It’s a wonderful time for TV. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have really taken TV beyond what we knew from the past. Some of these new productions are original. There are the never-ending remakes or spin-offs. There are also TV shows that were adapted from books.
Are any of your favorite shows on the list?
You is based on a book by Carolyn Kepnes. Joe Goldberg first appeared in the captivating book published in 2014. There have been two follow-up books published as well. There are three seasons of the popular show. While the first season was fairly loyal to the source material, the second and third seasons aren’t. Still, the show’s leads Penn Badgely and Victoria Pedretti make it fascinating to watch.
Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)
Speaking of Victoria Pedretti, there’s also The Haunting of Hill House. You probably knew this show is based on the classic 1959 book by Shirley Jackson. There have been many movies produced based on Jackson’s work, but this take was made into a limited series and it’s fantastic.
Mike Flanagan’s version of this timeless tale of ghosts and confronting fear presented the story to a new generation with spectacular results. Along with Pedretti, it stars Michael Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, and more.
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
In the late 2000s, Twilight was all the rage, starting with Stephanie Meyer’s books which were developed into a film franchise. Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson wisely decided to get in on the latest wave of sexy vampires and developed The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith into a series for CW. In truth, the popular series of books were published years before Twilight and the show was wildly popular.
Fans loyally followed the tale of two vampire brothers in love with the same girl. While many were left unsatisfied by the end of the popular original series (no matter if you were team Damon or Stefan, Caroline and Klaus?), it spawned The Originals which fans loved, and Legacies which tells the stories of the new generation with a few familiar faces from the original show. The show starred Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, Joseph Morgan, and more.
Also back in the 2000s was a show many of us loved called Dexter. It was the dark tale of a man with the urge to kill, prompted by severe childhood trauma. He spends much of the show hiding his true nature from those around him and the rest hunting his potential victims. Since he’s a blood spatter technician with Miami Metro, he has both advantages and disadvantages as he tries to live his life and satisfy his “dark passenger.” The show ran for eight seasons with many loyal fans deeply unhappy with the show’s ending.
The show was based on a set of books by Jeff Lindsay. Interestingly enough, the show came back for a limited-series revival called Dexter: New Blood in 2021 and our hero (Dexter Morgan) now calls himself Jim Lindsay, presumably a nod to the books’ author. It also had a controversial ending. But both it and the original series are well-made, fascinating series. It stars Michael C. Hall in the titular role with Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, David Zayas, and more.
The Witcher (Netflix)
While The Witcher is a popular video game series, the popular Netflix show is not based on that but on the original books. Geralt of Rivia is a monster hunter who finds often that the people he must navigate can be far worse than the monsters he faces.
The series of eight books were written by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The last book was published in 2013 and since that time, they’ve been made into stunning graphic novels. The show has two seasons so far. Geralt is played by Henry Cavill and it also stars Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Mimi Ndiweni, and more.