GTRadio348-The Adaptation of Us

The Adaptation of Us

#348: The crew talks about adaptations; how they are successful or unsuccessful, what we expect and desire from them, and how they engage new and existing fans.


Link Keller 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network where we believe that media is the best way to understand ourselves, and others. I know what I’m doing. I am so excited to introduce my co hosts and myself. I am link. Hi, hello, welcome or welcome back. Joining me today, my esteemed peers. Marc Cuiriz.

Marc Cuiriz 0:43

Marc Cuiriz 0:45
Lara Taylor.

Lara Taylor 0:49
Hi, everyone.

Link Keller 0:51
And everyone’s favoritest guy, Josué Cardona.

Josué Cardona 0:57
Hi, Link, you’re my favorite too.

Link Keller 1:02
This week, oh, you know, we have a topic, we’ll see how it goes. I’m interested in talking about adaptations. Whether that is from a book to a movie, from a movie to a limited TV series, from a video game to a TV series, all of all of the ways that you could adapt a thing from one medium to another. And what, what that process is like, because, as we say, Here, frequently, Media Matters. And also the words of the guy whose name I’m forgetting the medium is the message. And so I am in interested in talking about adaptations that we enjoy that we feel did well, I didn’t do so hot. That sort of thing. We’re in a silly goofy mood here tonight. But I think I think it’s gonna be good. We’re gonna have a good time. Obviously, it’s a one week post, the end of The Last of Us series on HBO, the finale came out. It’s gonna be several weeks later when our listeners actually hear this episode. But that’s where we are currently in physical time space. So that’s at the top of my mind. But I do have some other adaptations I would love to touch on. But let’s let’s start with The Last of Us How? How are you guys feeling about all that?

Lara Taylor 2:45
My opinion currently is it’s the best thing ever.

Josué Cardona 2:50
Best adaptation ever or just best thing?

Lara Taylor 2:53
Both. I think I’ve not watched anything adapted from a book or a video game that has kept the feeling the same. Even though there are things that have changed, I think it does need to change. There are a few moments in the show where I’m like, I know exactly what’s going to happen. And like it happened the same way it did in the game. And I was like, Okay, there’s nothing new. But there were a lot of things that did change that were so emotionally impactful and made the story even richer. I think one thing for me is I started playing the last I’ve only been an hour into the Last of Us, remastered when I couldn’t play it anymore. So I played The Last of Us Part One bought it after the first episode came out. And that’s about as far into the game I’ve gotten and then finished that game in a weekend and played part two in about two weeks. And I really think that watch it playing through those games allowed me to see some of the stuff they’re trying to do to weave the two stories together. But they couldn’t do in the game because there are things from the second game that made it into the first or into the first season of the show. That just kind of weave those together a little better than I like it. The show made me cry. It did not make me hide in terror like the game did. But it was wonderful. And I love Bella Ramsey.

Link Keller 4:37
Agreed. Agreed. They are excellent. I think the last of the show was maybe the best adaptation I’ve seen. It’s definitely up there another really great adaptation is the book stardust into the movie stardust it has some differences but I thought that the the movie was really well done If it took the best ideas from the book and realized it into a motion picture that in a way that like really utilized the strength of film. But The Last of Us was so good. Yeah.

Josué Cardona 5:19
What? What makes it a good adaptation? Or like? No Better yet? Yes. How does it feel? Yeah, let me change the question. How does it feel to have a good adaptation?

Link Keller 5:32
I think that’s pretty contextual to the original medium, what it is being translated into. And also the viewers relationship with that story, right? We’ve talked about this before is like people resonate with like different aspects of stories, there are people who are really into world building, or people who are really into plot and there are people who are really into characterization. And so having an adaptation of a piece of media that is, you know, very much focused on one of those three things. And then the adaptation doesn’t do that same kind of focus or focuses on something else. Like that can be really cool, because you’re changing mediums. And so it’s like, it’s giving you a chance to explore stuff that wasn’t in the original content. But it can also be really like polarizing where people are like, that’s not what I liked about the original. And now this new thing is I don’t like it because it doesn’t have the thing that I liked.

Marc Cuiriz 6:32
Yeah, I think, for me, what I really liked about the show, because I think I’m in agreement with everybody, I think it’s probably the greatest adaptation. And just overall it’s it’s, it’s an amazing show. What I really liked about it was how it was a HUD took something that was, you know, initially just like for people that played video games, and it made it a much more generalizable thing. So now, people who don’t necessarily play the games could experience a really great story. And what I also liked was how to kind of fill in gaps of when you’re y’know, you’re just looting and shooting things. They added things to make it even more like even more rich and ultimately grounded the characters and made them made the story just feel a lot more full, like flushed out. Like, you know, like what the whole episode were focused solely on? Oh, my goodness, what are their names again,

Link Keller 7:43
Bill and Frank,

Marc Cuiriz 7:43
Bill and Frank, there you go. There you go. Like, that whole episode was just so beautifully done. And then in the way they incorporate different flashbacks to like, even, like, right when the outbreak was happening, you know, and all this sort of stuff, like I thought it was, it was so cool. And to have this experience then with my wife, who isn’t a gamer who doesn’t play those sorts of video games, and then have her being able to enjoy this story and experience it with me. And then having her come out at the end of the season saying that was actually really good. I really enjoyed the story. I ultimately thought like, this is this is great, because now it was something that I could share something that I’ve played through and really enjoyed. And I can share that with with her and have that deeper connection with it. And now it’s a story that we can enjoy together. Especially as now she’s will sit there and watch me as I’m playing through the second game. And will inevitably do that when when season two for it drops.

