I’m quite enjoying watching the Cranford mini-series. It reminds me of the time I was living in downtown Orlando, interning, and would catch whatever Masterpiece series was running on PBS with my roommate. We watched a lot of Dickens, eating big bowls of ice cream (which were usually preceded by big bowls of, er, pot). But! Why is it that the Beeb can find these wonderful books to adapt (in this case Elizabeth Gaskell’s), which are compelling and with the right balance of humor/pathos, and all we Americans seem to manage to make are ripped-from-the-headlines stories about abused and/or vengeful suburbanites for Lifetime that inevitably star Meredith Baxter Birney or Daphne Zuniga (and which were brilliantly spoofed on 30 Rock)?
Surely there are some celebrated, but not uber-famous novels from the late 19th/early 20th century that would be ideal for adaptation? But would it play in Skokie? Eh, fuck it, let’s just watch Valerie Bertinelli battle for custody of her surrogate child over a nice box of Franzia and call it a day.