Since we are all stuck inside and in desperate need of new shows to binge watch, I thought I’d make a list of the top shows that I have loved binging and are based off books! Now, not all of these shows follow the books to the letter, and some are down right “loosely based” on the books, but all of them have been good for different reasons and are an adventure. So sit down, buckle up, and get ready to find your next favorite show!
P.S. These are in no particular order, just the top ten that I’ve enjoyed!
Call the Midwife
This is my feel-good show. If you want a lovely jaunt through London in the 1950’s/60’s watching babies being born, and some lovely (and surprisingly progressive) story lines, then this is the show for you. Based off the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, this show is just heart warming. Seeing babies being born and growing is always something to be happy about and this show tackles everything motherhood throws at a person.
2. His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials is based on the book series by Phillip Pullman of the same name. So far, this first season includes all of book one (The Golden Compass) and parts of book two (The Subtle Knife) which I wasn’t expecting. If you like portal fantasies, then this would be a great opton. The movie that came out in 2007 was not the best, and this show is infinitely better. Yes, they’ve taken some creative liberties, and given more of a story line to the Gypsies, but over all, I’m enjoying it and am excited for the next season!
3. Game of Thrones
Based on the series of books called A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, this show has been one hell of a ride. If you love epic fantasy with heavy political intrigue, fighting, blood, dragons, and sex, then check this out. The first season and parts of the second and third seasons stuck VERY closely to the books. After that however, it begins to deviate. And since the book series is not finished, the creators of the show had to go off on their own and create their own ending. While Martin has admitted that his endgame is similar to the show’s, the show royally screw up the final season. So if you are easily frustrated, perhaps don’t watch that last season. Up until then, it is WELL worth the binge watch.
4. Walking Dead
This show is another one that has been one hell of a ride. It is based on a series of graphic novels of the same name by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. Both of whom have been involved in the show, which means the majority (but not all) of the story lines are similar. If you love apocalyptic shows, zombies, and plenty of action, then this is the show for you. Heart pounding and full of excitement, this show delivers.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale
I’ll admit, I’ve only watched this show through season two and haven’t started season three yet. But what I have seen, I’ve been absolutely floored by the creativity and the acting. Based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood, it follows the tale of a woman living in a dystopian world. Women are barren, and the government has been overthrown by a religious sect who are intent on rebuilding the population, Eugenics style. The show is now passing the book, but they are staying true to the feeling of the novel and so far, I’m so intrigued. But be prepared to be triggered, and have your heart in your throat at some points, and yell at the screen at others. This show pulls on all your heart strings.
Another show I have not finished yet! I am in the middle of season three and man, I am loving the portal fantasy vibe. The show is based heavily on a book series by Diana Gabaldon called Outlander and is about a nurse at the end of World War II who finds herself flung back in to 18th century Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion. Full of romance, love, sex, intrigue, and handsome Scotsmen, this is the perfect show to binge. Be aware of some triggering things however. It isn’t for the faint of heart!
7. True Blood
So, I’ll admit, I resisted watching this show for a LONG time. They are based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, and when I attempted to read the books, I struggled to get into them and therefore, did not watch the show. But a friend recently convinced me of its merits and I caved. I’m about four seasons in, and I am now a fan! Great acting, good story lines, strong characters, and an interesting take on vampires. Definitely worth sinking your teeth into!
8. The 100
The show The 100 is based on a series of the same name by Kass Morgan. It is another apocalyptic show with dystopian vibes. Well told, with varied and interesting characters and an interesting world, this show is worth a try. It’s about 100 young people being sent to earth from The Arc (a space station) to see if it is survivable after a nuclear apocalypse. At first, things reminded me of Lord of the Flies, but as the story progressed, I became more and more invested. And frankly, I’m loving the LGBTQ representation.
9. The Witcher
This show man. This show. There’s only one season, but it was SO good. It is loosely based on a series of novels (and also video games) of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski. I have not yet read the books (but they are on my TBR), but the show was well done. It’s about Geralt who is a witcher (or a monster hunter) and how he reluctantly keeps saving people. I love high fantasy, and this one has it all: magic, sex, intrigue, sword fighting, sexy dudes and dudettes, and a snarky traveling minstrel you can’t help but love and sing along with. Toss a coin to your witcher!
10. Good Omens
And finally, Good Omens which is based heavily off the book by my personal favorite, Neil Gaiman. First of all, the acting was magnificent. Second, the show was just so well done, and casting Michael Sheen and David Tennant opposite each other was so perfect it’s almost painful. This is a mini series rather than a season of a show, but it is well worth the single day binge. Angels and Demons and working together to save the world and save the son of Satan. Seriously, it’s funny and heart warming in a strange way. So good!
There are many more shows worth watching out there, but none so good at these. Perhaps I’ll do another list at a later date about other great shows, but if you are looking for your next great binge, please give these shows a try.