When screenwriters, producers and other creatives are looking for a safe place to adapt their favourite graphic novel, comic, or book series, they simply can’t beat television.
Over the years we’ve seen countless beloved characters come to life on the small screen, not to mention ones that we never even knew we needed in our lives (looking at you FitzSimmons). From The Walking Dead on AMC to Game of Thrones on HBO to Outlander on Starz, television has become the official home for nerds who just want to see their favourite heroes and heroines slay.
But why is TV the right place?
It gives writers (and subsequently audiences) the luxury of time
We couldn’t imagine Game of Thrones working on the big screen, with so many plots, subplots, and characters needing to be fully fleshed out. While producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made some surprising and sometimes frustrating tweaks, it’s hard to argue against the format. Rather than a character’s journey being rushed over the course of a few hours, TV shows give writers years to let their characters grow into fully formed, complex people, evolving at a pace that’s familiar and comfortable for audiences.
It’s also worth mentioning shows like Big Bang Theory. Though it could initially be dismissed as perpetuating the ‘awkward nerd’ stereotype, the show’s longevity has allowed its writers to show us every side (good and bad) to the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the stereotypical attire and social awkwardness is still there, but fans have since discovered that there’s a lot more to Sheldon, Leonard and the rest of the gang.
TV networks are more chill on the nudity and violence front
While nerd-fare can be family-friendly, a number of our favourite source materials might not fly in the eyes of a major movie studio exec when translated to script. When it comes to taking risks, TV networks are far more forgiving. Outlander has certainly pushed the boundaries on many occasions, and while some of the more difficult scenes to watch would land a film with a limiting rating, Starz remained supportive of the show’s writers.
Our fav lady nerd characters are given the star treatment that films have failed to give them
We’re still waiting for a female-led Marvel film, so it’s just as well ABC made Agent Carter a reality, gifting the nerd world with the extraordinary talents of Hayley Atwell. Peggy Carter made quite the impression in Captain America: The First Avenger, and frankly would have kicked ass in a solo movie had Marvel Studios given her the chance. Sure Agent Carter was connected with the MCU, but it’s the principal — television steps up in the representation department where films fail all too frequently.