Lara Taylor 8:56
Yeah, I think there are so many people on the internet that are like it’s not they did this different than the game. That’s the whole point. I think there are for me, there are plenty of times where I’ve read a book and then watched the movie and been like, Well, why didn’t they add this and why didn’t they add that? I think there’s maybe one thing the entire season that I was like I really wish they had kept this thing from the game in the show. Everything they expanded on was great. I loved, Kayla and I had a conversation about Ellie’s casting and a lot of people were complaining about Bella Ramsey and she they did an amazing job and the idea that she looks they look so much like Ashley Johnson and having Ashley Johnson come on the show and play Ellie’s mom. For one just listening to her moving around in that scene, and it’s talking to herself and all of this, and I was like, Ellie, it’s, and I just, I also, I’ve had her head, her voice in my headphones for like, I don’t know, three weeks now. So I just, it was amazing. And they look so much alike. And it added this richness and added to Ellie’s story that we didn’t know, we didn’t know anything about her really before, what happens in, in left behind. So I thought that was really cool. And Bill and Frank story, of course, I’m gonna love also some of the things that they kept the same. from, like, left behind. There were things I was like, how are they going to handle how that DLC worked with the flashbacks and the the back and forth and the way they did it in the show is wonderful. And they kept almost everything. And it was the sweetest thing. And I loved being able to see that moment with them with Ellie and Riley in a different way, because I wasn’t terrified that the the infected were going to come after me. So So I was more relaxing than playing the game where I’m constantly creeping around trying to make sure I don’t get spotted by somebody so I can stealth kill everybody.

Link Keller 11:25
I didn’t play the left behind DLC, but I did know like the gist of what happened and watching that episode. I was so anxious the whole episode just just clenched butt. I was it was it was rough. Gorgeous Episode I, that one’s my favorite, honestly. But I do I do think that it’s like, really interesting to see the trade offs in this adaptation, right? It’s like in the game, you are playing as Joel and occasionally Ellie, but mostly Joel Right. And so that is how you build player empathy is like they are embodying this character, you are learning their story as you move through space. Like that is a very easy way to build empathy is because you are embodying this character, and having that shift into you’re just watching, you’re not participating. And so how do you add in enough pieces to get the viewer on the same level of empathizing with these characters as they did when they embodied them and I think that they pulled it off. And I do think a lot of that is Pedro Pascal being the internets daddy. And

Lara Taylor 12:46
right and at the Mandalorian premiered was in season three premiered recently. So

Josué Cardona 12:52
I only watched Pedro Pascal shows today, all day.

Link Keller 12:55
It’s Daddy Day. He he’s great. But I do think that in the same way is like having the player play as Joel is limiting in letting the player understand the way that the world works and how the other characters feel. And that is opposite in the show where they are able to spend more time and giving these characters more depth and letting you understand more fully and deeply how this world has changed post the infection. And I think it’s just great. I loved it.

Josué Cardona 13:34
So you all liked the game already. Right? Like the game was meaningful to you beforehand. Well, you Lara, kinda, right.

Lara Taylor 13:45
Kinda. But I mean, I watched an episode of the show and by halfway through the show I had finished the games. So yes, I liked the games enough to play them in like two or three weeks.

Marc Cuiriz 14:00
I think I was I was pretty much in the same boat. Lara, because for me I had played through like the beginning of the game. I remember when I played it through the first time there was a particular part I just couldn’t get past the the clickers and the game and I got so frustrated. I just stopped playing. But I remember trying to pick it up again. When before the show was released, and then at when the first episode aired. I was like, Okay, well, I want to play through the game. I want to make sure I get done with the game before I watched the whole thing. So it was really cool because, like, because of my like how much time I had to play the games. I would play through a section and then I would basically the next week, watch that very same section unfold in front of me. And so then like I’m basically almost seeing like, Okay, this is how the game did this part of the game. This part of the story and here’s now the TV adaptation of it and seeing that the the, the differences that they chose with how to tell the story was really, really cool. But I also liked how they kept specific dialogue from the game in the show, because a lot of that was very impactful. Like those specific words, they carried some meaning, except for the monkey bit. That was that was just funny, it’s monkeys.

Lara Taylor 15:29
But that entire first episode felt like the gameplay of the game. I felt like I was in the game. And I at that point, I hadn’t played that part of the game for I don’t know what, like, four years. So I still remembered what it was like. And it felt like the game and that was when I was like, Okay, well, now I’m gonna go through this again. And traumatize poor Nina, who is a trooper, she doesn’t do horror, and she watched the whole show with me and was able to really connected with it and loved it and wants to continue and watch me play through most of the games. I just kept my headphones in so that she didn’t have to hear the clickers. And can I tell you playing with the 3d audio on the part one? That’s an experience. But that first episode was just phenomenal with keeping things like, exactly like in the game. And I don’t know, there. Like I said, there are other changes that they made that I think are wonderful, but the dialogue that they kept was the poignant dialogue. And there’s, I can’t wait to see what they do with season two, which part two is going to be more than one season from what I’ve heard? And I think that makes sense. It’s a longer game. But there’s a lot of empathy building and role reversal and things that I’m like, interested to see how they try to play with that. But Ellie’s my girl so

Link Keller 17:17
yeah, one of one of the biggest changes is that the game took place. The the infection event took place in 2013, when the game came out. And for the show, they pushed that back to 2003. So that the 20 years later is current, which I thought was like such a genius choice. Honestly, you were talking with

Lara Taylor 17:41
screw with us both ways.

