Douglas Coupland, Canadian author, talks about the TV adaptation of JPOD

Douglas Coupland is the best selling Canadian author of Generation X, Microserfs and JPod. Known for his comic take on life and associated pop culture, he had never taken any of his novels to the small screen until now. He is currently adapting JPod, which was published 2006, as a television series. He is producing it with veteran Canadian producers JB and Larry Sugar (I’m Feeling Lucky Productions). The show is distributed by Fireworks International.

The 13-episode show was greenlit by the Canadian public broadcaster the CBC after a bidding war with a rival network. The book and TV series tell the story of a group of videogame programmers through a series of diary entries. A second season is expected to be given the go ahead in January.

Did you ever consider turning JPOD into a television series when you were writing the book?

Oh, God no. I only ever think of my books as books. But I do think it makes a wonderful adaptation.

Would you consider adapting any of your other books into TV or film?

I can see some of them as films. Hey Nostrodamus and Eleanor Rigby would be great films. But the books still have to be conceived as books, they can’t see seen as a trailer for TV. I have to keep the two realms separate.

How would you describe the show?

The tone of the show contains drama and comedy in a sweet and heartfelt way. It’s a hyper reality.

What other television series would you compare it to?

I really hope that everyone who sees it says it’s like nothing before.

You often reference The Simpsons; have you tried to target the same audience?

I’m too close to it to say who it will appeal to but I know if you try to please everyone you’ll please no one.

JPOD’s a very modern tale, were you tempted to take it online?

I am the king of digression. God bless the website. There are always wonderful moments that no-one sees on the television and no-one watches the extra bits on the DVD. The JPOD site is a garden of wonderful asides.

What did you learn while making JPOD the series?

One thing we learned is that it’s very hard to dispose of a dead body in a modern city.