Monday, April 26, 2010

It's All About Harry

Netflix recently recommended The Dresden Files for me, and the name of the series tugged at my memory. After reading the synopsis, I immediately added the show to our queue. The Dresden Files is based on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels, of which I'd read a total of one when we started watching the TV show. I liked the first a lot, but for some reason, I'd never gotten back to reading the next in the series. I took a look at my novel-tracking spreadsheet, and I was shocked to see that I read the first in the series in 2007, and apparently there have been 162 other novels that needed reading more than Fool Moon (book 2).

I didn't have an in depth grasp on the series to have great expectations for the TV show, and I knew vaguely what to expect from the show based on my experience with watching Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series turned into The Legend of the Seeker TV series. Basically, TV shows based off books translate like high-calibre fan-fiction to me. It's all the same familiar characters and same familiar world rules (with a few exceptions), but the unique adventures don't hold true to anything but the most overarching plot points of the series.

For The Dresden Files, this works very well for me. I'm not terribly invested in the series (though I admit that watching the show is what prompted me to go out and buy and start reading book 2), but I like the characters and the world. Getting to see 1-hour adventures of these characters is very pleasing.

I was disappointed to see that there was only the one season of The Dresden Files. I can't see any reason it didn't get the ratings to keep it going. After all, it has magic, it has police detective work, it has the spontaneous hero with a sense of chivalry. It has a lot going for it, especially a lot of what's popular right now. Maybe it's the fact that often it doesn't have completely connected plots—I'm very good at suspending my disbelief; Cody is not. So he's much faster at seeing plot points that are left unresolved or plot jumps that require knowledge of the books to understand. Maybe it's these reason why The Dresden Files didn't enjoy the same success as Butcher's very popular series. It's too bad. I'm really liking the TV show.

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