The 5 Best TV Shows Based on Books

While some people might argue that books never translate as well to the television screen, there are certainly some exceptions. Continue reading to find out what some of the best television shows based on books are and where to stream them.

1. “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Courtesy of Hulu.

This dystopian series written by Margaret Atwood hit the screen in 2017 and has since enthralled viewers across the world. The series is set in the future in a society where women are subject to slavery in the form of bearing children for high-up elites. While the television show has acquired a large fan base due to the captivating yet eerie storyline and exceptional array of actors including Elizabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski, the book series is also certainly worth a read. 

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is available to stream on Hulu. 

2. “Big Little Lies”

Courtesy of HBO Max.

“Big Little Lies” is a limited series that takes place in the wealthy community of Monterey, CA, and follows a group of diverse yet close-knit mothers as they get tangled up in a murder mystery that consumes the community. The television show brilliantly brings Liane Moriarty’s novel to life by casting well-known actors such as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Zoë Kravitz and many more. With a great balance of humor and seriousness, this show and novel are worth taking the time to indulge in. 

“Big Little Lies” is available to stream on HBO Max.

3. “Sharp Objects”

Courtesy of HBO Max.

This psychological thriller written by Gillian Flynn was so popular among readers that it had to be turned into a television miniseries. Main Character Camille (Amy Adams) is an investigative reporter who returns to her hometown after the devastating disappearance of two teenage girls. During her investigation, Camille is reunited with her family and begins to find clues relating to the missing girls that she relates to a bit too closely. While the book does a great job of telling this mysterious story, the eight-episode series is just as compelling as the novel.

“Sharp Objects” is available to stream on HBO Max. 

4. “Normal People”

Courtesy of Hulu.

“Normal People” is a series that brings the 2018 novel by Irish author Sally Rooney to life in the most enchanting ways. This first-love romance story is praised for its incredible character development and cast members including Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones. “Normal People” is loved by many — in book and television form. This series follows two young lovers from different socioeconomic backgrounds and their journey through life together. “Normal People” is a coming-of-age story that will make you want to read the novel and experience it again through the TV screen. 

“Normal People” is available to stream on Hulu and HBO Max. 

5. “Bridgerton”

Courtesy of Netflix.

Based on the novels by Julia Quinn, this television series has almost everyone who watches this show in a chokehold. Set in the 1800s Regency period, this series follows the elite Bridgerton family and their quests to find love and honor their family name. The extravagant costumes and beautiful set locations make this television series eye candy for the viewers, elevating the novel to a whole new level. The show’s cast including Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley has played a significant role in the success of the series. With the 17th-century feel of “Bridgerton” with a contemporary touch including orchestrated versions of modern music, this novel-based show is almost impossible not to binge. If you enjoy this series, be sure to check out the “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” coming to Netflix this May.

“Bridgerton” is available to stream on Netflix. 

While finding a good read is hard to beat, consider giving these TV shows based on books a try. You might find your new favorite television series to binge or a new book that you can’t put down!

By Madison Shauer

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