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BBC Releases Trailer for Adaption of Normal People

The BBC have released the first trailer for their upcoming adaption of Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel Normal People. The 12-part series is set for release later this year and the script been worked on by Rooney personally.

The book follows Marianne and Connell, two young people from a small town in the west of Ireland, as they move on to university. From two very different backgrounds, their relationship shifts and changes over the years, the dynamics of their social standing constantly playing off against their love for one another.

 

image via vanity fair

The adaption stars relative newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal.

The trailer, released earlier today, features various clips of the pair throughout the series, with a phone call providing the soundtrack. Take a look below:

 

Normal People is the second novel from Rooney, who previously penned Conversations with Friends. The novel was a breakout of 2018, so popular that for a while it was difficult to take the subway or the bus without spotting it in somebody’s hand. BBC acquired the rights to a TV adaption in 2019 and filming commenced in May of last year.

 

 

Normal People will be released later this year on BBC Three in the UK and Hulu in the US.

 

Featured image via harper’s bazaar


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Why It’s Okay To Watch The Adaptation Before Reading The Book

I know, I know. This isn’t a popular opinion. After my list of reasons why people should read The Witcher before watching the Netflix adaptation of the books, it may also be an opinion not readily associated with me. However, I do, personally, believe that it is one hundred percent acceptable for folks to watch or play an adaptation before they read the story that it was based off of.

Why is that?

Well, there are a number of reasons. The first reason is that individuals might not even know that the book exists in the first place. Prior to first watching Howl’s Moving Castle and seeing the note beneath the title card, I had no idea that the Ghibli film was based off of a book–a book written by one of my favorite authors at that! All the same, it isn’t possible for people to keep track of every single adaptation that is released and then track down said adaptation’s literary counterpart.

image via mc crocker books – wordpress

I believe that any adaptation worth its salt will encourage individuals to then actively seek out the book to further immerse themselves in the world that they saw on the silver screen. When I learned that Howl’s Moving Castle was based off of a book, I went out and got the book and its sequel. I then proceeded to read through the book three times. I would literally finish the story and then flip back to the first page and start all over again. So, for me, I think that an adaptation can advertise the book, and in doing so, more people can seek out that story and enjoy it. Granted, the story and the film might be drastically different, but those differences might make it so that the story and the adaptation can then be viewed as entities that are unique in their own way.

but also Consider the people who struggle to read

image via readbrightly

These individuals might have dyslexia. They might have a hard time sitting still long enough to read a story. There might be some neurological elements that come into play here that make it exceedingly difficult to absorb the narrative without completely blocking out everything else. Sometimes, a film adaptation is the remedy to this situation.

There are also individuals who have difficulty finding the time or energy to read long stories. If one works a particularly taxing job, reading might not be their ideal pastime because of the focus it requires. Perhaps the only time a person has to devote to recreational reading occurs when they’re sitting in a waiting room or when their children are asleep.

 

For these individuals, an adaptation can certainly solve a number of problems. Consuming a television show or a movie doesn’t take as much time as reading a book can. Movies, more often than not, don’t usually exceed two hours; television shows range anywhere from a half hour to an hour per episode. So if an individual has a particularly restrictive schedule, they can take into account the run time of an adaptation and plan accordingly. Whereas with a book, there is more of a time commitment involved–which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just something that needs to be taken into account.

And… some people have had really bad experiences with reading

image via treehugger

I’m going to ask you, dear reader, to let me finish this point before passing judgement. I have always been an avid reader. When school and life were difficult, I would go hide in a book. It was my escape, and it was my refuge. So for me, I didn’t truly understand why some individuals that I encountered didn’t like to read.

But then I asked them.

One of my relatives told me that the reason he stopped reading after high school was because he hated the required reading that he was made to read for his literature classes. It didn’t help that he was forced to read some extremely heavy books with a short window of time. For him, it was the pressure, and he ended up feeling burnt out and disinterested from that point onward. If he watched an adaptation, then he was able to enjoy the story without experiencing the same pressure he felt while he was in school.

 

A lot of my classmates in my English program echoed this idea of burn out too. Given that several of our classes would require us to read one book a week, and then we would have to dig into the book, analyze, and answer questions on various topics related to the narrative, quite a few English majors began to hate reading outside of course work. This problem was only worsened if you had a course load where you had three or five classes that were all literature focused. Those classes would often carry the same expectation that you were reading one book a week, so that would sometimes result in an English major reading up to three to five books every week. The last thing a lot of us would want to do after reading two hundred or more pages a night for class was go and read for pleasure. This wasn’t the case for everyone, but quite a few of my classmates would opt to read for fun over breaks, and during the semester, film adaptations were ideal. It was a lot easier to sit down for two hours and watch a movie, knowing that it wouldn’t occupy the entire night. After finishing an adapted film or an episode, we could go back to studying or, even better, sleep.

