Every once in a while, a movie would be proven to be too successful to just leave those ideas on the big screen, while in some cases a movie could be too lackluster that a small screen adaptation could save it from obscurity. Wait, let us rephrase that. Every once in a while, greedy and unoriginal corporate-mongers would find a way to snatch a pretty neat cult classic back from the grave, only to beat it up mercilessly on prime time. In the modern world of films, having your ideas disgraced is not much a cliche, but it really is annoying if none are handled properly. Fortunately, there have been some unique and great ones that added depth and awesome twists to some of the most beloved cinematic works. These top five, as well as the previous more, are the ones that stood-out. To give you some hope on the small screen business, relive the five remaining shows on Dateline Movies' countdown of the Best TV Shows Based On Movies. Also, don't forget to check-out our previous post for Part 1!
5. Bates Motel (2013-Present)
- Based on The Psycho Film Series (1960-1990) and Book (1959)
I only watched a single episode of the show, and one look at the series was already enough to get me intrigued. While I haven't been catching-up on the show, I can sense that this show is truly something great. Before Bates Motel was made, Alfred Hitchcock became a household name thanks to his mystery masterpiece, Psycho. But then, a cavalcade of completely unnecessary but passable sequels came. It didn't affect the Psycho legacy in any way though. I myself find it weird to make a prequel series that felt forced, especially the previous three installments, and its TV movie, but this show gave me the realization that this was way more than a basic cable filler.
In Bates Motel, we get to see Freddie Highmore's Norman Bates' journey and eventual transformation from being a shy-type teenager to a total psychotic murderer. But behind his slowly-deteriorating sanity, he is actually just a normal youngster, who is caught in the sinful web of his mother, Vera Farmiga's Norma Bates. Take a look at Norman Bates' early life, while living with his mother, as he and his mother run the seemingly pleasant Bates Motel. Along the way, they come face-to-face with their pasts.
Similar to the other entries in this list, even the previous one, I had no time to view each one of them. As such, I had to consult various review sites to get to know how good this show really is (Talk about not being biased, right?). However, I also managed to get enough glimpses from the one episode I watched to know a little bit on how good the show really is. The acting is one-of-a-kind and at the same time intense, but not too intense to the point that its overacting. It has a way to keep the viewers intrigued, and undeniably has a lot of suspenseful moments. I once saw my former editor-in-chief of our school's newspaper, Echoes, on her iPad's wallpaper, and it showed Bates Motel. I can tell she's a huge fan, and so should you, as this is a show for those who want bold and mature takes on their favorite movies.
4. Star War: The Clone Wars (2008-2014)
- Based on the Star Wars Franchise (1977-Present)
Now for one of the shows that I actually have watched. I remembered the time when this show first aired, and how much I had a blast when I watched the first episode with Master Yoda having to fight a wave of Separatist Droids. Yeah, I haven't really been catching-up on the show after a couple of episodes due to other shows and my personal commitments taking-over my schedule. But even if it was a short time, I enjoyed every moment of it. Sure the movie version of this was bad, as in Episode I: The Phantom Menace bad, but this helped create one of the better animated shows that we had today, alongside Genndy Tartakovsky's hand-drawn maxi-series. Sorry Star Wars: Rebels, you may be good (Okay, I only watched a few episodes of it.), but there is something about The Clone Wars which I enjoyed more.
Set between the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, we follow a pre-Original Trilogy Anakin Skywalker and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi as they go on adventures long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. They must fight against the sinister forces that linger freely across the cosmos, from bounty hunters to would-be universe conquerors, and they encounter old characters from the movies, and even new fan-favorite ones.
Like I said, this was a very good show. It has very interesting character development for all of your favorite characters, made use of the computer-generated animation to good use and has introduced me to a marching band of very cool new characters, such as Anakin's own Padowan, Ahsoka Tano. And do you want to know what's the best aspect of this show? It utilized the Prequel Trilogy's most underused characters, including the late Sir Christopher Lee's Count Dooku, who is much more than just a thorn on Anakin's side. I am very much happy at how they expanded the Star Wars universe, which could hopefully be made into future sequels in the New Trilogy. Also, fans might enjoy the noticeable lack of Jar Jar Binks, although he did appear in small roles!
