I wish I could remember where I read that TV series are becoming more like novels, because that analysis has proved to be spot on. Movie adaptations are largely out, and increasingly we’re seeing one book explode into four, six, ten episodes or more or even multiple seasons instead of a two hour stretch. Around here, we’re huge fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Good Omens so here’s four more novels (all under 600 pages somehow) that are also bingeable series.
This series came out about a year to surprisingly little hype. I was pretty stoked though, but I didn’t quite have enough time to watch until recently. Then, wow. This adaptation strays pretty far from the original, but Daniel David Stewart as Milo Minderbinder absolutely steals the show despite strong competition from Christopher Abbott’s Yossarian. If you haven’t read Joseph Heller’s classic novel, it’s the story of US Army Air Force bombardier Yossarian who just wants to go home from World War II, but his commanding officers keep raising the number of missions he needs to fly before he can go home. Yossarian fakes insanity and illness but the “catch-22” is invoked: no soldiers known to be insane can fly missions, but only an insane soldier would volunteer to fly missions.
Normal People (Hulu)
My Instagram and Twitter feeds have been spammed with ads for Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s romance between Irish teens Connell and Marianne. Connell is popular in high school, but his family is poor. Marianne’s family has money, but she has no friends. Despite their places in society, they connect and break-up before both attend Trinity College in Dublin where the tables have turned. They weather shifting friendships, abusive partners, and antagonistic families together as they struggle to become, well…
Mrs. Fletcher (HBO)
A couple of years ago, HBO adapted another Tom Perrotta book, The Leftovers, on HBO and turned into three bizarre and chilling seasons. Now they’ve worked Perrotta’s latest book, Mrs. Fletcher, into a comedy starring Kathryn Hahn. Mrs. Fletcher follows Eve Fletcher and her college freshman son, Brandon, as they each explore education and sex in the modern era. Brandon starts off as a full-time student at a state university and Eve begins a night class at a community college on “Gender and Sexuality.”
Miracle Workers (TBS, watch on Amazon)
Originally published as What in God’s Name, this hilarious novel by SNL veteran writer Simon Rich now stars Daniel Radcliffe as Craig, and Geraldine Viswanathan as Eliza, two angels trying to convince God not to destroy the world and open an Asian fusion restaurant instead. Season two completely departs from that story line and kicks off an anthology series based on Rich’s stories.