So it’s okay to watch the adaptation first

image via hero machine

While I did encourage readers in my past article to read The Witcher series before watching the Netflix adaptation, I did so with the concern that many fans would judge the Netflix series based upon the decisions made in the video game… which is another adaptation and isn’t technically considered canon to the book series that Sapkowski published. To give one example: I have seen several articles written by authors that are upset at the fact that Yennefer and Ciri have more pronounced roles in the Netflix adaptation than they do in the games. Their experiences within the plot are explored, and that has upset quite a few game fans. Fans of the books know that these two characters do have ample time spent in the narrative from their points of view. So part of me feared that knee jerk reaction of a new fan of the story writing off the entire adaptation without giving it a chance because, of an article that expressed an opinion more driven by the writer’s experiences with the games.

 

While I don’t view this article as a correction of my first one, because I do stand by what I wrote, I do want to emphasize to my readers that everyone’s situation is different. We need to recognize the limitations that are imposed on others by their lives and their health.

We also need to recognize that a good adaptation should attract readers to a book series, and even if someone decides to never read the story it’s based off of, that’s okay. At the end of the day, what is important is that there are individuals who enjoy an incarnation of a story that means something to a lot of people.

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Featured Image Via Bookish

5 Reasons You Should Read the ‘Witcher’ Books Before the Show Drops

This highly anticipated Netflix series has been a hot topic in recent months. Whether that anticipation comes from the series being lauded as “The next Game of Thrones by critics, or because it is being met with frustration due to the apparent differences between the television series and the video games, both the Netflix adaptation and the games are the result of Andrzej Sapkowski’s highly acclaimed eight-book series.

The series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a man who was subjected to various mutations as a child and, because of this, he can fight creatures that normal humans wouldn’t stand a chance against. Through the Law of Surprise, Geralt adopts his ward Ciri, a young princess with prolific powers. While Geralt is content to remain neutral in the face of great political upheaval, he must become a part of that conflict to see that order is restored to the world.

In the past, the books were adapted into a 90s Polish film and television series that were not met with favorable reviews, so this most recent series not only has the video game fans to contend with, but it also has the previous series’ shortcomings added on for increased pressure.

So why not sit down to watch this series with an idea of what to expect?

 

 

1. The netflix series is an adaptation of the book series

What some game fans don’t realize is that the games take place after the book series. While some of the events, like the Battle of Sodden, are mentioned in the games, you don’t really get a feel for what happened if you haven’t read the books. Triss’s account of what took place at that one battle in Blood of Elves is positively gut-wrenching. The books also help you have a deeper understanding of the turmoil that exists between and in countries like Temeria, Novigrad, and Cintra.

Though there will likely be homages sprinkled throughout the series for the video game fans (I personally hope so), the Netflix series is, at its core, an adaptation of the books. If you’re anything like me, you probably like to read the stories before sitting down to watch the movie or show. Not to say that I’m that one friend who sits there and says “Well, they changed that from the books,” but I most definitely am.

The fact that the Netflix series is a book adaptation does seem to be throwing a few fans for a loop, as Yennefer’s appearance is never remarked upon in the game series, so it has become the cause of some confusion. The books, on the other hand, does explain why Yennefer looks this way.

 

Image via Glamour Fame

 

Regardless, if a person watches the series having already read the books, they’ll probably have a better idea of why certain decisions were made by the team that created this series.

 

2. This series does resemble ‘a game of thrones’ in style and tone

 

Going off of what critics have said, yes, the Witcher does possess certain qualities that were prized in George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. There are multiple points of view to follow, so when you need a breather from following Geralt around in the narrative, you can read Ciri’s point of view. The same grittiness and violence that you observed in Martin’s work is also present in Sapkowski’s books. The looming threat of war is also present in the Witcher books as well, and you get to witness how it all begins and how it all falls apart (I would suggest starting with Blood of Elves if the movers and shakers facilitating a war behind the scenes interests you).

 

 

3. the political situation in the world is a lot easier to follow

image via pinterest

 

Although the television series hasn’t dropped, one of the faults in the game series was that the political stage of the Witcher universe was very hard to follow and often unclear. Which makes sense, because the political situation was dense and complicated and, if not given the space and breadth to be explained, it definitely felt like walking into an exam unprepared. However, a game has the ability to explore a world in a much more in-depth way than a television series can, so this is a concern that does hold water.

An example of this would be the Scoia’tael, a group of predominantly elvish rebels who regularly commit acts of violence against humans. While the game briefly touches upon their motives and what they ultimately wish to accomplish, it only provides a glimpse at the problem. The books, however, go into great detail about the political and social climate that the non-human races endure, and so the motives of these characters become a lot more transparent.

