Book to Tele

My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed the video series for Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society.

All the actors have done fine work portraying the characters. Tony Hale, most notably, has done a fantastic job playing the twins. He acts out a convincing slob as Nicholas, and a highly believable clean freak as Nathaniel. His parts as the twins are excellent, but wisely not too time-hoarding. The other characters and actors get a fair amount of time on the screen.

This paragraph (and from here on) contains spoilers—so if you haven’t read the books or seen the series, you may not want to read any more of this post. The latest offering of The Mysterious Benedict Society television series ends with a hilarious line from Nathaniel, who only recently had a change of heart from being the bad guy. He says, “We have a sister, and she’s not as nice as me.”

Great cliffhanger! Excellent use of new information as an element of suspense.

My worry here though, is that all the work to make the series great could be undone if Tony Hale plays the sister. He’s a talented actor, no doubt, and he’s great at acting different people, but they really should get a female to play the part of the sister. Sure it could be funny if the sister ends up looking just like the twins (facial hair and all?), but there wouldn’t be much tension between the characters if they’re all played by the same guy. It would make the whole thing too silly and novelty, you know? Like we’ve gone this far with quality characters and quality acting, and now it’s going to be just one guy playing the whole family? It would bring the series down to a level where it parodies itself, and that would lose my interest in a big hurry.

Regardless, and because, of my worry, I’m sure it’s evident that I’m invested in the show. They’ve done well to bring this series of books to a series of television shows. Hopefully it will continue in quality.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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