It’s always a little complicated when something you love is translated into a new medium. If it’s pretty faithful, you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club of people who knows things that people just discovering it don’t, and if it’s different, you’re potentially judging the new medium against the old, usually with a bias towards the old. The new medium doesn’t get a chance to stand on its own.
I’m not that bad about it, I don’t talk through shows or movies or anything, but I’ve definitely caught myself drifting to one of side of the equation or the other. For example, I distinctly recall watching Game of Thrones with my wife, and when the Red Wedding finally arrived, I probably spent less time watching it than I did giving her intense sideways glances so I could see how she reacted to what I knew was coming.
I wasn’t trying to be disruptive about “being in the know”, but by the time Jon Snow was murdered, she was tuned into my interest in her interest as a sign that shit was about to go down.
Fortunately that show eventually went off-book, and then we could just watch from the same level each week: having no idea how they were going to fuck it up the ending even more.
On the flip side of this, as we’ve already established, I haven’t played the Witcher yet (nor read the books). So when we watched that show, I was afforded the ability to gauge things without preconceived notions (I had some information gleaned from context about the games over the years), but I wasn’t pre-attached to certain performances or stories or character appearances. I could just watch the show as the show. And when she turned to me to say “was that character in the game?” I could just shrug and reply “fuck if I know.”
Whether it’s a book, or a game or a show or a comic or whatever, we’ve probably all watched something we like adapted to a new medium. And all those attached feelings are certainly natural (and great for discussion amongst fans), but we should endeavor to not let them ruin other people’s enjoyment of the new medium.
Just let them like the new thing (even if we know Pedro Pascal’s beard isn’t beardy enough*).
*yes, that is apparently an actual complaint people are lodging.
Probably similar to me and the Wheel of Time adaptation. I lasted all of 12 minutes before turning it off, couldn’t stand all that was changed (and a _lot_ was changed).
A friend of mine, who is a die-hard fan of the books, was very disappointed in the show as well.
And the funny part about that, is that I’ve only read the first few books, like 20-25 years ago. So, I can literally remember nothing of the story. I found the show really appealing.
So, I totally agree that knowledge about a story from an earlier medium, is not necessarily helpful 🙂
Fun fact, the Wheel of Time showrunner is now in charge of the God of War series.
Abandon all hope.
I’ve read the wheel of time and I’m ok with the adaptation. It’s not 100% the same but overall the show is pretty ok. Better than the witcher prequel.
I’m perhaps on the other other side of the spectrum on this one. I haven’t read the books (tried to get through the first one and Jesus wept Robert Jordan was really all about the girth) so I gave the show a shot, to see if I’d want to get more into the books.
I got to the second episode, and that was stretching my “give it a chance” philosophy. Even as somebody who isn’t a fan of the books, I thought it was utter crap. Not even the incomparable Rosamund Pike could save it.
Forget plot changes. I don’t think the showrunners even had a foggy clue what even the major themes were. It’s hard to brush aside overly dramatic and incoherent characters, cheap soap operas, chincy, laughable set pieces depicting an obscenely underscaled world, and meaninglessly flashy generic action when they’re also demolishing the whole point of the story. Then I nearly vomited when they presented Loial the Ogier as basically a human in clumpy boots. At least they put some effort into the woefully homogenous trollocs. It was only for my wife’s sake that I got that far but I just couldn’t… Read more »
I really enjoyed the show but they did change a lot.
I personally adopted the headcanon that the show is another turning of the Wheel. Not the same one as in the books.
I never read wheel of time, because everyone says the pacing is kind of bad. Even people who really like it says it is pretty slow. So I wonder if the tv show is better.
Yes the books are slow, in the first three. After those I feel the pacing picks up and things only get better from there. I’m on my second read through and still enjoying it. Also, if you get used to Jordan’s writing style (ie. descriptive) you can sometimes skip a few lines and still get the whole context.
This is actually encroaching onto a major point of contention for the fan base as a whole, too. Most of it agrees the series as a whole has some slow points, but nobody agrees on which books are the primary offenders; some claim the first few books are the slowest; some claim that book 10 is the slowest, etc. This is made even worse that there’s an absolutely shocking amount of incredible foreshadowing done in the first few books, much of which pays off in the last few. So they feel very, very different on a reread because “Oh shit… Read more »
Yeah, some of the books are a bit slow, but I still marvel at the details that you find later, and rereading them multiple times I still find things I didn’t notice before.
In my opinion 5-7 were the best until Brandon Sanderson finished things.
I felt the same way. Was so hyped to finally get a Wheel of Time show.. And i couldn’t watch it. The visual effects were spectacular but the story was so changed i just couldnt do it
a show about a game with the worst story ever. im not missing much.
I hear Tetris has a story right up your alley.
