E: Didja miss me? I’m home from vacation and ready to chat about the last ripped-from-the headlines episode, a sordid tale of computer activists, the internet and our incredibly depressing justice system. Let’s go back in time. Continue reading
E: Here we are with the second in our series on the Oscar nominees, winners, and the performances that were unjustly forgotten. To see our thoughts on the supporting actor category, go here.
MMGF: So, here we have one of our, shall we say, less competitive competitions? And the Academy obliged by giving us who we all expected.
E: If you and I were at a party together, chances are good the talk would turn to books and movies and TV (let’s face it, if we’re at the same party, that’s going to happen) as well as adaptations of books into movies and TV. That’s my idea of a nerdy good time, and happily it’s not an uncommon occurrence. And so if you and I were standing together in a friend’s kitchen at this hypothetical party, I would probably say to you what I’ve said many times on this blog – that when I really love a book it takes multiple viewings of the film adaptation before I can even appreciate the work for what it is, because my mind is so busy reconstructing and reordering the original.
You probably know the kind of adjustment process I mean. For instance, Faramir wasn’t supposed to be tempted by the ring, and how many years later does that sin against his nature rankle? If I decide to read all the Song of Ice and Fire novels before the current season of Game of Thrones finishes airing, will the show be as much shocking fun if I know what’s coming? Also, why do the muttations look like hopped-up pit bulls instead of tribute-flavored wolves, do you think – is that for distance from Twilight’s werewolves, and does it really matter? Holy cow, do you realize that the 2005 version totally relocated the moment when the leads fall in love from Pemberley to the ballroom at Netherfield? That’s blasphemy! Heck, I still can’t figure out whether The Hobbit was a good movie or not and it’s been how many months?
But strangely enough, that trouble with adaptation turned out to be the greatest gift of the lately completed Pride and Prejudice modernization, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which I loved unreservedly and mourn in the same fashion. What made them so wonderful, in some ways, was the previously unknown-to-me miracle of book-to-web-series translation. Twice a week (sometimes more, O blessed months of January and February!) I received an perfect bite-sized portion of one of my favorite novels updated as a modern vlog, easily accessed online so I could watch again and again, so I could break down the beats and the sentences and decide how I felt about them. I wasn’t struggling under the weighty challenge of figuring out the whole adaptation at once. With each unfolding petal, there was anticipation, there was the chance to debate, there was room to appreciate (or disapprove) the choices the creative team made. And because it’s a modernization as well as an adaptation, the possibilities for wonderful surprises seemed even larger. Somehow, it was more thrilling that I knew generally what was coming, and could speculate endlessly on the precise details.
In short, it was heaven. I think it is my new favorite mode of adaptation.
M: We’re getting to the end of the box office doldrums. May officially starts the summer movie season, even if those of us in the northeast are still waiting impatiently for the “early” spring that Punxsutawney Phil promised us well over six weeks ago. With that said, April usually tosses in one or two things to get the ball rolling. I can’t speak for my sisters, but this year there’s one movie I’m really looking forward to, and one that I’m intrigued by against my better judgement. We’ll get to those. Once again, this is not a full and complete list, just the big films, and the small ones that may have piqued one of our interests.
E: So, okay, nobody got punched, which is kind of a shame, but I can get behind this episode. Colin Sweeney pulled his usual squirm-inducing shenanigans. Kurt McVeigh was terse and manly in Marlborough Man mode, and Isobel Swift was manipulative, unapologetic-ally sexual and if nothing else, entertaining in her Pin Up Girl/Jessica Rabbit style. I wouldn’t have said it was possible, but newbie investigator Robyn has wormed her way even further into my affections. We got some excellent and underused combinations from the L&G team, which will always get kudos from me: Diane and Kalinda, Cary and Robyn. My favorite new judge from this season reappears; you guys wouldn’t misinterpret my affection as approval, would you? Because that’s not how it is with this show. Really, after last week’s emotional blow out, I simply enjoyed this week’s mostly light, zippy fun.
Oh, and so much for the knock out blow to the love triangle. Prepare yourself for a little temper tantrum.