These days we’re probably all reading a lot and watching a lot of TV. I know I am. In TV land, I’m doing a slow binge on the Miss Fisher mysteries, an all-too-brief series from Australia. The gentle—very gentle—crimes, plus the slow-burn romance between Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson, the police detective, are perfect for my mood. Plus, the clothes! And the sets! You would not believe.
I’m about halfway through this series now, so I’ll soon be looking for something else. Television seems to lend itself to mysteries, probably because so many TV serials are based on crime novelists who never seem to run out of ways to kill off a character or two. I admire most of the productions in the UK/Australia/New Zealand/Canada pantheon, so I’m looking for suggestions. I’ve run through the Brokenwood Mysteries, Shetland, Vera, Endeavor, Midsommer Murders, and Foyles War. I like Bosch, too, and I loved Justified, but on the whole, American detective shows don’t do it for me. And I don’t like anything too grim these days. Let me know what to watch!
When I was casting about looking for TV, I bumped into this interview with Julia Quinn, who talks about the upcoming eight-part Netflix series based on her Bridgerton novels. Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, among other projects) is the producer of this series, and Quinn is very excited about it, as am I. I haven’t read all the Bridgerton novels, but those that I have, I enjoyed. Plus, the clothes and the sets promise to be awesome, right?
It made me think about how many television series based on romance novels have ever been filmed. Not many, I suspect. (Quinn says: “Producers would rather do the 496th Jane Austen than something with a ‘romance novel’ label,” and I think she’s right.) I could think of the True Blood series, based on Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels (not really a romance); Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyers’s books (you decide if those are romance novels); the Outlander books, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels (same); and Sex in the City, based on Candace Bushnell’s work (same).
This list is hardly exhaustive, but I think that except for the Hallmark movie juggernaut, romance isn’t overpopulated in TV serials. I’d once thought that I’d hit the pinnacle of professional achievement if one of my books was available for purchase in an airport bookstore, but now I’m holding out for a television series.
What about you? What are you watching? Or reading, and hoping it becomes a TV show? Are you looking forward to the Netflix Bridgerton production?