I’m never one to say a film or TV adaptation of a book is ever as good as the read itself. I’m not much of a reader as I’m more of a
visual person, but when I do read it’s usually something that I know I use as an excuse to be more critical of something I will be
watching. Those that have read the Harry Potter books know that although the films are great, they are not even a dusting on the
original stories in the books (the special effects don’t do JK Rowling’s descriptions justice).
But the recent rise in the ‘Paranormal Romance’ adaptation have pleasantly surprised me. I’ve been listening to the Sookie Stackhouse audiobooks (adapted to True Blood), which has an amazing narrator in Joanna Parker (on several occasions I forgot that she was just one person doing the voice of every character, including a brilliant Eric) and although the books are amazingly exciting, funny and a little on the erotic side, where Alan Ball has changed parts of the story for his True Blood series he has truly changed them for the better.
Another example is the popular ITV2 series Vampire Diaries. This series started out as a TV version of the Twilight Saga, but has quickly turned into a much darker, edger show. Again, with these books I am listening to the audiobook versions, I’m currently listening to The Fury, and it seems like they have taken some these characters names and the element of a diary, rings to allow vampires to stay out in the sun…and created an entirely new concept. If it wasn’t for watching the TV show I wouldn’t continue with these books, Elena is a selfish ‘queen bee’ who is rude to her friends and Bonnie is of Scottish decent, still a witch but really her only skill is to allow a paranormal being to use her body to communicate with Elena.
The final example I would like to raise, and I apologies if I offend any Twi-hard teenage fans out there is the Twilight Saga. There is a great story idea in these books, but they read as if they are written by a child. Often cheesy and feeling like a copy of the Sookie
Stackhouse storyline these books annoyed me, but I kept reading as I wanted to know what happened next – I just wished someone else had told me. The films, so far, have taken the story of the books and, as you would expect from a film, taken out the fluffy
descriptions (except for the pointless and cheesy slow motion running scene in New Moon) and just given us the story as it should
have been told.
What interests me the most from these book to TV/Film is although you would expect to know what will happen next, these are adaptations that are ignoring the original idea of their creators and delivering something that has taken the world by storm and creating the new ‘Paranormal Romance’ genre.