Should you judge a book by its TV Show?

September 15, 2009 News 2

TV              vs               Books
            True Blood TV series     vs   The Southern Vampire Series
                                          by Charlaine Harris
                  The Vampire Diaries TV series  vs    The Vampire Diaries
                                            by L. J. Smith
            The Dresden Files TV series  vs   The Dresden Files Series
by Jim Butcher
Blood Ties TV series        vs        The Blood Series
by Tanya Huff
My new poll question made me wonder, should we ever judge a book by its TV series?  With the debut last week of The Vampire Diaries based on the series by L.J. Smith, and the continued success of True Blood based on the series by Charlaine Harris, this is the perfect time to ask this question.
I have read at least the first book in each of these series and, with the exception of True Blood (wayyyyyyyy too much profanity for me, I couldn’t finish the show), seen the first episode of each show.  I have to say definitely not.    The TV series are in each case only loosely based on the books they claim.  The Vampire Diaries is the most recent example.  The book was a catty and trite look into the life of a teenage girl who sets out to compete with another popular girl for the attention of the new hottie in school.  The second half of the book is a flashback to how the aforementioned hottie and his brother got vamped way back when.  Since I clearly thought so little of the book, why did I bother to watch the show?  Because I thought the previews looked much more Twilight than the books.  And so far, the previews proved accurate.  The TV show, while still for a teen audience, is much more thoughtful and will, I suspect appeal to adults as well.
Please chime in with your opinion and take the poll and leave a comment with your thoughts (please let me know if I overlooked a book-to-TV adaptation).

2 Responses to “Should you judge a book by its TV Show?”

  1. S.S. White

    Of all the examples you've cited, I haven't looked at a one of them. Well, I've read the Charlaine Harris series to a point, but I don't get HBO so I can't watch TRUE BLOOD.

    However, in the SF category, ABC is premiering FLASH FORWARD, based on a Robert J. Sawyer novel of the same name. I haven't read the novel and I don't intend to: I don't want it to influence my enjoyment (or lack thereof) the show.


  2. Alexia561

    Have to agree with your assessment that the TV shows in question are only loosely based on the books. I think they have to be, or they would quickly run out of episodes.

    Of all the shows you've used as examples, I think the Dresden Files has crossed over the best, in large part due to the casting. They found the perfect actor to portray Harry, and have kept to the spirit of Jim Butcher's series.

    Interesting topic. Will be curious to see the results of your poll. I'm now a follower, as I really like your blog!