There’s plenty to read and watch in 2018

Jacob Pitts
Staff Writer

COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM

Reading more often is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, and the best way to stay on track with a goal is through positive reinforcement.

With all of the novels being turned into movies and TV shows in 2018, binge-watching one can be the perfect reward for getting through that book that’s been laying around collecting dust.

A Wrinkle in Time

Perhaps the year’s most hyped screen adaptation is “A Wrinkle in Time.” Long after Meg Murry and Charles Wallace’s scientist father fails to return from a business trip, the celestial beings Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which offer their assistance in traveling through the fifth dimension to find him.

Strongly reminiscent of Narnia with added sci-fi flavor, it takes a mere day or two to read Wrinkle cover to cover, and with the film’s imminent release there’s no better time than now.

Helmed by Ava DuVernay, who is now the first black woman to direct a big-budget film, Disney’s rendition of the Madeleine L’Engle children’s classic boasts an all-star cast featuring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Zach Galifianakis. This isn’t the first collaboration for DuVernay and Winfrey: they both serve as executive producers on “Queen Sugar.” “A Wrinkle in Time” will be released on March 9.

Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty’s “Big Little Lies,” now gearing closer to its second season, is an inside look at three mothers of kindergarteners, their marriages, their families, their school district, and their secrets.

It deals with serious subjects like domestic violence and sexual assault, but it also has some humorous moments and maintains a “Desperate Housewives” vibe throughout.

The three main women are played by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, with Alexander Skarsgard, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern rounding out the supporting cast.

The announcement of Meryl Streep’s addition to the second season made waves on the Internet earlier in the week, and the first season has nabbed four Golden Globes and eight Emmys. Since the first season concluded with the book’s ending, season two is expected to follow an original storyline.

Sharp Objects

“Big Little Lies” isn’t the only thriller novel adaptation coming to HBO this summer, and it’s not even the only one by its director.

Jean-Marc Vallee is also directing “Sharp Objects,” based on the debut novel by “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn. This is the last of Flynn’s works to be put on the screen, but so far it’s shaping up to be the best.

Amy Adams is set to star as Camille Preaker, a journalist for a middling Chicago newspaper whose boss banishes her to her old Missouri hometown to cover a pair of grisly child murders.

The story is Camille’s first after completing treatment for self-harm, and the reunion with her cold mother as well as the case’s disturbing nature awaken some haunting memories. The book becomes increasingly twisted and addictive as each layer of the mystery unravels, and its screen counterpart will undoubtedly be just as irresistible.

And More…

Although “Game of Thrones” may be taking a year off before its grand finale, there are still plenty of other returning series in 2018 based on books of various genres.

Its absence is filled by black comedy–Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix, teen drama–Jay Asher’s “13 Reasons Why,” also on Netflix, and dystopian sci-fi with Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu. The latter two have reached the end of their source material, so like “Big Little Lies” the upcoming seasons will be exploring new territory.

The majority of these books and their adaptations are overwhelmingly dark, but the year isn’t completely devoid of lighter fare. Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” is a guilty pleasure about the lavish lifestyles of the Singaporean upper crust.

The book and its two sequels work excellently as mindless beach reads, and the film’s cast, which includes Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr., Ken Jeong, rapper Awkwafina, and “Fresh Off the Boat” star Constance Wu is definitely promising. Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters on August 17th, which leaves ample time to read the whole trilogy.

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