Link Keller 17:42
yeah really. I, I played the game when it first came out. So in 2013. So it has been a long time for me. And so I remembered some stuff. But mostly I remembered the way that the fandom reacted to the end of the game, which has been very interesting to see that, in some ways, repeated with the end of the show, and in some ways a little bit different. But it was it was very funny. I was like, I wonder if having it be this TV show and having the way that they have framed the interactions here. If people are going to have the same kind of reaction to the end. I’m trying not to be spoilery too much. But the answer is people are still pretty mad. Oh, yeah.

Lara Taylor 18:38
Yeah, it was. It was interesting because I saw Bella Ramsey had there’s articles going around that Bella Ramsey says that the ending is going to divide people’s like, oh fuck, what did they change?

Link Keller 18:50
That’s just the ending is gonna divide people, period, end statement.

Lara Taylor 18:55
It already divided people but okay. I was like, it’s gonna divide the the people that know the story. No, it’s just dividing more people that have never had access to the story before. And I think people there are people that don’t play video games, and there are people who can’t play horror games that would probably be better, like watching this show. And I don’t know. It’s so so good.

Josué Cardona 19:23
So what is it about? Like you mentioned, for example, mark that you know, you’ve played the game, your wife wouldn’t play the game. But now you can share that story. And like Lara to what you just said, way more people are gonna watch the show. Then play the game. In part because like, like you said, like, it’s more consumable now, right? It’s much easier you can just sit down and watch it and you know how to throw the controller in fear of clickers

Lara Taylor 19:51
Like it’s like what, like nine ish hours compared to 17 hours of gameplay?

Josué Cardona 19:57
Yeah, and Right, there’s no there’s no shooting and fighting. And any of that that takes up so much of the time in the game. So does

Marc Cuiriz 20:10
looking around every corner for loot, for some spare rags?

Josué Cardona 20:14
Yep, yeah, just looking around, swimming through things like that. So I think those are those are reasons why it’s cool for like as a as a as a fan to be able to share it with other people. I like having different versions of the same thing.

Link Keller 20:34
Known Batman fan Josué Cardona.

Josué Cardona 20:37
I know I know. I haven’t. I haven’t brought that up in a while. But right. I always used to like count how many current versions of Batman were active at the moment. And the last time I did that, there were 14 Like currently going active new content of you know, now it’s probably way more,

Lara Taylor 20:58
it’s probably way more with a flash movie coming out

Josué Cardona 21:00
Michael Keaton is back. We gotta go. We gotta get we count them again. And so I like to see the different versions. I don’t I don’t know how I feel about stories that are because I was talking to a friend. And they said, they said something like, oh, I, I like to when it’s an adaptation of a game, I like to do whatever, I forgot what order she said. And I was like, what other adaptations of games are there that are like, similar? Like, The Witcher is not really similar to the games and other than that, there is no movie.

Link Keller 21:41
and distinct from the books.

Lara Taylor 21:44
Mortal Kombat until now has been the best adaptation of a video game.

Josué Cardona 21:49
But also

Lara Taylor 21:49
the original Mortal Kombat?

Josué Cardona 21:51
but also No.

Lara Taylor 21:52
Yeah. Yeah.

Josué Cardona 21:54
Right. But I mean, that’s, that’s not bad. That’s not a bad comparison.

Link Keller 21:58
The, the bar for video game adaptation movies, it has been very low.

Josué Cardona 22:03
But I don’t even mean like as quality, right? I mean, just like, as a retelling of the story, like The Last of Us has shot for shot some things that are exactly like in the game. And so and it is telling the story of the game. It’s not telling a side story. It’s not telling something in universe, it’s not inspired by it is the story of the game. And, and I don’t know how I feel about, you know, one for one this like when when a movie gets to like, I love the West Side Story movie from the 60s. And I got halfway through the new one. Because I was like, is this kind of the same story? And like, I don’t know, like, it doesn’t. I love that story. But I’m just like, oh, it’s the same thing. Again, but not exactly the same. So I don’t know, I’m still have like mixed feelings on in terms of adaptations. Like why? What do they mean, to you in general? Not this one in particular, but just adaptations of something that you’re a fan of? What do they mean to you?

Link Keller 23:04
I think for me, like the biggest strength of making adaptations of existing IP is that you get an opportunity to introduce this to a whole new audience, that there are people who will never engage with the original media, but this this new packaging is a way that they will engage with it. And I think that that’s really cool. You know, Game of Thrones is a whole box of worms but you know, the show is what got me to read that book. And I love that book series. was deeply obsessed with it for a hot minute there. sort of moved on from it now. But I wonder why? Because there hasn’t been a new book in over a decade. I’m fine. I’m not bitter about it at all. No. Not at all. It’s coming any day now.

Lara Taylor 23:55
It’s coming. What tomorrow? Yeah.

Link Keller 24:00
But um, yeah. So it’s like the idea of doing an adaptation of a book, you know, so many people. Don’t read, don’t read for fun, don’t read certain types of books and only read other types of books or what have you. Turning, you know, an old cartoon into a new series live action, like that’s a way to engage a whole new audience. And I think that that’s a really fun way to continue the ongoing conversation that is media creation in our cultures.