3. Hannibal (2013-2015)
- Based on the Hannibal Lecter Books and Films (1981-2015)
The Silence of the Lambs is currently one of my "Magnificent Ten" (Hey, that would sound like a good countdown, and it even parodies The Magnificent Seven). I'm not sure if it is because of the careful and brilliantly intricate writing of the story, how unnerving the movie's villain is, or how splendid it is to watch Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins share scenes that made me enjoy this movie. It was brave, innovative, and above all shocking. It was everything that I could have hoped for in a mystery-crime film. While I was looking through some clips of Hannibal, I knew that this was really something grand.
While the show's basis is not an original work, rather an adaptation as well, but it was The Silence of the Lambs and its film predecessor Manhunter that cemented the books' current notability. Hannibal, not to be confused with the installment starring Julianne Moore, follows ace FBI profiler Will Graham as he tracks down various insane evildoers everywhere, all the while being counseled frequently by Hannibal Lecter, a skilled psychiatrist. Unbeknownst to any of them, Lecter is actually a serial killer who has a huge appetite for the human flesh.
There hasn't been a single bad review I have read about Hannibal, in part of the show featuring a star-studded cast of talent. The show honored the books that inspired this show. From what I've heard, Mikkelsen is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with when it comes to acting, and it is very evident in his chemistry with the show's lead, Hugh Dancy. I honestly couldn't say anything else, but this really is a very good show as said by many viewers. I might as well watch this in my free time.
2. Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-Present)
- Based on the Evil Dead Franchise (1981-Present)
I still have to watch this show as well, but I decided to include this here because, aside from the incredibly rave reviews, Army of Darkness, which is a part of the Evil Dead franchise, was a good movie. I only got to see the climax of the show, but man, was it a bucket full of belly laughs. When I saw this trailer, I was immediately hooked on the show, if it ever gets to our basic cable. One of the main factors that tickled my interest was Bruce Campbell, as he is one of the few underrated actors around.
Ash vs. Evil Dead follows an aging Ash Williams who, after fighting through demons, zombies, ghouls simply known as the "Deadites", is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To cope with his pain, Ash would frequently engage in having relations with various women and excessive drinking. Unfortunately for him, his adventures against the forces of evil are far from over. After accidentally reading a magic spell from the Necronomicon while under the influence of drugs, the Deadites return to exact their vengeance. Now accompanied by a band of misfits, including his co-workers, a police detective and a paranormal investigator, Ash must now put "dead" back in Evil Dead.
- Based on Fargo (1998)
Our winner for the Number One spot on this countdown is this Coen Brothers-inspired anthology. By far the highest rated television program that is based on a movie is none other than Fargo, a crime series that focuses on various individuals pulling-off various capers and murders in an assortment of eras. Again, I haven't watched this show, but like the rest of our Top Five selections so far, there hasn't been a single negative comment about this show. Also, did I mention that the series consists of A-List talents such as Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, and for their third season, Ewan McGregor.
The series focuses on various stories, with a new one every season, but are in a sense linked to the original film that inspired the show. In the first season, we journey to a small town which is slowly being influenced by a mysterious individual into doing their deepest, vilest desires. The only things that stand between order and total madness are two police officers. In season two, we get tangled into a new web of mystery as the death of a crime boss's son leads to a series of murders.
Aside from being the only show that is based on a single movie instead of a film series, Fargo also has the most award nominations and winnings compared to the other shows on our countdown, and for good reasons. The acting is incredibly superb, and the storylines carry the same darkly-comic tone from the original flick. Mystery shows are great, when executed perfectly, and Fargo is one of the best examples of a mystery series done right. All in all, this is undoubtedly the best TV show based on a movie.
Well that's the end of our two-part countdown. Up next, we might actually post about the video game Halo adaptation sooner or later after some delays. Also, be sure to check-out our next wave of movie reviews, specifically Marvel films, in preparation for the rest of Phase 3 of flicks. Speaking of Marvel movies, we might have some guesses on how Spider-Man: Homecoming would go. All these, and more, including a post about movie theme songs, coming soon! In the meantime, help yourself to some of the other adaptations, whether or not they are worth watching is completely up to you (but if you're going to ask us, just stick to the original movies.) that are set for release within the year.