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27 December 2010 @ 10:38 pm
Holiday TVS rant  
It's been a nice Christmas season on TVO for costume drama lovers like my mum and I. On Christmas eve, they showed Persuasion (the newest one, the one that has Rupert Penry-Jones and is shot pretty much entirely up Sally Hawkins' nose), followed by The Old Curiosity Shop (I missed most of it due to struggling with my sweet potato recipe for Christmas dinner), followed by Oliver Twist. Mum and I watched the first part of Oliver, but the second came right after and was on until 2:00AM, so we dvr'd it and watched it on Christmas night. It was wonderful! It had Timothy Spall as Fagan, Sophie Okenado as Nancy and Tom Hardy as Bill Sykes. Tom Hardy blew me away. I've never seen him in anything before, but he was wonderful in a very thankless role. He was the perfect handsome asshole and though you never sympathized with him, he managed to play it so that he was a human and not just a moustache-twirling villain. I was very impressed

Last night was a documentary on the history of costume dramas on TVO, followed by the new Doctor Who Christmas Special on Space, which I loved mightily. It says something that my favourite Eleven stories are the ones that feature Amy the least. I really think Matt Smith came into his own as the Doctor in last series' finale and I'm starting to like him a lot. He's got his timing down really well and I like his absent-minded, all-over-the-place-and-back-again energy. The story was bittersweet, in fine Who tradition, and probably the Christmassy-ist Christmas special we've had. I thought the special effects were way better than I've seen before, too.

Tonight on TVO they started the Little Dorrit marathon, which is continuing for most of the week. We'd seen it on PBS when they showed it, but missed the first episode and were kind of lost throughout it, so we thought we'd watch it from the beginning this time. However, during the second episode we discovered that PBS had cut out huge chunks of the story, which explains why it never made sense to us.

So, with The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, a Whovian take on A Christmas Carol and Little Dorrit, it's been, appropriately, a very Dickens Christmas.
 
 
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Kat Reads Anything She Bloody Well Wants Tobookblather on December 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Ugh, I hate that version of Persuasion. Much prefer the 1995 version, although I must say Anthony Stewart Head is a surprisingly fabulous bit of casting.

I have heard so many excellent things about the Christmas special, though! Cannot wait to see it.
The Writer They Call Tay: Dresden: Harry confusedawanderingbard on December 28th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
I remember starting to watch the 1995 Persuasion when I was younger and getting bored and turning it off. I might give it a try now that I'm older. I've only just recently discovered that I can read Austen now and follow it, so perhaps some of the less 'ooh sparkly' adaptations will be more appealing to me.

I think the newer version would be so, so much better if they hadn't decided to shoot it like a documentary. Shaky-cam and Austen do not go together. And, like I said, the whole thing was shot up Sally Hawkins' nose.
Kat Reads Anything She Bloody Well Wants Tobookblather on December 28th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely. I don't really have a problem with the cast, necessarily (although I do have issues with the people they cast as the Crofts, but that's a long story), but the directing style was all wrong for Austen. They were constantly playing up the OMGZ DRAMAH, and even if Persuasion was one of Austen's more dramatic works (which prize, IMO, goes to Northanger Abbey), Austen is not really the OMGZ DRAMAH type of author. Just didn't work all around.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on December 28th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
I have to say, despite not liking that particular version of Persuasion, it was probably the first thing Rupert Penry Jones ever did that got my attention and held it. I'd always thought of him as a weak actor but his Captain Wentworth was surprisingly engaging for me.

I loved Tom Hardy in Oliver Twist. I've actually been a bit of a Tom Hardy fan since Cape Wrath and now Inception and yes, so much agreement that he managed to bring some amount of shading to an otherwise completely thankless role. You might enjoy the latest Wuthering Heights that stars Hardy as Heathcliff. I didn't like it all that much myself but I think it had more to do with the story as I've always loathed Wuthering Heights.
The Writer They Call Tay: Buzzcocks: Welsh accents are hardawanderingbard on December 28th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that version of Persuasion was the weakest of the new Austen adaptations they did. There was nothing wrong with the actors, but the docu-style camera work and the long silences were not suited to Jane Austen's quick witted dialogue. However, Mum, Ama and I all concluded that we would like to see moar Captain Wentworth.

I have that version of Wuthering Heights on my Ziplist, though who knows when it will arrived. They've been steadfastly refusing to send me North & South for months and I want my Richard Armitage fix, damnit!

I just tried to read Wuthering Heights a couple of weeks ago. I've read Jane Eyre and really loved it, so I thought I'd give WH a try as well. But after I finally figured out the 'story told to me as told by somebody as told to them by somebody' narration, I just kept going 'these people are crazy. This is not romantic. This is disturbing. These people are mentally ill.' and decided to give it up. It reminded me of Twilight in that way. Really disturbing relationships that people seem to think are epically romantic.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on December 28th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
You can also catch Tom Hardy and Sophie Okonedo in a slightly power dynamic in this film's clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlS9HT3lWqs

I have to say, Scenes of a Sexual Nature stars everyone and their mother and it really never goes anywhere. But it's always fun to play spot the familiar actor.

This is not romantic. This is disturbing. These people are mentally ill.' and decided to give it up. It reminded me of Twilight in that way. Really disturbing relationships that people seem to think are epically romantic.

YES. Oh my god, yes. The first time I read WH, I was disturbed that this was considered an epic romance when it just felt uber creepy and obsessive. Can't really say the WH with Hardy changed my mind, but good acting all around, I thought. Plus, it had Burn Gorman and I always grin at seeing Owen again.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on December 29th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I think I prefer scruffy Tom Hardy to clean shaven Tom Hardy. But his very British teeth remain adorable.

With WH, I get why maybe when it was first released, in a time where you were more refined and repressed and didn't show your emotions, these people who were passionate and emotional and madly in love would be considered romantic. In modern times, though, it's not romantic that they have to watch Cathy to make sure she won't jump out of a window when Heathcliff leaves. It's just disturbing.