It feels like yesterday I sat down to write a Thursday Movie Picks post and here we are again. This week though we are looking at television shows and recommending ones that fall under the book adaptations theme. Honestly, it’s a bit of a difficult one for me because I’d gladly recommend ones I’ve read the book for. But I haven’t read any books that have been adapted to shows lately or.. not a lot at all. But let’s try to find a different theme within a theme, okay? Maybe even a bit more since all the book adaptations I picked here became miniseries in 2020. PS: Don’t forget to look at my worst book to movie adaptations post.
3. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE (2020)
Starting off with an odd one because I haven’t actually seen the miniseries. I’ve read the book though so it’s basically the other way around than with my other two picks. Not sure why I didn’t watch the show yet. I guess I just didn’t really care. I’m not saying Little Fires Everywhere is bad but the book was just alright. I actually loved Celeste Ng’s (book author) debut novel more than Little Fires Everywhere. Anyway, I’m sure it’s a solid miniseries with good performances.
2. THE OUTSIDER (2020)
I haven’t read the book and I’m pretty sure I’ll never will. While the miniseries is amazing in the beginning it loses its footing by the end. It’s a very common Stephen King theme I guess, strong beginning and a ridiculous ending. I was overwhelmed how it ended but the beginning, man, so strong. Bateman and Mendelsohn are great but Cynthia Erivo steals the show for me.
1. THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT (2020)
Have I talked about this miniseries yet? I feel like I have but it also feels like ages ago. That being said The Queen’s Gambit is one hell of an adaptation and I know this because I just know it. Like you can’t really fault it because it does everything it’s supposed to do. Similar to Normal People I feel like it improves the source material. Even though I haven’t read The Queen’s Gambit I’m pretty sure it made the book come alive and added some more. Anya Taylor-Joy is AMAZING here!
THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES1
I haven’t read nor seen your first two picks (Little Fires Everywhere is both on my to-be-watched and to-be-read list), but I loved The Queen’s Gambit. I didn’t read the book that one is based on though and probably never will because I don’t like chess.
I haven’t heard of your second pick but have heard very positive things about the other two especially The Queen’s Gambit. Regretfully I’ve seen none, both a question of access to them and time. With everything I’ve heard about Queen’s Gambit it is on my to see list and I love Reese Witherspoon so given the chance I’d check out Little Fires Everywhere as well.
Well I finally managed after quite a while to have a theme within the theme this week! All biographical adaptations starring Lee Remick, a huge favorite of mine. A major film star in the 60’s (The Days of Wine and Roses, Anatomy of a Murder) she moved between film (The Omen, The Europeans) and TV in the 70’s then focused almost exclusively on television in the 80’s becoming one of the queens of the miniseries genre until her 1991 death from cancer at only 55. She was Emmy nominated for this trio. I’ve also read all three of the source books as well and all the adaptations are strong interpretations of them.
Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974)-Seven-part miniseries adaptation of the Ralph G. Martin biography of the same name. Following the life of American heiress Jennie Jerome (Lee) from her first teenage meeting with British aristocrat Randolph Churchill, their often rocky marriage, her rise in political circles both as Randolph’s wife and later the strong influence she exerted over son Winston while living a colorful and complicated life of her own.
Haywire (1980)-Based on eldest daughter Brooke’s memoir this two-part miniseries details the complex, troubled and dysfunctional marriage and home life of stage and film star Margaret Sullavan (Lee) and super-agent Leland Hayward (Jason Robards Jr.) and their three children. Powerfully told but not a happy tale-between the couple they had 9 marriages (ironically Leland’s last wife (of 5) was the ex-wife of Winston Churchill’s son.) Margaret Sullavan and her two younger children died by their own hand. Henry Fonda was Maggie Sullavan’s first husband and the pair (and their children) remained close throughout her life-actress Bridget Fonda is named in memory of youngest daughter Bridget Hayward who was romantically involved with Peter Fonda at the time of her death.
Nutcracker: Money, Murder, Madness (1987)-Three-part miniseries adapted from Shana Alexander’s true crime book about Frances Schreuder (Lee), an amoral and rapacious New York socialite who manipulated and dominated her sons, ultimately pushing one into madness and the other to murder her own father, multi-millionaire industrialist Franklin Bradshaw, for financial gain.
To be honest, I liked the ending of The Outsider (the novel!!). I think a lot of his work gets a bad rep for having bad endings but honestly, there are only a handful that are odd/unsatisfying. I still need to watch the series but the book is great.
We match on The Queen’s Gambit! I’ve seen all three of your picks. I never read Little Fires Everywhere, but I read a book vs show comparison and I’m not sure I’d enjoy the novel, even though I liked the show. The Outsider was great for me until the last episode.
I ADORE the Queen’s Gambit, but I haven’t read it, so I can’t actually say if it improved the material haha I can totally see what you mean by them managing to make it come alive though. That feels like a true statement.
I’ve done the opposite with The Outsider, read the book but not watched the series! But it sounds very similar. I was hooked on it to begin with but after the reveal, it all just stopped being so exciting.
All of your picks are on my to-watch list. My problem is that I always want to read the book first but there are so many books and so little time 😂
I’ve only seen some of The Queen’s Gambit, but Mrs. Dell is a huge fan. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I’ve seen. I just haven’t went all in, yet. Mrs. Dell is all caught up, though. She liked it enough that she couldn’t wait for me to carve out time to watch with her, lol.
Of course, I haven’t seen any but The Queen’s Gambit is the one I really do want to see. I heard of the first one but don’t know much about it. I know zilch about The Outsider.
I have seen all but The Outsider.
Enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere and The Queen’s Gambit.
The Outsider – I had heard the ending wasn’t very good which is why I haven’t seen it. I kinda agree with you, at least with some of King’s adaptations I’ve seen. They start really good all atmospheric and creepy…but the rest of it is just falls flat and silly…which is what I thought of the IT movies.