Monday, May 28, 2012

Face Off: Which Book do you Want to See Turn to TV?

'Llaunes i cel·luloide 04' photo (c) 2007, Miquel Angel  Pintanel Bassets - license:

As anyone visiting our site knows, we have read a lot of Urban Fantasy. A lot of those books go on to be made into a films or, even better, TV series - which we always run to check out. And, we have to say, we’re often disappointed, upset and even bemused by the choices made. After watching an entire season of Secret Circle, the only good thing I can say about it is that at least it wasn’t repeated for another season. Having attempted to read the books, I can’t imagine anyone expecting better. Another CW creation is The Vampire Diaries. Now, we have spoken at length about the problems of The Vampire Diaries and we’re not exactly looking forward to it coming back, but, having read the books I have to applaud CW. Yes, I applaud them - because the series is monumentally better than those books.

True Blood, which we enjoy, was hardly based on our favourite series. Of course, maybe we should be grateful as some books I have enjoyed - the Dresden Files and Blood Ties have been turned into rather mediocre TV series

But now we’re looking at what series we’d really love to see reach the TV screen - if The Vampire Diaries and Twilight were worthy of TV and film adaptation, then surely some of our favourites deserve a chance!

So, which one of these do you think should make it to the screen? Or do you have your own suggestion?

Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.

From the moment I picked up Hounded I was absolutely hooked on this series.   Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2000+ year old druid, who draws his power directly from the earth, and lives with his Irish wolfhound Oberon.  Atticus bound his mind to his wolfhound which allows Oberon to speak intelligently. I have to tell you right now, Oberon is one of the best charcters in Urban fantasy, and I would dearly love it if Hearne would write lines for my dog.  Atticus move from adventure to adventure battling various mythical pantheons.  With various Gods always wanting to kill him, the world’s last remaining Druid must be quick on his feet. The absolutely best exchange of the series happened Hammered the third book in the series, when Atticus meets Jesus Christ.

Jesus appears wearing a tie dyed T-shirt in predominantly reds, yellows, and greens, with a white peace sign screen-printed on the front of it.  He also wore a pair of relaxed fit blue jeans and classically black Chuck Taylors. Hearne even went as far as to suggest that "Jesus looked like the guy from the Old Spice bodywash commercials".  I dare you to tell me one single place that you can find Jesus described in this way?  What ensues is an irreverent exchange, with Jesus providing fish and chips to a crowded bar, explaining that "miracles are so much more fun when people are expecting them of you," while pounding back 60 year old whiskey. I laughed until my tears poured from my eyes.

Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian Series.

If you haven’t read Rowland’s series you are missing out.  Kara Gillian is a police detective in Beaulac, Louisiana who after finally paying her dues gets to move from property crimes to homicide.  Gillian is also a summoner of demons. Normally she summons lower level demons but when Demon Lord Rhyzkahl appears in her circle she knows that she cannot contain him at that at any moment, this demon, who also killed her mother, could decide to kill her as well.

Gillian unwittingly becomes more involved with Demons over time in part because she can see the arcane and in part because the FBI task force of which she eventually becomes a part of is potentially headed by two demons.

This series is action from start to finish, and the end of each book was impossible to anticipate.  Rowland’s work passes the Bechdel test and she takes it one step further to include some great class analysis as well as a discussion of how people are treated differently by the authorities based in things like race and class. With the exception of The Game of Thrones, this series is easily better than anything currently airing on television.

Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London
A police drama that actually involves real police procedure? A vast and diverse world with vampires to wizards to gods? A racially diverse cast? A real looking London carrying the actual sense and feel of the city? And all delivered with perfect pacing and a wry, dry humour! What’s not to like here! We have a supernatural branch of the metropolitan police force - that alone is golden.

I loved every second of this book and it has so much potential and breadth. The many characters, the huge nature of London and the endless plotlines that can be explored simply through the aegis of the police force gives it potential for series after series. It even mocks the Daily mail - that’s got to give it points right there.

I would love to see this series turned into a television show - it has vast potential, is amazingly amusing and has enough depth and breadth not to be reduced to a simple monster of the week or be caught on another dreadfully dull love triangle

We also have a huge list of honourable mentions but we’re afraid to suggest them for TV. With urban Fantasy there’s such a need for decent costume and special effects - so, TV execs, if you’re going to tackle Ilona Andrews’ wonderful Kate Daniels series. Then make sure you have the budget!

We’ve also heard that Kim Harrison’s amazing Hollows Series has been picked up by the CW. We’re afraid. We’re very very afraid.