TV adaptations: The end of the chapter

It’s the same old thing. There are several stages a bookworm goes through when he or she first hears that their favorite book or book series is being adapted into a television show:

  1. You first become disinterested. Why would you want your favorite book to be ruined by another Hollywood production?
  2. As the idea starts to settle in, you begin to think “maybe it will be pretty interesting to see it on the small screen”. Who would they get to play characters? Are they similar to the ones in my head? What will be their interpretation of the book?
  3. Now you are excited about it. You look for the actors who were cast in the show. The series premiere date is highly anticipated.

And the day finally comes. You may have a small party with your friends, even making it a theme party or you’re by yourself in favorite chair. Whatever the case, your phone and computer is off, you’re focused on your television set, and anticipating its premiere.

You may go through different emotions afterwards:

  1. Anger
  2. Disappointment
  3. Confusion
  4. Disgust
  5. Excitement (May possibly be a short-lived emotion if you choose to stick with the show when it last longer than is supposed to)

After this travesty, you try to move on…until the next adaptation comes along.

https://i2.wp.com/p1cdn02.thewrap.com/images/2014/01/PrettyLittleLiars.jpg
Credit: Warner Bros.

TV adaptations have always been a dilemma that bookworms have continuously dealt with and, unfortunately, suffer  through. The reason that I mentioned this is due to my and everyone’s reaction to the season finale of Pretty Little Liars.
Now some of you have already watched or heard what happened or you just didn’t care. But let’s just say the ending of the show was not satisfying to most people. I read most of the books in the series and I have watched the series when it first began. However, the longevity of the show and daunting plot lines caused me not to be invested in the show anymore.

But due to the “hype” behind revealing the “Big A”, I decided to watch the season finale, even though I haven’t seen the past episodes (I had a feeling I would not be that lost). I knew who was “A” in the book but I just wanted to see how they would play it out on the show. Here I am awaiting for this big reveal and what do I get:

  1. Anger
  2. Disappointment
  3. Confusion
  4. Disgust

Where do I even begin? First, this “A” was completely different to the “A” in the book series; the show introduced a new character to make this happen. Second, the revelation of this new character claimed it would give answers but those answers led to more questions. Who is this character? What is his motive? If they kept to original revelation, all of the events that occurred in the show’s run would make sense. Now, we are left with a dissatisfied taste in our mouth and another show is added to the long list of disappointing TV adaptations.

People say you should just accept it. TV adaptations always take creative license when adapting from a book. But my question is why should we have to deal with it? If production studios care more about ratings and viewership than keeping true to the book, then here’s an idea…don’t adapt the book in first place. The Pretty Little Liars book series is not Harry Potter quality but Warner Bros. showed a lot more respect to the Harry Potter franchise compared to this.

I’m not writing this to criticize just one TV adaptation, this concerns all of them. I don’t believe an author’s purpose is to make sure their work gets adapted into either a movie or a television show. But that doesn’t diminish the honor when it does get chosen. It’s a great feeling when you see your hard work up on that screen. But what kind of feeling do you get when you see your hard work being tossed aside for senseless writing for a chance of high viewership? An author’s work is their voice and to disregard it all together is not only devaluing their hard work but also their voice.

Not all of them are bad. There are some, for example Game of Thrones and Sherlock , that still manage both creative license and still stay true to form. Unfortunately, not all TV adaptations feel they have the capability to do both. So, the tarnishing of our precious books will continue. But there is an old adage that all bookworms say alike that may solve this dilemma: reading the book was so much better.

3 thoughts on “TV adaptations: The end of the chapter

  1. Well I think Charles is not a new character but a pseudonym based on the main character in a Flowers For Algerion. Charles is the main character in the book and like PLL’s Charles he was institutionilized at a young age. So he could be a character like Lucas or Jason but using the fake name to hid.

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