Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Books to TV Adaptations



Tv time since it is the last Thursday and the last day of February which is wild. Where is this year going? I have had some crappola happen which we all have but it seems to be getting to me and I don’t like that. This past weekend we had a wind storm which took off part of our roof and my hubby must go for another operation on his right shoulder. Ughhhh....as a result, I have fallen down on reading some great blogs and I feel so bad about that since I enjoy it. You still come to visit here and I am so very, very thankful. Ok, TV adaptations...let’s see what Wandering Through The Shelves will showcase. Here are my 3...

1. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE-1974-1983


I watched this show every week faithfully since I always loved Michael Landon from his Bonanza days. This is based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I read when I was in grade school, based on her experiences with her family growing up in the Midwest during the 1880’s. Laura Ingalls was played by Melissa Gilbert who was so good in her role as the feisty kid who sees things through her eyes as she deals with nature, people and her nemesis, Nellie Olsen. I loved all the characters in Walnut Grove and some of the episodes were brilliant like the snowstorm and the fire at the blind school costing the lives of a regular of the series plus the baby of Mary (Laura's sister). Some of the episodes really held your heart and I still like watching the show despite the Ingalls' home looking like a huge Outhouse. Oh yes, today, as I write this, we are having a snow storm:).

2. ROOTS-1977


This is a huge  miniseries that should be shown in schools and be on Netflix because of the horrors the African Americans experienced for hundreds of years. The book was written by Alex Haley who, many years later came out that the people in the book were not his ancestors but that does not matter because almost all African Americans today have roots in slavery. I can not begin to imagine that my ancestry can be found in a log of purchases and see my ancestors' name listed as property. It is disgusting! This film follows Kunta Kinte from the time he is taken from his homeland, brought over by ship to America and sold for labour. You want him to escape and he tries, more than once but, in the end, he does not succeed and must watch as his daughter is sold to another slave owner. You follow the family all the way  to gaining freedom. It is a miniseries that riveted North America and showcased how horrifying that time was.

3. EAST OF EDEN-1981


This miniseries is a great retelling of the major work done by John Steinbeck. Jane Seymour was the main protagonist and she was brilliant in this role and so evil. The Film, with James Dean, is excellent but only deals with the last part of the book whereas this miniseries brings the whole book to life. We see how a father seems to favour one son over another with one son seemingly virtuous and the other a wild rebel. When the father dies, the sons inherit a fortune and in comes Jane Seymour whom we already have met as she has already killed her parents and beguiled one man to suicide. Of course both men succumb to her beauty and charm and she gives birth to twins. The twins, when they grow up, seem to repeat the same story which is where the film version begins. If you ever get a chance to see this, I would advise to sit back and enjoy this great miniseries.

I bet, that if Netflix was around in the 1970 and 80s, I would not have seen these shows because I don't have Netflix. I find it, in many ways, a shame that I have to pay extra to see shows that are on Netflix, HBO, Hulu or whatever other streaming blah blahs are out there. I do want to see Game of Thrones one day but that is one day so, for now, I choose these greats from yesteryear.

Which TV shows, from books, would you choose?

48 comments:

  1. Hi Birgit - oh gosh ... things do happen - do hope the roof can be fixed reasonably easily, while your husband's shoulder op works properly. Take care ...

    I think I was away in South Africa so didn't see these - I'd love to see East of Eden ... how does one find time?! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you for you kind words. I bet, if you could find it, you would enjoy East of Eden

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  3. Typos, lol.
    I lucked out with that wind storm and had no damage. Just lots of limbs to clean up.
    Never saw any of those shows you mention. And being brain-dead this morning, I can't think of any others. 'Cept that I have been watching Perry Mason reruns, so does that count?

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    1. Yeah...our home is in the worst spot as we get the brunt of the wind. I don’t know if Perry Mason counts unless it came from a novel or something but I love that show.

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    2. Erle Stanley Gardner wrote over 40 Perry Mason novels and the TV show was based on those.

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  4. Hi, Birgit!

    I worked for an NBC television station that carried all three of Michael Landon's successful TV series: Bonanza, Little House and Highway to Heaven. The only one I watched regularly was Bonanza. My dad and I always watched the popular Western series together and his favorite character was Dan Blocker's "Hoss." I watched the outstanding miniseries Roots from beginning to end. I saw James Dean's 1955 film East of Eden but did not watch the miniseries. Instead I watched one of my favorite actresses, Barbara Alyn Woods, starring as Eve Sinclair in the steamy 1993 series Eden which I own on DVD.

