Why I Hate TV Shows & Movies Based on Books

6 Sep

Allow me to clarify. I hate the IDEA of it.

That is not to say that they are awful and should be banned. Before I get into it, I want to be clear about one thing: I am not telling you that you should stop watching them. If you like them, then I hope they continue to bring you much pleasure in life.

Me? No.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved reading. I also have this weird type of memory where I can remember anything I’ve ever read in a book I like, but if you gave me something else to read or told me to do something, it flies out of my head. So when I go to see a movie ten years after the book was released – guess what? All that time doesn’t mean I will forget the plot. I will remember. Then I will verbally assault all the changes and flaws in the movie.

Yes. Typically, no one likes to see movies with me unless they are POSITIVE there is no book to it.

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But why? Why do I hate them so much?

I don’t hate them. I hate the idea of them. Which is what I said before, but let me elaborate.

The difference between hating them and hating the idea of them is that I don’t hate all the movies I’ve watched. In fact, my favorite movie is A Walk to Remember, which is based off of Nicholas Sparks’ book by the same name. I’ve read the book, and the movie always makes me cry. I tend to watch it at the very least once a year, snuggled up on the couch with tissues on stand-by. I’ve also loved watching The Hunger Games. I loved the books and the movie stayed true to the book, only deleting some small things. But I have also seen movies that absolutely veered off the original plot and redefined the book, leaving the author’s legacy in the dust.

Let’s have an example. Twilight, anyone? Sure, everyone either loves it beyond control or hates it with their very being. But most of us read it. Why ? Why did we all read the books, and why did a divide occur? Because of the movie.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

And also, the cover is unique and beautiful. You don’t always find good covers.

I am one of the people who says I hate the books, but what I really mean, what most of us really mean, is that I hate the movie and what the idea of Twilight has become. As far as it being a young adult novel, it wasn’t a bad one. It carried the plot nicely, and it kept the attention of even the most scatter-brained readers out there. When we all read them, we may have loved them, or may have felt indifferent about them. Very few people can say that they actually loathed the book. Then, when the movie came out, it seemed to, in my case, exaggerate the absurdness of the author’s ideas, and make me realize that the plot was actually kind of… stupid. I wasn’t a fan of the actors, I wasn’t a fan of the acting, and I wasn’t a fan of what the directors made Twilight become.

When we were reading the books, it was fun. Read it and forget it. Maybe you even liked it. Come on. Admit it. You probably even own the book. I do. It’s a deep dark embarrassing secret I hide from everybody. But the way the movie just blew up and changed it and made it into something that insulted the books, I just couldn’t be around that world anymore. Stephanie Meyer isn’t even a bad author. If you have withheld on reading The Host because of Twilight, you shouldn’t have. I loved the book and the movie was okay. Her voice draws you in and her stories are intriguing. However, squeezing out the fandom for all the money it’s worth and making it into something bigger than it should be? Stephanie Meyer may be a a good author, but I feel like she is going along with releasing all the books, then releasing all the movies, then making the last one into two movies, then also releasing an additional book for the series in order to squeeze as much money as she can. There’s nothing wrong with it, of course, since this is her livelihood and she deserves it for all the hard work she’s put into the books. But if the actual movies were good, I would respect her a lot more for it. She had the opportunity to tell the directors how to make it better,  how to make it stay true to the series, but she didn’t do it.

When I say Twilight, everyone thinks of the movie. Everyone has forgotten the book. It shouldn’t be this way. The book was okay, maybe even good, YA literature wise, and was around before the movie even came out. It’s what the movie was based on. The movie ruined the Twilight legacy.

This, it seems, happens a lot. Anyone heard of The Vampire Diaries? I recently started watching The Vampire Diaries. I am a book junkie, but I’m also a TV junkie, so I finally agreed to give it a try.

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Anybody find it weird that Stefan on the book cover looks like the actor? Good job on the casting, despite all other flaws.

I read the series. The TV show doesn’t even come close to what it should be. And I bet some of you thought of the TV show when I mentioned it, not the books. Even though, L.J. Smith, in her own right, is one of the best YA authors out there, you may have jumped straight to the TV show, when without a doubt the books were so much better.

And that seems to be the problem in our society. We like to watch the shows and movies because it’s faster and we see our imaginations come to life.

So what if they change it? What if it’s not up-to-par with what you expected?

Our imaginations are the very things that cannot be replicated, which is why a book never tells the same story twice. The book is different for every one of its readers, even for the author. When you make it into a movie, you are robbing us of what we thought. Which is why the book is always better, no matter how amazing the movie is. It may be good, it may be better than our imaginations, but it could also be worse.

Don’t even get me started on the people who watch the TV-series or the movie first, or in order to avoid reading the books. My sister is one of them. She hates books (I KNOW! How are we related?!) and usually can only understand what I’m gushing about, very vaguely, if she’s seen the movie. It’s not the same. If you’ve ever talked about a book to a person that’s only seen the movie, you’ll understand that it’s like talking to a brick wall. That is because movies are not clear representations of books. Neither are TV-shows.

THOSE are some of the reasons I hate the idea of movies based on books. There are many others, and maybe one day I will put up a list (there are much more than 10, so it’s not going to be a Top Ten post), but for today I will leave you with what I’ve given.

What about you? Do you like watching movies/TV-shows based on books? Why? Why not? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 Responses to “Why I Hate TV Shows & Movies Based on Books”

  1. iblogaboutitandheforgetshispants September 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I like to watch them because, like you said, it’s like our imaginations coming to life. However, more often than not, I am disappointed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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