Looking for Alaska Review

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Late last month Hulu released a television adaptation for John Green’s first novel “Looking for Alaska”. After multiple delays from the producers, it was finally released on Oct. 18. While other works of Green have been released in movie format, this is the first to be adapted as a television series.
The show featured high quality, young actors as lead characters, who played their roles expertly. For much of the young group, this was their first breakout series. Charlie Plummer and Kristine Froseth played the leading roles as Miles and Alaska respectively, and the more minor characters were still played by wonderful actors. To even out the young cast, some veterans were added as role models to their young adult counterparts.
The basis of the series and the novel is that Florida-born Miles Halter, who has an affinity for the last words of famous people, moves to a boarding school in middle-of-nowhere Alabama to escape his old life. At his new school Miles gains the nickname “Pudge” and becomes friends with the campus misfits, namely Alaska, Takumi, and Chip. The tetrad leads some of the most enjoyable pranks against the “weekend-warriors”, the group of students whose socio-economic status far exceeds the rest of the student body. Along the way Pudge becomes incredibly close with Alaska, even staying on campus for Thanksgiving rather than returning home to his parents.
As the group becomes closer to each other and lifelong bonds begin to be made, a tragic event occurs that launches the group into downward spiral of depression and confusion. The group tries to find themselves in an unforgiving world.
Major themes of the novel include mental illness in young adults, which is clearly seen in the main characters, and the meaning of life, which is tackled by two high schoolers, ultimately ending in no real progress. As the characters look upon past writers and novels to determine their meaning, one work stands out to them, “The General in His Labyrinth”. This becomes a significant part of the life of Alaska, which, in turn, drives the plot of the story by leading her to make a connection with Pudge.
Most critics often characterize television shows or movies based on novels as bad or shortcoming, this is not the case for Looking for Alaska. The events that unfold and the emotions surrounding the characters are even better when displayed on a screen. The series follows nearly every detail of the book, making one of the best Hulu originals to grace the platform.
Looking for Alaska is a great change of pace compared to the rambunctious stories of war, drugs, and death that plague modern media. This series was carefully thought out, and deliberately made to make the consumer think about their life and hopefully change it for the better. Overall this is one of the best television adaptations in the past 5 years, and it should be exciting to see what’s in store for John Green in the future. Looking for Alaska deserves a 4 out of 5 spartans heads because of it amazing detailing of modern problems that affect the lives of hundreds of people all across the world.