Apple TV’s Roar is based on a collection of feminist short stories by author Cecelia Ahern. Out of Roar’s 8 fables, only 6 were taken from the book.
Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Roar.
Roar tells the stories of 8 women and their surreal experiences living with the social realities of the world, and each of its tales is based on a book that was published in 2018. That book is Cecelia Ahern’s Roar, a compilation of 30 different feminist fables that combine the genres of social reality, horror, romance, comedy, and magic realism. Apart from Ahern’s 2018 short story collection, Roar also draws inspiration from shows such as Man Seeking Woman, Ugly Americans, Twilight Zone, Love, Death, & Robots, and Black Mirror.
That being said, Roar might be in its own unique category of surreal, genre-bending television. Roar was developed by GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who worked directly with Ahern in adapting the short stories for the screen. The result of this collaboration is a series that’s undoubtedly loyal to the core themes and messages of the book.
Roar‘s 8 stories each examine a different aspect of womanhood. 6 out of the 8 stories were directly lifted from Ahern’s 30 feminist fables, with small changes to the source material. Only 2 of Roar‘s stories were originally made for the show. This includes Roar season 1, episode 6 “The Woman Who Solved Her Own Murder,” which added detective / murder mystery into the show’s long list of genres. Meanwhile, Roar season 1, episode 8 “The Girl Who Loved Horses,” which is a classic Western revenge story, transports the viewer to a different time period in lieu of magic realism. While the series is mostly based on the book, its changes to the source material have allowed for the expansion of the original work’s overarching political themes.
Currently, Apple TV + has only directly adapted 6 out of the 30 stories in Ahern’s book. Whether or not Roar becomes a massive hit on the platform, this means that there’s more than enough material in Ahern’s book for several seasons. For now, there’s no word yet on when Roar season 2 will be officially released.
Roar is a fine example of how onscreen adaptations of popular books can make the source material even better. This is a crucial lesson in an era where it’s becoming more and more popular for studios to turn books, comic books, and other printed media into series and films. Future series or movie adaptations of any literature may consider taking a page from Roar and directly involve the original author in developing content for the streaming era.
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Roar season 1 is streaming now on Apple TV +.
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