Books to big screen

Three Must Watch Book-Adapted TV Shows

Since the beginning of film production, movies and TV shows have been inspired and based on popular books. It can take years for fans to see their favorite books from paper be put on the big screen, and they can only pray that their beloved characters are done justice. Here are three adapted books from popular series that were made in the past fifteen years that are known for being fan pleasers.



Rating: TV-14 

Available on: Amazon Prime

Number of seasons: Three

Description: Detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner, John Watson, work to solve unconnected murder mysteries, which all hint at a far bigger plan conceived by one man hiding in the shadows.

Based on the Sherlock Holmes detective books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Sherlock” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead. While the original Sherlock Holmes series took place somewhere between 1880-1914, there have been many adaptations since, including two movies starring Robert Doweny Jr., the first one premiering in 2009. However Cumberbatch’s take on Sherlock Holmes is set apart by taking place in the modern day. 

Unsurprisingly, things needed to be tweaked to fit the narrative. Carriages and telegrams were replaced with cabs and text messages. However, the show did follow along with several of the cases from the books. A notable example is the pilot episode, “A Study in Pink.” This is based on the original book “A Study in Scarlet” (the plots being very similar with each other, according to an article by Screenrant). The show as a whole was cleverly made and will always keep the audience guessing about what happens next.


Shadow and Bone: 

Rating: TV-14

Available on: Netflix

Number of seasons: One (confirmed for season two)

Description: In the war-ridden country of Ravka, a slash of darkness — called the Shadow Fold — divides the country in half. The Grisha are unique people that practice the small science (essentially magic). A new kind of power is discovered in one woman, a power that may be able to destroy the fold once and for all, as long as her enemies do not get to her first.

Shadow and Bone is based on the widely popular young adult book series “Shadow and Bone” and “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardogo. While the two book series are in the same universe, they take place at different times, “Shadow and Bone” taking place three years before the events of “Six of Crows.” The writers of the show brilliantly wrote the characters in a crossover to get the best of both worlds.

The casting was done perfectly, as was the world building, costume design, and universe as a whole. The author is also known for having strong female leads, LGBTQ+ representation, and ethnic diversity which the show subsequently follows in. Unlike the books, the writers chose to make Alina Starkov (the main character) biracial and experience racism throughout her journey. I believe this was a choice for the better as racism is hardly ever shown in young adult content, and it also helps to add Asian diversity to the limited representation in Hollywood. 

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Rating: PG

Available on: Disney+

Number of seasons: One

Description: Four orphan children with extraordinary talents are chosen by the mysterious Mr. Benedict to help stop the crisis known as “The Emergency.” The children must infiltrate a boarding school to stop a plot that could end with disastrous effects on a global scale.

This show is based on the book “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart, the first book in a four book long series. Like any adaptation things had to be changed, but the season follows very closely with the first book in the series. The show starts out slow but picks up especially by the end of the second episode. With eight hour-long episodes, the show had the ability to add more content than any movie would. The extra time allowed for more of a storyline for the hilarious adult characters to follow, and helped add to the plot.

The casting and costumes were amazing with making sure the characters got the right hats, glasses and buckets. The show has a quirky and mysterious undertone, and could be compared to the popular book series and also TV show “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” according to an article by the Paste Magazine. A season two has not been confirmed yet, but it would be no surprise if there were future seasons.