Sometimes, producers adapt a beloved book and it turns out great. Most of the time, however, book-to-TV adaptations are awful. 2019 is about to bring some really great book-to-TV shows, continuing the recent trend of adapting novels for the small screen.
To tide us over until new shows are released, I've rounded up a list of some current book-to-TV adaptations on Netflix, going from the genuinely good, to the so-bad-it's-good, to the downright terrible.
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TL;DR Read on for a list of book adaptations that are currently on Netflix. I ranked shows from good (genuinely good shows), to bad (shows you can't look away from), to the ugly (shows that downright have no redeeming qualities).
You is one of Netflix's more recent additions. It's a psycho-thriller based on Caroline Kepne's thriller 'You.' Featuring a roster of well-known stars, (Dan from Gossip Girl! Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars!), the show delves deep into the mind of a disturbed stalker determined to get the girl. It has already been renewed for a second season.
This one gets a "good" rating because, although it's kind of corny, the pace and suspense of the show will keep you on your toes.
A crime-solving priest? Sign me up! This show about a funky priest is in the "good" list because of the loveable characters and the historical setting (it is set in post WWII Britain).
This is originally a novel by Margaret Atwood, the fantastic Canadian author. While we've all been obsessing over the Hulu remake of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' this show has mostly passed under the radar despite a clever and compelling plot that showcases the trials of womanhood.
This action-packed sci-fi show will leave you breathless after every episode. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the series is jarring. Fans clearly can't get enough, because it's currently on its sixth season.
Always A Witch
This Colombian show about a time-travelling witch is loosely adapted from a book titled Yo, Bruja. It has everything you might want in a show: bright colours, beautiful outfits, witty dialogue and memorable characters. You can read a full review here.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
This series, starring Neil Patrick Harris as Olaf, is a perfect depiction of the childhood classic. It balances darkness and despair with humour and rocambolesque scenes.
The well-known Cassandra Clare series was once again adapted after the lacklustre movie, this time as a Netflix Original series. The acting is bad and the scriptwriting is lazy but it has a certain can't-look-away quality to it, making it bingeable af.
The show has been cancelled by producers, and it's running through its final season now. Enjoy it while it lasts!
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
Sabrina is another show that I love to hate. Sure, it's nothing like the original series, but it's fun and ridiculous. The rebellious teen witch, torn between her human side and her witch side, is embroiled in mystery. The satanic, kitschy aspect to the show is a definite plus, too.
This show about rich teens in Manhattan glorifies drugs, getting blackout on champagne, and making fun of poor kids. Not to mention that the characters, which we love to hate, do some pretty dubious things (blackmail, revenge porn etc.). However, the beautiful actors and the shiny world they live in kind of make up for the lack of a meaningful plot.
Pretty Little Liars
Let's be real. This show was good for maybe three seasons. Because of the decent first seasons, it may have qualified for the "bad" list. But the irredeemable last seasons, and unsatisfying ending, put it squarely in the "ugly" category. Not to mention the fact that it felt like it ran on FOREVER. A spin-off is still airing.
Adapted from the founder of Nastygal's memoir, #GIRLBOSS, the show was pretty terrible — it wasn't even renewed for a second season.
How do you feel about these book adaptations? I think I rounded up most of the book adaptations on Netflix, but I can always use new show recommendations!