Why I’m Convinced That TV Adaptations of Books are Better than Movie Ones (With Special Emphasis on Good Omens) – Rimjhim Sayana

{Song recommended for background: From Eden (Hozier)}

People don’t read any more. It’s a sad state of affairs. Reading’s the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films, it’s someone else’s vision, isn’t it?”

Isn’t that so true? I feel that part of the urge to watch something on the big or small screen is the craving of having your imagination be displayed there, everything just the way you envisioned while reading. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen because it’s not really you who is directing the whole thing, and honestly, that is such a shame.

But to even see justice done to a book you love, by having a good adaptation, is nothing less than a miracle. This is when the real question arises: Is it better for a book to be adapted into a TV show, or a movie?

My choice? A TV series.

Honestly, 2 hours is not enough to cover a book which created an entire world for you. There are many details and plots that can’t all be covered in a movie. A TV show, on the other hand, will certainly explore everything, especially since it can take as many episodes as it wants. 10 episodes? 3 episodes? 22 episodes? Whatever the book requires.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that every show will do justice to the book, it simply means that a TV show will provide the time and space for the character and plot development. You can get attached to a character, or fall in love with a plot in a movie, but the growth that can be experienced in a TV show, will simply be absent. I feel a show can really draw parallel with the book.

TV shows also edit and change stuff, but if it’s done in a proper way, everyone will end up accepting and loving it. Want proof? GOOD OMENS. A personal favourite book of mine, and now a favourite show.

 

Honestly, this show is the bane of my existence. I love it so much! An Amazon Prime show, 8 episodes, 1 hour each, and every second. Is. Worth. It.

The story, primarily, follows an Angel (Aziraphale) and a Demon (Crowley), both of whom have been on earth since the very beginning. Heaven and Hell are unaware that these two know each other. It all begins at the Garden of Eden, where Aziraphale is a guard, looking out for the humans Adam and Eve. Crowley, on the other hand, takes the form of a serpent and tempts Eve into eating the apple. It then continues to show the building up of their relationship through the centuries, their random encounters, and how they try to stop Armageddon, a.k.a. The End of the World as we know it. (Double take, ‘wait, what?’) Oh, and did I mention that our Angel is played by Michael Sheen, and our Demon is played by David Tennant? Honestly, Best. Casting. Ever!

I don’t really want to spoil anything, so I will not tell more about the plot, but about the show itself. It is comedic, adventurous and wholesome- basically the perfect show for any mood. The book ‘Good Omens’ is a literary masterpiece written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Unfortunately, Pratchett passed away before he could see his dream come to life. In an interview, Gaiman said that both of them planned to sit in the background of a scene, eating sushi, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it without Terry. (Let’s cry.)

You want to know the best part of it all? Neil Gaiman was the script writer for the show, so nothing was really done that wouldn’t have been approved by the author/wasn’t canon. They did make some changes, like one of the four horsemen- Pollution- was shown as an Asian woman, instead of a white guy. Another thing that is remarkable about the show is how it shows representation and gender identities with such composure and without that being the main focus. God is a woman, Adam and Eve are black, and two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse (all of whom ride motorcycles) are females. In fact, despite Pollution (one of the Horsemen) being portrayed as a female, she is constantly referred to as ‘sir’, because that is her title, regardless of her gender. Very often, we find that representation is shown in order to show that people aren’t being racist/sexist/homophobic, yet here we find that it was done simply because people exist.

Now you must realise that the entire article was just a ruse for me to rant about my love for Good Omens. The book’s storyline is amazing, and the actors have brought the plot to perfection with their performance in the show. There are multiple plotlines that converge beautifully at different points in the storyline. The subtle, as well as the not-so-subtle, moments of humour are the best parts of it. There is no way that you won’t fall in love with the story after reading or watching it.

It really should be on everyone’s To-Watch list. And to those who have seen/read it, I hope you get the reference with my music in the background. Just a little something that I wanted to play around with 🙂

 

Trailer Good Omens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZSXlNRRoGU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJoR4vlIIs

 

-Rimjhim Sayana, Amity International School, Noida

 

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