5 Reasons to Watch Adaptations

by Connolly Bottum

Upon hearing that the film or television rights for a book I love have been acquired, I always simultaneously feel excited and wary. Will the production company capture what I love about the story? Will they do it justice? Could they possibly help me realize new things about the book or will I cringe constantly while watching?

Regardless of my fears, I almost always see the television shows and movies. Here are five reasons I love watching adaptations:

  1. It is as close as I can come to experiencing the story for the first time again. I may know the intricate details of the plots of my favorite books, but the filmmaker will undoubtedly need to cut some of the book’s content to fit it into the allotted time. Some storylines may even be added or extended. As such, I can’t know exactly what to expect when I enter the movie theater or turn on my television.
  2. I love seeing new audiences experience the story. The number of books that people read varies greatly. Some people read a book every day while others can only find time to read a few books each year. Yet, even non-readers may feel inclined to watch a movie or a television show. I always enjoy sharing stories with people I love – even when they don’t experience the story in its original form.
  3. I can see how others experienced the book. How did the casting director picture the characters? What did the set designer imagine as the backdrop? I am always fascinated when I compare my ideas with others’ perceptions of books.
  4. I learn new details about the book’s world. This point is especially true when one watches television shows. In most cases, television shows do not stick to the original storyline. When they run for several seasons, the screenwriters can run out of source material. As such, it is almost as though new books are added to my favorite series.
  5. It allows me to join the conversation about the differences between a given book and its adaptation. Honestly, who doesn’t love those conversations?

What are your favorite adaptations?