Since Netflix and other streaming platforms blew up, we have been getting more great TV shows than we can shake a stick at. In fact, people now are much more likely to go home for some “Netflix and chill” time to binge watch their favorite series than they are to sit down in front of a movie. Contrary to what you may think, however, some of the best shows of all time are shows that started out as movies and were then scaled down for the small screen. They’re not all successful, but sometimes they are even better than the original movies. Here are some of the best-ever TV shows that were adapted from films.
Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
The movie of Friday Night Lights was a top-drawer sports flick, focusing on a high school football team, their run toward the state championship, and its impact on the town. The movie was great and had a real emotional climax, but we reckon the show is even better. Developed by season pro-Peter Berg, the show uses small-town Texas to explore important cultural themes, as well as the power of football, and the community spirit it can provide. Definitely check this show out if you get the chance to.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Joss Whedon took the ashes of his failed 1992 high school action-comedy and created a beautiful phoenix. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a television masterpiece, spanning seven seasons, covering multiple genres, and with a rich cast of unforgettable characters. To some it’s a show about a teenage girl and her friends who fight demons, to others, it’s a show about everything. With some of the smartest and wittiest writing television has seen in ages, this show is a must, especially if you like Joss Whedon’s work.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)
The Terminator movies are much-loved; okay, well, the first two are. And it’s their appeal and resonance that led to this show being created. This show was an interesting addition to the Terminator franchise, exploring the life of Sarah Connor and her son John, following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Though it only lasted two seasons and was met with a mixed reception from critics, it is still a fascinating show, with plenty of respect for the original source material.
One of the best shows of the last year debuted on HBO in 2016 and starred Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, and Ed Harris. Westworld focuses on the titular futuristic theme park that is inhabited by cyborgs, where humans can pay to have an adventure, and act out their fantasies against the backdrop of the old West. The show tackles themes of identity, creation, and free will, and it’s simply brilliant.
These are some of the top shows of the past two decades that we feel deserve special mention. They are all adapted from movies, and, in a lot of aspects have surpassed the movies in question. When you choose a TV show to watch, you want something engaging and unforgettable, and these certainly fit that category.