As mentioned previously, the turmoil between and in countries like Novigrad, Temeria, and Cintra is also expanded upon in the books. If anything, the books go to great lengths to ensure that the readers understands exactly why the royalty and the sorcerer’s lodge commit the acts that they do. So if there is any possibility that the television series will struggle along the same vein as the video games, the books will do an excellent job filling in the blanks.

 

4. We still don’t know how faithful the adaptation will be

For all we know, the Netflix series may remain extremely faithful to Sapkowski’s literary vision, but the fact remains that this is still an adaptation. One of the big reasons that I go into most movie premiers having already read the book is because I want to judge the adaptation by the creative decisions that were made. I want to know what the book was like, and then I want to see what changes were made. Were those changes justified? Why? Do I (gasp) like the movie more than I like the story it was based off of? Or do I feel like adding in something else from the book might have helped? Ultimately, did the adaptation bring something new and interesting to the table?

I intend to watch this series with my hopes high, because I think that Sapkowski’s original books already presented a creative vision with an impressive breadth and magnitude to it, and I think that this adaptation has the potential to do the same. Hopefully this adaptation will provide enough steam for more fantasy books to be made into movies and television series.

 

 

5. The books are really interesting

At the end of the day, you should read a book because it intrigues you—and the Witcher books do exactly that. The references to Slavic folklore, the sword fights, and Geralt and Yennefer acting as parents to Ciri are elements that pulled me into the story and kept me reading. These books have multiple layers of political intrigue, interpersonal relationships, mythology, and did I mention sword fighting? The books, like a lot of fantasy literature, are also able to provide a social commentary through the interactions displayed between the inhabitants of the world.

If you would like to dip your toes into the Witcher universe and give it a shot, I would suggest starting with The Last Wisha short story collection that reveals how Geralt got the nickname ‘The Butcher of Blaviken,’ and how he and Yennefer first met.

 

Featured image via Cnn

 

 


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George R. R. Martin Talks About Involvement In ‘GoT’ Prequel

Tons of Game of Thrones news has hit over the last few days. The original writers left the Star Wars franchise, one of the proposed prequels centering around the White Walkers was just cancelled, and another one focusing on the Targaryans, titled House of the Dragon, has been given a 10-episode order. With all this news happening all at once, what does the creator of the world of Westeros have to say about it?

 

Image result for house of the dragon

Image Via The Indian Express

 

George R. R. Martin spoke about all these developments in a blog post titled The Dragon Takes Wing. He expressed happiness at the recent prequel news, but also said that he was sad that The Long Night, the working title for the White Walkers prequel headed by writer Jane Goldman, never went through:

 

It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.  This was never an either/or situation. If television has room enough for multiple CSI’s and CHICAGO shows…well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters  for a dozen shows. Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to naught, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy…with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next.

 

 

However, unlike the original show, Martin will not be involved in the series until the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, is finished:

 

“But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER.  Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of HOUSE.”

 

 

The Winds of Winter still does not have a release date.

 

 

Featured Image Via Metro

‘The Stand’ TV Series Casts Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard, And More!

Get hype, Stephen King fans! The Stand, an upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel, has added more cast members to the epic post-apocalyptic series. Exclusive to CBS All Access, it was announced via Deadline that Whoopi Goldberg, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke, and Daniel Junjata. And most exciting of all, Alexander Skarsgard will play Randall Flagg.

 

image via Stephen King wiki

 

Written by Josh Boone and Ben Cavell, the book tells of a plague ravaging mankind and leaving behind the remnants of humanity. A long novel, the epic details the struggle for the survival of humanity between the frail but wise Mother Abigail and  the evil, satanic Randall Flagg. The book has dozens of character viewpoints but it all comes down to a confrontation between the two opposing forces, with Mother Abigail receiving messages from God to aid her followers.

Whoopi Goldberg has been announced to play Mother Abigail. Adepo will play Larry Underwood, a young musician with a taste for fame and Henke will play Tom Cullen, a mentally challenged man with a sweet soul.

The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios. Josh Boone and Ben Cavell will write and executive produce, with Boone also directing. Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein will also serve as executive producers with Will Weiske serving as co-executive producer. Knate Lee, Jill Killington and Owen King will serve as producers.

Most exciting of all, Stephen King will write the last chapter of the series, providing a new coda that isn’t found in the book!

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

This is an exciting development, showcasing a star studded cast to portray the many, multi-dimensional characters. We’re excited to see them brought to life, especially Randall Flagg, thought of as King’s ‘ubervillain’. The series will also have a hand from Stephen King himself, who will write the final episode of the series and provide a ‘coda’ that wasn’t there in the original novel.

We can’t wait to see King’s masterpiece coming to the small screen!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline