Tag «has tv series»

Throwdown Thursday: TV vs Movie Adapations

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Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!

Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:

TV ADAPTIONS VS MOVIE ADAPTIONS

There is nothing greater than hearing your favourite series has been greenlight to come to life. But which is better: a TV series or a Movie Adaption?

Like I did for my eBook vs Physical Book Throwdown, I’ve modified my traditional Throwdown Thursday post as there are so many variables when it comes to picking a winner. Some series are just meant to be shown on TV while others are meant to be on the big screen (movies). So, instead, I’ve thrown together 3 “Considerations” that I think are important for deciding whether you want your favourite series to be a TV Series or a Movie Series. I’ve also thrown in some of my thoughts on recent adaptions and failures that I think highlight my main ideas.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment at the end of this post and vote in my poll!

Consideration 1: Length

One Hour a Week vs One Hour a Year

Character Development vs Plot Development

In the grand scheme of things, I feel like TV shows care more about character development and progression more than they do about a getting to the nitty gritty of the story. That’s because they have the time on a weekly basis to slowly unwind the plot. They want to you get attached to these characters so that you come back week after week to see what is going to happen to them next. And the little bits of a plot you get at a time keep you coming back because you never saw those twists coming…and they have more of an impact because you love these characters.

Movie on the other hand only have a set limit of time to develop both the characters and the plot. Usually, they condense one book into 2 hours–unless they are following that awful trend of splitting the last book into 2 movies (a la Hunger Games and Twilight)–which means they only have so much time to get you to like these characters and learn everything that is happening plot wise. For some novels/series, this format is better; especially if they are high actions ones that would benefit from the visuals and lack the character development in their novels.

CASE AND POINT:

  1. The Mortal Instruments Movie
    • The movie was a surprisingly huge flop but the recent development of a TV series has me super excited. This book series has always been about the characters for me and there are so many interesting parts to this world that a TV series seems like the perfect way to fully explore all of these fascinating bits without leaving anything out.
  2. Game of Thrones TV Series
    • The sheer size of these books terrify me! I have yet to read them, but feedback from friends who have lead me to believe that a TV series is the best route for this series. There are just so many interesting characters with dynamic and complicated plots that it makes that the length of a TV episode is much more effective than the length of a movie.

 

Consideration 2: Budget

Smaller Budget vs Larger Budget

Smaller risk and reward vs a big investment and little return

TV series come and go. At the start of the fall season there are always a bunch of fresh faces hoping to be that freshman show that breaks out into the big leagues and not a freshmen flop. But I feel as though the pitch to make a book into a TV show is one that is much more cost effective. Well, that is my opinion as someone who knows absolutely nothing about the entertainment business. I’m just going off the knowledge that there have been quite a few series that have had pilots filmed and then nothing ever happens to them.

To me, movies seem to be the hard sell because we are talking millions upon millions of dollars in profits and cost. It takes years for anything to be green-lit because no one wants to be associated with a box office flop. High risk, high reward but even higher losses. There are numerous series that I know have been optioned for films yet nothing ever happens. It also explains why movies about once popular series are released years later.

CASE AND POINT:

  1. Delirium Series TV Pilot
    • A few years ago, a TV pilot was filmed for this series with Emma Roberts and apparently, it was awful. I have to agree because I’ve watched a portion of the pilot and I can see why nothing ever became of it. I think this was one of those cases where the budget really wasn’t there in order to get the right writers and actors to get on board.
  2. Twilight the Movie
    • Say what you will about Twilight but the movies are absolute pop culture marvels. The movies came out right in the height of Twilight-fandom and one company capitalized on it. This is one of those cases where the risk was high and the reward was even higher. The first Twilight film cost an estimate $37 million and reaped in close to $400 million at the box office. New Moon cost an estimated $50 million, returned $709 million and the rest of the series follows similar results: and increased budget and even higher return.

Consideration 3: Faithfulness to Novel/Series

You’ll see that I don’t have a creative subheading for this one because this consideration can be all over the place. Some movie adaptions are spot on faithful to their book origins while others are all over the place. The same can be said about some TV Series.

I think the general feeling but all fans is that they love their original stories and they seriously dislike unnecessary modifications. I say “unnecessary” because I think even the most zealot of fans understand that some changes need to be made. I don’t like change, but sometimes I think change is for the better. There are a few movie/tv adaptions that I think capture the essence of the novel better than the novel does! (You can catch those thoughts in my various Movie Monday, Throwdown Thursday or Series review posts).