I usually see these show as new things (“based in X book” clearly is telling you that is not an exact copy) and when the chapter is done we talk about if the changes were for better or for worse and about the easter eggs
Always boggles my mind when people say, “I liked TLOU2.”
I liked TLOU2.
Why didn’t you like it?
Happy to boggle your mind. I loved TLOU2.
I didnt even like the first one, but I dont care about what game ppl like, and so should you.
I bought the ps3 just for that game, and ended playing it for 45minutes before quitting. The most useless purchase I ever did, buying a console to play for only 45minutes…
That says a lot more about you than it does about the game.
what the fuck are you talking about? are you some internet psychologist?
I wonder, since you’ve seen the Witcher before playing it, if you get the same effect in reverse: Comparing the game to the show, with a bias towards the show.
(I haven’t played or watched it, so no investment from me there)
This is actually a very interesting take on it… Hope Tim reads this and provides some kind of input, IF he ever gets to play the games heheheh
I don’t think it would be as bad in reverse, because you’re getting so much more content and a different approach to how the story/pacing/whatnot is experienced. It would be almost expected to find a ton of differences and more drawn out plot.
Issue with going from game to show/movie is they have to cut a ton out and often adjust stuff for brevity or necessity, so it becomes apparent just how much attention the creators were paying to the importance of certain parts of the game.
Actually, I am experiencing something similar right now. I’m playing and watching Pokemon X together with my kid. Since we are faster with the series than with the games, we met some characters first in the series. The story is much better in the series than in the game. Don’t know which one came first. But the series is much more fleshed-out and the characters are much better.
Then again, Pokemon games were never known for their amazing storylines…
Is the witcher show based on the game’s story? I have not actually watched any of it, but I had thought it was just in the same setting.
The Witcher is based on the books, not the games. Since the first book is a collection of short stories, the show mixes the first two books together into the first season. It’s fairly different from the books – more like a retelling from memory – but I think it gets the general tone and story through well enough.
The prequel series is trash though, but that’s more its entire production, not just that it doesn’t really fit in the universe.
I read the Witcher stories and books before watching the show, and have never played the game. I enjoyed the “movie in my head” reading, as well as Cavill’s portrayal with one caveat: Geralt in the books (and game, I’m assuming) is a talker … like, a LOT of monologuing and dialogue with other characters (esp. Yennifer and Dandelion). I didn’t let the dissonance affect me, as they’re different mediums. Took ’em for what they were. However, this mindset doesn’t hold with my favorite Byzantine socio-political/religious zealotry sci-fi series … Dune. Nearly all adaptations have issues I can’t reconcile with… Read more »
Apparently Cavill had a lot more lines filmed in the show and a large part were cut by the show runners.
At least that part seems medium-appropriate.
Out of curiosity, is it a “We had to cut it because there simply isn’t time” or “We had to cut it because people aren’t here for the socio-humanitarian commentary, they’re here for the tiddies, the violence and the Cavill”? Because I’ve played all the games, I’m through the short story books and halfway through the main books, and it’s so much socio-humanitarian commentary. It’s honestly hard to get a read on Sapkowski between his being a burk about the royalties but then having written those books – out in the 90’s – with a pretty decent read on the… Read more »
Having read nothing of Orson Scott Card, what’s the eponymous condition?
Enders Game, it was one of a series of good books by OSC and they basically did the same with Frank Herberts Dune. They tried to jam in some minimal back story from other books, and severely slashed the core novel because it was too hard to display or took too long. End result: a jumpy, cut apart, foreshortened (the original Dune was 6 hours long at completion, before the cutting room), loss of the true value of the authors work. Both movies (esp the 80s version of Dune) would probably have benefited from a long run series as was… Read more »
As long as the show/movie is relatively faithful and the showrunner/director/whoever doesn’t bad mouth the original material like they know so much more what the fans wanted than the fans, I’m fine with any innaccuracy or deviation from the source, tbh.
The problem with The Last of Us show is that they’re changing so much because Neill Druckman, he hates The Last of Us’s original writer, Ann Hennig.
He’s one of those male-feminists who thinks if something isn’t rabbidly feminist, then it’s terrible. He’s already admitted that he sees games and gamers as embarrassing. He’s only in the gaming industry because he couldn’t get into the movie industry and he’s using his this get into the movie industry. Whether he planned this or it’s just a happy coincidence for him is up in the air.
Old example of this, but I liked Final Fantasy: Spirits Within. Of course at that point, despite loving fantasy RPG’s, I still hadn’t gotten a FF under my belt. While the uncanny valley part took a little getting used to, it seemed like most of the hate was because they slapped the “Final Fantasy” on it.
I’ve since completed FF 1, 6, 8, and half of 2 with the rest in my backlog. Oh, and I still like Spirits Within.
