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Five Movies-Turned-TV Series That Were Actually Great

Five Movies-Turned-TV Series That Were Actually Great

Last week, Amazon MGM Studios announced that the hit 2001 comedy Legally Blonde was being developed into a TV series. Elle Woods herself, Reese Witherspoon, is attached as an executive producer, which gives us hope that the adaptation will not be a total waste of time.

Plenty of movies have tried to reinvent themselves into TV series (anyone remember MTV’s Teen Wolf?), but thankfully some have found more success than others. And in some cases, the series turned out to be even better than the original movie.

Here are a few worth viewing:


Noah Hawley’s television adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ iconic film Fargo stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of its source material. While the film offered a brief but unforgettable glimpse into the quirky and often darkly humorous world of Minnesota crime, the TV series takes this premise and runs with it, crafting an anthology format that allows for fresh stories and characters in each season. What makes Fargo worth the watch is its ability to capture the essence of the film while expanding its universe in unexpected and compelling ways. Each season brings a new cast of characters, and the latest season, starring Jon Hamm and Juno Temple, is one of the best examples as to why this adaptation is one to watch.


Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s ambitious reimagining of Michael Crichton’s Westworld took the core premise of the original film and transformed it beyond anyone’s imagination. While the film introduced audiences to the concept of a futuristic theme park populated by lifelike androids, the TV series dove deeper by exploring themes of artificial intelligence, morality and the nature of consciousness, all while weaving a complex narrative that unfolds across multiple timelines and perspectives. It also helps that the series had a stunning cast that included  the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins. Sadly the series was cancelled too soon, but it’s always worth a rewatch. (Fair warning, it is an HBO show, meaning you will want to check content warnings before diving in.)

Friday Night Lights

While the Friday Night Lights film was a great depiction of the heart and soul of small-town Texas’ obsession with high school football, the television series had one of the most memorable phrases of all time: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” It’s a simple line, but it’s one of the few elements that separates the series from the movie. The show expanded into the relationships and challenges faced by its diverse cast of characters, notably one of the best TV couples of all time, Coach and Tammy Taylor. While the show hasn’t necessarily held up as well 20 years later, its storylines about community, identity and the pursuit of excellence remain as relevant as ever.


Ron Howard’s 1989 Parenthood film struck a chord with audiences by offering an authentic and relatable portrayal of family life. Then, the 2010 TV adaptation came along and it took everything to a whole new level. The series expanded on the entire Braverman clan, from the parents juggling the demands of career and family to the siblings navigating the complexities of adulthood. What made the TV series so beloved was its ability to capture the messy, heartfelt and sometimes chaotic nature of familial relationships without resorting to clichés or melodrama — something more TV shows should keep in mind.


This one is a bit of a stretch, so hear us out. The Star Wars franchise has had a mixed history with its movies, resulting in lots of online discourse about the quality of the series. But Disney+’s recent expansion into creating compelling TV series in and around the Star Wars universe is an excellent case for TV adaptations. Perhaps the best example is Andor, which explores Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) adventures as a Rebel spy before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Each new Star Wars series keeps getting better and better, meaning the franchise is hopefully going to keep making excellent adaptations.

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