The Book is not the TV Series // The 100 Review

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As soon as I discover a TV series is adapted from the book, I will get my hands on it as soon as possible. I’ve nearly always believed the books are better than the on-screen adaptions (there are one or two exceptions).

The 100, by Kass Morgan, is a whole different ball game.

I usually prefer to read the book before I watch the corresponding TV show, usually because I see it as the “original” version. Before, I was adamant that nothing would compare to the book but as I’ve grown up I’ve understood that TV shows are ADAPTIONS, not IMITATIONS. Somehow, I’d managed to convince myself that the book was always right, and because events in the TV shows would be “incorrect” it would mean it wasn’t good, and obviously that’s not the case.

Shock horror, right?

As book lovers, I think we’ve all been in the situation where you’re watching a film and playing a very loud game of ‘spot the difference’ which only served to irritate all your friends. The joy of “The 100” series is that the books are completely different to the series.

Both the books and the series have the basic idea that 100 criminals under the age of 18 have been sent to earth to find a way to live and see if it is safe for everyone to return home. From there, the similarities are sparse, to the point where I love them both equally.

I love how I can enjoy the storylines in the book AND in the film. I love how I CAN’T compare them because they are so unique. I love how I don’t have to worry about reading the books before a new season comes out, and I love that people can enjoy the concept of the book if they struggle to read. I love how it shows that society is crumbling, yet adults are still trying to cling onto the fragments of the delicate democracy that they know and love. I love a good dystopian novel, and I love how it is shown that children CAN look after themselves, and although children aren’t always right, neither are adults.

It’s also interesting to see how the TV series introduces characters that don’t exist in the books, and how they fit into Kass Morgan’s society. It adds more depth to the rather straightforward predictable relationships in the books, and although they appear to have fights and issues they seem to be easily resolved, almost to the point where they seem cheesy. In the TV series not only do the characters have more strength but they explore different sexualities, where there is more experimentation rather than definitive labels.

I love the freedom in books. I can imagine the characters and situations however I want to, and anything the author doesn’t set in stone (or ink in this case) is up to me. As soon as I watch the TV series, their appearances are set in stone and that luxury has gone. I also find it easier to understand the storylines in books. If I miss something, I can turn back a couple of pages and reread it, but once the moment has passed in a show, there’s no going back. Sure, I can rewind it, but it’s not the same.

What do you all think?

2 Replies to “The Book is not the TV Series // The 100 Review”

  1. I concur. I was initially afraid to read the books because of the spot-the-difference issues you talked about. I usually experience some intense cognitive dissonance when I read a book and then go see the movie. I realize that isn’t that shocking, but the closer the two are, when I also loved the book, sometimes it can really really bother me as if the movie should have reached into my mind and found out how I perceived the characters based on my own personal perspectives. Alas, if it has been a few years since I read the book, the movie experience is usually better in that I am not plagued with an internal editor shouting out every moment that the movie failed. So, now that I know that the series doesn’t really match the books, I am far more likely to read them. Thanks!


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