Lara Taylor 24:35
For me, I think it’s the opposite. I get to engage with the media in a different way. I think about so. It’s a little closer with the show in the game, but like, like I said, I was less tense, watching the show, because I already kind of knew what happened and I wasn’t sneaking around hiding from clickers and hunters and all of that. So there’s that But also I think about, I typically will watch a movie and then read a book. And I like doing it that way, because I’ve watched the movie. And then the book gives me more details more world building more lore, it gives me more. If I read a book first. I like because I read Game of Thrones, before the show came out, my friend James gave me his books, and told me you have to read this. So I read them up until the until I got caught up before the show. And being able to see these things visually, was mind blowing in a lot of ways and seeing how they would be adapted. And then I think of I was really into World of Warcraft for a while, and I read some of the novels. And then I would fly around on my dragon and fly around and see that’s that spot that I haven’t been to but it’s a little monument in this area that was named in the book. And I loved doing that and seeing and exploring the world of this, like my character me through my character, being able to explore the world that I just read about in this book

Josué Cardona 26:14
is Warcraft your favorite movie?

Lara Taylor 26:17

Josué Cardona 26:18

Lara Taylor 26:20
I did not, I did not think it was a bad adaptation. I liked it for what it was. But I would have liked a different story I there, I think I liked a different piece of the World of Warcraft for more than that beginning piece.

Marc Cuiriz 26:38
I think I’m, I’m a lot like like Lara in the sense that it’s a lot, it’s a chance for me to kind of be more engaged with, with the, whatever the story it is. It also gives like, and this is more so specifically for book adaptations. And the chance for me to really be able to see like someone’s vision and kind of give a sense of a visualization of the story. Because I can only do so much in my own head.

Josué Cardona 27:09
Because aphantasia

Marc Cuiriz 27:11
exactly, because, you know, I just physically cannot do it. The idea that I can then see it on the big screen. I think is is something that’s really cool. Because like Lara said, it becomes mind blowing when you’re reading something and you can you have it in front of you in words and then someone takes that those words and translate it translates it into something that you can to just simply take in and just bask in it, I think is really a really awesome experience. But then that also for me, then when it comes to book adaptations, I want it to be it needs to be set like it like the the director really has to try to like, at least do their best to stay somewhat truthful to the book. Because when they take a book and they want to do the story, but then they make choices that are that defeat the whole purpose of the of the story, then then you just make a whole bunch of fans angry. This is this is this is going to be my soapbox here. This is my Percy Jackson stuff. So everybody sit back and relax.

Josué Cardona 28:27
Get some water.

Marc Cuiriz 28:28
So yeah, I am a huge fan of the Percy Jackson novels, I read them nonstop every time the power would go out, those would be my go to books to read. My original copies are basically torn to shreds. Even my box copy is starting to go a little bit. But I really enjoy it. And when the movie came out, I remember my mom telling me to go see it in theaters because she knew how much I enjoyed the books. And I was so excited to see this because I’m like this is this is it. This is my favorite series coming to life on the big screen. And I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to walk out of that theater and be like, What did I just watch? Because the whole point is that he’s supposed to be 12 and he’s supposed to do this journey. And in the in the movie, they age him up to 17 and they make them like a ragtag group of teenagers but in reality, they’re kids. And then the second book the second movie was even worse. It was it was basically like it was a loosely inspired by the second book.

Josué Cardona 29:47
Were they 30 In the sequel was it like a time jump.

Marc Cuiriz 29:50
No, but they took elements of

Link Keller 29:52
the actors were

Marc Cuiriz 29:55
but they took elements of basically like the next three books throw it all into the second one like they, the whole premise is that the Titan Kronos comes back. Like that’s his whole point. And then like he comes back, and like the fourth and fifth books in some way, shape and form, and then they throw him in the second movie, like, no, here he is, he’s kind of back. And then he’s like, nope, JK I’m the Son of the Sea God and then somehow manages to win. It, it does not sit well with me. And so this is, and so when it comes, when it’s coming to the the TV series adaptation that they’re doing, this is something that I’m really excited for. But I’m also now very hesitant, because I, I’ve seen what happens when people try to do it. And it’s not the greatest. So but at the same time, I know that the author is very heavily involved in this, like he’s making, he’s helping with the casting calls. And, you know, working very closely with the whole team and the production to make sure that it stays truthful to his material that like this is what’s like, Okay, I’m gearing up for this excitement, because now I’m hoping to see what I’ve read now be somewhat, at least for the most part accurately portrayed on the screen and give me that the visualization that I’ve been sort of looking for

Josué Cardona 31:24
why, but why does it matter? So much? Is it is it that is it that you have this expectation, you’ve always wanted to see it in, in movie form, or in video form? And, and so that expectation wasn’t met? And there’s a disappointment? Is it something else?

Marc Cuiriz 31:42
It’s part that it’s part that like, Yeah, I do have that expectation that like, Well, I was robbed of it with these movies. So

Josué Cardona 31:49

Marc Cuiriz 31:49
I was robbed of it of this glory from from these movies that I I’m, I’m wanting to redeem it with the series. But at the same time, like, I understand that Percy Jackson is, is more young adult. And so it’s for a specific audience, and

Josué Cardona 32:09
YA is for everybody

Marc Cuiriz 32:11
exactly. I know this, but I also know that like, everyone has their own tastes in books. Like, like, you know, some people prefer mystery stuff, some people prefer, you know, historical fiction, you know, whatever everyone has their tastes. But this is a chance then for me to share what I enjoyed, it’s again, that that idea of generalizing it to, to a much wider audience and being able to share that with, with the people that I care about, like, you know, with my wife, in the future, if I were to have a family with children, yes, that’s exactly what I’d want to do. I’d want to be able to show them these sorts of things. So that way, they can kind of see something for themselves. And then, you know, if they want to go ahead and read the books, well, you already know I’m gonna have like, the, whatever the most updated 12 updated copy of the books, so there’ll be there.

