Books to TV: What We’re Watching


We’re snowed in this weekend so needless to say we’re watching a lot of TV (and some football).  So I thought I’d write about some of the things we’re watching.

After bingeing on Jessica Jones in December, we found ourselves without a lot of good television in January. So let’s talk about the three new book-to-tv offerings on the SyFy channel.


  • The Expanse: my husband is a huge fan of the books by James S. A. Corey, and we both love the show. When my husband says “space opera” I generally tune out. But this is more detective-noir than space opera, which I love.  I just started the book, Leviathan Wakes, and already I’m anxious to catch up so I can read ahead of the show.
  • Childhoods End: this one’s a no go for me. I’m not sure if I read the book (sorry, I know it’s a classic) but after 4 hours of this series I’ve given up. Hours 1-2 were okay but LONG, and hours 3-4 were melodramatic, overacted and boring. My husband’s verdict: this should have been a 2 hour movie, not 6 (like The Hobbit?)
  • The Magicians: I didn’t fall in love with this book like everyone else did, so I haven’t watched the show. The commercials don’t look very good. Anyone watching? What do you think?

I’m also happy that Agent Carter is back. Yes, life with the husband means watching a lot of science fiction and superheroes, but I’m never sorry about that.

And then there’s Star Wars. What did you think? My husband grew up on these movies and it’s fair to say he’s been obsessed the last six months or so with The Force Awakens. So we bought our tickets for the first night (I agreed to see a 10pm movie on a worknight) and I approached the premiere with some nervousness because it meant so much to him.

Thankfully, he loved it AND I loved it. For me, The Force Awakens is simply good moviemaking, with a great plot, good dialogue, and characters I care about (none of which were present in the last three Star Wars movies). Strong women are a must for me in a movie, and I loved, loved, loved the character of Ray (and Leia too). I saw it a second time and found I enjoyed it even more because I caught more of the plot points and the humor – which for me is the mark of a good movie. I put this one up there with Guardians of the Galaxy and GalaxyQuest (and speaking of which, a very sad RIP to Alan Rickman).

On this snowy winter weekend, I’m reading Leviathan Wakes by James Corey and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (sort of switching off between the two).  I’m also working on my masters thesis, though not nearly as much as I should.  It looks like I’ll be working from home Monday and maybe Tuesday depending on when the Metro starts running again and schools reopen.

Right now everything’s sore from shoveling.  Our super-enthusiastic neighbors decided to shovel our entire street this morning instead of waiting for the plows that probably aren’t coming.  Bleh.

What are you reading/watching this weekend?  And what book to movie adaptations are you looking forward to in 2016?

  10 comments for “Books to TV: What We’re Watching

  1. January 24, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I’m intrigued by the Expanse, I watched the first few episodes and it was pretty good. I’m binging on Orphan Black at the moment so I haven’t gotten back to it, but I’m sure I will. I like Agent Carter and thought the premiere the other night was pretty good- not great, but good.

    Star Wars I wasn’t as crazy about but it’s good to have it back. I just wish they would have taken the story in a different direction. I did like Rey though.

    Enjoy your viewing and hope you guys aren’t snowed in too long!

    • January 25, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Orphan Black is great, although it lost me somewhere in the third season. I think it just got too violent for me -or maybe I just don’t stick with things after a few seasons. Tatiana Maslay is amazing though. I don’t think Agent Carter is groundbreaking or anything, just fun to watch.

  2. January 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Ditto. The snow has confined me to my house. It’s the most snow I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m sore from having to shovel it multiple times. Surprisingly, I didn’t watch much shows this weekend but spent the time reading Station Eleven (which is good but not as great as I expected it to be) and Pride & Prejudice (which is boring. I really don’t like the dialogue) instead.
    I enjoyed Childhood’s End but I agree with you about the last parts of it. I like the buildup to the appearance of the aliens but after that, it went downhill for me. The Expanse is good and I like The Magicians thus far. I haven’t read the books. The only thing that annoyed me is that they used a similar effect in it that was in The Expanse and since I watched the first episodes of both back-to-back, it just seemed like copying to me. (It was sex in the air scene.)

    • January 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Sorry to hear you’re not loving Station Eleven or Pride & Prejudice. Station Eleven is different from what I expected but I really liked it. Maybe it will all come together for you, maybe not. That’s funny about the sex in the air scene, I thought that was pretty gratuitous in The Expanse (and just about the only thing in the show that was). So to see it twice would annoy me too.

      • January 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        It is different, Station Eleven. For some reason, I thought it those who survived the flu were on a spaceship called Station Eleven. I guess I read too many reviews before reading the book and then smushed all the points together. I liked it but I think the hype made me want more than what I got.

  3. January 24, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I ended up reading Blue is the Warmest Color on Thursday and watching the movie on Friday. What a strange experience to watch the narratives weave around each other and change here or there, each one better in some ways than the other. Here is my review of the book:

    • January 25, 2016 at 9:47 am

      I don’t know anything about that movie although I think I remember ads for it… your review of the book sounds fascinating. Did the movie live up to the book?

      • January 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

        I feel like the book has flaws and the movie had flaws, and if I could sew them together they would be super beautiful.

  4. January 29, 2016 at 10:30 am

    It’s hard to compete with Jessica Jones… everything else just seems not as exciting afterwards, haha. But I just finished reading Leviathan Wakes so I’m ready to start on The Expanse! As in, literally just turned it on moments ago. So far the production value looks amazing!

    (And Agent Carter is awesome).

    • January 29, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      It sounds like we have a lot in common! I thought I wouldn’t like Jessica Jones, and then when it was over I really missed it.

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