Top Ten Tuesday: Book Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a freebie, which means we each come up with whatever we feel like writing about. I decided to go with the books being adapted for TV or movies in the coming year that I’m most excited for.

This is really the golden age of TV (and movies)! At least, for book lovers it is. Here are some adaptations coming soon(ish) that I’ll want to check out:

1) Pachinko – currently airing on Apple TV, based on the book by Min Jin Lee. I don’t have Apple TV and wasn’t planning to sign up… but this is really tempting me.

2) Daisy Jones & the Six – no release date yet, but it’ll be coming to Amazon… eventually. The show started filming in fall 2021 and stars Riley Keough as Daisy and Sam Claflin as Billy. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

3) The Time Traveler’s Wife – coming to HBO in May 2022. This is a favorite book, but I did not like the 2009 movie version, which completely missed what made the book so special. I have high hopes for this new adaptation, which stars Rose Leslie and Theo James.

4) Persuasion – a new version! I actually love the 1995 film, but I don’t hate the idea of a fresh take either. Coming to Netflix sometime in 2022, this adaptation stars Dakota Johnson and Cosmo Jarvis.

5) The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – The movie is supposedly filming now. I haven’t found a confirmed release date, but estimates are 2022 or 2023. Kunal Nayyar (of Big Bang Theory) has the lead role.

6) Killers of the Flower Moon – another one coming to Apple TV! Argh, I really may have to bite the bullet and subscribe. There isn’t a firm release date set as far as I’ve seen, but it looks like it’ll be late 2022 or early 2023.

7) House of the Dragon – Based on George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, this Game of Thrones prequel series will be huge, I’m sure. Airing August 2021 on HBO… and yes, I’ll probably watch, despite the awful taste left behind by the end of GoT.

8) Where the Crawdads Sing – coming to theaters in July 2022. I’m eager to see if a movie can do justice to the characters.

9) Kindred – Absolutely yes to the adaptation of this fabulous work by the great Octavia Butler. No release date yet, but it’s being adapted for TV by FX. Find out more here.

10) An Offer From A Gentleman – Okay, yes, it’s a little soon to be hungry for season 3 of Bridgerton… but what else are we supposed to do after binging season 2?

What TV/movie adaptations are you most excited about? And what was your TTT topic this week?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

TV Time: Bridgerton – season 2

All hail the arrival of the glorious 2nd season of Bridgerton! It feels like we’ve waited a long, long time for this… and not necessarily patiently.

The season dropped on Friday, and by Monday, I was done — which is actually taking it slowly for such a bingeable show.

First, the trailer, for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet:

Season two of Bridgerton more or less follows the plot of the 2nd book in Julia Quinn’s romance novel series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. My review of the book is here.

Each of the Bridgerton books follows the romantic escapades of one of the Bridgerton family’s eight siblings. Will the Netflix version follow this formula? Who knows! But here’s hoping…

Book #2 and season #2 both shift the story’s focus to Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest son and current Viscount, who bears an unhealthy weight of responsiblity on his shoulders. Inheriting the viscount title at a young age after the sudden death of their father, Anthony views himself as responsible for the well-being of his mother, his brothers and sisters, their future prospects, the family fortune, and the family reputation. It’s a lot.

As season 2 opens, Anthony has decided it’s time to put aside his more decadent existence (after a torrid affair with an opera singer in season 1, among other examples of rakish behavior) and find himself a wife. He does not want a love match, though. Instead, he wants a wife who’ll be a perfect partner in society, preserving the family honor, and bearing the next generation of little Bridgerton babies.

Who better to be Anthony’s wife than the season’s diamond — the debutante named by the queen as the most exquisite and incomparable?

This season’s diamond is Miss Edwina Sharma, a perfectly poised young woman with great beauty and all the manners and skills deemed most desirable in a society girl. There’s just one hiccup — Edwina’s older sister Kate is determined to see Edwina married well, and she’s taken an instant disliking to our dear Anthony.

But what is dislike but insanely hot chemistry in disguise?

Season 2 of Bridgerton has far fewer sex scenes that season 1, but instead, features much more of a slow burn. That Anthony and Kate are end game is obvious… but it’s delicious to see the build-up of their sexual tension and their enemies-to-lovers dynamic.

There’s a lot to love about season 2… but also a few things I could have done without. In no particular order, my highs and lows:

SPOILERS AHOY! I’m going to get into more specific plot points, so look away if you haven’t watched yet!!

