Netflix hit You, is my guilty pleasure show of the year. I will, without shame, admit that I binge-watched the entire season in less than a day and am now ravenous for more. But what people might not realize is that it’s based on a book, and that book is . . . well, very different. Not better or worse, but it’s definitely a different experience to read it (which I highly recommend you do—this book is vastly underrated).
Look, we know that all movies and TV shows take liberties, if only because there isn’t enough time (or there’s way, way too much time) to stay true to your favorite characters, but these shows and movies (and one play!) have left a lot on the cutting room floor.
The book inspired a million conversations on wealth disparity, and the most recent film adaptation. starring Leonardo DiCaprio, inspired a million parties with faux fur, cigarette holders, and bright-red lipstick (and I’d like to give a big WELCOME BACK to attractive Leo in a smashing 1920s tux, we are quite happy to see you again). But no matter which you pick, you’re in for a world filled with glitz, glamour, and a dead guy in a pool at the end (I’d say spoiler alert, but I feel like the statute of limitations has passed on GATSBY).
Some consider it “the great American novel.” The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his powerful love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan is an exquisitely crafted tale that has been essential reading since it was published.
Read the full review here.
There was definitely a kid in both movies, and that kid was fighting aliens. But that’s about where the similarities ended. In the 2013 movie, featuring a pre–Sex Education Asa Butterfield, Ender was a 13-year-old battle master who, very quickly, figured out the rules and aced the tests to achieve maximum success and total popularity. In the book, he was more of a nerd who constantly got bullied until he accidentally proved himself. But the upside is, then he spends the rest of his life regretting that decision, so let’s hope that movie Ender is a little happier at the end of the day.
This book is just as fun as the TV Land show with Hillary Duff—maybe without as many of the generational spats, but with just as much of the steamy romance. It’s the rare instance when you can’t decide which is better—book or TV show—but YOUNGER is a blast no matter which format you choose. Sure, Liza isn’t exactly how she appears on the page, and there’s no strange Swedish author who takes his editor out for candy in the middle of the day, but Josh and Charles are spot on. And that’s all that really matters, right?
I’m referring to the stage-play adaptation, not the movie, but an adaptation is an adaptation, right? I saw the play—twice—because I am a giant Aaron Sorkin fan, and also because TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is the kind of classic that you want to see portrayed. You want to meet Atticus Finch and watch Scout grow up, rebelling every step of the way. And you still get that in the play. But you really . . . don’t get anything else. Boo Radley exists in name alone until the last ten minutes. But the trial is something special, and I personally think that, while it doesn’t really follow the plot, it stays true to the meaning of Harper Lee’s masterpiece. But it really doesn’t follow the plot. Like, at all.
Wendy’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Atticus Finch
Perhaps it’s a cliché to want to have dinner with Atticus Finch—lawyer, father, all-around good man. Atticus is known for his conscience, grace, compassion, and morality. I suspect that his words would be full of insight and wisdom, and challenge me to sit straighter in my chair.
Bet you didn’t know this popular Amazon series (now in its fourth season!) was a book, huh? That’s because they took a memoir, plucked the main character out, and threw the rest out the window. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—the book, as good as it is, is a lot more about the technical ins and outs of making it as a career musician, and the TV show has a kind of gushing passion for art that the book doesn’t try to portray. But when you get to the third episode and you start realizing this is a lot more Amadeus than it is The Art of Violin, just know: the book is very different.
Well . . . they both have zombies? The big difference is that the zombies are super slow in the book—there is one very funny part about how it’s easy to escape if you just speed walk for a couple minutes. But, honestly, the only thing World War Z kept when it became a big-budget Brad Pitt movie was the name. If you’re looking for the oral history of various citizens from all over the world recalling how they dealt with the zombie uprising, you’re gonna have to pick up the book. Then again, if you want to watch Brad Pitt commandeer a helicopter while CGI zombies chase after him (and a bonus shot of zombies scaling 35-foot-high walls), this movie is right up your alley.
This tome is pretty classic Stephen King: strange circumstances in a world filled with quirky, ultrarealistic characters. And to that point, the show does a pretty good job of coloring within the lines. But the adaptation is so incredibly different that King himself wrote a letter to “the miffed fans.” He also says something in this letter that I think is really important when you talk about adaptations: “It’s best to think of that novel and what you’re seeing week-to-week . . . as a case of fraternal twins. Both started in the same creative womb, but you will be able to tell them apart. Or, if you’re of a sci-fi bent, think of them as alternate versions of the same reality.”
King's novel UNDER THE DOME was the basis of the 2013 television series. On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Tensions inside the dome rise as resources dwindle and power struggles arise. Can the residents of Chester's Mill band together to survive, or are they doomed to destroy one another?