21 Netflix Original TV Shows That Are Based on Marvellous Books
Great books can make for great cinematic experiences. So, it should come as no surprise that Netflix has chosen to adapt many outstanding books over the years into original TV shows. Yes, The Queen’s Gambit and 13 Reasons Why are, in fact, based on books. With so many genres and authors to pull inspiration from, it’s no wonder the content machine is debuting new adaptions as fast as lightning. Whether your book club is looking for next month’s pick or you yourself are eager to binge a new TV series, these 21 Netflix originals will help you out. (And we will, of course, be updating this list as more shows – ahem, Shadow and Bone – are released!
Based on the popular fictional book of the same name, the TV drama series centers around two best friends over the course of their 30 plus year long friendship. Tully and Kate are the literary example of being able to pick your second family.
Charming, charming Joe has a big problem. On the outside, he seems like the most perfect guy but on the inside he’s a violent, obsessive stalker that doesn’t stop until he gets what-or who-he wants. When his mission doesn’t go the way he planned, he’s forced to make a rash and bloody decision.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
An iconic children series, this family TV drama showcases the lives of the Baudelaire children and their rickety, creepy guardian Count Olaf, as told by Dan Handler, more famously known as his pen name, Lemony Snicket.
Inspired by Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, the period drama series follows London’s posh society of eligible suitors as they look for love. In particular, all eyes fall on the diamond of the first water, Daphne Bridgerton, who captures the interest of the steamy Duke of Hastings.
Behind Her Eyes
A single mother and psychiatrist, Adele enters an affair with her boss David, who’s having martial problems of his own, in Netflix’s latest psychological thriller series. As if sleeping with her boss isn’t enough of a risk, Adele attempts to befriend his wife. The series concludes in a shocking and upsetting twist.
Based on John Marrs’s bestselling thriller, Netflix’s version of The One takes a lot of creative liberties. The narrative is still held together by the concept of a service that matches people with their “DNA Match,” but the individual stories are quite different than those in the book.
Another book-inspired-by-a-true-story-series, Margaret Atwood’s 1996 award-winning novel about maid Grace Marks comes to life. Transported to 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist must determine whether or not Grace is responsible for the death of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper.
When Rishi crosses paths with Dimple at summer school it’s love at first sight. Set on winning her heart, Rishi does everything he can to prove his feelings but when Dimple friend zones him, he has to change tactics.
In desperate need for a do-over, Mel uproots her life in LA and moves to a remote northern California town. A nurse practitioner, Mel hopes this new life is just what she needs, including a real shot at finding love.
Set against the backdrop of a small southern town, best friends Maddie, Helen, and Dana will stand by each other as they battle divorce, kids, business, new and old relationships, and more.
Dash & Lily
Inspired by the YA novel, Dash & Lily is the modern love story of not judging a book by its cover (literally). A romantic at heart, Lily hides a red notebook in NYC’s Strand Bookstore with a cryptic flirty message only to be found by someone who couldn’t be less of a cynic.
Created by Joe Penhall, this psychological crime TV series takes a deep dive into the FBI’s elite serial crime unit. Set in the 1970s, two FBI agents interview and analyze some of the most dangerous killers in their city to better understand the psychology of murder.
13 Reasons Why
Clay Jensen is a normal high school student until he’s given clues and finds himself investigating the tragic suicide of one of his classmates. It’s based off Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel of the same name and the first season is pretty unforgettable. (The other seasons . . . we won’t talk about.)
The Baby-Sitters Club
Ann M. Martin’s iconic baby-sitters series, which encompasses over 130 books, got a fresh take in this Netflix comedy-drama series. Kristy and her best friends start their own babysitting business while also trying to juggle their own family issues at home.
Mysterious new asylum nurse Mildred Ratched begins participating in disturbing psyche experiments on patients. Then memories of her own, that she’s spent so much energy trying to suppress, begin to surface. Director Ryan Murphy’s thrilling dark series was not only inspired by a book (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey), but a real-life person as well. Mildred was influenced by a former coworker of the author, after he spent time working in a psychiatric ward.
Tiny Pretty Things
This captivating series revolves around the ballerinas of the Archer School and their stiff competition. While derived from a book, the TV show’s manuscript has a few big changes including location – originally set in NYC, but now in Chicago – as well as the names of the main characters.
Elodie, Tabitha and Moe form a bond in the most unconventional of places: a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting. An unforeseen experience ties the three teenagers together in ways they could never have imagined.
Drawing on aspects of Deborah Feldman’s 2012 member, this miniseries tells the story of a Hasidic Jewish woman who seeks refuge in Berlin, after escaping her arranged marriage.
The Queen's Gambit
Beth is first introduced to both chess and drugs while at an orphanage in the 1950s. Once adopted, her toxic relationship with the latter continues to feed her talents and ego, which eventually leads to a potential fall from grace and chess royalty.
Harlan Coben’s bestselling novel is getting a book-to-TV adaption in this British mystery series, which centers around main guy Adam Price, who must unravel the secrets and rumors surrounding his wife after a mystery man comes forward claiming she’s a fraud.
Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography becomes a TV series in this comedy starring Britt Roberston. Barely scraping by in San Francisco, Sophia creates her own online clothing business called Nasty Gal. To this day, the online boutique is considered a hot spot for young women’s fashion.