Harry Potter and Television Improvement
What I’m about to tell you is nothing new. Hell, I’ve seen people express the same sentiment on Twitter in the past few weeks. But, having binged all 8 Harry Potter movies (no I didn’t read the books), I think that the story would be much better told as a TV series.
If you’ve watched the movies, you’ll kinda have an idea of what I’m talking about. The HP movies have a total runtime of 1159 minutes, for an average over 8 movies of about 145 minutes (or 2 hours 25 minutes). That’s a lot of movie. And when you’re watching it, you can feel all those minutes. There are what I can call “filler spots” in the movies. Moments that probably would have gotten cut in other movies but survived the editing room in this one. And because it’s a movie there are things that I wish I’d seen that didn’t (or couldn’t) make it to the final cut. I would have loved more scenes of the children actually being children and not having to save Hogwarts all the time. But I know that that’d fuck with the pacing of an already very long movie.
For people who’ve read the books though, there’s even more reasons why this should/would make sense. As we know with book adaptations, there’s a lot of the book that doesn’t make it into the final movie. For whatever reasons, runtime chief among them, there are bits that help enhance the world built in the books that get reduced or cut altogether. Sometimes whole characters can disappear. Entire arcs that lead to valuable character development can similarly be blown away like chalk on a windy day. And HP is a huge sufferer of this. Whole chunks of character, and sometimes romantic motivations (ahem, Ginny) are either drastically shaved down or just straight up not included. I’m not saying the movies don’t work, but there’s a hell of a lot more story that didn’t make it that would have made the Wizarding World even more immersive and memorable.
It should (and will) be noted that the very format of the story lends itself to a TV series adaptation. There’s seven books, split into seven years. It would be the easiest thing in the world to have a series split into seven seasons, with one season spanning a year of wizarding, (mis)adventures and everything in-between. To be honest, I want this partly because JK and WB stiffed me on the Harry-Cho love story. I wanted more than 4 scenes and a couple of glances goddamit.
The Harry Potter movies are a brilliant adaptation of an equally brilliant book series. That in and of itself is an achievement. But despite the wondrous story, and marvelous characters, it’s hard not to feel like more could be done with it as a TV series.