06 March 2015

Is The Film/TV Show Ever Better Than The Book?

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I know it sounds like a stupid thing to say, it appears to have such an obvious answer after all. It is common knowledge that the film never has anything on the book. You can often achieve a very decent adaptation which fans of the book can respect and enjoy, but due to the time constraints of a film, inevitably they miss out one of your favourite scenes as it is not essential to the story, even though it may have been essential to you enjoyment of the book. When this happens, it stops you from enjoying the film as much as you want. There is also he issue of casting, whilst casting choices can be good, they never completely match your won minds creation, someone is always left disappointed.
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I think some of my favourite book to film adaptations are Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, and I think that is only because they are far easier to watch than reading the books. The Hobbit was an amazing adaptation as throughout the three films it keeps your attention, and due to it being adapted into a trilogy it managed to keep all the significant details of the books. Lord of The Rings on the other hand edited out a lot, but we managed to avoid the excruciating detail of the books that was really unnecessary, even if a lot of events got missed.

TV shows, on the other hand,  have every chance of doing a book justice, simply due to fact they are not limited by time, they can explore a world, it’s characters, and various storylines. This is perfectly demonstrated by The Outlander TV show. I only have half a series to base this opinion on, but there is pretty much the entire first half of the book there for the taking, very few things were missed out in the adaptation. There are some liberties taken, but as a whole it has been done well.
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Other television network have taken a different approach, as shown by TV shows like The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and The 100 where they have taken complete liberties with the book and it should really be said that they are inspired by the books rather than an adaptation. Yet, all of these book series I have read, and I actually prefer the TV series to the books! I’m not saying the books didn’t have their good points, but the television writers have managed to flesh out the basic storylines into a long and in depth TV series that are both addictive and entertaining. The premise of the books have been adapted and expended into something completely different.

Am I saying we should stop doing film adaptations of books and stick with making TV shows, hell no. I’m just saying I’ve a better experience with TV shows, but the flaw of TV shows is that the network is inevitably out to make money and will drag the show out for far longer than they should, they do not end it at a good point, they will instead carry it on too long until people lose interest. At least with films there is a definite end point to aim for, they cannot kill it by stretching it too far. It’s just sometimes a film adaptation can be pretty bad, as shown by the films Divergent, it was a good adaptation, but I was bored watching it. I felt nothing whilst watching it, and I couldn’t have cared less about the characters.

Basically, the entire point of all this is to say that I do think a TV show or film can really do justice to the book, can I claim that they are better? In some cases, but my default answer will still always be no, because whilst there are exceptions to the rule, the rule is that the book is always best.

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