REALLY, SPOILERS AHEAD!

LAST WARNING!

Okay, here we go:

  • The key downer for me this season is turning Kate-Anthony-Edwina into a love triangle. In the book, Anthony is courting Edwina, who recognizes that Anthony would make a fine catch… but she doesn’t actually have feelings for him. So when their match comes to an end, Edwina isn’t hurt, isn’t betrayed, and finds a guy who’s actually a much better fit for her interests and personality.
  • Here in the show, Edwina does fall for Anthony, and things progress all the way to their wedding before she realizes that Anthony and Kate have feelings for each other.
  • WHY? Why did we need a love triangle? Why turn this into betrayal between sisters? Kate should have been honest with Edwina sooner, and yes, there are reasons for how things played out… but no. This wasn’t necessary. Two very nice young women who love each other ended up making each other miserable and nearly ruin their beautiful connection. Of course, there’s a happy ending, but it sucks having to get there.
  • Back to the book, Anthony and Kate are caught in a compromising position and are therefore forced to marry in order to save everyone’s reputation, and I guess it makes sense that they changed this (for fear of it being too similar to the Simon/Daphne plot from season 1), but I thought it would have been fun to see it play out.
  • But oh, the scene where I thought that would happen! There’s a bee involved, and if you never thought a bee sting scene could be sexy, well, you clearly haven’t watched Bridgerton! The sparks are jumping off the screen!
  • I just didn’t love Eloise this season, as much as I wanted to. Her storyline is all over the place, she doesn’t seem to know what she wants, and she’s not a very good friend. Her awkward shtick is getting old, and she’s all talk, no action when it comes to being a rebel.
  • GILES ALERT! If you’re a Buffy fan, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him moment that will make you happy.
  • I love, love, love how matter of fact this show is about the fact that Bridgerton takes place in a world where diversity is just normal and how things are. It’s glorious.
  • And I love that the Sharma family is from India, and their heritage gets woven into the story in little ways, like words and scents and beauty routines and the pre-wedding haldi ceremony.

(Regarding the haldi, see this article. And this one too on Indian representation.)

  • Classical versions of pop music are back! This season’s music included string arrangements of You Oughta Know and Wrecking Ball (listen on Spotify), plus more fabulous choices.
  • The youngest Bridgertons, Hyacinth and Gregory, get a little more airtime and are quite adorable, although once again sister Francesca is mostly MIA. (Apparently, the actress had a scheduling conflict while filming another Netflix series.) And while it’s nice to see Daphne again, she just pops in from time to time to give Anthony advice about love and marriage and show off her new baby. That’s fine… although it does reinforce the tired old idea that a romance plot ends with a wedding, and everything after that is mere epilogue.
  • Polly Walker is spectacular as the awful Mrs. Featherington, who behaves as badly as you’d expect but then earns a mite of redemption by the end.
  • Penelope is fabulous, and I’m mad at anyone who hurts her feelings. Looking at you, Colin and Eloise!
  • The plotline with the Queen… well, it’s not in the books at all, but mostly works in the show, although her obsession with the Bridgerton wedding doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m willing to just chalk it up to plot necessities and move on.
  • Loved the backstory and flashbacks related to the death of Daddy Bridgerton and how it affected both Anthony and Violet. Really heartwrenching scenes and terrific acting on both their parts.
  • And did I mention the chemistry between Anthony and Kate? Yes??? Well, I’ll mention it again. They are VERY good together.

There’s more, but I’ll stop before I start raving about pall-mall and Anthony falling in the lake and the cute corgi.

You know you wanted to see a lake picture!

All in all, this was a really fun, enjoyable season… and I’m sure I’ll be back for a second look! And while we know there are more seasons to come, it’s not clear yet whether the show will follow the book progression… but if it does, Benedict and Colin will be getting a lot more screen time!

Lead love interests for season 3 (L) and 4 (R), perhaps?

Also, three cheers for the queen, who’ll be getting a spin-off/prequel series of her own!

Of course, there are a ton of lingering questions at the end of Bridgerton’s 2nd season. Will Eloise break from societal expectations altogether and pursue a life of political thought and independence? Will the show broaden its romantic horizons and embrace a love story that at least considers the possibility of a more fluid sexuality?

And very importantly — where can I get a darling little top hat like Kate’s? (And where might one wear such an amazing hat in the 21st century?)

Have you watched season 2 yet? Did it live up to your expectations?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that should be adapted into Netflix shows or movies

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books that Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies.

