Listen up television executives (or other readers with more power than I have in the television industry):
I am in love with the prospect of adapting books to long form television series. While Game of Thrones takes over culture, and while unusual, smaller books reach wider audiences, like Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers, I would say that there are others waiting in the rafters just as worthy of the wide audiences television can give.
Now, let’s be clear here. I can’t say that every book that I have loved would work for this. I can, however, say that certain books of social commentary or with a unique viewpoint should be brought to the television/Netflix screen/HULU/Amazon Prime Streaming screen. These books could become exactly what is missing in the lives of viewers and take on a new art form.
And while we have memoir-based television like Orange Is the New Black as a strong hold of Netflix’s lineup, we can look to other books with socially conscious elements and a focus on the relationship between the imprisoned and the rest of the world. Has anyone thought about Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy on screen? It could be amazing with direct camera eye contact ala The Big Short‘s movie adaptation. Or documentary style. Either way, this book has such a powerful message and it could take a new step toward a different audience.
Another option? Tea Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife was a wide reaching novel across generations and realities. With commentary on the relationship between folklore and medicine, it could have some great potential. My guess is that some elements would need to be tinkered in there to fit a tv formula (Perhaps? I wonder if anyone has an opinion on this.), but if done well, this could be fantastic.
I commonly write about the above titles on Book Riot because they have stuck in my mind so well, which makes me even more confident that TV adaptation would work well. What book has appeared in your recent past that you wish could move to the little screen?
And there’s another question in this as well. Clearly television scripts must change characters, dialogue and whole plot lines. Can you accept that this might happen to your pick?