Josué Cardona 33:12
I love that you’re, you’re you’re really hoping that your kids are gonna like the same things you do.

Marc Cuiriz 33:18

Link Keller 33:18
got fingers crossed on that one. I do think that certain stories. The the adaptation into visual medium is like that. The first biggest choice is, is this going to be better as a movie or as a series show? And I do think that Percy Jackson will absolutely benefit from the TV format over theatrical release film. And I think that also that 100% would also apply to The Last of Us. I think if they tried to make a last of us movie, it would have flopped big time.

Lara Taylor 34:02
There was no way to fit all the content.

Marc Cuiriz 34:04

Lara Taylor 34:05
in a couple of hours. Yeah.

Link Keller 34:07
Not not in a way that you meaningfully hit the emotional beats of the story in a way that still impactful on your audience members. You need a little time to get people to buy in and there are stories that totally benefit from doing a movie. I think the the hunger game movies are not my favorite, but I think that they are a solid adaptation and I do think that the movie fits the movies fits in that that way. I’m going to talk about my most controversial adaptation, which is the Silent Hill movie. You guys know I am deeply into the Silent Hill video game series. The movie is objectively bad, but I do also love it. But mostly because of its flaws. Its did not benefit from being made into a movie. However, it did have this really interesting echo effect where the movie came out. And the game that came out after it, which was the fifth Silent Hill game, Silent Hill Homecoming that came out after the movie and it used a whole bunch of visual references from the movie into this new game, which I thought was really interesting the way that they fed into each other. Because the Silent Hill movie is loosely based on the story of the first game. I could stretch that looooooooosely based on the first game. But I thought it was really intriguing how it fed back into the game series in an interesting way. Again, not necessarily good, but interesting. I rewatched, the movie with some friends recently who had not seen it, and I have forced to play through the first four Silent Hill games with me because they’re, they’re my favorite. I’m like, we’re gonna do this, you’re gonna like it. And if you don’t like it lie, tell me you like it’s too important to me. But it was very funny, watching the movie with them and then being like, wait, wait, what is going on? Why did they do that? Like, well, the first thing you need to understand is that the director hates women. And they’re like, oh, you know, that does actually explain a lot. Like Yeah. Like, yeah, okay. But yeah, I think because video games tend to be longer, like trying to add do an adaptation into a, you know, a two hour movie is almost always going to not work, you’re not going to be able to capture people the same way as when you are sitting down and playing a game for 1020 30 hours. It is hard to nail that. And so it’s like, you got to have either like one of the coolest characters of all time to get people invested. Or you have to have like, the smallest bit of story that you can really hone in on. Otherwise, it’s it’s too big. And it doesn’t. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t. It doesn’t make that transition into the new medium in a way that is engaging for audiences. But some, sometimes still really funny. So you know, you win some you lose some.

Josué Cardona 37:44
Like, like, from the look at it from a transmedia perspective, right? It’s like, oh, that you can have a story. Or in some cases, I know, we’re talking more about adaptations of a particular story. And not so much like a media franchise. Because that’s different too, right? Like Star Wars has its movies, and it has its books, and it has its, its TV shows, and it has its animated shows. And like, there’s there’s different pieces of it that all come to a whole. And there are, we haven’t talked about this, but there are novelizations of movies novelizations of things. So you can you can make an alternate version of it. In Japan, they do a lot of like, novellas of of comic books. I remember I after the The Life and Death of Superman in the 90s there was actually a novelization of that whole thing. And I bought it. And it was I remember reading the first chapter. And it was like, the whole first chapter was like only three pages of the comic book. It was like all these, like, it was telling you what Doomsday was thinking at the beginning. And then like the comic, he’s just grunting and, and, you know, I don’t know, there are opportunities to kind of expand it, but really tell the story differently. So I don’t I have I have there’s also the cynical part, which is like, oh, that story exists. Let’s just, you know, we don’t have to think about it too much. Let’s just do a quick and dirty adaptation and put it into the movies and people will watch it

Link Keller 39:20
and you can tell when that happens too.

Josué Cardona 39:22
Yeah, yeah. And it’s a big difference right when when it’s there’s a like, the creative team is involved. Like Neil Druckmann directed the second I don’t know how many episodes right but like I saw his name pop up in the second episode.

Lara Taylor 39:35
I mean, he’s one of he’s one of the like showrunners like he’s

Josué Cardona 39:38
yeah yeah

Lara Taylor 39:38

Josué Cardona 39:39
like he directed the second episode right to like

Link Keller 39:41
he’s elbow deep in that.

Josué Cardona 39:43
exactly Yeah, exactly. I don’t know if he’d ever directed a movie before but he directed or a show but he directed his you know,

Lara Taylor 39:52
he directed a game and yeah

Josué Cardona 39:53
an adaptation of the game. Yeah, and the story. And so that there are things that I like very, very rarely will I read. I think I’ve only ever read a book and watch the movie. Like more than once, if something. I can’t think of anything that I’ve like reread, and also had the movie to revisit and be able to do it in different mediums. I don’t do that often. So I can’t really relate to that piece. Maybe in comics a little bit more. You know, like, I guess watchmen is probably the, the most one for one adaptation of from one medium to another that I can think of,

Lara Taylor 40:39
right, because if you look at if you look at the MCU they’re pulling from several different published stories and putting them together

Josué Cardona 40:45
Oh, yeah, it’s a remix It’s a remix. Yeah,

Lara Taylor 40:47

Josué Cardona 40:48
Yeah. And a lot of things don’t do that one for one. Watchmen did that. And that was cool to see both versions. But like, if I had to, I would just watch the movie again for time sake. And not not necessarily read the book again, even though it’s I think it’s really good, I actually like the movie more. Don’t Don’t at me. But, but it’s Yeah, I mean, there’s something about how invested you are in it. And, and it’s just, it’s interesting for me to hear how, again, how invested we are into some of these things and how we feel robbed or slighted. Because we feel like this ownership over it and it hurts. You’ve been betrayed, because they took

Lara Taylor 41:36
ownership and expectations.