    Thank you, dear friend BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. I forgot to add that I am very sorry high winds damaged your roof and that your hubby needs to go under the knife. "Crappola happens." I hope everything works out for you, dear friend.

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    2. Thank you for coming by and so glad you know Bonanza which is my favourite of his series. I loved Hoss as well and he was also my favourite and I had a soft spot for Hop Singh. I know that if you saw The East of Eden version I saw you would love it so I hope you get to see it one day. I hope you are doing ok and your wife as well. Thank you so much for your kindness

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  5. Sorry about your roof! That must've been one heck of a wind storm.
    I don't have HBO either, but I do have NetFlix and use that to keep up with Game of Thrones. It is a great books to series show although I've never read the books.

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    1. It was quite the windstorm and it last a whole day and into the next day. One day I will rent Game of Thrones and watch it

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your roof... and your husband.

    I haven't seen any of your picks but I'd love to see East of Eden.

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    1. Thank you...I feel very worried about my hubby to be honest. I bet you would love East of Eden

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  7. I was wondering what was up since you almost always respond to the posts. Sorry about the troubles.

    LOVE your picks! I can only take so much of Little House, and less now since I read Melissa Gilbert's bio-it made me dislike her-conversely I adored Alison Angrim's book-but the show has its charms.

    I finally watched Roots just last year, somehow I missed it the first time around, and thought it was a very impressive undertaking.

    We Match!!!! I own the DVD of the East of Eden mini (also the James Dean film)! Jane Seymour just rocks it and Lloyd Bridges is almost her match as Samuel Hamilton...too bad about Timothy Bottoms. But he doesn't ruin it.

    I went with miniseries and special productions for my choices as well.

    A Doll’s House (1959)-This Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of the Ibsen story (back when that program was the benchmark for quality TV-years before it became the dispenser of treacle that Hallmark is today) traces the emotional awakening of Nora Helmer (Julie Harris) from her previously unexamined life of domestic wifely comfort. Ruled her entire life by either her father or husband, Torvald (Christopher Plummer) Nora finally comes to question the foundation of everything she believes in when her marriage faces a profound test. Stacked with an astonishing cast, beside Julie Harris & Plummer it includes Jason Robards, Hume Cronyn, Eileen Heckart and an eight year old Richard Thomas this is currently showing on Amazon Prime.

    East of Eden (1981)-Miniseries adaptation of the entirety of the John Steinbeck sprawling novel (the James Dean film only dealt with the final third) of brothers Adam & Charles Trask (Timothy Bottoms & Bruce Boxleitner), Adam’s sons Caleb and Aron (Sam Bottoms & Hart Bochner) and how their lives intertwine with the Hamiltons lead by patriarch Samuel (Lloyd Bridges) and especially the unknowable Cathy Ames (Jane Seymour) throughout the decades of the late 19th and early 20th century. With a who’s who of notable names in support the highlight of this is a riveting turn of nearly unbridled evil by Jane Seymour as human succubus Cathy/Kate.

    Lonesome Dove (1989)-Beginning in the small Southern town of Lonesome Dove around the 1860’s two former Texas Rangers and best friends Gus McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Woodrow Call (Tommy Lee Jones) head out to Wyoming on a cattle drive that takes a heavy toll on all involved. Massive, violent and intense adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s epic tale is loaded with talent-Danny Glover, Diane Lane, Anjelica Huston, Chris Cooper and Steve Buscemi to name just a few- won unanimous praise upon its release.

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    1. I have been bad and I always love reading your responses here and on the others’ blogs. I am hoping you look at my previous post about the Oscars in which I talk about some other stuff but in a more humorous vein. I don’t know the first one but I do know the Hallmark Hall of Fame before it went insipid. I am so glad we match! It’s brilliant isn’t it:). I must have been hiding under a rock when Lonesome Dove came out but, if I recall, it was a year after my dad died and he loved Westerns so I think I avoided it on purpose but I will see this brilliant series one day

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  8. Yikes! How unfortunate about your roof! And your poor hubby. :( Here's hoping things get better for you very soon.

    Of the three you mentioned, Roots is the only one I watched. I tried Little House on the Prairie, because I also loved Michael Landon, but couldn't get into it. Does M*A*S*H qualify under this category? The movie came first, but it was based on the 1968 Richard Hooker & W. C. Heinz novel of the same name.

