insights on this topic. Much appreciated.

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  24. I'm the odd one out. I loved the Secret Circle much more than Vampire Diaries. I got tired of Elana's permanent Which brother shall I choose? dilemma. *yawn* I liked the little blonde in Secret Circle and found the other characters equally interesting (like the ones in the Buffy series).

    Generally, I think movies come out better than books. Not sure about TV series though...

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    1. I loved Buffy! I see your point about Elana not being able to choose. I got annoyed by that too. I'm team Stephan. Sorry Damon fans! I just couldn't connect with the characters in the Secret Circle. I found myself not caring and stopped watching.

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  25. I don't think I've seen any of the TV adaptations. I imagine those best fit book series, since the author has provided plenty to work with. That's just my guess. I tend to watch movies based on books. I've watched some good movie adaptations. I usually like the book better, but some of them do the books justice.

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    1. Yes, all the TV adaptations I've seen are based on book series. I don't think a stand alone would be possible. TV series need a lot of material. Like you, I enjoy the books more than the movies (and TV adaptations).

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  26. I just thought of two examples where following the book actually didn't work in the movie. Both were movies by a very well known writer and were lines or scenes that were fan favorites.

    1) The line sounded totally stupid with an actor saying it. Seriously, it was cringe worthy, was not romantic, was not funny. Just silly and kinda stupid. I know why they kept it in. This line was often quoted as a favorite line from fans. On screen, it just didn't work.

    2) A scene where the heroine drives away from hero, stops car in middle of road, and then runs back to his arms. Worked in the book. Was considered romantic and high tension. Looked silly and eye rolling on screen. They really shouldn't have had that scene in the movie, but again, this was a case of them trying to stay true to the book and this scene was a fan favorite.

    Sometimes fan favorite scenes or lines just don't work on screen and actually bring the whole movie down and make it seem hooky.

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    1. Interesting. I wonder if some dialogue doesn't work because of that actor and the way he/she plays the character. I know Stephanie Meyers said Rob Pattinson played Edward much more tormented than she had in mind.

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  27. I liked the Nine Lives of Chloe King as a TV show. I read a couple pages of the actual novel, and it was the kind that made me cringe. Too much teenage language for me. (However, I was team Brian ALL THE WAY, which is weird, 'cause I usually go for the Britisher.)

    I think it depends on the novel. Chloe King made for a great TV show. However, I couldn't see Lord of the Rings as a TV show. It would feel wrong. Serialized. I don't think I'd like that.

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    1. No, you were team Brian? I'm team Alec. I loved him. I was so sad Chloe King got cancelled. I was watching it while writing Touch of Death. It was the one show I allowed myself to watch--my break time so to speak.

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  28. I think the book "One For The Money" is better than the movie version. I didn't like Debbie Reynolds in the part of Grandma Mazur.

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    1. I haven't seen that but you are the second person to mention it.

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  29. Books, because there's so much space for imagination! TV/ movies limit how a character looks like in my mental image, or how I interpret a scene so for me, books works much better, and I won't be hanging on a cliff after every episode because I can always move on to the next chapter! Actually, either works but I would usually prefer whichever version I come across first :)

    -Alicia
    bookaworld.wordpress.com

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    1. Good point about cliffhanger endings with TV series. With a book, you can just turn the page, unless the cliffhanger really is the ending.

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  30. Hmmm. Tough call. I think it depends on the books, but I know I like both!

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    1. I can appreciate both in different ways. I think you have to realize that the different mediums will portray the story in different ways. They can't be identical.

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  31. That's a hard one. I'd say movies if it is a series. If it made into a TV series, they add stuff to hold the audience's attention and might even deviate from the book. Movies, they have to cram everything in, but if it is a series, like HP, they make the book come alive. Still, I like books better. I've read all HP books but haven't watched them all. read Hunger Games but didn't watch the movie, read TMI but might not watch the movie... Lazy? No. adaptations sometimes misses the nuance in the book.

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    1. Yes, that's true in my mind too. There are some movies that I avoid because I love the books so much.

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  32. Hmmm...I would say a movie. I think because a movie ends in a way that a book does. A series expects it to go on. Although the Sex an the City series is a much better version than the book, so that is probably an exception. :)

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    1. Yes, I think movies and books can have more similarities than books and TV series. The format have more in common.

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    1. Wow, and you're so certain. Any reason?

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  34. I think it really comes down to the genre. You can explore more and go more in depth with a television format than with movies, but on the other hand, the big screen lends itself so well to epic scope.

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  35. I favor books made into movies first, because after they can become a TV series. But if it were my book, I would opt for the method where they stay as close to the real story as possible.

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    1. I'd be thrilled with either for my own books because it's a huge compliment. I can't even imagine one of my books being made into a movie or TV series. That's a dream for me.

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