News: After recently finishing both Dexter Season 2 on ...

Question: After recently finishing both Dexter Season 2 on DVD and the first book in Jeff Lindsay's morbidly entertaining series on which the show is based, a question occurred to me. I am wondering whether the teams who run a show like Dexter, HBO's new True Blood, and others find it easier or harder to do their job in creating a show when it is based upon a book series. On one hand, they already have plenty of plot points to use and the characters are practically drawn out for them already. Most of Dexter's first season, for example, is almost directly taken from the first book. They even use some of the dialogue from the novel almost word for word. While this seems to make things a bit easier for show runners to hit the ground running, they also have to make sure they please an author's fan base with their interpretation. Plus when a show gets past the first season, they face the daunting task of deciding whether to continue following the novels or to create their own mythology like Dexter did (to perfection) in the second season. I guess my question to you as someone who occasionally speaks to the teams who run these shows is do they find this a hindrance on their creativity or a great aid in creating the show? Also, do you think they feel pressure to include major plot points that come up in the novels even if they have decided on a separate storyline from what the author went with in their book series (i.e someone dying or a couple getting together)?


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Sep 15, 2008 11:21PM EDT

Well, I didn't know that True blood was based on a book though I did know Dexter was. I didn't read either one but I LOVE Dexter and I absolutely HATE True Blood (though I like the notion of a story where vampires live openly in society). I don't know if either show is close to the book but I just thought I was watching an Ed Wood production when I was watching True Blood. That's how bad I thought it was. And I LOVE Vampire stuff!

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Sep 16, 2008 4:28PM EDT

pasnthroo, while I didn't like the pilot of True Blood, I did like the second episode. And, take it from someone who's an Ed Wood fan, this show is no where near the level of production Ed shot his films, almost everything today is far superior. Except the wanna be fimmakers, who go out and buy a consumer video camera to shoot their 25 page script.
I think it would be easier to make a show that's based off a book if you're going to stay true to the story, but once you venture away that's when the fun of imagination comes in. "they also have to make sure they please an author's fan base with their interpretation." I don't think that's the case most of the time. An author knows that interpretation is key when writing the screenplay. A novel and a screenplay are VERY different, only the authors with big egos get upset over interpretation.

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