That was kind of the whole deal with Spirits Within was that it had the Final Fantasy name on it but it didn’t really have any elements of Final Fantasy in it at all. You could have just called it Spirits Within, sans Final Fantasy, and no one would have batted an eye at it. I don’t really know the story behind the production but it almost feels like someone made an entirely different movie and Square Enix just bought it up to slap the title on it. Much like what happened with Starfox Adventures and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Same with World War Z, Wanted, Joker, Craigs James Bond, to a lesser extend I am Legend and Revenant where they just missed the whole point.
I always try to remember that these are ADAPTATIONS and we shouldn’t experience full faithfulness.
In a way adaptations have become our version of oral storytelling where every person has their own “telling” of what is, at the core, the same story.
That helps me judge them on their own merits.
That is true and to be honest, books, games, tv shows, and movies all have different strengths and weakness as far as telling a story go, so often times you are much better off playing to the strength of the media rather than going for a 1:1 retelling.
To an extent I agree. But after too many divergences, different plots etc., I tend to be too annoyed by how warped the world and characters I knew are getting. I don’t mind if an adaptation isn’t a 1:1 replica, but when they start adding in too many original content (especially when contradicting or leaving out actual source material) it really ruins my immersion. If they’re basically going to make their own story instead of what actually happens in the books (or whatever), I’d rather they be honest and actually name it as such. Don’t steal a name of an… Read more »
This hit me hard with the Dragon’s Dogma show. Someone had remind me it wasn’t meant to be taken as a 1:1 comparison to the game so I should ease up my criticism of the direction the story went. Next time I rewatch it I’ll be keeping that in mind.
I like adaptations that try to be consistent with the source material. For instance, …I think it was Chris Columbus who directed the first two Harry Potter movies and stayed pretty close to the source material. I liked that. The others then decided to stray farther and farther for their own devices.
“not beardy enough”…. Geez. That sounds like the complaint the producers had for Will and Grace. Apparently Jack (a real gay man) was going to play the part of Will, but he “wasn’t gay enough” — so they hired a straight guy to do it.
And occasionally, you get to watch a property you are loosely familiar with, and get as much enjoyment out of watching the YouTube breakdowns as the actual episodes. The Netflix series Wednesday was like that for me, as I didn’t know the full OG series and the books the character was based on, only really familiar with Raul Julia’s later performances.
i just hate adaptations cause theyre lazy. come up with original ideas writers, stop ruining what naughty dog already ruined with their sequel
Adaptation is always interesting. Take The Boys for example. Very different from the comics, but the core premise is still there and it works. I take enjoyment from both the show and comics.
MY Complaint is, it’s based on the Last of Us, a game series that managed to go from “Top of the shelf” to trash bin.
I’m going to be part of this with a bit of complaining about Joel. I played (and loved) both. The Texan flair to Joel is just something that doesn’t look like it’ll be replicated with Pedro Pascal. I like him as an actor, and he just doesn’t feel right in the role. Even with that, I’m still fully on board looking forward to it.
I believe it’s near impossible to change medium like this and do it well. Half of what I loved about “the Witcher”, was the personal choice aspect and watching the consequences follow. In the “Last of Us” show, YOU will never be the one protecting Ellie.
These TV show production companies are banking on the IP to do well, rather than having a good idea in its own right. I’d rather these shows come up with their own story in their own universe.
As I understand it Blood Origin did exactly that – setting things so far before both the books and games that it’s practically a different setting altogether and, well….uh…..
It would be mild to say that some people were displeased
If they were trying to make something that is “practically a different setting altogether” then why slap a witcher label on it if not to try and capitalize on an existing brand esthetic that they had no intention of honoring. Just release it without the witcher name and let it sink on its own merits
Which is it? “Do something interesting and separate with the IP” or “Don’t you dare even touch the IP unless you make sue you get the exact shade of Gimli’s beard right and remake Yennifer’s perfume using literal gooseberries and lilac by hand like it would be for the period“
If you have no intention of honoring the original Ip you dont like the original Ip and only want to use the name to push Politics and idiocies that never existed in the original Ip THEN DONT TOUCH IT. Your lame comparison to Gimli brings up a great of example of doing it right. The lord of the rings trilogy. They cut and modified a lot things for length and adapting from book to film but held very true to the original spirit of the books. Here’s solution that keeps us both happy. If it falls into my dont touch… Read more »
I’d say “Don’t touch someone else’s IP” full stop. If you have something interesting to say, make your own IP, and let it stand on its own merit.
As I understand it the “Newly Hardcore” Witcher fandom flipped their shit over the Witcher Prequel, not that there was anything actually written to detail very much of what happened well over 1000 years before Geralt, but….yeah
If you’re talking about the animated prequel series, then you are misinformed. Geralt is in it (as a child). And it talks about an event mentioned and described frequently in both the books and the games, the sacking of Kaer Morhen. It’s not 1000 years before anything and there’s more than enough detail to know none of what is depicted happened.
