10 Book-Inspired TV Shows That Bring Your Favorites To The Small Screen
As a lover of both books and TV shows, I'm always beyond excited when my favorite book series is adapted for the small screen (hey, bookworms can like TV, too — and we can love music!). Of course there are always the initial reservations: what if the show creators ruin it? What if it's nothing like the book? What if all the beautiful book covers are replaced with "soon to be a TV show" covers???
The thing is, I believe that the book is always going to be best, so anything else is just an awesome bonus. Plus, historically, literary-inspired TV shows and movies are usually pretty great. So no matter what changes the show creators make, who doesn't love the thrill of seeing your favorite literary characters come to life? It's about the spirit of the book, not the details, and seeing the fictional town, people, and plot lines played out with a dash of Hollywood sparkle is always magical to me.
Luckily for book-lovers and TV-lovers, there are plenty of awesome lit-inspired shows to look forward to this coming season. Whether you want to see YA, fantasy, or even comics, there's a show out there for you. So head to the library and pick up your copy of the originals, so you're ready to go when the show finally airs:
1. Neapolitan Novels
Based On: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Release Date: TBA
My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child are coming to television, y'all. Italian writer Elena Ferrante may be unknown (the author name is a pseudonym), but her bestselling novels aren't: the story follows Lenù and Lila, two friends growing up on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. Each novel will be adapted into eight episodes, according to The Guardian, with an air date TBD, so stay tuned...
2. Thirteen Reasons Why
Based On: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Release Date: 2016
High school student Clay Jensen receives a package in the mail from Hannah Baker, one of his classmates who recently committed suicide. In the package is a set of cassette tapes that Hannah recorded, detailing who — and what — are to blame for her depression. Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winner Brian Yorkey wrote the Netflix TV series adaptation of this YA book, and Selena Gomez will be producing.
3. Super Sad True Love Story
Based On: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Release Date: TBA
Ben Stiller is attached to executive produce and direct the TV adaptation of Shteyngart's dystopian novel. The story follows Lenny Abramov, a Russian immigrant, and Eunice Park, a young Korean-American, as they navigate a not-so-distant-future New York consumed by media. Variety describes it as "a satire of contemporary American values and trends, including the erosion of American political values, the obsession with youth, and the urge to publish personal information through social networking." Sounds like the makings of perfect TV.
4. American Gods
Based On: American Gods By Neil Gaiman
Release Date: 2017
Neil Gaiman's fantasy story is about an ex-con, Shadow, who encounters Mr. Wednesday, an old god, and embarks on an adventure as new deities battle the old. Ricky Whittle plays Shadow, Ian McShane is Mr. Wednesday, and Gillian Anderson is Media... Get excited. Gaiman sometimes posts updates about the show on his Tumblr, so if you're having trouble waiting for this one to air, those posts might help.
5. A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Based On: A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Release Date: August 2016
Neil Patrick Harris will play Count Olaf. Do I need to say more? Because I will... Netflix is bringing your favorite YA Gothic series to a computer near you this fall, so you better break out your old copies of this series in preparation.
6. Still Star-Crossed
Based On: Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
Release Date: 2017
Heather Mitchell, co-executive producer of Scandal, is at the helm of this series, which picks up where Romeo and Juliet left off. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets is far from over in this period drama, which will be set in 16th-century Verona. Can I please watch this right now??? Because I cannot wait until 2017. Sigh.
Based On: Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Release Date: 2017
Emmy-award winning Breaking Bad alum Moira Walley-Beckett is writing this eight-episode adaptation of your favorite children's classic. Cue excited screaming. It's a retelling, not a direct adaptation, and the modern take will focus on "a young girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother," according to Deadline, and "will hew to a similar storyline as the book, but will incorporate new adventures." The only downside is that we have to wait until 2017 to see this, but the good news is that if you're a girl from 11-14, you could have a chance to be Anne. #dreamcometrue
Based On: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Release Date: February 15, 2016
A time traveler tries to stop the JFK assassination in this Stephen King book-turned-TV-series. James Franco stars, and you can binge watch the series on Hulu right now.
9. The Interestings
Based on: The Interestings By Meg Wolitzer
Release date: June 17, 2016
Lyn Green and Richard Levine, writers from Nip/Tuck, are adapting Meg Wolitzer's series about teenagers who form a bond at an arts-focused summer camp. The show will be a "grounded. character-driven drama," according to Deadline, and centers around "the great expectations of youth juxtaposed with the realities life hands you as you get older."
Based on: Archie Comics
Release date: October 3, 2016
This CW show is about teens from the town of Riverdale. I may or may not have a huge collection of Archie comics, so my inner tween is SO EXCITED for this show. It will apparently be "a surprising and subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade," according to Deadline. Also, Cole Sprouse is playing Jughead. Yep... I'm marking this release date on my calendar.
Images: Warner Bros Television (1), Amazon (1), Hulu (1), ABC (2), Netflix (1)