10 Great TV Shows That Surprisingly Aren’t Adapted From A Book



TV shows are perfect when a story has too much to tell to fit into a movie. This is why many books and comics are adapted for television shows, so that more details and stories can be included. However, some shows manage to pay close attention to detail, deep characters, and gripping storylines while being written straight for the screen, which may surprise some fans.

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Some TV shows make viewers want more and read the book, only to find there is none. These shows often have longer main stories that develop throughout the show, compared to shows where a story is completed in each episode, such as many crime shows, where each episode is a solved case.

ten Emily in Paris, a typical YA romance

Emily in Paris is surprisingly not a romance novel for young adults. While the show in book form would fit perfectly with novels such as To all the boys I’ve loved before and Simon against the Homo Sapiens agendaboth adapted for television, it was originally written directly for the screen. Emily in Paris follows a young American who settles unexpectedly in Paris, not knowing French, to work in a marketing company.

Emily in Paris leaves viewers cringing, laughing and crying as Emily navigates her ambition, new friendships and new love interests. The show received widespread acclaim in the United States and was renewed for a third and fourth season, but was criticized in France for its stereotypes.

9 Breaking Bad, shatter readers’ dreams

Walter White in promotional images for Breaking Bad

A thriller and mystery book series with high stakes, cliffhangers, drama and action, that’s what breaking Bad could have been, and surprisingly isn’t. breaking Bad was written as a TV show and received high praise, earning it third place in IMDB’s Top 250 TV Shows.

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Although there are no books for fans to turn to when they want more, the series has been so successful that it has sparked a prequel series called You better call Saul which is also on the IMDB Top 250, and a sequel movie, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movieserving as the epilogue to the series.

8 Mr. Robot would be a great novel

Mister Robot like a book would be the perfect combination of the novels fight club and Neuromancer, cget lost in a cyberpunk setting with a combination of high tech and social decadence, but still realistic. Unfortunately, the only book related to Mister Robot East red wheelbarrow, written by Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney, the series creator and writer, and is the diary of Elliot (the main character).

Elliot suffers from social anxiety, clinical depression, a drug problem, and is a genius hacker and cybersecurity engineer. The show leaves anyone who despises big business feeling vindicated.

7 Dead wood, not printed on dead wood

Despite its name, the West dead wood is not printed on paper. Although many of the books are set in Deadwood, South Dakota, which is an actual location, the TV show was not based on any of these books. The show follows real historical figures and is a mixture of historical truth and fiction.

dead wood received many rave reviews for the writing and performance, and fans complained that the show ended too soon. 13 years later, Deadwood: the movie came out with the majority of the original cast members.

6 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Would Kill the YA Fantasy Genre

It has already been proven by Twilight, True Blood, and the vampire diary that readers love a good vampire story, especially with a strong female protagonist. Surprisingly, buffy the vampire slayer is not based on books but instead started as a movie written by Joss Whedon, who later created the series, as the movie was not what he imagined.

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The show’s success led to numerous tie-in products, including novels, comics, and a spin-off series named Angel, known collectively as Buffyvers Where Slayerverse. Ahead of its time, the show was also studied academically, exploring various issues such as those related to gender.

5 Dark, a book that could have been

TV show Dark, originally in German, falls under several genres such as science fiction, mystery, thriller and supernatural. It covers popular themes in writing and has an ambitious and complex narrative, rarely seen in non-book-based shows.

The show is set in a fictional German town where the characters seek the truth to solve the disappearance of a child, as well as a conspiracy theory believing in time travel involving several generations of families in the town. The show is well worth the subtitles, but also available in English.

4 Supernatural, based on folklore


Despite the many Supernatural the books that exist today and the books featured on the show, Supernatural was originally supposed to run for three seasons, but ended up with a total of 15 seasons and 327 episodes. While the series has many filler episodes where a case is solved in a single episode, the overall story would have made for a very immersive and intense book series.

The series’ supernatural creatures are based on folklore, religion, and myths from around the world, and the two brothers who hunt them never seem to run out of monsters.

3 Arcane, based on a video game

Arcane - Jinx Feature Image

While most people watch Esoteric probably already know it’s based on the video game League of Legends, the average Netflix user might not. Esoteric has deep characters, an intriguing story and a unique style. The styling might suggest the show would be based on a comic book, but the story fits right in with cyberpunk novels and other sci-fi subgenres.

After Vi and Jinx, two orphaned sisters, set in the underground city of the otherwise utopian city of Piltover, the main theme of the show is duality. This is seen not only in the two versions of the town, the very different fates of the two sisters, but also in the relationships of the series where each character fights for something different.

2 Westworld, not a typical western

Jeffrey Wright in Dusty Bernard Lowe from Westworld

Westworld is a dystopian sci-fi TV show hiding like a western. The show is based on the film of the same name, written by Michael Crichton, who also wrote the book Sphere, another sci-fi thriller. Although the original story is written by an author who also publishes books, the TV show is based on an original screenplay.

Had Westworld were a book, it would fit right in with other popular science fiction books about androids and artificial intelligence such as Do androids dream of electric sheep, also known by its various adaptations named Blade runner.

1 Avatar: The Last Airbender Exceeds Expectations

avatar aang katara and sokka

Looking at Avatar: The Last Airbender it’s hard not to expect it to be based on a graphic novel. Amazingly, this beloved animated TV show was written as such, and its success later expanded the franchise to include both novels, comics, and an animated sequel to the series.

The series is hugely popular and has received a lot of praise, especially for its cultural references, humor, and themes. The show tackles themes rarely seen in children’s entertainment, such as war, imperialism, genocide, and free choice, without making the experience of watching the show traumatic. It is a pleasant experience for both children and adults.

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