If you were considered a young adult from 2008 to, well, now, then your media consumption was probably full of YA book adaptations: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Divergent, Percy Jackson, you name it.
And since theaters were flooded with movies trying to pack everything that happens in 300 pages into an hour and 45 minutes, fans have been complaining, sometimes rightfully so, about how the movie adaptations miss key plot lines or scenes — because that’s what happens when you squeeze 300 pages into less than two hours of movie.
The worst part is that the solution has been right there all along: TV series. They may not always be better, but I’ll take that over the dreaded book-three-turned-into-a-two-parter. And it seems Hollywood is finally starting to listen.
Following the painful movie adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the author announced last year that a Disney + series was being discussed and this past week they released a casting call for the series.
While I’ve always had my favorite movies and TV shows, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone is what pushed me to believe in the superiority of TV adaptations. Let me make this very clear: I have not read any of the Grishaverse series despite it being on my To Be Read list. But I needed a good fantasy show to watch and my TikTok FYP has been hyping it up for months, so I broke my own read-first-watch-later rule and I’m so glad that I did.
This series had close to eight hours of screen time and managed to introduce a whole new world with magic systems, governments, political players, and a variety of characters and plot lines to me — someone with zero understanding of what was going on before I pressed play — and it all made sense.
From what I gathered from readers’ reactions on my FYP, the series also did a pretty good job of adapting the story with some greatly appreciated changes like bringing in other Grishaverse characters even if they didn’t appear in the book.
And because I could understand what was going on, as well as the well written story, amazing characters, and intriguing storyline. I was wrecked when those 8 episodes ended and I realized I’d have to wait for me. And if I almost ended up rewatching the first episode then and there, that is between me and my 3 AM Netflix history. Hopefully all the friends I casually begged to watch it will and then I’ll have a buddy to rewatch and subsequently lose my mind again with.
I highly, highly doubt I would have taken away the same understanding of the Grishaverse if they had tried to jam everything those eight episodes — with nearly eight hours of screen time — into an hour and 45 minute movie.
And that is why I believe in TV adaptation superiority, and will happily die on that hill.