Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, April 07, 2008

The second slice of Sense & Sensibility is just as sweet as the first

PBS completed their Masterpiece Theater run of The Complete Jane Austen last night with the airing of Part Two of Sense and Sensibility,which ended rather well.

Hattie Morahan's Emma Thompson like tones were not as pronounced here,allowing her to express Elinor's pain at watching her sister suffer under the scrutiny of society due to Willoughby's slimy dealings and not being able to open her own heart about Edward and Lucy Steele.

Some of new additions to the plot,courtesy of Andrew Davies,were most beneficial to Col. Brandon,allowing him to duel with that cad Willoughby not only for Marianne's honor but as later reveled,the honor of his ward whom we saw seduced before the opening credits.

To be honest,I don't quite recall if there was even such a public fight alluded to in the book(it's been awhile since I reread it,probably should this spring)but I thought it was nicely done,plus who doesn't love a good sword fight,I ask you?:

There are a good number of scenes that are faithful to the book and a key one is the talk between Elinor and Willoughby during the aftermath of Marianne's illness,in which he professes his love for Marianne and whines about being married to a woman he "despises" and having no choice because his aunt found out about his "affair".

It's a major moment that the Emma Thompson version didn't have(her take on the character sympathizes more with him)and I can see why,since he reveals himself to be a selfish,spoiled brat-child whimpering about how things didn't work out for him and now he has to suffer with a rich wife while ignoring the poor girl he knocked up,plus not getting Marianne,boo-hoo! Elinor showed true restraint by not bitchslapping him across the face,in my humble opinion:



In the end,all turns out as it should,with both Dashwood sisters getting the men they want and deserve(and vice versa). Overall,this was a nice updating of S&S and even with not every supporting character being highlighted(which can not be helped with the time constraints of the format),there were plenty of joys to be found.

The ending could've been a little more romantic,plus I would have liked to see where Mrs. Dashwood and Margaret ended up(most likely with Marianne and Brandon at Delaford) but hey,why be fussy? The story was served well,which is what really matters in the end.

So now that Masterpiece Theater is done with Our Dear Jane,there are still some good literary adaptations coming this spring to PBS that could be worth a look. Another Andrew Davies scripted film is A Room With A View(due next week)and Daniel Radcliffe will be starring in My Boy Jack. Speaking of Radcliffe,some of his Harry Potter co-stars will be featured in May as part of the cast of Cranford,based upon Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of small town life.

Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon team up with Judi Dench,Eileen Atkins and Francesca Annis to bring Gaskell's characters to life. I love it that Gaskell has been getting such lavish attention from the BBC in recent years(and I really should read her books and not just let them lie there in my TBR pile!);I saw Wives and Daughters a few years ago and adored it. I've also heard good things about North and South from many others,so Cranford looks like a real treat:

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