CASE AND POINT:

  1. Fight Club Movie
    • I’ve only read Fight Club (never watched the movie) for an English class in university but from that study, I know that Chuck Palahniuk (the author) actually prefers the movie adaption of his own novel over his novel! He feels it better captured the essence of what he was trying to say. Or at least, that’s what they say…we all know the first rule about Fight Club 😉
  2. The Vampire Diaries TV Series
    • After reading the books, I really enjoyed how the series added more to these basic characters. The TV series has more action, more romance and more substance to it overall. The changes they made were necessary in order to get the appeal of the next generation and to make it an interesting TV series. The essence of the show is the same: good vs evil with the hope that good will always win but the TV show makes that battle so much fun to watch.

Final Thoughts:

Like I said at the start, it really depends on the story that needs to be told. Some book series would make better TV shows than they do movies–that’s just the way it is. In general, I take the stand that series that focus more on character relationships and character development are better suited for TV because they have the time to develop that all. But series that are usually trilogies that focus more on the action or world are better suited for the movies.

Here are a few of my wishlist Adaptions:

My TV Adaption Wishlist:

My Movie Adaption Wishlist:

What are your thoughts: on book adaptations? Which novels or series are on your adaption wishlist Leave a comment below!

Next Time: Book Series vs Standalones

Throwdown Thursday: Gossip Girl Books vs TV

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Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!

Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:

ggbVSggtv

Gossip Girl Book Series  Gossip Girl TV Series

warning

Also please note that I did not finish the book or TV series in their entirety! The following is simply based on my opinion after reading 5 books and watching 5 seasons of the show.

Round 1: The Characters

Over the top Upper East Side New Yorkers vs Spoiled Upper East Side New Yorkers

Is there actually a difference–YES!

When I started the Gossip Girl book series, the characters were exactly what I expected. They are your cliché spoiled rich kids who have the world revolve around them and do everything they aren’t supposed to. I never found any of them to be likeable, especially in the later books where they just dive of the cliff into weirdo land (in my humble opinion). That’s why I stopped reading the books: they were just getting too ridiculous and over dramatic for my liking.

The TV show on the other hand has characters you love to hate; characters that have that slightly softer side to them that makes you like them or at least appreciate the character. They’re dramatic but you see multiple dimensions to them. Perhaps it’s just the media of TV that allows this presentation when compared to print; but by actually seeing characters interact and visually watching their body language really helps your impression of a character form…they become more than just ink on a page.

Now that isn’t to say the show didn’t have it’s extreme characters. Case and point Jenny Humphrey:

She became a bit of a mess later on in the show but she had to work up to that point and when it became too much, she was written off. But for the most part, I feel like the TV Show characters were much more rounded.

Winner: The SHOW! The characters just had so much more substance to them!

Gossip Girl Books: 0 | Gossip Girl TV Series: 1

Round 2: Chuck Bass

Flamboyant Monkey Owner vs Powerful Bad Boy

I originally had this Chuck Bass bit in the previous round but decided to give him his own Round because I think the contrast in his character presentation is important to highlight.

See in the books, Chuck Bass is one of the most bizarre characters I have ever had to read. He has a pet monkey, dresses in an overly flamboyant way and contributes nothing to the plot of the series.

But in the show, while his choice in suits can be labelled as somewhere on the flamboyant spectrum (albeit much, much lower than in the books), he is one of the driving forces of the plot. He keeps things interesting and who doesn’t love a sad bad boy who just wants to be loved? I had a major crush on Chuck Bass for YEARS while watching this show!

Winner: the SHOW! Chuck Bass played with my heart like he did with Blaire’s for years…and I wouldn’t change a single minute of it!

Gossip Girl Books: 0 | Gossip Girl TV Series: 2

Round 3: The Romances

Love Triangles Galore vs Love Triangles Galore

I feel like this small cast of characters slept with everyone else at some point or another…

The show followed the initial romances of the books for at least the first season. As I said before, making Chuck Bass a more relevant character in the show changed that up a bit as did the Humphrey family situation. In the books I never would have put Blair and Chuck together but on the show it just worked!

The relationships in the book started and ended in the blink of an eye it seemed. They also had the ultimate love triangle situations, complete with full-fledged drama and angst.

