Books v. Adaptation Smackdown: Midnight, Texas


Happy Hump Day, folks!

At one point or another, we’ve all been disappointed when mainstream media gets a hold of our favorite book and completely eviscerates it. Today I’ve decided to bring you a review/showdown of something I recently got into (and was subsequently cancelled, because, of course, I’m late to the party) Midnight, Texas.


Background Info


The “Novels of Midnight Texas” were written by Charlaine Harris, the same woman who brought you The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the series upon which the HBO show True Blood is based (apparently very loosely. She’s even been quoted as saying Anna Paquin was NOT her pick to be Sookie Stackhouse). They even mention a couple of characters from the Stackhouse novels in the Midnight, Texas series.


Midnight, Texas is a tiny little single-stoplight town where people (both human and otherwise) go to escape.  If you’ve got a secret, better get your ass to Midnight, and fast. The cool thing about this town is that everyone respects that they each have something to hide, but they have each other’s backs about everything.


The Novels


There are three novels in the Midnight, Texas series: Midnight Crossing, Day Shift, and Night Shift. The characters are pretty much consistent throughout the series, with only a few new ones introduced in the second and third. The books leave something to be desired in the character development department, because there are times Harris alludes to events in their pasts that we never find out about. Like telling someone “hey, I heard something about so-and-so. But I can’t tell you what it is.” It’s annoying. The plots are super easy to follow, and there isn’t anything complicated about the supernatural characters, either. It’s definitely a “beach read” kind of series, where you can put it down for a while and remember what happened. A little tiny voice in my head- which, I of course, ignored like an idiot- kept telling me to watch the show first and THEN read the novels. Huge mistake.

The Television Adaptation

NBC picked up the series in 2017, and literally had no clue about it until there was all this hype about the second season. There was nothing about the first season, so of course, I had to wait for my library to have it on DVD so I could watch it (I was not paying $20 for a show if it was going to be a waste of time). The first thing I noticed was that this show had the nicest-looking cast I’ve seen in a show in a long time. I guess they had to make up for the fact that they were going to mess with the plots of the novels significantly.


🔥 Seriously… hottest TV cast I’ve seen in a long time.  🔥


Not only were some of the events completely out of chronological order (things that happened at the end of the last novel happened halfway through the first season), pretty much the entire second season wasn’t in the books at all. The crazy thing? I actually liked the stuff they added. They of course had to add some more supernatural stuff to it, like resurrection of a dark witch coven and some gory and disappointing deaths, but what else can you expect from a major media network? They did a much better job at developing the characters than the novels, but I figure they kind of had to because they want to make you like them so you keep coming back.  Didn’t work though, because the show was cancelled after season two.


WINNER: Midnight, Texas: TV adaptation


I never thought I’d speak or type these words in my life, but I enjoyed the TV adaptation more than the books. The characters were cool and a few were not fantasy show stereotypes (one is a wereTIGER instead of a wereWOLF which I’d never thought of before; another is a fallen angel). I was one of those suckers that watched for the characters and was disappointed when I found out I wouldn’t be able to watch them every week. I’m really hoping another network or streaming service picks up the show, because while it did have its cliché moments, it was a nice bit of escapism for an hour or so.


As usual, thanks for reading, and until next time!