If there’s one thing in the world that could compete with a bibliophile’s affection for books, it’s probably TV and film adaptions of those books.
Let’s face it, over the last few years we’ve been spoiled for choice when it comes to stories making their way onto the small and big screens. TV shows have been gathering particular success. Half the world has been swept up in Jon Snow’s quest to defend the wall from the white walkers, with over 8 million people tuning in to watch the Game Of Thrones Season 6 finale in the US alone. In 2016, we revisited Claire and Jamie in Outlander Season 2 as they tried to change history in France, watched Ross Poldark stare listlessly out at sea from a clifftop (frankly there wasn’t enough of it in Season 1) and lost our cool over just how cool The Night Manager was. We just can’t get enough.
2017 is set to provide just as many treats for book-lovers with adaptions of Chris Krauss’ I Love Dick, Magaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher looking set for release.
With all these future shows to gorge on it made me think: what TV shows would make great books?
These are my picks:
Suits is where all the world’s sass originates. I started watching Season 4 not long ago and every time a character opens their mouth I’m jealous of their quick-witted repartee. It’s a show about lawyers who work at the law firm Pearson Hardman Darby Spectre… the name’s not important. What is important is that they represent some serious clients with serious money. Harvey Spectre is the lawyer who could wipe the floor with you and you would be grateful that all he did was make your pockets a few tonnes lighter. He’s tough but he fights fair and always within the law, until he hires a talented first year associate who never graduated law school. All the characters are flawless and even if you don’t always like them, you respect them (except maybe Louis- he needs to get a handle on those emotions). I would love to see what really goes on in Harvey’s mind and the mind of his secretary Donna- I bet she would have some stories to tell.
Girls is like The Sex and the City of my generation, except no one will ever be able to replace Miranda, not in my eyes. It takes a scenario that could become cliché- four twenty-something women trying to make it in New York- and turns it into a story you haven’t heard before. They can be really frustrating to watch because they’re flawed, selfish and whiny but their lives don’t always go to plan. As a show it does a great job of capturing the stress and confusion that comes from being thrust into the adult world when you have no idea what you’re doing- imagine how good it would be as a book. Also Adam and Shoshanna are perfect.
I always find myself telling people I’m not into crime dramas or thrillers and then after watching the opening credits I’m hooked. The Fall was no exception. Women are being murdered in Belfast and left posed in their bedrooms, a serial killer is on the loose and it’s down to DSI Stella Gibson to find him. The Fall is different to many crime dramas. The killer isn’t a faceless threat, you spend a lot of time getting to know him, seeing the stark difference between the violent crimes he commits and his day-to-day life. He has an unconventional relationship with the police, particularly with DSI Gibson. It’s a disturbing flirtation you can’t pull yourself away from. There have been a series of brilliant crime and thriller novels published over the last few years and I think The Fall would be explosive.
If I’m honest, I just want more Stiles in my life. I’ve been following Teen Wolf since the show started in 2011. Who knew it would become such a big hit? I did. Scott McCall is a fourteen year old boy trying to make the lacrosse team, trying not to flunk out of his classes and trying to get the girl. He really should have been trying not to get bitten by a murderous werewolf. Hindsight is a wonderful but useless thing. Luckily, he has a best friend named Stiles to help him through his transition from awkward teenager to awkward supernatural creature. It’s a show that’s grown darker over the seasons but while it’s about battling the dark forces who just won’t leave Beacon Hills alone it’s more about friendship and loyalty. Stiles and Scott have a brilliant relationship. They don’t resent each other and they’re not jealous of what the other one has. They are supportive and will save the other no matter the cost. There’s always more room for an urban fantasy series on the bookshelf.
I can’t move on without mentioning Lydia. Her character has come such a long way since the first episodes. She’s not afraid to show how smart she is, she’s brave and uncompromising- all in all she’s one of the best strong female characters on TV right now.
I think of all the TVs shows this would be the hardest one to recreate in book form because it’s a mockumentary style comedy. I binged watch the entire seven seasons in an amount of time so short that I can’t disclose it and I’m not sure how I had time to go to work in between episodes. It’s so easy to fall for the characters and get wrapped up in the Parks & Recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana’s government. Leslie Knope is an aspiring politician with an enthusiasm for government you don’t really see in real life these days. She wants to change the world one park at a time and is proud of her town despite its shady history. I can imagine Leslie Knope keeping a Bridget Jones style diary bursting with rainbows and meticulous scrapbook pages. I would love to read Ron Swanson’s diary too but I think if he were ever to write down any personal information he would probably set fire to it outside his log cabin an hour later and scatter its ashes in five different states.
Despite more than a few setbacks that would be demoralizing for anyone else, Leslie continues to try improving her town and she has a weird and wonderful team to support her. If Parks & Recreation was a book it would be an uplifting read.