Two of the types of watching I like to do on Netflix are (1) scifi/fantasy series and (2) light and fluffy romantic movies. Yes, these are really completely different, but each takes me away from the day-to-day and lets me become immersed in other worlds or other people’s lives. And who doesn’t need that right now?

My top ten picks:

First, to be made into one or more seasons of a series:

1. The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black: The story of mortals being raised in Faerie and rising to power by their wits could be so excellent as a series! I’d love to see the scenery, the magical elements, and the characters themselves.

2. The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger: Can you imagine how awesome this would be as an ongoing series? Maybe one season per book? The characters, the costumes, the dirigibles — I need this in my life!

3. InCryptids by Seanan McGuire: I think this could have a little bit of a Grimm or Supernatural vibe, but a little more light-hearted. A big extended family of cryptozoologists dealing with scary enemies and all sorts of entertaining otherworldly beings. All this, plus ballroom dancing!

4. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig: Well, now probably isn’t the best time for a series about a pandemic wiping out humanity — but I loved this book, and could see the story working as a 10-part series.

5. The Beauty (graphic novels) by Jeremy Haun: Again, a story about a virus maybe isn’t a great choice — but it would be very cool to see this story about beauty being a sexually transmitted disease brought to life. It’s weird and dark, but I think it could work!

6. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: The concept is so fantastic, and don’t we need another great space battle saga in our lives?

Next, a bunch of sweet books that would make great rom-com movies:

7. Well Met by Jen DeLuca: Romance at the Ren Faire! And since there are two more books on the way, if the first movie was a success, there’s material for more.

8. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: The basic concept of two people sharing an apartment but never meeting is just so cute. I’d love to see it on my screen. I bet it would be hilarious to watch.

9. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan: Any of the three books in this loosely connected series would be great, but this one is my favorite. Between selling books out of a van, finding true love in the Highlands, and dealing with a strange but endearing family, I think it could be a hit! And like with Well Met, there are more books, so more related plots to spin off!

And finally, a book that I think would make a terrifying movie:

10. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: The clothes! The setting! The creepy house and the weird people there! It’s just begging to be made into a film.

**Updated to add: Wishes do come true! Hulu is developing Mexican Gothic as a series! Woo hoo! Read about it, here.**

 

What’s on your TTT list this week? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten favorite book-to-TV adaptations

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Page to Screen Freebie  — meaning we come up with our own topic related to book adaptations. And here we go — ten TV adaptations that I’ve loved.

1) Outlander: Big surprise, right? I love the books, but I’m finding that I’m really loving the TV version too, even when it veers away from the plot and character details in the books. Great cast, gorgeous costumes and sets, overall excellent production! Four season in, this show is going strong.

2) A Discovery of Witches: Granted, this show hasn’t even finished its first season yet (in the US), but it’s really growing on me. Once again, great cast and gorgeous settings help a lot, but also the plotting and dialogue are really well conveyed in the TV version. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I do!

3) The Expanse: I’ve loved the books in the series (up to #3, which is as far as I’ve gotten), and think the TV adaptation is fantastic. So happy that’s it been picked up by Amazon for another season!

4) iZombie: Did you know that this CW series was based on a comic series? To be honest, I didn’t love the first book, but the TV version is great. I’m just sad that the current season will be the last.

5) The Walking Dead: I started watching the show before I read the books, but now I’m completely up to date on both. Call me crazy, but I’m still enjoying the show, despite a LOT of major bumps in the road lately. I’m hooked — too late to give it up now.

6) Big Little Lies: I think the HBO series was a great adaptation, and can’t wait to see what they do with it in the 2nd season, now that they’ll be off-book.

7) The Magicians: I hate to say it, but as much as I liked the books, I think I like the TV show even more. Despite the plot often being mind-boggling and impossible to follow, I just love the cast. and will watch them in whatever crazy situation comes their way. Bonus points for the random musical episodes.

8) Pride and Prejudice (BBC version): Well, of course! This is an oldie, but it sure stands the test of time. I feel the need to pull out my DVD set and rewatch every couple of years.

9) Game of Thrones: I hesitate to include this one, not that it’s not spectacular, but because my feelings about this final season are really conflicted, and I’m so worried about how the storylines will wrap up in the very last episode — this coming Sunday!

10) NOS4A2: Okay this one hasn’t aired yet, but it’s coming soon, and looks absolutely terrifying!

What are your favorite TV versions of beloved books? If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!