It’s not usually cool to throw your weight behind TV and film adaptations rather than the book series they’re based on. And, yeah, sure, they wouldn’t have existed if the book(s) hadn’t existed first, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some TV adaptations that are indeed better than the books they were based on — not necessarily because the books were bad, either, but because literature is not an inherently superior storytelling form to television and we need to stop pretending that it is.
Just as film was initially treated as artistically inferior to theater, and TV was initially treated as artistically inferior to film, it is also unhelpful to make blanket statements about the superiority of an entire medium over another. There are (mostly) objectively good books and there are (mostly) objectively bad books. There are (mostly) objectively good TV shows and there are (mostly) objectively bad TV shows. And there are things that TV can do as a storytelling medium that film and/or novels cannot, and vice versa.
With that in mind, here are 11 television adaptations that were absolutely just as good (if not better than) the books they were originally based on.