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    1. Thank you so much...that was quite the windstorm wasn’t it? I am hoping my luck will change because it has been a bit crummy to be honest. My hubby has calcific tendinitis and the specialist said it is the worst she has ever seen. This is due to his repetitive work plus the rheumatoid arthritis he suffers from. Your choice with MASH is brilliant! That works for sure

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  9. Hi Birgit, firstly, thanks for your visit and it's a bummer when life takes over, but sounds like you've much on your plate just now. I hope your Husband's shoulder gets attention soon, and you can cope with everything else without too much stress.

    I loved Little House on the Prairie, and Bonanza. Roots was a must watch, it was a fabulous drama. Haven't seen your last choice, but it sounds like it would be one that I would like. I would love to see Game of Thrones, but we don't have Sky TV, and the video box sets are so expensive, it's on my wish list though, take care of yourself, Kate x

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    1. Thank you for visiting and I so love your cards. I miss making cards but I need to just suck it up and become motivated. I hope you get to see East of Eden one day because it’s excellent

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  10. Oh wow with the storm damage! Hope the roof gets fixed fast. And hoping when your husband has his surgery, he'll make a quick recovery.

    I did see Little House on the Prairie. I too watched in faithfully. Did like so much about it. I did see Roots too, but not East of Eden.

    I'm liking Netflix only because there were lots of shows I wanted to watch but couldn't because hubby enjoys the remote more than I do and its okay not to argue about things; so now I can binge watch on those, even if it costs a few pennies a day (worth them in a marriage I think :)

    betty

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    1. Oh the roof is fixed but cost sucked. I am worried about my hubby since this is caused by his rheumatoid arthritis and the calcinic tendonitis is the worst the specialist saw. I feel bad for him. Glad you watched Little House which was a favourite of mine growing up.

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  11. The only one of your picks I haven't seen is East of Eden. I didn't watch a lot of Little House but I know I've seen a few episodes and I watched Roots in school.

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  12. I've seen Little House on the Prairie but not your other two choices. There are so many it's hard to pick, but I'm partial to the Agatha Christie series adaptations, the Timothy Hutton/Maury Chaykin adaptation of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, and the series adaptation of Dexter's Inspector Morse books.

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    1. My favorite, though, is The Expanse.

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    2. I liked little outhouse on the prairie:) There are many adaptations and I love Agatha Christie, her books and the shows whether they are in tv or in film. I have not seen The Expanse

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  13. "Roots" was phenomenal. I especially liked the early parts with LeVar Burton. What a talent.

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    1. The early episodes were great and Levar Burton outshone John Amos as Kunta Kinte

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  14. Sounds like it's a mess. Sorry about that. Hopefully things turn around for you soon.

    My elementary school was obsessed with Little House on the Prairie. I'm not sure why I didn't watch it, but I was the only one, it seemed. I have seen Roots shown in history class, but only parts and not often. And my mother loved that version of East of Eden. When it would come on TV, she would have to watch it again.

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    1. I hope so too and thank you so much for your words. I loved Little Outhouse and I am glad they show Roots in school. You should see East of Eden if it comes on anywhere again.

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  15. If it isn't one thing, it's another. That's what I've always heard and that's been my experience as well. Hope your current travails have good resolutions.

    You picked some good ones. I agree about not seeing a lot of shows because they are one some paid service or another. I certainly can't afford to sign up for all these services. Besides, there is still plenty of stuff I can watch without paying any further--like all my DVDs still to be watched.

    One of the shows that I really liked was FlashFoward which was on TV in 2009. I thought it showed a lot of promise, but like most shows I like it was soon off the air with no resolution. I guess I need to get the book and read it.

    Another show that I've been recently catching up on is Alfred Hitchock. Not exactly based on any book, but the episodes had some great stories by some fantastic writers. Those stories often came from mystery magazines and were adapted into television scripts.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yes, you are so right and that’s why we need to “go with the flow” I guess. It’s just been getting to me and I need to smarten up. I don’t know Flashforward but I’m not surprised by this since there have been many great shows that never made it past the first season. Alfred Hitchcock presents is excellent because there are many episodes based on short stories. There is one episode starring Barbara Bel Geddes playing an abused wife who kills her husband and then is unsure what to do afterwards. It’s quite good and it’s based on a short story

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    2. FlashForward the book might be of special interest to you since it's by Canadian sci-fi author Robert J. Sawyer. The premise of the story is pretty cool, but sadly the TV series never came to a resolution. I guess the book would have some kind of an ending.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

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  16. I can sympathize with hubby: I'm likewise having issues with my right shoulder. And having to deal with a roof is a pain in the neck.

