Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Go-to-Gay: Watch what you read

We're glad to have Go-to-Gay Keith Stewart back at CLC this month to talk about our theme...TV. He had fun with this topic and it shows. He even gave some inspiration for our next theme month...

We'll leave you in Keith's capable hands now. Please feel free to answer his questions in the comments.

When Books Become TV: Keith’s List of Top Television Shows Based on Books

I was happier than a kid on the last day of school when I find out the topic of this month’s post was “Television.” Television and I go back a long way. From the days of the RCA with a bunny-eared antenna sitting on a rickety stand in our 1970’s family room, to the current sleek 70-inch flat screen hanging on my living room wall, I have always been a TV watcher.

I know this is primarily a book lovers website, but I must admit, just between us squirrels, nothing gets on my nerves more than someone who says she doesn’t even OWN a television.


I always want to go after that snoot who says those words to me at a party or a gathering. I mean, COME ON. What kind of person doesn’t need and use—at least occasionally—a television? A barbarian, that’s who.

My own husband is almost one of those people. Thankfully, the rise of the do-it-yourself and home improvement channels saved our marriage. I don’t think I could have survived another twenty years of never seeing him veg-out on the couch for a Sunday afternoon. I am so grateful he never uttered the words, “I’d rather experience life’s adventures rather than watch them on TV,” to me. That would have been marital suicide.

There are so many things I love about television—24-hour news cycle, constant pop culture, entertainment, education—it was hard to narrow down what to write about this month. In fact, I think this is television’s Golden Age. With the onset of binge-watching and a broader variety of production companies getting into the industry, watching TV has never been better. There is something for everyone, and it is GOOD.

Because I know we are all bibliophiles, I decided to make a list of the top television shows that are based on books. When I started researching, I surprised to see how many there are out there! So, to narrow it down I only selected shows that I watched. For instance, BONES is a popular show based on a book series written by Kathy Reich, but I have never watched it, so it didn’t make my list. That said, here is the list.

Keith’s Top Television Shows Based on Books

1. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones may be, and let me put this in a way that I don’t oversell it, THE BEST ON TELEVISION EVER. It is based on A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE book series by R. R. Martin. So freaking good. Plus, one word: DRAGONS.

2. Little House on the Prairie

How could Little House on the Prairie NOT be on this list? I think I have seen every episode at least five times. So much of my childhood was spent with Mary, Half-Pint, and the younger one—who I never really liked—that I feel like they are family (except for the one whose name I can’t remember). The show was, of course, based on the autobiographical book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

3. The Handmaid’s Tale

This show, based on Margaret Atwood’s iconic book of the same name, is truly a must-watch in these uncertain and ever-changing climates. Although the book is a scary look at what society could become, seeing it on the screen in this day and time is TERRIFYING.

4. True Blood

OK, one thing you need to know about me is that if there is a vampire show available, I will choose it for all my lists. Sure, it isn’t as thought provoking as some, or as morally educating as others, but once you see the vampire Eric Northman you won’t care about anything else ever, you will be a fan. The show, based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series by Charlaine Harris, is actually really good, so don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

5. Orange is the New Black

Based on the autobiography ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK by Piper Kerman, this show is riveting. It is a nice change from the old women prison television shows, such as Prisoner: Cell Block H (Surely, I am not the only one who remembers that show?). The story lines are intense, and the acting is superb.

Honorable Mentions:

Big Little Lies

Based on the same-named novel written by Laine Moriarty, this is one of my favorite new shows on television right now. It would have made the full-fledged list had it been on for more than one season. It is one reason I say this is the Golden Age of television. Plus, the same guy who plays the vampire Eric Northman in True Blood is in this.

Vampire Diaries

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Vampires. What can I say? The show is based on the Vampire Diaries book series by L. J. Smith.

So, how did I do? Do you agree or disagree? What would you have chosen? What can’t you believe I left off the list? Let me know in the comments!

Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to and the He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.


Janine said...

I love Big Little Lies

dstoutholcomb said...

Little House on the Prairie!


Keith S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith S. said...

Me, too! I thinking are filming season 2!

Keith S. said...

Wasn’t it the best?!