Movies or TV Shows: What Do Book Lovers Prefer to See?
When a director decides to bring a beloved book onto the screen, he knows he is about to face huge criticism. Book nerds always have harsh comments: they imagined the main character differently; the actors did not understand the subtle psychology of the story’s heroes; not every detail was followed correctly… and finally, the book was better than the movie!
A reader creates his own impressions of the characters, tone in the dialogues, and scenery. When the director and his team express a different point of view based on their own impressions of the story, the final product is not accepted that well.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that there are reasonable readers who know how to evaluate a good TV show or movie based on their favorite books. Let’s discuss this matter further: should books be made into full-length movies or TV shows?
Epic books can hardly be turned into movies that don’t last for more than two hours. That’s why TV shows are a better choice for novels such as War and Peace or Game of Thrones. The details in these books can hardly be captured in a single movie. When the episodes recreate the chapters piece by piece, the viewer gets an impression that the novel is presented well in a visual format.
It’s hard to keep the audience coming back week after week to watch an episode. Not many passionate readers are up for binge-watching either; they would rather spend their time with the book itself. However, a TV show is still better in presenting the complete author’s work, which is what book lovers expect.
Watching an epic movie at the cinema is a great experience. It’s not easy to bring a lengthy book down to a movie with reasonable length, but some directors achieved that goal. Sophie’s Choice (1982) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) are good examples that books can be successfully turned into movies. Let’s keep in mind that not all movie lovers are interested in books, so they don’t mind plenty of details being missed.
Graphic novels make awesome movies! V for Vendetta (2006) is enough to prove that point.
You cannot hold a viewer’s attention for several hours. Quo Vadis (1951), for example, is considered to be a masterpiece in the movie industry, but it’s no wonder it takes at least two sitting sessions to go through the 170 minutes of intense drama. War and Peace (1956) is an even more drastic example – it lasts 200+ minutes, which is enough even for the most devoted reader and movie enthusiast to hit the pause button.
Movies need to get to the point as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the viewers are bored from the very beginning. Books, on the other hand, are meant to hold the reader’s attention for hours and days.
When directors decide to make film series, such as the Lord of the Rings, the viewers get everything they need: tons of detail and relatively bearable length. However, this type of adaptation has its weakness as well: you have to wait for at least one year to see how the story goes on.
Passionate readers are not always realistic when it comes to judging screen adaptations of their favorite novels. If we try to make a balance, we’ll see that TV shows may be a better choice when they are managed by brilliant directors.