Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition: Books Adapted into TV Series


It's the last Thursday of the month and you know what that means? It's time for another Television Edition of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. This week we are asked to pick TV series that were adapted from books.

Without further ado, here are my picks:

Game of Thrones (2011- ) based on A Song of Ice and Fire by R. R. Martin

In the mythical lands of Westeros, several powerful families fight for the control of the Seven Kingdoms. There are dragons, psychopaths, a lot of sex and betrayal in this one. It has decreased quality over the seasons but I still enjoy watching it. 

Is it a good adaptation? Kinda. As I said, I really like the show, but I've read the book (only the first one so far) after watching it and it's better. If I had read the book first I would have probably been disappointed. 

House of Cards (2013- ) based on House of Cards by Michael Dobbs

It follows congressman Frank Underwood as he makes his way to the White House. Mainly by killing people. Literally. This is one of my favourites shows. It's clever and has a great cast. Although I'm a fan of Spacey, I'm really looking forward to the new season without him. Finally Claire gets the screen time she deserves.

Is it a good adaptation? Yes. It's even better than the books which I loved but I just can't seem to bring myself to read the 3rd one. I'm kinda ashamed of myself for that because I bought it almost 3 years ago.

Mr. Mercedes (2017- ) based on Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

A psychopath drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of job seekers at a job fair and retired cop Bill Hodges tries to bring him down. The plot isn't very strong but the show is thrilling and it the cast does a very good job.

Is it a good adaptation? Yes. I've been waiting for this series for years, literally, and the wait did pay off. It isn't always faithful to the book but it's good enough to make me excited for season 2 which is going to be based on Finders Keepers, the second book of the trilogy. 

16 comments :

  1. I love Game of Thrones! The books are better but I think the show is great too, I don't find them too hard to separate.

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  2. I think I'm the only one who isn't a fan of Game of Thrones. I wanted to love it, from word of mouth and the setting I thought it was right up my alley but it just wasn't for me.

    I liked House of Cards when it started but fell out of the habit of watching. I also saw the original British take on it and that was pretty great as well.

    Haven't seen or heard of your last.

    I reached back a little further for mine but I loved all three.

    East of Eden (1981)-Comprehensive telling of the John Steinbeck masterpiece itself a twist of the Cain and Abel parable is effectively rendered if slightly weakened by a mushy performance by Timothy Bottoms as main protagonist Adam Trask. But it is entirely worth seeking out for Jane Seymour’s virtuoso turn as one of the most venal females in literature. Her work as the soulless Cathy/Kate is a revelation-she is by turns vindictive, coy, feral, enchanting and chilling. It is one of THE best pieces of acting in television history. For her work alone this is a must see but it is a very effectively told tale with many other fine performances especially Lloyd Bridges as a version of the author’s own grandfather Samuel Hamilton.

    Tales of the City (1993)-Based on Armistead Maupin’s first book in his Tales series this is a bittersweet look at the denizens of the bohemian apartments of 28 Barbary Lane in swingin’ 70’s San Francisco whose owner Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) is the freest of spirits. Full of wonderful period detail and fine acting from at the time rising performers such as Laura Linney as na├»ve new girl in town Mary Ann Singleton and Chloe Webb as nonconformist Mona Ramsey as well as Parker Posey, Paul Gross, Thomas Gibson and a wealth of others. Followed by several sequels.

    The Stand (1994)-Solid rendering of Stephen King’s chronicle of a nearly annihilating plague followed by a battle of good versus evil features an excellent cast (Gary Sinise, Laura San Giacomo, Ruby Dee etc.) and involving story telling though it does have some ill-conceived special effects even for the time. Outside of that misstep this is about as good a version of the story as can be had.

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    1. I've been meaning to watch the British House of Cards for years but never got around it.

      I didn't know they turned East of Eden into a show. I might have to check that one out.

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  3. I've only watched 2 seasons of Game of Thrones and a bit of House of Cards. Maybe some day I'll be able to finish Game of Thrones because it's a fantastic show. I also missed watching Mr Mercedes last year, but it was one on my radar. Great picks!

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    1. Thanks! Mr. Mercedes is really worth watching.

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  4. I might be the only guy in the world, but I haven't seen one second of any of these.

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    1. I thought everyone saw at least one episode of Game of Thrones :O

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  5. I've never read the GoT books, but really like the show. The books probably have loads more info, no?

    House of Cards is such a top quality show, too bad it got stained by Spacey's scandal.

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    1. The GoT book I read is a bit different than the show. For example, this is the difference that stuck with me the most, Daenerys and Drogo's honeymoon and sex in general is more sweet and romantic in the book. They are making love there. In the show, they just fuck.

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  6. My first thought was Friday Night Lights which probably doesn’t count as it was a movie first. I liked the original House of Cards though the female role was pretty minimal.

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    1. I didn't know Friday Night Lights was based on a book. And that there was a movie too.

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  7. I'm trying to get back into blogging as i just had a car accident...I am ok but the car is totaled and this was the day before my mom's funeral. I haven't seen any although i know the first 2 quite well. I would like to watch both of them and am so sad Kevin Spacey turned out to be such a jerk

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    1. Omg I'm so sorry to hear that! I'm glad you're fine. Don't worry about blogging, you'll get back into it when you are ready

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  8. Game of Thrones - Love the TV series but have not seen the newer seasons.

    House of Cards - Have not finish the last season. I don't think it is as good as it once was.

    Mr. Mercedes - I didn't know what it was about before this...sounds interesting.

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    1. You're right about House of Cards, it used to be better.

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