Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Two new shows to get excited about

While killing at time at work today (as you do), I happened to come across some news articles discussing two television series that are currently in development. What makes me so excited is that these shows are based on two of the best books I have ever read.

First, HBO has optioned Jeffrey Eugenides' Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Middlesex. The book tells the story of Calliope Stephanides, an intersexed person who was born with a 5-alpha-reductase deficiency. The novel is amazing, addressing issues of gender and sexuality and raising questions of what makes us male versus female. I think everyone can relate to the a book based on the struggles with identity, puberty, and life in general endured by the protagonist.

The novel is certainly rife with drama and themes of self-discovery and sexual identity, so it could without a doubt make for compelling viewing. However, a tv series on of this kind of story could easily go wrong, so I'm banking on HBO's pedigree for great drama to live up to the book.

The other exciting find of the day was the news that a Canadian-German joint effort will be bringing Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth to the small screen. This book is about the building of a cathedral in twelfth century England and the many lives impacted by its rise. The book is huge; I'm just about done with the audiobook, but it's been quite an effort since the darn thing is 32 discs long. So finding about the tv series now is like the cherry on top of my giant literary ice cream sundae.

There's a website for the show which has a little bit of info and a summary of some of the plot. The names attached to the project are pretty impressive: Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, but according to the site, no US distributors have stepped up yet. But with this kind of star power, I'm sure one of the cable networks, or maybe a Canadian station will be airing it. And there's always DVDs, right? It's not scheduled for broadcast until the later half of 2010, but I'm still pretty excited already.

I knew the combination of all that book-learning, tv watching, and web surfing would pay off some day!

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