From Books to TV Shows: The New Era

Binge-watching shows on streaming platforms have become a trend, but lots of people do not know that their favorite shows are based on books. Here we recall how the industry has changed and some unmissable TV shows.

The Woman Post | Valentina Ibarra

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Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ have changed the way we consume media. Years ago, TV shows depended on staying in the prime hour to maintain their public, which also meant constant cliffhangers so they would keep engaging every week. Additionally, the time per episode was limited based on the hour frame of the channel and the duration of ads, and the length of the season depended on how many weeks the network had available for them.

But now, the internet allowed the public to decide when and where to watch their favorite TV shows, giving the creators a range of opportunities to explore new ideas. And just like that, the adaptation of books shifted, as there was now a better possibility to adapt them without needing to cut important parts, which usually happens in movies because of time limitations.

It is easily shown in franchises like "The Hunger Games," "Divergent," and "Harry Potter." Their last books contained so much information that they had to divide them into two movies to fit the whole story. With TV shows this is not a problem anymore, as screenwriters are allowed to keep more details. For example, "Game of Thrones," which had 73 episodes of over an hour. And funny enough, according to fans, the show lost its direction when it ran out of source material. It happened because the books were not completely published and finished, so the creators had to find an ending of their own.

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These examples show the bigger opportunities for adaption brought by streaming and how important books can be to create and maintain a good story. Even failed books-to-movies adaptations like "Percy Jackson," "Narnia," and "Shadowhunters" are getting second opportunities to succeed in the format of TV shows. It is a new time for book adaptations, and now it is time for recommendations.

If you are a big fan of the literature classics, you probably will enjoy TV shows that can retell the stories. Some try to be as close as possible to the books, like "Pride and Prejudice" (1995), but others try to tell the story from a modern perspective. For example, "Sherlock" (2010) and "Elementary" (2012) set the story of the great detective Holmes in contemporary London and Manhattan, giving a new perspective into this iconic story. Other examples are "The Frankenstein Chronicles" (2015), "Dracula" (2020), and "Fahrenheit 451" (2018).

On the other hand, if you enjoy books based on another era, "Anne with an E" (2017) and "War and Peace" (2016) can be perfect options to travel back in time. And including a little bit of fantasy and dystopia, we can also include "The Witcher" (2019), "Outlander" (2014), and "The Handmaid's Tale" (2017). If instead, you would rather have stories of daily life, you can see the up and downs of going through college while dating in "Normal People" (2019) or follow the dramatic experiences of mothers in a suburban town in "Big Little Lies" (2017).

But then, the experience can go the other way around. If you are looking for books to read, there are some stories that people forget are based on books. For example, teenage dramas like "You," "Pretty Little Liars," "The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," and "Looking for Alaska" are adaptations. It means that if you could not get enough of these TV stories, you have the chance of seeing them from another lens in the books.

Hopefully, these recommendations will make it easier to choose your binge-watching next weekend. And the best part of it is that if you cannot get enough of the T.V show, you can always also read the book.

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