Game of Thrones (HBO)
George R.R. Martin once believed that his fantastical tale consisting of countless characters, epic battles, castles and dragons — was too expensive and expansive to film. But executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, proved him wrong.
“Killing Eve” (BBC America)
British author Luke Jennings wanted to have some fun and turn the espionage thriller genre on its head with his “Codename Villanelle” novella series about two mutually obsessed women — one a brainy MI-6 agent and the other a sociopathic assassin. Adapted for TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), it quickly became a fast-paced, sexy, suspenseful and hilarious hit.
On-screen characters aren’t always what the author envisioned. But from the start, Diana Gabaldon loved the casting of Caitriona Balfe (Claire) and Sam Heughan (Jamie) in TV’s version of her time-traveling historical novels.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a dystopian era in which women are treated as property of the state has a chilling resonance in the #MeToo era. Elisabeth Moss earned an Emmy Award for her blistering portrayal of Offred, a “handmaid” who strikes out against the restrictions imposed on her.
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Netflix)
The 2004 feature film starring Jim Carrey was an unfortunate misfire. Luckily, this spellbinding adaptation of Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket stories is superior in nearly every way.