Josué Cardona 41:37
Yeah, yeah, yeah, those will get you in trouble. Yeah, it’s a lot of attachment to to something but I don’t know, I think I’ve, I think I have benefited from in just looking at them as alternate versions of something like someone else’s take. It’s like if something there someone read the book, and then told me that the story was and another person told me the story. And they’re both like, not exactly the same. The only I mean, only Avatar The Last Airbender, that movie is the only one that I remember being like, I don’t think I like this. I was like, open to being my therapist. This week asked me if I had ever watched Batman Forever, because she wanted to make a reference to it.

Josué Cardona 42:10
That one is that one’s Nina’s favorite.

Josué Cardona 42:31
I was I was I was like, That is such a random like, yes, obviously, I’ve seen a Batman movie, but like, of all the ones

Link Keller 42:38
like just imagining, like standing up and be like, How dare you insult me to my face? Storm out of the room

Lara Taylor 42:46
I’m waiting for her to stand up and be like, I’m Batman, because that’s that movie. Oh, you gotta

Josué Cardona 42:52
have no problem with Val Kilmer

Link Keller 42:56
Brandon and just being able to flash his tattoo, be like, Oh, do you think do you think I’ve seen Batman Forever?

Josué Cardona 43:05
But I don’t know. I appreciate all those all those different pieces. I will say one

Link Keller 43:11
comics are really good medium for doing that kind of storytelling, where it’s like, we’ve got so many pieces, we can just sort of do a remix on it. And like that, generally speaking, does does well as an adaptation, as opposed to books into

Josué Cardona 43:29
Well, it’s funny because comic books, there’s so much that happens between one cell and another. Right? That that it gives you a lot of space to fill in gaps. Where like with a lot of novels, it’s the opposite. It’s like how do we condense this into another medium?

Link Keller 43:46
Yeah, what can what can we chop out and still maintain the skeleton of what we’re trying to do? in comics, It’s like we’re sculpting we’re playing we’re having a good time here. Like what do you want to bring in that really random third issue of that one canceled line that had this one really good scene? It like hell? Yeah. bring that in. We’re doing it.

Lara Taylor 44:09
And then there’s also the like, I guess what happens in a in a comic creators what brain the what ifs? Like, there I think about changes that were made say in The Walking Dead between the comics and, and the show. A lot of it in the beginning is pretty one for one. And then there’s some stuff where it’s like,

Link Keller 44:29
they didn’t immediately kill Glenn. They waited

Lara Taylor 44:33
and you’re like, wait, what? And yeah, and then in the way Glenn goes, fucks with your brain.

Josué Cardona 44:42
Yeah, so this is one of the things I wanted to get out, which is like, in this case, the creators like they’re just in a different place. Right then when they wrote the story originally, sometimes these movies are happening

Lara Taylor 44:52
what would I do now if I were writing this now,

Josué Cardona 44:54
yeah, yeah. Again, even even The Last of Us like oh, like we can. The world is different. You actually had a pandemic, since the first game, really we can we can, or we would have done some things differently. You know, so you can revisit that. And and I think that’s, that’s one of the, like, that’s the, the analogy of the adaptations for me, that is helpful when discussing other things, right? Like, if you could revisit a past experience or do something again, what would that, you know, what would it be like? And then you mentioned something earlier, Link, about the like, playing as Joel versus taking a third person perspective. And kind of,

Link Keller 45:35
I mean, you are a third person in the video game, but you are controlling him. So there is embodiment there

Lara Taylor 45:40
are there you are him

Josué Cardona 45:42
visually it’s third person, but you are you are exactly you’re playing the role of Joel. But if you if I were just watching a replay of the game, right? That’s kind of what the movie like, Okay, you already made all your decisions with Joel. Now we’re going to revisit it and just watch it like a movie. Right? It made me think of, in Ready Player One, they have this idea of the flick sinks, which is like the movies in the future, you could just jump in and be any character. Right? and kind of play that as as that role. And in the game, the way it works is like, the more one to one, you actually do the lines and the actions of the of the character, the more points you get it set up like a game. But I love that idea of being able to revisit a story from different perspectives. Some novels do this, right, like they’ll release an alternate version of the novel from another person’s perspective. And I think that that, that kind of thing is really is really good. Just as again, as a as a way of like, as a thought exercise of thinking about how looking at something from a different perspective, or looking at it from again, like if you have different tools, how would you represent this?

Link Keller 46:54

Josué Cardona 46:55
Similar to? Well, I mean, I’m glad you mentioned aphantasia mark, because like, I can’t, I can’t really visualize stuff. So when I’m reading, like, I’m into the story, but I can’t even imagine what it’ll look like. So I also like want that great visuals but it’s in a drawing, is it a digital thing? Is it a movie is it there’s so many different ways that we can represent the same story and we can we can represent our own stories in different ways. That’s what that’s what adaptations always make you think about and how I think that there are kind of helpful in in looking at your own story in that way. Different ways.

