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What Harry Potter Can Learn From Popular TV Adaptations?

Victoria Newell

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Harry Potter character image
Warner Bros.

With the announcement of a Harry Potter universe TV show, fans are alive with excitement and a little bit of concern. Will it live up to the hype? There are already concerns about TV adaptations, with all information about the Avatar: The Last Airbender have been extremely disappointing. People are worried that this show could be underwhelming out there. But there are several examples of shows that exist within a massive fandom that have seen large-scale success. Some of these big budget, large fan-base tv shows over the past decade include Game of Thrones, WandaVision, and The Mandalorian. So what can the Harry Potter series learn from the successes and failures of other popular TV adaptations?

Game of Thrones

For a decade, Game of Thrones ruled the silver screen. One of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful shows of all time, it had a massive following. But Game of Thrones had an overwhelmingly disappointing finale; and that’s what Harry Potter can learn from them. The writing in Game of Thrones was phenomenal in the early seasons because they pulled from the book. Even though Game of Thrones did not always stay true to the book’s plot, they stayed true to the character’s adaptations and development. Furthermore, they were staying on the basic plot line and end goal. When they ran out of books to adapt, the show began to take a decline. A great example is Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion, who’s character’s intelligent and witty writing plummeted after the writers couldn’t pull from the books anymore.

Author G.R.R Martin told the showrunners that they would need several more seasons to end the show the way the books will eventually end. But the showrunners were ready to only give it one more season. As a result, the last season was rushed and half-baked, throwing out all of the character development of the last ten years.

Where Harry Potter can learn from this is that they need to have a clear vision. Even if they don’t pull from books directly, if any characters from the books are making an appearance in the show, they need to be consistent with their portrayal in the books. For the story to be successful, they need to have a vision for the ending and work towards that ending for a good final pay-off. Where Game of Thrones was just adapting as they went without an end in mind, Harry Potter has the opportunity to start preparing for a great pay-off now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a perfect example of preparing for a great pay off early, laying down the ground-work for a finale a decade later in Iron Man. Today they are starting a new arc, kicking off the next Marvel run with a tv show;WandaVision.

WandaVision

*SPOILERS*

The current phenomenon WandaVision is still entertaining Marvel fans, and is set to end in two weeks. The first Marvel TV show to blatantly connect to the MCU, WandaVision is an amazing example of a show that expands on a fictional universe. The show follows Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) as she creates an alternate universe for her to live out her sit-com suburban fantasies with the dead corpse of Vision. It’s a darker turn for the MCU, and is sparking an entire online discourse full of fan-theories and speculation. While the ending to WandaVision is still a mystery, it’s becoming clear that it will set up the Multiverse, and perhaps the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Young Avengers. It has serious and exciting implications for the future of the MCU.

This Harry Potter series has potential to do the same thing. It could expand upon the Harry Potter universe and add new content to the greater world. What makes WandaVision so exciting is how it is enlarging the MCU for the next decade. The Harry Potter show is perfectly poised to do the same thing. It’s important to note that this seems to be what Fantastic Beasts is attempting to do. But where Fantastic Beasts fails is where WandaVision succeeds. WandaVision has familiar (previously minor) characters with established emotional weight at its center (Wanda and Vision). Fantastic Beasts has mostly strangers at its core. If Harry Potter wants to seriously expand the universe, it would be in it’s benefit to have some familiarity at its center (such as the Marauders or the Blacks).

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian does somewhat the opposite of WandaVision, and is another direction for Harry Potter. Star Wars spin off The Mandalorian places new characters in a fairly familiar setting. Star Wars has a lot of lore, and Mandalorian is an episodic show that just explores that lore. It doesn’t introduce a lot of new content, and has a lot of familiar faces in and out, such as Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett. However, it centres on new characters with different roles.

Harry Potter too has a lot of lore attached to it, just hang out on Pottermore for a few hours, and the series could take a Mandalorian approach. Give us new characters in a familiar world with a new role. Such as a person who works in the Ministry of Magic, or Hogwarts from the perspective of the professors. While Mandalorian provides more depth to the events after Return of the Jedi, it doesn’t add a lot new to the story. Almost everything has been introduced somewhere else. Harry Potter doesn’t have to put a lot of pressure on it’s tv show to introduce a lot of new things, but can simply exist within the universe in an episodic fashion.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of directions that this Harry Potter show could take, and that’s what makes it exciting. Learning from these three very successful TV shows that exist within a large fandom, Harry Potter has a lot to take away from them. A clear story arc is the most important thing this show can learn from all three of these examples. Whether it adds more to the universe, or exists within the pre-existing Harry Potter sandbox has yet to be seen. Whatever they do, it is sure to bring a little more magic into our lives.


Thank you for reading our article on what the Harry Potter TV series can learn from other popular shows. What would you like to see in it? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about what the Harry Potter TV series could be about HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone HERE.

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The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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