So, a couple years ago, you may remember I made a series of fan-art faux-movie posters based on Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling)'s novel The Cuckoo's Calling. The first episodes of the BBC TV adaptation are finally out and they're the best thing I watched last Sunday! (what, Game of what ?). Just for some fun, here's a comparison of how I interpreted the characters and what they look like in the show !
I really like who they cast as the two main models of the story, Lula Landry and her friend Ciara Porter. Elarica Johnson is absolutely gorgeous IMO, though I pictured Lula a little more aloof and mysterious. Amber Anderson is also more radiant than my interpretation of Ciara, who I made look downright sinister.
My idea of John Bristow matches the casting pretty well. However, their Guy Somé is a little too handsome in my opinion, to the point that I don't really believe him as the fashion icon described in the book (but I still have to see the third episode in which he plays a larger role so maybe Kadiff Kirwan will surprise me). I didn't draw Evan Duffield (because I hate him) but the actor they chose to portray him is EXACTLY the way I saw the character.
As for the two protagonists, I'm pretty satisfied with the casting. I pictured Emma Watson as Robin (my artwork is based on a picture of the Harry Potter actress), but Holliday Grainger captures the idea I had of the very capable Robin perfectly. She's immediately likable and relatable like in the book. As for Cormoran Strike, I do like the actor way better than when I first heard of his casting. I thought Tom Burke looked too young (the character is in his thirties, but Galbraith/Rowling made a point in repeating he looks older). I still do, and I also wished he was taller (Burke is my height so obviously I don't consider that very tall) and larger (fatter) like in the book. Still, he's handsome in a scruffy way that matches the character from the novel pretty well and he definitely captures the roguish charm and gruff demeanor I associate with Cormoran.
Now, do I like the show? I'm still on the fence. Having already read the story, it's entertaining to see how they've adapted it. There are a lot of early references to events that we don't learn about until the later books, which are fun.
Unfortunately, I think that if I wasn't familiar with the characters, I probably wouldn't have watched past the first episode. The characters are very likable, but the execution of the story and the direction are way too conventional for a story that is in itself already very conventional. There are sooooo many shots of Cormoran walking that I feel like the episodes would last half as long if you cut those scenes out. The whole enterprise doesn't have much personality either. It doesn't feel necesary as it doesn't add anything to the genre, instead looking like dozens of British detective shows that have come before. The novels at least had the very addictive J.K. Rowling's signature writing but Strike lacks a distinctive voice. A way more dynamic direction and/or a more eclectic score or original cinematography would definitely have been welcome, spicing up those episodes a little.
Still, on the basis of casting alone, it's a satisfying adaptation, so if you've liked the novels, you should still check it out. And if you haven't but like British detective shows and are not too demanding, it'll be right up your alley.