Link Keller 47:40
I think that would be such a fun like therapy activity is being like Okay, last week we worked on like, pulling together major moments in your life and we’ve created this outline of your life’s story. How would you add to an adaptation of your life story as a movie like you got two and a half hours max? How about as a you know, a six six episode BBC series. Okay, how about as a video game? Like that could be really fun actually.

Josué Cardona 48:15
Who are we casting as you? who are casting as me?

Link Keller 48:18
who’s doing the voice acting? Yeah, what kind of vibes are we going music wise? Are we getting John Williams in here? Or what’s up?

Marc Cuiriz 48:29
I think Pedro Pascal could play me [everyone laughs]

Lara Taylor 48:39
somebody said he was too old to play Joel and I just died laughing and

Marc Cuiriz 48:45
I think

Lara Taylor 48:46
he’s definitely too old to play you marc, you’re baby.

Link Keller 48:49
I think he could do it. He’s a very talented actor.

Marc Cuiriz 48:55
He just he loses the beard. You could barely tell us apart

Josué Cardona 48:58
that’s true, that’s true.

Marc Cuiriz 49:01
But I honestly think like in terms of like how the the game design for Joel was and how they how they portrayed him in the show. It’s it’s almost like completely spot on in my eyes like they couldn’t have casted anyone else for this.

Link Keller 49:18
I think they I think they made Joel too hot. How dare they. this Joel is too sexy!

Josué Cardona 49:30
Who would play the rest of you in a movie? Also Pedro Pascal?

Link Keller 49:39
Yeah! I think so

Marc Cuiriz 49:39
no, you know what, you know what I think I think younger me would be Danny DeVito he just has my wit.

Josué Cardona 49:50
I can see it. I can see it.

Marc Cuiriz 49:52
He’s got my wit and charismatic charm. Like, I don’t know it works. Anyway. He’s my height at that age. So Oh,

Josué Cardona 50:00
I don’t know how serious you are right now answering these questions, Marc. But I remember what a friend once asked me, like, who I would have me, you know, play me in a movie. And I said, Keanu Reeves.

Link Keller 50:12
yeah okay

Josué Cardona 50:12
And I said, because, because of like I said,

Link Keller 50:15
i see it

Josué Cardona 50:15
his demeanor and his energy, right. And my friend was like, Absolutely not.

Link Keller 50:20

Josué Cardona 50:20
and I was like Wait, what? And it was, it was it was because she did not agree that I was that. Like, chill and mellow and and had that, right. And I was like, Huh, okay, right. And it was, it was a good exercise of like, how I see myself how I, how I, what I aspire to be, and how other people actually perceive me or how I actually how I actually am. Whoo, actually, that’s a whole that’s good. That could be a whole. And we could spend a whole hour now like on congruence, just this idea of like, your ideal self, versus, you know, your real self and how disconnected those two are. And,

Josué Cardona 50:27
like our spider-sona episode, but like on steroids,

Josué Cardona 51:09
yeah. But like, I think the adaptations fit right, like, the farther the adaptation is from, from your,

Lara Taylor 51:17
from the heart, or the spirit of the thing, right?

Josué Cardona 51:21
Again, this can also go the opposite way, right? Like that. Some people can watch the movie first, and then read the book and be like, ugh, I like the movie version matter, right? Like, either way, but it’s that if the disconnect is big enough, and you don’t have Alright, this is going to like Carl Rogers Person Centered stuff, where he talks about self esteem in that way where like, your ideal self, who you want to be and who you are, if you if that’s so disconnected, then then your self esteem is like super low. And so I feel like with these adaptations, it’s kind of the same way. Like, I love this version. I want this version to be this, it is so far from it, I hate it. I just, I don’t want that. And

Link Keller 52:07
avatar the last airbender movie

Josué Cardona 52:10
But there’s an acceptance piece, right? Like as a like, I’m not gonna say that it’s unhealthy to want a better version of Percy Jackson. Right? But But like, wanting a better version of yourself or not accepting the version of yourself that you are, is like that can cause you some some some problems. I think you know, enjoying or just accepting that like, that’s movie and it’s not a good movie. And I don’t like it versus I feel robbed. The betrayal. The insult. How dare they?

Link Keller 52:47
I’ve never consumed any Percy Jackson media, but I am appalled at those movies. How dare they?

Marc Cuiriz 52:55
as you should be.

Josué Cardona 52:59
this amazing. I like to tell people who who are kind of critical about movies, and and are very, like, nostalgic about movies that they watched before. And I’m like, oh, yeah, like, Tell me some of your favorite movies. And then just look them up on Rotten Tomatoes. How many of your favorite movies are in the 30s? And 40s 50s?

Link Keller 53:17
Oh, Your favorite movie was hook? I hate to tell you this, but critically, everybody fucking hates that movie. nooooooo

Josué Cardona 53:26
Objectively, garbage, but y’know that doesn’t matter.

Lara Taylor 53:31
it mattered to you. That’s all it matters.

Josué Cardona 53:34
media matters Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I think also I want to say on adaptations,

Link Keller 53:42
I do you mentioned something earlier Josué that I do just want to like circle back to and reinforce is that the idea of like the time between when the original thing came out, and when the adaptation happens. That is important. Like that is contextualizing. People, people change. People grow. People go through new events that reframe the way that they think about things. And so seeing that reflected in the way, especially when you get more hands on adaptations, like with Neil Druckmann and stuff. Getting to see how the creators of this thing, how the ways that they have changed as people gets reflected into their remake of a piece of media that they’ve created. I think that’s very interesting stuff. I think that’s that’s a good a good point to remember, is like the creators of these things, can completely change in that they are different people, but also, the people who read watched played the original version, they change throughout time as well. And so what they create in their adaptation versions is impacted by those contexts. It’s very juicy yummy.

