Watching: ‘Looking for Alaska.’

I am really late to using streaming services for TV and movies. I still have cable and I still very much enjoy using it — and I’m not ashamed!

But, Hulu had a holiday sale at the end of 2020, making their monthly subscription $2/month for a year. I signed up and there’s sooooo much stuff on there to watch.

Because I still watch a lot of shows on regular cable, though, it takes me a little bit to make room for the shows exclusive to streaming. But last week, I finished watching “Looking for Alaska” which is a Hulu exclusive.

The show is based off a book of the same name by John Green. I love all of his books but this one holds a special place in my heart. I remember hearing that the book was sold to make a movie and I was so excited.

But then it fell through and I later heard that it would be a TV series. And then I felt like I never heard anything else about it. So, when I logged onto Hulu and was browsing to see what I should watch, I gasped when I saw it!

I think I was holding off on watching it, though, because I was scared I wasn’t going to like it… and (not a spoiler alert), but the story is pretty sad and I wasn’t sure I could deal with it.

But, I finally started watching it and was hooked from episode one.

“Looking for Alaska” is eight episodes, with each episode being between 30-40 minutes long. The story focuses on Miles Halter — aka “Pudge” — as he searched for his very own “great perhaps.” He starts his journey at Culver Creek Boarding School where he meets a nearly-instant group of new friends including the Colonel and Alaska.

Alaska is one of those girls that changes everything — and everyone — she meets. And Pudge is no exception to this rule. With a new group of friends and challenging studies, Culver Creek just might be Pudge’s very own great perhaps.

But his life will always be marked by a single incident; there’s the life he had before it and the life he’ll have after it. Both changed forever.

The Hulu adaptation is VERY close to the book. At first, I wasn’t so sure, but it’s been many years since I read the book, so I figured I could be simply forgetting.

As I kept watching, I remembered specific parts from the book that were indeed in the show. Once I finished watching the show, I pulled out my copy of the book and flipped through it. Sure enough, there are many direct quotes from the book.

I should’ve known that John Green probably kept a tight grip on the plot and writing.

Have you seen this show and/or read the book? Do you usually enjoy film or TV adaptations?

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  1. Liz

    I just started reading the book! I’m a high school teacher and I’m thinking about teaching it next school year with The Catcher in the Rye as a companion novel (same, but different). I want to watch the show, as well, but I have to finish the book first.

      1. thebitterlemon

        I actually went down a rabbit hole of banned books and there’s so many good ones — some I’ve read and some I’ve heard are good — including Catcher in the Rye AND Looking for Alaska 🧐

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