The Dresden Philes

So I’ve been reading The Dresden Files series of books by Jim Butcher. I’ve really gotten into them since my wife suggested them, and I have gotten through 10 books in the last six months. They’re really good, very well written, and funny. If you don’t know, the series is about a wizard named Harry Dresden who works as a private investigator in Chicago, and has to solve supernatural mysteries. The cases get progressively harder as the series moves along.

Anyway, before I started reading them, my wife discovered that there was a TV series as well. She watched the first couple of episodes and declared that they were unworthy, and they totally mangled the characters and storyline. So, I didn’t give watching another thought until a few days ago.

So I started watching them. There is only one season with 12 episodes shot back in 2007. I watched them all. It was like a train wreck…I couldn’t look away. They didn’t try to recreate the books, except for episode #8, which was based on the first book. These seemed to be smaller cases that Harry worked. The constraints of a 40 minute TV episode did not allow for the usual depth that the books provide. They seemed very compressed and the resolutions seemed rushed and simplistic. They reinterpreted one character and I actually thought that was intriguing the way they did it. But another main character got a name and physical description change that was a little jarring. And the backstories of Harry and the other characters were rewritten in ways that didn’t make sense to me…the originals would have worked just fine. And the one episode based on the first book gave me the feeling that…hmmm…imagine that you’ve sculpted a scene out of Play-Doh and you’ve used many different colors and put in a lot of detail. Then someone smooshes it all together, throws away half of it and then tries to recreate the scene, but with less detail. It looks OK, but it pales in comparison to the original.

As disappointing as the series was, a part of me is a little sad that it got canceled.

So, what do you think? Have you read the books or seen the show? Both? What’s your take?

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