Because I found it difficult to like the characters in the books, I had a hard time rooting for their relationships as well. Nobody seemed to match up well and after a point I just stopped caring.

Winner: the TV show. The relationships, while dramatic, weren’t as quick as the books.

Gossip Girl Books: 0 | Gossip Girl TV Series: 3

Ultimate Winner: The TV series

Final Comments: Can you tell that I enjoyed the TV series a lot more? There is only so much you can do in a book compared to a TV show. TV just allows for better character development I find and most shows attempt to make the characters have a relateable/flawed side that keeps the audience coming back. For GG, that’s what the book series lacked for me.

What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read/watch? Leave a comment below!

Next Time: TV Adaptations vs Movie Adaptations

**Just a quick note that this next Throwdown Thursday will be posted in November! With the way my review posts are scheduled for October, I just couldn’t fit this one in!

Throwdown Thursdays: Vampire Diaries Books vs Vampire Diaries TV Show

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Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!

Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:
twiVSvam*I am only including the first 4 books of the original Vampire Diaries Series in my review; AND I only watched the first 4 seasons of the TV show
Book Series Review Here

I compare movies to their books all the time so why not try a TV show?

Round 1: Story

90s Cheerleader with Vampires & Witches vs Modern Teen with Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Hybrids…did I miss any?

I think we already know who is going to win this one…

When you compare the book series to the TV series, it seems so basic in its execution and that’s because it is; and there is nothing wrong with that. You can do a lot more with TV/visual media than you can with literature because you have more time and have an easier way to present material without endless amounts of description. I’m not saying that it can’t be done in literature–because it can!–I’m just saying it’s a hell of a lot easier for TV shows and movies.

I find that the TV show expands upon the basic concepts of witch-craft and gets wayyyyyy deeper into the Catherine-Elena history. I also loved the darker edge the TV show has to it because I found the books to be a little cheesy at times (but that is probably because they were written in the 1990s). They aren’t afraid to kill off people on the show and I like the idea that no one is safe–it keeps things exciting!

One thing I really don’t like about the show is all the supernatural creatures they have going on. It got a little too crazy for me and because I was watching it sporadically it was hard to keep up. I plan to catch-up this summer though 🙂

Winner: The TV Show. I just prefer the darker storylines and the action. Never a dull moment!

Vampire Diaries Books: 0 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 1

Round 2: The Characters

Golden Cheerleader with Sister vs Doppelgangers Galore with Brother

These little verses are hard to come up with!

In the book series, I found things to be pretty stereotypical. Sure, Elena didn’t live with her parents but she followed every other high school cheerleader stereotype. Cute boyfriend? Check. Rival Cheerleader? Check. Everyone loves her? Check. It was a little cliche to say the least but she did have some good character development, allowing her to break out of these molds at times. Stefan is your typical brooding heartthrob and Damon is evil. Add a BFF witch and a darling little sister and you have the original cast of characters. Nothing surprising but nothing all that exciting either.

The TV Show really revamped (no pun intended) these characters. gone is the childhood sister of Elena and in her place is the I-got-better-looking-as-the-series-progressed teenaged brother Jeremy. I really liked Jeremy’s character, his looks aside, because he added another perspective to the storyline and was another male character–and one who didn’t immediately fall in love with Elena. Elena herself is a much strong, independent heroine in the TV show. She doesn’t do anything rebellious for the sake of attention and has a good head on her shoulders. Bonnie became a lot more interesting and integral to the plot with her witch-craft. But really, it’s Caroline who stole the show for me. I really didn’t like her character in the books and it took me awhile to like her on the show, but she really grew on me!

As I said before, there are so many characters on the show that it is hard to follow them. And the doppelganger situation was starting to get a little out of control when I stopped watching. I LOVED the addition of the Originals (yet I haven’t started to watch the show yet!) and that whole storyline.

As for the brothers–they’re pretty much the same on the show except you realize Damon has a soul and isn’t as evil as you expected 😛

Winner: The Show. While they rotate them through quickly at times, I find they have a lot more substance to them.

Vampire Diaries Books: 0 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 2

Round 3: Romance

One Sided Love Triangle vs Full Blown Love Triangle

In the books, the main focus is Elena and Stefan; in the show their love is important but so is the rest of the casts’

I always felt like the romance in the books was really a one-sided love triangle. I mean, I think we all knew which brother Elena was going to end up with from the start. One of her BFF’s gets a love interest but past that, it really is the Elena-Salvatore Brother love triangle.

