Monday, April 24, 2017

Some Recent Book to TV News

I recently devoured the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. I had read the book many years ago (and it's interesting to go back and read my thoughts now!) and was interested to see how the series would be. I liked the series a lot. I would venture to say it's one of the best teen series I have ever watched. I think the format of a series helped to flesh out the story in ways the book couldn't quite manage. It reminded me that all adaptations aren't evil. (I understand there is some controversy around the show and I would never tell someone they have to watch it or suggest a teen watch it on their own. However, with this type of media I really shy away from broadbrushing it as all evil or all good. What speaks to one person may harm another and that's the nature of art and story)

Books remain a big source for TV so I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the recent news surrounding book to TV adaptations.

Of course, one of the most exciting is the news that Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle is being adapted. I know Stiefvater wanted this as a TV show which makes sense as there's certainly a lot of room for story. However, there is a lot of fantasy stuff that will need to have a budget to look good, LBR. From the announcement, I can't see that a network is attached, so it could end up anything in the NBC Universal family if I understand correctly. (I'm not a TV expert, though I do read a lot of press releases so this is just a guess!) I think a cable channel would be the right call. Catherine Hardwick is directing the pilot (I have no opinion on this) and Andrew Miller will be the showrunner. Andrew Miller was the showrunner for The Secret Circle, another YA series I loved and that showed died fast. It had promise, though, so hopefully The Raven Cycle will be good, become a series, be dearly loved, and change all our TV lives forever.

Another intriguing possibility for a show is You based on the book by Carolyn Kepnes which has already been ordered straight to series (which means we don't have to bite our nails during a pilot process to see if we get the show) by Lifetime. I looooooved this book. It's funny, smart, biting, and such a great commentary on our cyberstalking culture.'s also really quite...well gross? I mean it's twisted as described in their press release, and I have to hope they'll tame some of that stuff. Also, the second person POV is so key to everything, it's hard to imagine the humor coming across in quite the same way. This show was originally set up at Showtime which might have been a better a fit, but I'm hoping we get a more watchable show on Lifetime.

Netflix has started developing the series, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This is most exciting news as horror is one of my favorite genres. There aren't a lot of awesome horror shows, and this has the potential to be really good with horror director Mike Flanagan behind the show. Definitely keeping my eye on this one.

Not a novel, but a comic, and not something I've read, but worth noting because of the involvement of Scott Derrickson. (while Derrickson has come under a lot of fire in recent times for whitewashing Doctor Strange; I've been a longtime fan because of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister) Hulu is developing an adaptation of Joe Hill's Locke and Key. Carlton Cuse would be showrunner and he's worked on two of my favorite shows of all time, Lost and Bates Motel. So I have to admit this is something I'm rooting for.

And finally, for frothy summer fun, Lifetime Movie Network is premiering two movies this summer based on Harlequin books and offering an immersive experience. This seems like an ideal fit to me and I look forward to checking out the movies! They will air June 2nd and include Naked Pursuit: The Wrong Bed by Jill Monroe and Thornwood Heights seems to launch the book series, as the book companion released the same day. There's a full website to get you pumped up though. I'm going to check it out, it's certainly an interesting idea!

Is there any book to TV news you're excited about?


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