Are movie and TV show adaptations better?

When a book series gets popular, they often get turned into movies or TV series. Then begins the debate between readers and movie watchers about which is actually better. Many times, the book becomes popular first and then once it becomes a live action event, those who were avid fans of the books, and those who didn’t have the time to read them rush to watch. 

Now with series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Divergent, and Hunger Games, the movies actually turn out to be pretty good. They can act as an addition to the book that brings it to life, rather than bring it down. It often happens with the TV series that they begin to stray more to add more drama to more seasons and more episodes than a book might carry.

Personally, I always prefer reading a good book at my own pace to watching a movie or show where stylistic decisions are made for me. I like to immerse myself in the book and decide for myself what certain characters look like, or where things might take place. When watching something on a screen the directors and producers are the ones in charge. While sometimes that can turn out okay, such as the magnificent Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies, other times I feel let down. 

The thing I struggle with the most however is when the live action starts to stray a little too far from the books. When they add characters that don’t carry a purpose, or remove others who they feel are unimportant, I find they are taking characters rather than the actual plot and writing that I fell in love with when I read the books. I often have to tell myself before watching a film adaptation that this is entirely different from the book in order to fully enjoy it like I did when I read. 

All in all, I think that a movie or TV show adaptation can work for some people and film makers if they are able to stick close enough to what originally made people want to make the series. If they stray too far from what was the original, it becomes an unnecessary change to something that was already good. 

-Danielle B.

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