With the show, who knows who will really win Elena’s heart? That’s part of the reason why I stopped watching because I hate back and forth love triangles in my TV shows. They are exhausting to watch! But what kept me around was everyone else’s romantic encounters. Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline and Tyler, even Klaus and Rebecka all had me totally onboard with their relationships and provided a fresh storyline I was interested in watching.

Winner: The Show–in the sense that there is more romance going on. However, I prefer the love triangle of the books so both get a point!

Vampire Diaries Books: 1 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 3

Ultimate Winner: the TV Show

Final Comments: The show really amplified the basis of the Vampire Diary stories and brought them to the next generation. And because I am from that “next generation”, the show appeals to me a lot more. It’s faster, darker and has a whole lot more drama–basically everything I like in a good TV show!

What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!

Next Time: Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy vs Crossfire Series

Series Review: Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: The Vampire Diaries

There are a number of spin-off series; some written by L.J. Smith, others by a ghost writer. See all here. The Wikipedia page for the series has some interesting statements about how this series and the spin-offs are published.

Author: L.J. Smith
# of Books: 4 (The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, Dark Reunion)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Technically, Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural, Vampires, Magic, Witches
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: First and foremost, I read these books a looooonnnngggg time ago. Also, I want to be clear that I am only rating the original 4 Vampire Diaries novels. There are a number of spin-offs that I have never read…find out why below…

I can’t remember if I read these books before or after Twilight; I’m pretty sure it was after but definitely before the show first aired. I had the combined volumes I used for the covers for this post so I really have a hard time differentiating the plot of each book because it just seems like one big story–which is what a series is really–but what I’m trying to say is that it is all one big blur so don’t ask me about individual books!

One thing I really loved about Vampire Diaries is that it is a darker series where evil is always lurking. I know that there is lots of disagreements over how vampires are portrayed in books/popular culture but I’ve never really minded these alterations to what I call “modern vampires”. Yet Vampire Diaries features your blood drinking, bat-changing vampires who are up to no-good. It makes things creepy and darker than some of the other vampire series out there. I like how there is a villain and I like that actual dangerous things happen and sometimes they have disastrous consequences. It wasn’t always happy-go-lucky in this series and I liked that.

What I didn’t really like about the series was the romance. I’m not sure how many of you have read old romance novels from the late 80s/90s but they are drastically different from the romance novels you get today. Elena and Stefan’s romance was super cheesy to me and I think it was a product of it’s time (the first Vampire Diaries novel was published in 1991). I also wasn’t annoyed with the love triangle because, to me, it wasn’t truly a love triangle; it was more a by-product of what was going on plot-wise.

As for the characters, they weren’t anything that exciting or unique to me. They didn’t seem all that complex to me–even brooding, fighting-against-his-nature Stefan. I remember liking one of Elena’s friends more than I liked Elena.

I know a lot of people probably watch the TV or watched it (I stopped after season 3) and want to know how close it is to the books. The truth of the matter is that it isn’t anything close to the books. Sure, the basic ideas are there but things are drastically different. Things as simple as Elena’s list of friends and family are changed and the TV series definitely has a sexier feel. Some of the basic backbones are there but characters have radically different purposes in each. I LOVED the first two seasons of the show; but Season 3 just started to get too complicated for me and with school it was hard to keep up with it all. I plan to catch up on Netflix this summer.

The TV show is the reason I stopped following the book series. I enjoyed the TV series way more than I ever did the books so I never felt the need to pick them up. And I probably won’t ever pick up the books. I don’t like dragged out things and I feel like these spin-off series are just the by-product of the TV show. (Which is great because anything that encourages reading is fantastic but I feel like it takes away from the original spirit of the series).

Conclusion:

Simply put: I’ve read better vampire romances. But I can appreciate the fact that I can probably thank this series for spawning all of the “better vampire romances” out there. Unlike the TV show, it’s cheesy and basic in its delivery. If you want a sexier, danger-filled vampire romance, watch the TV show instead!

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No, I’d recommend the TV show first!

Similar Reads: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight Saga #1)

Synopsis for The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening (from Goodreads):
Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he’d kill to possess her.