TMP – TV Edition: Book Adaptations

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and today is all about one of my favorite subjects – book adaptations. I’ve talked about movies and shows that were done well (or badly) before, but I’m really happy to do so again. Let’s jump right in!

Shadow and Bone

I’ve talked about this one at length here, but in short, it was a really neat adaptation! I think people who have never read the books might have been a bit lost at times, but in general, I was super happy with some of the developments. The cast is pretty much perfection and their chemistry is what makes this work.

The Rook

I will be forever salty that they cancelled this after just one season. I feel like we had one of the most compelling characters ever with Gestalt and now all of that was just wasted on a story that won’t get continued. I know that people who loved the book were disappointed, but I wasn’t a fan of the book and ADORED the show. You can read more of my thoughts here.

The Magicians

Honestly, I stopped watching after a while, but the show was still a lot better in a lot of ways than the books. I didn’t really love the books, but once again, the cast really made it work and the changes implemented on the show made sense for the most part. If you ever want to read the books, my firm opinion is that they get better over time. The first one really wasn’t it.

The Witcher

You can find my review of the first Witcher book here, but I haven’t read any of the others yet. Silly old me wanted to wait for Netflix covers for the books, but I’m not even sure they will make them. Either way, while I think the show has lost a bit of the innate humor of the book, it really tied in those anthology events nicely.

Dash & Lily

Veering a bit off course to talk about something non-magic related, I can really only recommend the Dash and Lily show on Netflix. It’s so cute. So fluffy. So Christmas-y. I watched it several times and just had a good time and while I don’t remember the books in detail, I think they did a great job in adapting them so far.

Normal People

I had my struggles with the book, but wow, was it memorable! I still think about it every so often, I now also own a copy of the TV scripts and am in awe of the leads of the show. While I think you get some great insights into the minds with the book, the show just furthered that intimate feeling and you really get invested in these characters and their mess. You can also read more in depth thoughts here.

There’s SO much more, but I’m gonna leave it at that for now. What are some of your favorite book to small screen adaptations? What are some you are excited for in the future?

24 thoughts on “TMP – TV Edition: Book Adaptations

  1. Getter here: Normal People is SOOO GOOD! That’s probably the most fun I’ve had actually talking about something on the podcast. I haven’t seen Shadow and Bone yet, The Witcher was great and Lily and Dash was cute but it doesn’t linger on the brain long enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normal People was truly a revelation to me. I can’t stop thinking about the show at all.
      As for Dash and Lily, I get what you mean. But I really like when shows are just simple and sweet at times, so I really cherished that less complex take. But I can totally see how it wouldn’t linger for many.


    • It’s been so long, Dash & Lily could be soooo bad haha but I loved it back in the day. It’s just sort of neat?
      I totally didn’t like the Magicians book either, but the show is definitely on another level.


  2. I’ve heard great things about Shadow and Bone. I also loved season one of The Magicians but I haven’t seen the other seasons yet. I have the book too but haven’t finished!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t really vibe with the Magicians book, but I really liked the show. I don’t know why I drifted away from it and then never finished it, but yeah … maybe it was because I knew I wasn’t going to get my ship haha


  3. I have to preface this with the fact that I have neither Netflix nor Hulu before I say that you really stumped me this week. Not only haven’t I seen any of these I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of any of them either!

    The one I’m most intrigued by is Dash & Lily, love the playful reference to Dashiell Hammet and Lillian Hellman in the title. It sounds light and enjoyable.

    Most of the others don’t sound like my cup of tea though I’d check out Normal People given the chance.

    There are really so many ways to go with this so I simplified my choices by going with a theme within the theme. I went with all biographical adaptations of books I’ve read that ended up starring Lee Remick, a huge favorite of mine. A major film star in the 60’s (The Days of Wine and Roses, Anatomy of a Murder) she moved between film (The Omen, The Europeans) and TV in the 70’s then focused almost exclusively on television in the 80’s becoming one of the queens of the miniseries genre until her 1991 death from cancer at only 55. She was Emmy nominated for this trio.

    Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974)-Seven-part miniseries adaptation of the Ralph G. Martin biography of the same name. Following the life of American heiress Jennie Jerome (Lee) from her first teenage meeting with British aristocrat Randolph Churchill, their often rocky marriage, her rise in political circles both as Randolph’s wife and later the strong influence she exerted over son Winston while living a colorful and complicated life of her own.

