I’m not much of a TV or movie watcher.
I always hear that books are better than their television counterparts and for the most part, from what I’ve seen, I agree. However, that can’t always be the case, can it? There are always outliers to every broad generalization. Hence, this week’s question.
What are some television or film renditions of books/comics are, in your opinion, better than the book/comic itself?
I loved the film version of LEGENDS OF THE FALL about twelve times more than the novella it was based on.
I get the feeling TRUE BLOOD is a lot better than the Sookie Stackhouse books, too. I've only read the first novel, but it didn't give me any great desire to continue the series. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't hooky either. In contrast, the TV series is totally addictive. I wish new episodes were on every day.
Dexter. The books range from mediocre to plain awful, but the show is magnificent.
Also, Legend of the Seeker, if only because I could actually stomach it. The Sword of Truth books, I could not.
The one that I'm always hearing from people is True Blood. The first book was awful, but I hear tell that the series is actually okay (even from people who hated the books).
For a moment upon reading this post, I thought, "Great! I can mention some of the great shows I've watched!" Then it occurred to me that I can't really think of any shows that I've watched that were based on books. I can think of some movies (the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter movies, Memoirs of a Geisha), but as for TV shows? Not a single one comes to mind, let alone one that's better than the book.
On the whole, I find that the movies fall short of the books. That isn't to say that the movies are bad, but they're constrained by time limits that can make for some really hard choices as to what to edit out. The books nearly always provide greater background info, better explanation, more scenes to help develop the characters. Even if I enjoy the movie, I'm entirely likely to enjoy or have enjoyed the book more.
This might be heretical but I liked Game of Thrones TV show much better than the book. I found the first book so dry and boring, mainly the tense of story. I just couldn't finish it. Looking forward to yearly Coles Notes versions on HBO.
The Horatio Hornblower miniseries–so much better than the books. I read the books second, and found out all my favorite parts of the films weren't in the books.
I was going to say a bit more on this general topic, but Bibliotropic said everything I would have said in that second paragraph… 🙂 Except that sometimes the movies really are bad!