No no – Blood Origin, the most recent Live Action
It isn’t about the sacking of Kaer Morhen, it takes place before the Witchers are established
I haven’t played any because I don’t own a console (too expensive) so I’m curious if he really was last of them.
I was like this with the Halo TV show. I’ve played a couple of the games (first, third, and ODST) And I knew certain things based on other friends of mine having a larger context of it, but I wasn’t in any way a die hard fan. As a result, I was able to judge the show on its own merits and found I actually enjoyed the season. I went online to see that people how called themselves die hard fans of the show were INTENSELY negative about the series, bitching about every little thing from Chief not “acting like… Read more »
Well yeah, of course they’re going to be negative. The showrunners clearly had something else in mind instead of a Halo series and had their own script, characters etc. They hacked up Halo to fit their script and no one liked it. Tell me, if they turned Cortanna into a bimbo sex doll, how would you feel about it?
Game lore ignored, I just thought it was distracting that he rarely wore his helmet, even in unsecured areas, but always lugged it around with him. Like if you’re not going to wear it, why carry it at all?
I loved the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book series when growing up. The movie got me really, really upset. So much was changed; it didn’t feel faithful
Later I learned the books were an adaptation of the radio show, realized what had to change to make it work for books. I learned that all media are different, and some changes are necessary. These can both exist without ruining each other.
Except for ASOIAF, of course; now that the TV series is out, I honestly doubt George is going to finish another book.
Unfortunately I think that’s true, I think the show really did do the broad strokes of the intended ending, and now he doesnt know what to do with the story.
For me something I’m bummed we’ll never see is say Hugh Jackman and formerly Ellen Page as Joel and Ellie. Hugh Jackman’s performance in Prisoners and physicality as Wolverine in varying X-Men/Wolverine films really sold to me that he would very capably look and feel like Joel. It is what it is, I’m kind of used to adaptations being lackluster nowadays imo. Granted I think Pedro Pascal is talented and able to play a good Joel, I just can’t un-see Hugh Jackman being a subjectively better one.
Hugh Jackman might have been good. Josh Brolin would have been another interesting choice. A younger Elliot page could have been good but, like the actual actress that voiced Ellie, now too told to play the role.
Great, this just brought back nightmares about the horror show that was Eragon. 😨
I mean they managed to ruin the sequel’s story. Don’t need to see it happening the same in live-action too. 9 out of 10 times, these ‘video-game-based’ series are just there for some writers to write their own drivel for a recognizable IP that only has surface connection to the material. Halo comes to mind and the Witcher, DESPITE Henry Cavill’s attempts, mind you. Don’t make me started on Cowboy Bebop adaptation and so on.Even the adaptations outside games cannot escape. If you just wanna use a title just to write your own shit, just write your own generic flop… Read more »
1) Well measured and rational response on her part.
2) This is why one of Everything Wrong with (movie-show tile) in X Minutes empahsizes “The. Books. Don’t. Matter.”
Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.
The cheaper solution!
Only Sonic can make adaptations correctly.
Are you forgetting that we had to boycott and petition to make that happen after they revealed just what that monstrosity was going to look like?
Adaptations are hard, no doubt about it. For me, the adaption should still respect the books, games, or whatever it is adapting. The core has to be intact. I dont know about Last of Us yet, but so far: the Witcher show seemed off to me. IT didnt really honor the books, since it changed a lot – things that dont make sense in universe or the lore of the Witcher. It also wasnt really for new fans, at least if I look at my girlfriend who had massive issues to understand the story, characters, timelines and rules of the… Read more »
Today I have seen that some scenes of the Borderlands movie are being remade and I think it can be related to this comic. As good as a movie about the first characters could be (man, seeing Brick ripping people apart with his bare hands would be great as well as horrific) I would rather see a movie about the consequences or even a prequel about Pandora.
But Tim. The Wheel of Time. I KNOW it is impossible to turn inner monologue into a film adaptation. I understand the job of work they had bringing these characters to life. That said, we were promised a faithful adaptation made by people who love the series and what we got instead was a mishmash of the actual story as told by people who figured they could tell a better story than the original creator. They changed the most BASIC of rules in the WoT universe for the show, and took many of the characters greatest accomplishments from them, and… Read more »
It’s nice that you and your wife could be disappointed together by Game of Thrones. That was a weird one, because I’d had the Song of Ice and Fire on my reading list for six or seven years, so I was committed to watching the first season or two first. By contrast, she immediately plowed through the first three books at record speed between seasons, then lost interest and skimmed Feast for Crows. I picked them up somewhere around season 4, and read all the way through so it went from her spoiling things for me (God bless her she… Read more »