    I've wanted to read Allison Arngrim's book, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch," for a while now. She was great as Nellie Olsen.

    The BBC did a TV adaptation of LeCarre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" that starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley that was very good, better than the recent movie adaptation. Of course, there was "All Creatures Great and Small," another BBC series that was based on James Herriott's books that starred Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy, and Peter Davison. That was very entertaining. "M*A*S*H," which was a TV series based on the movie that was based on a novel, would be a third. The early episodes with McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers are the better ones. It got a little too serious after that.

    Mary and I used to watch "Masterpiece Theater" (we seem to have trouble getting the two PBS stations here over-the-air, and I can't figure out why) that had some fantastic adaptations of novels.

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    1. My hubby has calcified tendinitis and it is the worst the specialist has ever seen. She has to go in, cut the tendon and cut parts of this out. She compared it to gum in hair. I love PBS and so sorry you have trouble getting this because they do bring great shows. The ones you mentioned are excellent and I love MASH! I agree that the earlier episodes are better before Alan Alda took control and change the format where it became it bit preachy later on. There are some very good one later on though like the dream sequence which was very sad.

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  17. We get countless Dickens / Jane Austen / Bront√ęs adaptations over here. Can’t beat Colin Firth as Mr Darcy though, my all time favourite. Trying to think of North American ones that have made an impression - Tales of the City springs to mind with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis. I loved both the books and the series.

    Sorry to hear about the roof and Mike’s shoulder. Hope both get fixed!

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    1. Ithe roof is fixed and now must wait to hear back from the specialist but thank you for your kindness. I still need to see the Colin Firth D’Arcy but I will as it’s on my radar to see since I love that actor.

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  18. We finally saw this version of East of Eden a few years ago. Oh, my, was Jane Seymour wicked.I thought her portrayal matched what I remember of Cathy in the novel. Some of the movie was made in our town of Hollister. Steinbecks's grandparents lived here.

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    1. Glad you saw this great series and so cool that it was filmed where you live.

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  19. I haven't seen any of these.

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  20. I saw random episodes of Little House on the Prairie but was never a faithful watcher. However, I watched the entire Roots saga and thought it was incredible. I really need to watch it again sometime. I'm hoping it'll still hold up. I expect that it will.

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    1. I love Little Outhouse and rewatch 8t when I can. I want to rewatch Roots as well and I do expect it will stand the test of time.

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  21. Stinks about the roof, blah.

    Seen some of Little House on the Prairie. Game of Thrones comes to mind, but I still don't get the fuss about it, especially the first few seasons. All they do is stand around and talk, walk and talk, sit and talk, ride and talk, and then something happens in the last 3 minutes of an episode. Rinse and repeat for so many seasons.

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    1. Oh wow! This is the first time I hear something negative about Games. It will be interesting to see if I think the same way.

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  22. I sure hope things improve in your sphere of the world soon, BIRGIT!

    I'm not much of a TV guy - except for what I consider Classic Sitcoms (and by "Classic", I mean nothing later than 'Frasier' and 'Everybody Loves Raymond').

    But three that came to mind that I enjoyed were...

    THE WALTONS

    LONESOME DOVE

    RICH MAN, POOR MAN

    Those were, in fact, the only 3 I could even think of. But I did like them, back in their day.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. I never was one formThe Waltons and I have tried many times to watch them but I found it like watching paint dry. I need to see Lonesome Dove since I love Westerns but this came out after my dad died and I just couldn’t watch it then. I loved Rich Man Poor Man which made the Mini Series the Thing tomwatch back then.

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  23. I know I'm the weirdo here, but I actually liked the TV mini-series of Stephen King's It a lot better. The girl wasn't a sexual plaything, and the black character actually had agency and an important role. Plus, Tim Curry. At least he had some charm. The guy they've got playing the clown in the movie is so damn creepy no kid would ever go near him. He's fooling no one.

    Strangely, I still haven't seen Roots (it's my cup of tea, so to speak) but Alex Haley's Queen was amazing. I believe it was Halle Berry's breakthrough role, and I remember thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was breathtaking.

    Little House is a great choice. It's been forever since I've seen it, but I believe the Thorn Birds was very well done for its time.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles, Birgit. Hope things are better now.

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