Thursday Open Thread: What Book Should Be a Show?

The Vampire Diaries. Gossip Girl. Game of Thrones. Heck, even 8 Simple Rules was based on a book. So now I ask you:

What book do you want to see turned into a TV show?

My choice would have been The Secret Circle, a book series written by The Vampire Diaries’ LJ Smith about witches. Of course, I guess I can’t claim that one now that the CW is already working on it.

But what else? It doesn’t have to be a series. In fact, one of my favorite series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I would hate to see on TV. Why? Well, I think it would destroy the characters that I’ve learned to love through the four books. Heck, the movies were pretty borderline in hurting what were well-written books. I wouldn’t want to see that messed up.

But what if someone did a TV show of something like Jane Eyre? Whether it’s a period piece, I’m not sure, but I could entirely see her go through various things–maybe including a few of the book’s milestones–and flashing back from time to time to her childhood, which (if I recall) they cover at the beginning of the book. It could be interesting.

But what about you? What book (or books) would you want to see on TV?

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10 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: What Book Should Be a Show?

  1. I’ve thought for years that the Harry Potter series would have been a better fit for a TV series than for the movies. The books are very episodic — maybe not all of them would stretch to 22 episodes a season, but I think even the shorter ones could fill a 13-episode season. And while it wouldn’t have gotten the huge budget that a big movie has, it’s still Harry Potter — I don’t think they would have been short on cash, and I don’t think they would have had to worry about ratings or renewal.

    Obviously, it’s all academic, but I think that in a TV format there would have been time to delve into all the little details and subplots that make the books so much more fun than the movies are.

  2. I kind of agree with the Harry Potter idea. My only concern is that they would end up ruining the characters by having the show go longer than it should. But they definitely would have been able to include a lot more detail that they missed in the movies.

  3. Anything Dickens would translate well. Most of them were already serials in the paper anyway! They were written to build suspense and plot week by week. You can really tell in books like Great Expectations and TOTC.

  4. The very first one i thought of was Fables ( based on a graphic novel). Of course it has already been in works for the past 5 years or so, but eventually it should get off the ground. Imagine all the fairy tale characters you know, but they have left the woods and now live in NYC and have regular jobs. The main character is snow white, who is now a detective solving the crimes of her fellow fairy tale folk.

    If not fables, then the Jack Spratt books. Simialr premise, fairy tale characters live in the real work with us. Detective Jack Spratt (of jack and the bean stalk fame) is grown up and solves the crimes of his fellow mythical folk. Prometheus (who stole fire from the gods to give to man) is dating his daughter, and his rookie partner Mary Mary (of “..how does your garden grow..” fame) who doesnt really want to be there.

    Another one, “GCPD”, another comic book. And another cop show. Follows the expoits of Detective Harvey Bullock and Officer Reenee Montoya of the Gothom City Police Department. Sure, Batman handles the big stuff, but the PD is always there to clean up and solve the smaller ones.

  5. George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire will be a show in April! Wooho! Uh, otherwise…? I would love to see Syfy make a mini-series out of the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. Might be a little too intellectual for that audience though…

  6. Ooh, I hope the Fables series does get made (and done well); it’s great stuff.

    I read a book last spring called “The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox,” which is about the ghost of a young woman and the couple whose house she haunts — the plot of the book couldn’t really sustain a series, but the premise could produce a really cool show. It was the kind of book where I didn’t want to leave the characters behind when I finished reading it.

    Or, “The Bone Key” by Sarah Monette, which is a collection of Lovecraft-ian fantasy/horror stories that could work well as the basis for a show, too.

  7. Do graphic novels count? I’m gonna go with anything created by Brian K Vaughn. Vaughn has written for TV before (Lost), and the subject matter of his original works are creative, yet not so far fetched that you’d have to go crazy overboard on budget for special effects. Runaways would probably be the best to use on a show. Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina would probably also do well if you toned down the language/violence some, though I’m not sure how long you could keep them going, as those two comics have defined endings.

  8. I was also going to suggest Stephen King’s Under The Dome (which I’m currently only halfway through) as a single season series, but it appears that King and Spielberg are already working on a mini series.

  9. Pingback: Thursday Open Thread: Creative License and Book Adaptations « Raked

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