Netflix has been at the forefront of streaming services ever since the trend caught-on a few years ago. An entertainment medium that is an integral part of the modern-day zeitgeist, Netflix has also been instrumental when it comes to creating TV shows based on books. With the worldwide success of stream services, and more competitors entering the market, it is now essential to showcase well-made, original content continuously. When it comes to stories, nothing beats the charm of novels, and bibliophiles will be happy to know that Netflix has some genuinely fantastic series based on books.
When we talk about TV shows based on books, Orange Is the New Black was the original game-changer. Piper Kerman's eye-opening memoir about the time she spent in prison, serving a sentence for drug trafficking, is simply brilliant. In the hands of Jenji Kohan, previously known for creating Weeds, Orange Is the New Black quickly became a must-watch TV series on Netflix. The show ran for seven seasons, ending in 2019. It is still considered one of the greatest influential moments in streaming history.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a marvelous thirteen-book set, meant for the entire family to read. While the film version of Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket's classic children's story, was a hit, the Netflix show based on the books is a much more exciting and intriguing arrangement. The high-end production value that brings alive the wicked and weird world of the three orphaned Baudelaire children is the primary reason for the series popularity, followed by the casting of the brilliant Neil Patrick Harris as the dastardly Count Olaf.
Mindhunter is one of the most talked-about TV shows based on books right now. This original series on Netflix is inspired by the 1995 book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. It chronicles the time when FBI agent John Douglas started profiling serial killers by interviewing notorious criminals in American jails. The television adaptation has received much praise for its drama-heavy plot, as well as for stellar performances by Cameron Britton playing the serial killer Ed Kemper, and Damon Herriman as the notorious Charles Mason.
The Haunting of Hill House is inspired by Shirley Jackson's iconic gothic horror novel of the same name. In its new avatar, the story tells the coming together of five siblings, who return to the sinister house on the hill, having left it 25 years ago. What follows is a slowly developing tale that is both a psychological thriller and a ghost story, packed with twists, family secrets, and plenty of scares. Although a second season is expected on Netflix, many book lovers found this TV series based on a book to be lacking substance, especially when it came to character development, something that Jackson was so famous for. Nevertheless, fans will find The Haunting on Hill House eerie enough to satiate their horror cravings.
Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is amongst the most controversial YA novels to come out in the last two decades. It still has readers either relating to the story or hating the plot altogether. That, though, did not stop Netflix from making a series based on the book, which follows Clay Jensen, a high school kid, as he goes about listening to tapes left behind by Hannah Baker, a friend who recently committed suicide. What makes it an essential Netflix series based on a book, is that Thirteen Reasons Why tackles deep emotional and societal issues like rape, depression, self-harm, friendship, and broken relationships, particularly faced by the younger generation, with honesty and rawness. Executively produced by Selena Gomez, and known for having a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, the television series continues beyond the book, with further seasons focusing on the life of people that Hannah left behind.