If you’re like many, your streaming services are a lifeline to surviving 2020. Let’s face it, probably 2021 too. Even so, there are times that lifeline feels more like a rope tying you to your sofa, making you a culturally fatigued hostage. We sometimes get tired of all of those cinematic universes, and while they do keep us entertained, we can feel a little bit undernourished. Literary adaptations are precarious. Some are faithful to the source material. Conversely, there are adaptations that are free and easy with the text. It’s hard to truly find a fantastic literary adaptation, especially in the world of binging. That being said, here are three we like, all for different reasons. 

Watchmen

Here, we are including the movie as well as the television series. The TV series is set in the same universe, but when you trace it back to the original comic, you can see why all those Emmys were justified. The best way to truly experience it is as a full-on binge. Grab your snacks then start with the comic, move on to the movie, and finally the TV series. If you have any concerns with streaming, especially if you need to get the material from suppliers like Kodi, this guide from troypoint.com can help you set up a VPN. While the movie adaptation ruffled a few feathers with those faithful to the source material, it is a fantastic example of a piece of art that guides you back to the original text. Even for those people who are snobbish when it comes to comic books, this is the one that can turn the tide!

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has been adapted into a TV series in the UK and was more recently made into a movie starring Gary Oldman. Well-told espionage stories can make you feel like you are ensconced in their universe – like a comfortable chair but with much more danger and excitement in the mix. The human or non-emotive aspects of the characters become a key device in these page-turners. What makes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a successful movie adaptation, in addition to its captivating story, is its stellar cast including Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, and Benedict Cumberbatch. In the series, the emotional lives of the characters are eroded by the compromises of serving their country. The performances these actors give paint a bleak picture, but the series is still thoroughly absorbing and well-done.

The Plot Against America

Philip Roth crams so much into a single story that a multi-part series is the only way each component can truly be unraveled. Turns out, six hours is the perfect length to map out Roth’s world. Rather than trying to force the story into a 2-hour time frame, The Plot Against America unfolds at the pace the author intended, making it one of the best adaptations we’ve seen.

As we’ve said in a recent post, everyone’s got their own opinion about what makes a good adaptation. And, this article on film.avclub.com makes insightful reading. However, if we were on a desert island and we only had three selections, these are the ones we’d choose!

 

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Amy Wilhelm
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