Book vs TV: Looking for Alaska

In 2005, John Green published his novel Looking for Alaska focusing on the life of Miles, a boy attending a new boarding school whose students always seem to take pranks too far. Miles becomes friends with Alaska Young and Chip (nicknamed “The Colonel”). The Colonel nicknames Miles “Pudge.” After becoming friends with them, Pudge gets a taste of the adventurous life he has been looking for. After almost 15 years since the novel came out, Hulu decided to revamp John Green’s best-selling novel and turn it into a TV show. 

The early 2000s aren’t the same times as today. If the comparison between early 2000s fashion and today’s fashion isn’t enough evidence, I don’t know what else to say. To make the book relevant to today, the show did a beautiful job slightly changing some details about the plot to include some up-date themes, such as race and privilege, but still stayed true to the original plot. 

However, as with any book adaptation, the TV show was less influential and meaningful and meant more for entertainment. As a book, readers indulge in the underlying messages and themes. In TV shows and movies, viewers are just looking to be entertained. 

In books, authors are able to write what the characters are both saying and thinking. In TV shows and movies, actors are only able to show what their characters are saying. Because of this, movies and TV shows lose the insight that books have. This made it hard for Hulu’s Looking for Alaska to bring the same level of depth as Green’s novel.

Like any of Green’s novels, readers fell in love with this book and its deep quotes. Most of the quotes were about life and death, and were often spoken by Alaska Young. When the book was adapted into a TV show, the quotes were still there, but they didn’t seem to stick out to viewers. The once deep and meaningful quotes just seemed to be thrown into the show with little explanation. It was sad to see the quotes I had fallen in love with so quickly overlooked and discarded by viewers.

Overall, the show was entertaining to watch and touched on a lot of major themes of today’s world. The only slight disappointments were the lack omniscience and how some of the beloved quotes from the novel were not well developed in the TV show adaptation.