    Haywire (1980)-Based on eldest daughter Brooke’s memoir this two-part miniseries details the complex, troubled and dysfunctional marriage and home life of stage and film star Margaret Sullavan (Lee) and super-agent Leland Hayward (Jason Robards Jr.) and their three children. Powerfully told but not a happy tale-between the couple they had 9 marriages (ironically Leland’s last wife (of 5) was the ex-wife of Winston Churchill’s son.) Margaret Sullavan and her two younger children died by their own hand. Henry Fonda was Maggie Sullavan’s first husband and the pair (and their children) remained close throughout her life-actress Bridget Fonda is named in memory of youngest daughter Bridget Hayward who was romantically involved with Peter Fonda at the time of her death.

    Nutcracker: Money, Murder, Madness (1987)-Three-part miniseries adapted from Shana Alexander’s true crime book about Frances Schreuder (Lee), an amoral and rapacious New York socialite who manipulated and dominated her sons, ultimately pushing one into madness and the other to murder her own father, multi-millionaire industrialist Franklin Bradshaw, for financial gain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m subscribed to pretty much all the streaming services, so that’s where I get most my content from. Dash & Lily is a very cheesy and cutesy show, if you’d ask me. I liked it because it was a light and festive watch and I knew I always liked the book.

      Normal People is phenomenal. I can really only recommend it.

      I enjoy your theme within a theme! I didn’t even think about biographical content, but that is some really interesting stuff right there. Lee Remick seems to have died before I was even born, but I’m going to look into some of her work.


      • If it would be helpful I can offer a few suggestions of a good place to start with Lee’s work. She was Oscar nominated (BAFTA and Golden Globe too) for The Days of Wine and Roses. It has a beautiful theme song written by Henry Mancini but it’s a very dark film about how alcoholism destroys a couple’s lives. She costars with Jack Lemmon, similarly Oscar nominated.

        After that there’s Anatomy of a Murder which was the film that established her as a front rank star. Baby, the Rain Must Fall is a quiet drama of a young woman (Lee) married to a rambling musician (Steve McQueen). Experiment in Terror is a tight suspenser with Lee being forced to help facilitate a bank robbery by the man who is holding her sister hostage. Depending on your fondness for horror (I’m not much of a fan) The Omen is considered a classic of the genre. There is also a personal favorite of mine-The Running Man-with Alan Bates and Laurence Harvey directed by Carol Reed. Harvey and Lee are pulling off an insurance scam by him faking his death and assuming a new identity in Malaga but complications ensue.

        She made many other worthwhile films but these are a good start and of course there are the above recommended TV miniseries but they can be very difficult to track down unfortunately!

        Hope it helps. Happy watching!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am very torn on the Witcher books – I have a lot of issues with Sapkowski’s writing but I still finished all of them and am very interested to see how they’ll translate to the screen. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season (despite some of the flaws).
    As for Shadow and Bone, I’d file that among the best adaptations I have seen. More please. 😂


  5. I know of all these shows, but haven’t seen any of them, save for a few episodes of The Magicians. What I saw was cool, but it’s not something I was pressed about continuing.


  6. Alas, I do not have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO or any streaming services…I am an oldie I guess. I have heard of the Witches and Shadow & Bone but I have not seen any of these. Dash & Lily (are they Dashiell Hammett and Lilian Hellman? Just joking but I love Christmas and sometimes one needs to check the brain at the door and just enjoy. Normal People sounds quite interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit that I don’t really watch regular TV at all anymore. I mostly live on streaming platforms and suspect that most of my picks when it comes to TV will come from there in the future as well ahaha


  7. I have seen all but Normal People.

    I haven’t read Shadow and Bone but really enjoyed the TV series…also I wasn’t really that lost either…so I think the show did a good job with introducing us to the world and characters.

    The Rook is the only book I’ve read and I loved it…and I didn’t like how the TV series change the whole plot. However, Gestalt is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read…and I think the series at least did a decent job of bringing them to the screen. They dropped a lot of other interesting characters in the Chequy.

    The Magicians…only saw a couple episodes from the first season. The acting in the series was just too terrible for me to continue with it.


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