Last week, I wrote an essay on why a certain book would make for a great TV show. This led to yesterday’s review on ‘The Way of Kings‘, and it has brought us here today. It was a lot of fun, and you guys seemed to like it a lot.
So I’m gonna do it again. Because I’ve been sitting at my desk, staring at a blank document and listening to John Mulaney’s stand-up for an hour. I’m not lazy, I swear. I’m simply going crazy.
Today, I’m going to go over three works of literature that I think would make for great TV shows. This is all subjective opinion, of course. But you’re on my blog, so you’re getting my opinion. Feel free to let me know yours in the comments. In fact, please do. I need more books to read.
The Works of Edgar Allen Poe: Yes, All of Them
Move over ‘Black Mirror‘. Get out, ‘Twilight Zone‘ reboot. The only one I need is ‘The Raven‘.
Edgar Allen Poe is one of the few poetic writers that I have on my ‘Writers Who May as Well be Gods’ list. I have a book with every single poem and short story he’s ever written, and I’ve read them all! His works are some of the strongest in the history of literature!
Now, imagine this with me: it’s Saturday night. You had a long day of work, and you just need to watch a good horror show. You’ve already seen every episode of the aforementioned shows, and you’re sick of them. You search through your preferred streaming service. Then you find it: a live-action adaptation of ‘Never Bet the Devil Your Head’ and ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, with a dash of ‘Evening Star’ and ‘”The Happiest Day–The Happiest Hour”‘ in-between to spice things up.
I dunno about you, but that sounds like an absolute dream. At least if you’re a huge fan of dark, classical writing.
The episodes would have a simple structure. They’d have one or two live-action adaptations of a short story by Poe, depending on the length. In between or after these stories, we’d get a short adaptation of one of his poems. These poems would have no dialogue, but rather a narrator with a lovely voice reading the poem itself.
This wouldn’t just be a decently interesting dark TV series. It would also be a great way to spark interest in Poe’s works. Lots of people have a bad perception of them thanks to school (at least we do in America, but that’s a rant for another day), and they avoid them like the plague. But if they were to watch an interesting horror TV show about them? Maybe that would get them interested!
Because let’s be honest: kids these days are basic. They’ll watch anything if it’s labeled ‘horror’. Trust me, I worked in a movie theater for a few months. I had to sell several white teenage girls tickets to ‘Truth or Dare‘. If they’ll burn their lives away watching that, they’ll bite for an Edgar Allen Poe TV show. Difference being: the ladder would be good.
The Last Unicorn: Fantasy For Kids!
Remember when it was socially acceptable for a fantasy series to be for kids? Back before everything marketed towards the young was either a) treating said child like an absolute moron or b) so dark and edgy that you’re amazed it isn’t cutting your kids, you remember that? I sure do.
‘The Last Unicorn‘ is a fantasy classic that a lot of people don’t know about. If anything, they know about the animated film adaptation. That one’s good, yes. But if I can be honest: I feel we can do better.
It wouldn’t be a very long TV show. It’d be a season long at best. But it could be a great fantasy adventure for the youths. As well as the adults making like children, even when they have bushy black beards, a receding hairline, and a full-time job.
Like this guy.
Sorry, where was I?
The Last Unicorn would be a great, uplifting fantasy show. It could work in a live-action setting, but I do think this one would work better as an animated series. ‘But isn’t that just the movie?’ I hear you saying. Yes. But here’s the difference: the show would have the time to make sure things made more sense.
It wouldn’t be the next ‘Game of Thrones’ (a comparison that I will never make again, I promise), but it would be a fun and interesting show. Even if it would feel more like an acid trip than a fantasy adventure at times.
Thirteen Reasons- oh wait…
Sorry. I had to make that joke. No, I’m not still upset about it. Why would you think that? Let’s move on.
The Silmarillion: A Fantasy Documentary Series
*Link to my recent review of ‘The Silmarillion’ at the bottom*
Of all the books in the world, adapting ‘The Silmarillion‘ would easily be the most difficult in the world. It’d be like trying to adapt the Bible. Except for… it wouldn’t be considered blasphemy.
Huh. Actually, now that I think about it…
I have this to propose. Imagine this: a documentary-style series. Each episode visually presents one of the stories found within the book, with a nice narrator over the whole thing. Maybe you could even get someone from the Peter Jackson movies to narrate!
Can you imagine the voice of Gandalf narrating the scene where Lúthien sings to Morgoth? Because the image of it alone makes me feel things! I’d take it over the Amazon Prime LOTR series that they’re doing.
Those are my top picks for books that would make good TV shows. I’m sure I could come up with some more, but I’m certain that both you and I have better things to do than sit here and wish for things that will never happen.
Well, at least you do. But if you have the time to think about these things like I do, feel free to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about what books you’d love to see on your television.
Because we all know that’s more fun than talking about the things that actually matter in life. We’re all here for escapism. Or at least, that’s what I do this for.