Monday, June 19, 2017

Genre, Genre, Who's Got the Genre?

Switching genres
by Terry Shames

Our topic this week is to take a TV program and convert it to a novel in a different genre.

To say this subject is daunting is to speak in understatement.  I watch a fair amount of TV, but it's mostly basketball. I guess I could see basketball games as sci-fi. Games played on a planet where when a player went to dunk, gravity was so low that a leap into the air meant soaring hundreds of feet before gently wafting back, by which time the game was over. The plot could be a team trying to figure out how to get back to earth so they could play regular games. But that sounds too much like the Warriors.

I did watch The Wire, all five seasons, twice. The Wire as Romance? Wait, there's already a good bit of sex in those episodes, although you couldn't really call it romance. Nope. Not appealing.

How about Downton Abbey as a Space Opera? After all, a lot of sci-fi novels are novels of manners. Imagine Lady Edith dressed in one of those tight, shiny space outfits, kicking butt as a starship pilot?  Lady Violet as Queen of the Universe. When people die they come back as creatures who behave the opposite of the way they did during their lives. Matthew becomes a zombie, the Insipid Lady Sybil (too good for her own good) comes back as a dominatrix. The plot would involve her trying to lure Carson into a menage a trios with her and Matthew.

I could turn Veep  into a novel about creepy, nasty people who scheme to take over the White House. Oh, wait, that's House of Cards. Never mind.

I have it. Frazier, as a spy thriller. His brother, Niles, is actually a mole, feeding information to a dark, sinister group that's plotting to take over the world, headed by a mastermind named Marris. Frazier's father is an aging spy who knows all the tricks and teaches Frazier everything he has to know to beat Marris at her sinister game. His ace in the hole is a terrier that can sense when a person is up to no good. He barks to let everybody know. But, of course, he's a terrier so he barks all the time, and it's hard to sort out the bad guys from the good ones.

Bosch would make a hell of a good romantic comedy. Unlike the TV Bosch, who glooms his way through every episode, he'd be a zany guy known for being a snappy dresser and having a repartee that attracts women like flies to honey. In the novel he has to decide between wooing a busty,  cheery woman or a thin, sexy vamp. The cheery woman turns out to be a crime boss and the sexy vamp is really a transvestite. In the end there's a touching scene in which Bosch persuades the crime boss to repent her ways and she decides to become a nun. He buys the transvestite a new wardrobe and sends him on his way. And he escapes to a lovely island with a kindergarten teacher who turns out to be a serial killer and he spends the rest of his life hiding from her.

In the end, I think I'll stick to writing my mystery novels and watching mindless TV. Although I am thinking of writing a sic-fi novel...


RJ Harlick said...

Terry, I'm glad you go before me. Your handling of a question invariably helps me figure out to handle it, particularly ones, like this one, that I have no idea what to do with it. Thankfully I have the rest of the day. Good post.

Art Taylor said...

This was a very interesting question--and a very fun response! I enjoyed greatly!