I Love You to Masterpieces

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.

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6 Responses to I Love You to Masterpieces

  1. Jungle Julia says:

    Well we do have Edgar Allan Poe. At lease we know how to scare the shit out of people.

  2. Do you know if “The Way We Live Now” by Anthony Trollope has ever been adapted (of course I’ve been meaning to google it, but saw your post…) I’m just about done reading (which is to say, sometimes skimming) it. But it’s a fucking great story of the rise and fall of a business tycoon and a rather large cast of characters in 1870s London; lots of great class and psychological analysis that would totally play today; oh and much deliciously bitchy dialogue from some of the aristocratic ladies (the heinously antisemitic Lady Monogram is timeless) that makes it feel much gayer (and less dated) than Dickens.

  3. OK, it’s already a mastepiece theater, but! Good news, it seems to be scheduled to air next month (first time since 2002?) so I’m pretty excited. (I hope it’s good.) Someone should still redo it and set it in modern times.

  4. ephemerist says:

    @GR: Ooh, I have not read the Trollope book but I’m keen now to keep an eye out for it when they re-broadcast. Thanks for the heads up! Also: anything is gayer than Dickens!

  5. Franzia + The New Yorker = trouble… lord knows about franzia and a mini-series!!!

  6. ephemerist says:

    Franzia + mini-series probably equals divorce papers being served!

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