It’s another edition of things you can watch with your grandmom! I do not intend this list to be as such every Friday, but it’s been a tough week for me and I need the comfort of a “period” piece. I actually started watching these shows a few years ago every month during my own period. I am that committed to a living a punny life here, people. There is something so soothing about long ago class issues and rustling skirts. It can almost make you forget the current class issues and state of off the rack fashion, almost.
So here, in no particular order, I bring you some of my favorite Masterpiece Theater Classic miniseries. Is miniseries plural? Or would it be miniseriesssss?, miniseriez? Look, I don’t know, I just know you should watch ’em & let the modern world just slip away.
1. Wuthering Heights: This version stars Tom Hardy. He’s more of a house hold name now, but when I first saw this I couldn’t remember where I had first seen him and it was driving me crazy. Then I remembered halfway through the first episode that he was in Star Trek: Nemesis.
I love that Tom Hardy’s Healthcliff is creepy and weird, I have never understood the romanticism with which people have talked about Heathcliff. Unless it’s Healthcliff the cat, that’s a whole different story. I often feel like I am missing some kind of component that makes me think things that are creepy are romantic, i.e. 50 Shades of Grey & Twilight. So I really appreciated that this was a bit more on my wave length.
2. Wives & Daughters: Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell book. An excellent story & production all the way around, but it’s a must watch for Michael Gambon. Seriously, if you don’t cry like a baby while watching him then I think you are reading the wrong blog. You want to google heartless robot blog and see what kind of matches come up for you.
3. Bleak House: Based on the Dickens novel. This show is SO good. It has Wedge Antilles AND Scully! If you don’t know who either of them are, you are reading the wrong blog too. I don’t even know what to tell you to google, because WHO ARE YOU?
4. The Forsyte Saga: This story. It’s rare that you could ever like such a horrible character as Soames Forsyte. I don’t know whether it is Damien Lewis’s acting prowess or the original text by John Galsworthy but I found myself kicking myself for pitying and feeling special feelings for Soames. I still haven’t watched the second series, even though the Netflix disc has been on top of my DVD for the better part of a year.
5. North & South: Based on another Elizabeth Gaskell book, which I have read. I really really loved this book, and I was kind of bummed that the actress cast to play Margaret kind of looks like she might have gone to the dentist and had her mouth numbed before they started shooting. You have to go watch it to see what I mean.
6. Daniel Deronda: Based on the book by George Eliot. Um, lemme think, it’s been a little while since I have watched this… It has Jews, Barbara Hershey wearing a lot of lace, um, I think it was good? I know I liked the story between Romola Garai & Hugh Bonneville. By like I mean, it was interesting, not that it was happy or lovely, because it was neither.
7. The Buccaneers: Based on the Edith Wharton book. I saw this quite awhile ago, but I remember liking it. I can’t remember if Mira Sorvino was the only actress I liked or if she was the only one I hated. This story is about 4 wealthy girls who travel to London to try to land established husbands. I have recently read a few romance novels with the same theme, so I am getting them all jumbled in my brain. This one has Guy Wise though, so that’s nice.
8. Middle March: Another series based on a novel by George Eliot. What’s not to love about a story where the main character has the nickname Dodo? Dorothea, one of the characters we follow, is bright and pretty. She just wants to use her mind, but people & social mores keep getting her down. Then there’s Dr. Lydgate who also just wants to use his mind, but uses another piece of his anatomy instead. It’s a good’un go watch it!
9. Downton Abbey: Well, everyone who is anyone has been talking about this show. The second season aired this year on PBS. It’s enjoyable enough, I just didn’t LOVE it like a lot of people do. I’m not sure why I didn’t connect to it. Maybe I should watch it again tonight. I think Maggie Smith is absolutely amazing in everything, but I do really love her Dowager Countess Violet Grantham.