Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Books versus TV

Lately a lot of TV Shows have been coming out based on successful Book Series.  I have a few in which I read and watched both iterations.  Some have not lasted long on TV like Dresden Files.  Others have become big, like Game of Thrones and True Blood. There are a few in which I only watched the TV show, I was not really interested in the books based on subject matter.  Those shows, Vampire Diaries and Blood Ties, I even stopped watching.  I even read a series of books that became a series then a few TV Movies later, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser.  I will go over those shows and/ or Books I still watch and/ or read.  I will try not to go into plotline or stories.

Dresden Files

The TV Series only lasted one short season on SciFi Channel.  It is about a Wizard/ Private Investigator who tries to help regular humans versus all the supernatural nastiness.  Paul Blackthorn was great on the show.  I later devoured the book series which is still going strong.  The audio books have James Marters, Buffy and Angel’s Spike, as the narrator.  On TV they had Dresden use every day items, a drumstick instead of a wand or blasting rod or a hockey stick instead of a staff.  His VW Bug, Hat and Duster were not there on the show.  They changed his Cop friend from a small blonde hard case to a Latina.  Who knows where they would have gone if they had more seasons and how it would have impacted the way Jim Butcher wrote the novels.  The Novels are very influenced by Noir, but they try to do something different when it comes to the fantasy elements.  I enjoyed both and even now there is a series of comic books based on the novels and original stories. 

True Blood/ The Southern Vampire Mysteries

Like most of these I found the show first.  I read the books later.  With this to be honest I enjoy the novels better.  They are both filled with bat crap craziness.  In the books Sookie and Jason are a bit smarter.  Eric is a bigger Jerk and Pam is a hoot.  Tara is a lot different too.  The faerie thing is in the books.  The TV writers did not make that stuff up themselves.  The books do more with various Supernatural creatures than the series has yet.  That may be due to the fact there are twelve books instead of five seasons. The two versions are seriously diverging since the second season versus the second novel.  The show has become a bit too silly and campy for me.  I still watch it, it is better than others on TV.  The Show has ratcheted up the Melodrama and camp to the Nth degree.  Sometimes it is nice not to take things too seriously. 

Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire

This I heard of years before the series was in production.  I was a fan of George R. R. Martin’s Shared world series Wild Cards.  It was a series about people with Super powers and had a group of authors all working in the same world.  So when I heard it was becoming a TV series I listened to the Audio book before the TV show’s First Season Premiere.  The show has made changes, Tyrion is not quite as deformed and names have been changed to avoid confusion.  Other changes were made for show logistics and budgetary concerns.  In general it has been very true to the books.  First season the biggest difference were the ages of the kids and Tyrion’s appearance.  Second Season changes were done to streamline the story.  The Books can be more epic and have so many more characters.  That however does not work as well with television.  As the Show continues there with be more variations from the Novels.  They are talking that the Third book may be broken up into two Seasons.  They also may need to mix the books up since two of the books only cover half the characters roughly in the same time period.

Spenser/ Spenser for Hire and the A&E Spenser Movies

The Spenser series first hit the bookshelves in 1973.  In 1985 to 1988 ABC had the Spenser for Hire TV Series Starring Robert Urich and Avery Brooks as Spenser and Hawk.  The same cast returned for four TV Movies on Lifetime from 1993-1995.  From 1999 to 2001 Joe Mantegna starred in three TV movies based on Spenser Novels for A&E.  The novels are your typical hard nosed gumshoe mysteries, although Spenser is not your typical P.I.  He is a Gourmet cook and well read.  Robert B. Parker referred to the Spenser for Hire series as Spenser lite.  It was Spenser without the hardness of the novels.  Parker was one of the Producers of the A&E TV Movies.  The A&E films were closer to the novels than the Urich series and Films.  I personally prefer the books entirely.  I feel the A&E films came closest, but still did not hit the scope.  One thing that is interesting is that Joe Mantegna is the narrator for many of the Spenser Audio books. 

That Is My Not So Humble Opinion

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