Fangirl Friday: Books into TV Shows

This is a great time for TV. There are so, so many good shows out and so many different platforms producing TV. It's a really beautiful thing for someone like me. I work over forty hours a week, nights and weekends, and I have a three year old. I don't have much time or energy for going out to the movies. But, with so many fantastic shows out right now, I don't have to. There are so many shows I could talk about, but given what kind of blog this is and the plethora of choices, for today's Fangirl Friday, I'm going to focus on TV shows that are based on books. There are/have been some absolutely SPECTACULAR translations just in 2017. They are spoiling us, really. So, sit back, relax, and follow me after the break to discuss some great TV shows of 2017.

Before we begin, I'm going to say that I think part of the reason for the influx of great TV is due the overwhelming successes of Netflix' TV producing. They have encouraged Hulu, Amazon, and the premium channels to up their game. Without those producers, none of these shows would exist. Also, I'm leaving out the Marvel TV shows, Game of Thrones, and Outlander. Those are worthy of their own post.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
This Netflix gem is based on a book series of the same name by Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler. Admittedly, I have not read all of these books, but I did read the first three when the movie came out years ago. This series is about the....unfortunate... lives of the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. These are children's books and the show is definitely older child friendly. My three year old watched a little bit of it, but it didn't have any superheroes, so it didn't hold his attention for long. The stories are engaging and enjoyably outlandish. The cast is top notch. The two older children are really great performers, but the adult cast is what really knocks this show out of the park. Neil Patrick Harris, a producer on the show and the series' villain, is ah-fucking-mazing. His Count Olaf is an incredible performance. Joan Cusack, Aasif Mandvi, Alfre Woodard, Patrick Warburton, and K. Todd Freeman also put in fabulous performances. It also has a dark humor to it, that I love. Watching these children outwit Count Olaf time and again is a delight. If you need some laughs in these stressful times, this just may fit the bill. 

Big Little Lies
HBO adapted Liane Moriarty's book of the same name for TV earlier this year. This
adaptation is possibly the best book to TV (or film for that matter) translation I've ever seen. I listened to this audio book before the show came out. I loved it. I've got this author's other books patiently waiting for me to make time for them on my TBR. This one is about the trials and tribulations of the moms and first graders of Monterrey, California. As I said, this was nearly perfect. The casting was outstanding. The seven episode length was perfect to tell the story without cutting too much and without out having to pad it with new story lines not featured in the book. There was one addition I was not happy about, but I don't want to give spoilers. There are one or two other small things that were cut or changed, but they didn't really change the story that much. The best thing about this show was the acting. The cast in this show are actors at the top of their game. Nicole Kidman and wench favorite, Alexander Skarsgard, deserve all of the awards. Every single one. Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoey Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley were fucking fantastic as well. I'm going to stop my gushing praise there and tell you to read Wench Donna's post about this wonderful show.

Thirteen Reasons Why

Netflix adapted this controversial book by Jay Asher into an even more controversial TV series that was released at the end of March this year. It tells the riveting story of 16 year old Hannah Baker's suicide. Her suicide "note" is seven cassette tapes detailing the events that lead up to her death. Each side of a tape is dedicated to and focused on one individual. Now, to be honest, I haven't finished the show yet, I have two more episodes to go. Also, I haven't actually read this book yet, but my husband did and he assures me that this is a pretty good adaptation. He's a high school teacher, so this is a very relevant book and show for him. As I said above, this series is controversial to some and I agree that shown to the wrong person, it could have a really negative impact on them. But, I think it's important for parents, especially, to see this. Kids are navigating a whole new world from the one that we lived in. This show puts you in the minds of these kids, some of whom are very troubled and hiding it well. This cast does a spectacular job, especially the two leads. The story is revealed in bits and pieces throughout each episode. I can't wait to see what the final two episodes bring. The show was also recently renewed for a season two. I'm interested to see where that goes, since there will be no source material to work from.

The Handmaid's Tale
This Hulu endeavor is based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood book of the same name. The first three episodes were released at the end of April. This is a horrifyingly frightening tale of the lives of a Handmaid named Offred. She lives at an unspecified point in the near future in what used to be Boston. Infertility reigns and a theocratic government has taken over the US. Women proven to be fertile are conscripted into Handmaid service, which basically means they are sex/baby making slaves. Each Handmaid is assigned to a high ranking official and his wife. Currently, only five episodes of this show are released, but already, it is astounding and terrifying. In this time, with the government we are currently dealing with, this show rings some very frightening alarm bells. The cast, led by Elizabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel, is outstanding. I am really loving the soundtrack in this as well. The adaptation, so far, is very well done. There's a few dialogue changes to incorporate recent events and inventions that Atwood could not have known about in 1985. They also removed the plot line of all people of African American decent being shipped out of what remained of the country to their own area. There is some added backstory as well as more story for Oflgen. All in all, this is a really moving and relevant show, given our current state of affairs. You should definitely #resist and watch this show.

American Gods
I saved the best (and the most recently released) for last. American Gods, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is currently airing on Starz. It is ah-fucking-mazing. There aren't even words and we're only three episodes in. The story is about ex-con Shadow Moon and the adventures he has working for Mr. Wednesday, an initially unknown God from the Old World. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it features a lot of Gods from ancient, pre-Christian times. There are also new Gods that have awoken from our new world, Media and Technology Boy among them. Some of this adaptation is embellished or brand new material, but the base story is, so far, the same. I am loving this show so much, I can hardly stand it. The visual effects, the music, it is extremely well produced. The cast is incredible as well. Admittedly, I may have a bit of a bias where the cast is concerned. Yetide Badaki, who plays the goddess Bilquis, is a friend from college. This just ups the excitement for me tenfold. Three episodes have aired and they've already been renewed for a Season two. I will be interested to know how much ground they will cover in Season one. Will they get through the whole book and move into new material for season two? I don't know, but I can't wait to keep watching to find out. 

Well, that's all I've got for this Fangirl Friday, Saucy Readers. Are you watching any of these shows? What do you think of them? Do you love them as much as I do? Let me know below!


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