Thanks to The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black and many more, some critics argue that we are living through a ‘golden age’ of television. For this #MondayMusing, step into the shoes of a commissioning editor for Netflix: what novel would you want to turn into a box set?
Recent series like The Man in the High Castle (adapted from Philip K. Dick) or The Handmaid’s Tale confirm that novels provide a rich seam for television to adapt. But novels offer more than just raw material to be reused. The wholly original series of The Wire was pitched to HBO as a ‘novel’ for the screen, while the serial form has been likened to Charles Dickens. Some go as far as to say television can be thought of as “literary.”
If you love box sets and books, the forthcoming Lit TV conference will will explore contemporary US Television and “the Literary” more deeply. Check out the conference website now, for more on these connections. The conference is held at Edinburgh Napier University, and is organised by Dr. Sam Thomas (Durham University) and Dr. Arin Keeble (Edinburgh Napier University), and runs 5th to 6th May.
Ahead of the discussions, what makes a good ‘box set’ novel? What recent (or old) work of literature is begging to be adapted over many hours of television?