FThey rarely take kindly to changes made to their favorite books during the adaptation process.but in bringing chemistry course On Apple TV+, showrunner Lee Eisenberg has filled in some plot holes, explained some convoluted twists and taken the politics of the era more seriously than the original.
The show follows the same trajectory as the original: In the 1950s and 1960s, a woman named Elizabeth Zott aspires to become a scientist but faces systemic sexism, especially misogyny and obstacles such as abusive bosses. But she finds an ally in a fellow scientist named Calvin, and the two eventually become romantically involved. This book is a mix of genres: it’s a romantic comedy with tear-jerking elements, and it’s also a historical novel with a mystery twist. Oh, and there’s a talking dog, or at least a dog with an internal monologue. Bonnie Game’s debut novel became an instant bestseller.
The show has a more diverse cast than the original, and thankfully the storylines for the secondary characters have been beefed up. For example, Calvin and Elizabeth’s neighbor Harriet is no longer a nosy neighbor who spies on Elizabeth out of boredom. Instead, she was a true friend to Calvin, leading an independent life as a lawyer and civil rights advocate. Calvin’s pen pal, Minister Wakeley, joins Elizabeth in pondering the conflict between faith and science.
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But some of the best changes from books to TV are the small changes to the central romantic relationships.although chemistry courseThe lessons in feminism can sometimes feel therapeutic, and Brie Larson plays no-nonsense scientist Elizabeth Zotte to perfection. Lewis Pullman provides a convincing counterweight to his portrayal. Calvin. Here are the major changes from the books to the show in the first two episodes of the series, focusing on their love story.Maybe there are some lessons here that other books can adapt Don’t Stay also Stay true to the source material.
Calvin and Elizabeth met at a beauty pageant, not a play
Calvin and Elizabeth’s adorable encounter is similar in the book and TV show. The two clashed when Elizabeth stole some supplies that Calvin provided for her lab, reasoning that he wouldn’t use all of his equipment anyway. Calvin thought Elizabeth was a secretary, not a scientist. But when Calvin accidentally vomits on Elizabeth, the two meet again, and Elizabeth takes him home to care for him.
In the book, the infamous vomiting incident occurs during a play. The television show invented a new scene: the Little Miss Hastings beauty pageant hosted by Elizabeth’s employer, Hastings Laboratories. Elizabeth was forced to participate simply because she was a woman. The addition of the pageant provided an opportunity for the show’s writers to not only highlight the myriad sexist demands of Elizabeth’s job that prevented her from conducting actual research, but also gave Calvin a chance to notice Elizabeth as she seemed to be active He was immediately fascinated by the fact that she was the only disaffected woman in the group. Soon, the audience learns that Elizabeth is different from the other women in the lab and that Calvin is different from the other men. You can see where things are going.
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Calvin and Elizabeth were able to develop real chemistry
In the book, the romance between Calvin and Elizabeth feels a little stunted. After all, they are super logical people. Their talk about protons and neutrons was not motivated by passion. When the two do open up to each other, like talking about how they’re both (essentially) orphans before bed, these moments can feel forced or out of character.
The show spends a lot of time developing the flirtation between Calvin and Elizabeth and finding the moments that allow them to connect.Scenarios such as There’s no Calvin teaching Elizabeth to swim in the book, but it does capture their courtship and (yes) chemistry in a succinct way. They could be so close in this empty pool in a way that they couldn’t be in other settings during that particular time. It’s hard not to be mesmerized watching them fall in love while kissing chastely in period-appropriate bathing suits.
Calvin did not propose to Elizabeth
In the book, Calvin proposes to Elizabeth in the workplace cafeteria—an odd choice considering Elizabeth’s adamant stance that she doesn’t want to get married. They are completely isolated from their colleagues in other aspects of their lives. Considering Calvin’s withdrawn and socially awkward personality, it makes no sense that he would choose to propose to Elizabeth in such a public place, even if he made the decision by chance. This led to one of their biggest arguments, which was quickly resolved when they agreed to move in together.
In the adaptation, Calvin does buy an engagement ring, but he never actually works up the courage to show it to Elizabeth. When Elizabeth told him she didn’t want marriage or children—she believed it would mean the end of her career, and she wasn’t wrong—he found a way to accept her choice and find satisfaction in it. Rather than fighting over her apparent rejection, as in the book, Calvin happily agrees that as long as they are together, they will be happy.
This is a 1950s feminist pixie dream husband, but it does make Calvin more likable. This is an important part of the story so that when Calvin dies in an accident while running with his dog, the audience can understand the depth of Elizabeth’s loss.
Calvin’s friendship with Harriet creates a bond between Elizabeth and Harriet
To help alleviate the illusion of Calvin as a completely liberal partner in the 1950s, the show gives Calvin some friendships outside of his relationship with Elizabeth and shows him as a flawed partner. In the book, Calvin is a total loner. But in the play, we see that Calvin has a close relationship with his neighbor Harriet, even helping to take care of her children. But he also let her down after agreeing to help her publicity efforts. He had blind spots that even well-meaning white people of the era had. Through this friendship, we learn more about Calvin as a potential partner for Elizabeth.
Pre-existing friendships also integrate Harriet into the story. Harriet would play an important role in Elizabeth’s later life. Considering Calvin died at the end of episode two, it makes sense that Harriet would visit a neighbor’s grieving partner instead of popping up out of pure nosy.