Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Period Drama Challenge -- March Tag

Old-Fashioned Charm
Going into April, the Period Drama Challenge is still on at Old-Fashioned Charm! At this point, I have submitted seven reviews (four of them being of my Pallisers review series). Here is the March tag for the Period Drama Challenge:

1. What period dramas have you watched in March? 
I haven't had much opportunity to watch anything new in March since school has gotten so busy lately (I'm working on a big sewing project right now for one of my classes which I will post about when I'm done with it).

But on Easter (the last day of March), I caught the first episode (first two U.K. episodes) of Mr. Selfridge on PBS. It's based on Harry Gordon Selfridge, the man who founded London's first department store, Selfridge & Co. Since one of my majors is a business major (Accounting specifically), I find the business aspect of it very interesting and how Mr. Selfridge markets his products. But one of the low points of the show is Mr. Selfridge's personal life (which I'm not entirely convinced is true because I didn't read anything similar about it online). And another low point is some of the content: there were some scenes I found unnecessary and something that would make a TV-PG show TV-14 (but then, what do you expect from Andrew Davies?).

2. How many adaptations of Jane Eyre have you seen? Do you have a favorite? 
Various screenshots from Jane Eyre (1983)
I've seen three versions all the way through (1996, 1944, and 1983) and clips from three additional versions (1997, 1973, and 2011). Since Jane Eyre isn't my favorite story, I'm not sure I would call any a favorite period drama of mine, but if I had to pick a favorite Jane Eyre, it would probably be the 1983 version for it's accuracy to the original novel. Even though Timothy Dalton annoys me (but then again, so does Mr. Rochester, so he must have done something right ;-P ), this was still one of the best versions out there.

3. Do you prefer period drama villains who are cleverly cunning or downright diabolical? 
Not that I like villains at all, but if I have to pick, cleverly cunning. Sure, the villain could act like a complete jerk, but at the very least, you could say that he thought things through and was clever. Besides, a diabolical villain is always the worst kind of villain: a cleverly cunning villain has a small chance of being misunderstood, but a diabolical one doesn't have much of a chance of it.

4. How often does watching a period drama make you want to read the book it's based on? 
Very often. I know I'm going to anger some people by saying this, but nine times out of ten I watch the period drama before reading the book. I like that after I see the period drama and then read the book that I can keep events straight in the book as I'm reading them (plus I notice the differences from the book and movie and I remember them). But why do I bother reading the book after seeing the adaptation? Well, I want to get more of the details that the adaptation leaves out, like why a character acts the way they do.

5. What older period drama would you like to see a remake of?
Promotional shot of Fanny Price from the play
version of Mansfield Park
One that I haven't seen: Mansfield Park. It makes the most sense: there is at least one good adaptation of each Jane Austen except Mansfield Park (though the 1983 version, from what I understand, is close, but it was made in the 80s, so it looks outdated). Plus, from what I understand, none of the adaptations got Fanny quite right. The actress that plays Fanny in the play version that is touring England right now looks like she would be perfect!

From the 2007 Northanger Abbey: great casting, lousy script.
But of one that I have seen: definitely Northanger Abbey. When I read Northanger Abbey, I loved it! However, there doesn't seem to be a definitive adaptation of it. I heard that the 80s version was not very good (even horrid), and while the 2007 version had great casting, the script left much to be desired. What I would love to see is a version of Northanger Abbey (preferably a miniseries) with great casting AND a great script. But I think Mansfield Park would have priority over Northanger Abbey for a new adaptation.

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Aw! This was fun. I'm going to be watching Mr. Shelfridge soon but as you mention most don't much care for it. I saw The Paradise (which is sadly not available in the U.S. now) and really liked it - it's a similar story.

    My favorite 'Jane' version is either the 80's or 2011 adaptation - and I like Dalton in the role however if the character annoys you, than he does the role justice. LOL! ;)

  2. Mmmm, I love the '83 JE.

    Anyway, I love watching an adaptation before reading the book! Because if I read the book first, I might get annoyed by interpretations or things that got left out, but if I watch the movie first, then I get to discover new and better stuff in the book. And then I like both!


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