Josué Cardona 54:58
It still surprises me how Different, I find because human memory is garbage. And so you go back and you rewatch, or you read something and you’re like, you don’t remember half of it or any of it really, and or just things are just different. Right? And, and not just because your memory but also because like you were saying, I’m a different person now. I don’t find that as funny as I did before I do find that funnier. Like that didn’t offend me before. That’s terrible. Like, oh, I really appreciate that. It’s sort of the fun things about about revisiting media that you really care about. My therapist said that this week, I was I was feeling very, what’s the word? I was kind of impatient. And I said multiple times, right? My therapist wanted to do something I said, Yeah, but I think we’ve done that before. And she reminded me like, you know, it’s good to revisit stories. And I was like aw dammit

Link Keller 55:56
she GT’d you!

Josué Cardona 55:58
Yeah she GT’d me. And she, she, that and Batman Forever. It was quite a session. Yeah, yeah. No. Okay.

Link Keller 56:12
Any other final thoughts? Lara?

Lara Taylor 56:16
I figured out who would play me? Oh, I was originally gonna say, Bella Ramsey, but she’s 19 and I’m about to be 40. So Ashley Johnson.

Link Keller 56:26
OG Ellie

Lara Taylor 56:28
OG Ellie

Josué Cardona 56:30
Bella may be 19 But they are still like you don’t you don’t? You don’t look your age. You’re so old. And you don’t you don’t look old.

Link Keller 56:40
They will play you in the flashbacks.

Lara Taylor 56:42
That’s right.

Josué Cardona 56:43
I think I think that I think Bella could play it off. Now. Bella has range.

Lara Taylor 56:49
Mm hmm. So does Ashley Johnson.

Josué Cardona 56:52
Yeah. I guess

Lara Taylor 56:56
I’d like to see her with a haircut. You know?

Link Keller 56:59
Oh, you just want to make her hotter. I see how it is, I see how it is

Lara Taylor 57:06
you get you got me.

Link Keller 57:08
Ashley Johnson, but Gayer? I think that’ll Yeah, I think that’ll work.

Lara Taylor 57:15

Link Keller 57:18
How about you Marc any final thoughts?

Marc Cuiriz 57:22
Hmm, I’ll have to come up to come back to with the legitimate answer as to who I think would play me. But overall, I think that this was a really nice conversation. And I did appreciate the transmedia that you mentioned in like Star Wars, how like, there’s all these different ways in which a particular franchise has transcended different different forms of media. And kinda like reexamining how some of these things get novelized or like, there’s, like the try to take it, take a story, and we’ll change it up a little bit. But, you know, it’s been like years down the line like, like with Assassin’s Creed, for instance, like they have novelizations of the games. But that provides a deeper insight. It’s the same story, but now you have thoughts that you wouldn’t necessarily have heard that the game or, you know, it jumps through things that you’re obviously, you know, exploring throughout the games and things like that. So yeah, I think this is this was a wonderful topic.

Josué Cardona 58:34
My final thoughts are, yeah, reflect on how you feel about, about adaptations and different versions and how invested you are in them. Like, I was rewatching, the Mandalorian and the Boba Fett episodes with my niece, where a Ahsoka shows up Ahsoka’s her favorite character because she knows her from the Clone Wars, and then to have that character now pop up is just a reminder of how great of a character she is. And we can see her in a different medium. And there’s like a lot of appreciation a lot of strong, positive emotion there. But then sometimes, right like, like the Percy Jackson thing, it’s just offensive and

Lara Taylor 59:17

Josué Cardona 59:18
and robbery. And

Marc Cuiriz 59:19
it’s, it’s it’s the avatar, The Last Airbender of Percy Jackson.

Josué Cardona 59:26
But, you know, just just reflect on on what those feelings are positive or negative, and kind of where they’re coming from. And I think you’ll you’ll find some insights there.

Link Keller 59:37
Heck, yeah, I’m, I’m so glad that the crews back together. This was lovely. Thank you so much for listening, listeners. We appreciate you. And you can tell us your favorite and or Least favorite adaptations in the forums or on our Discord. Other social medias as Well, those are all in the show notes. And Josué, I would really like you to do the last part of the outro because I have deeply missed it.

Josué Cardona 1:00:10
For more Geek Therapy visit geek therapy.org. Remember to geek out too good, and we’ll see you next week.

Link Keller 1:00:15

Josué Cardona 1:00:17
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • The Medium is the Message by M. McLuhan, Q. Fiore
  • The Last of Us (HBO series)
  • The Last of Us (video game)
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • Stardust (2007)
  • Batman
  • The Witcher
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin
  • World of Warcraft (video game)
  • Warcraft (2016)
  • Percy Jackson
  • The Hunger Games
  • Silent Hill
  • Star Wars
  • The Life and Death of Superman by R. Stern
  • Watchmen
  • Avatar the Last Airbender
  • The Walking Dead
  • Ready Player One by E. Cline
  • Hook (1991)
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • The Mandalorian
  • The Book of Boba Fett
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Adaptations
* Betrayal
* Change
* Carl Rogers
* Cultural representation
* Difficult emotions
* Problem Solving
* Resilience
* Working with others
* The Medium is the Message

Relatable Experience:

* Acceptance
* Clarity/Understanding
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Loss (other than death)
* New Life Event (New Rules)
* Expectations

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

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