Showing posts with label Elizabeth Gaskell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elizabeth Gaskell. Show all posts

Friday, August 7, 2015

Web series: the good, the eh...okay, and the lovely stories

Hello lovely readers,

Lately I have been enjoying web series, I mostly watch the ones about adaptations of books I enjoy, but there are many series out there with original plot lines. For this "Frivolous Friday" I wanted to share the ones I have loved and the ones I thought were "eh...okay". Even if I thought the stories were "eh...okay" I am still impressed by people taking works of classic literature and bringing them into the 21st century.

The ones I love:

The first would be the Lizzie Bennet Diaries it was the web series that introduced me to this whole concept. And I think it set a pretty high standard for those who followed it. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an updated version of Pride Prejudice (pretty obvious) but it is not just a web series, in fact it had multiple spin of Lydia Bennet where we get insight into her character, one of Pemberly Digital where we see Georgiana and Darcy interact and get insight into what he does to save Lydia.

The next one is Emma Approved, the updated version of Emma. In this version she is not just busybody but she is kind of like a life coach, trying to improve the lives around her. Her business partner is Alex Knightley, and she frequently teases him about handling the boring stuff. 
Many of the web series have their own tumblr and twitter accounts you can follow in order to keep up with the characters and it gives some behind the scenes looks at what is happening in the plot. All of Emma Approved is shot in the office, but they host and attend parties and pictures from the nights are posted there. Also because Emma is so into fashion she has "modeling" posts on her outfits.

Example of them going out: Frank Churchill laughing with Emma, with Jane Fairfax and Alex Knightley looking on.
 Third would be the delightful series of Classic Alice, it is not just one book but multiple books. It starts off with Alice getting a bad grad on a paper because her teacher feels that she does not relate to the characters. So she takes a book and tries to make life decisions based on the book. 
Currently the series is doing North and South, as I have written many post about my love of John Thorton, I don't think I need to go into how excited I am about that. I also like the fact that because they are doing various books, the series really could last for awhile. So I am curious what is going to happen with it. Besides just having a vlog (video blog) they also host a podcast of Pens vs. Lens where they discuss books vs. the movies based off the book.
Their newest episode: Clueless/Emma
The next love of mine- actually changed my mind on Jane Eyre, is The Autobiography of Jane Eyre. I recently wrote a post about this "Maybe I was wrong." And because of this I won't use too much time posting more about this. 
Picture of Alice, Emma, and Jane {pic}
Here are some of the ones I think "eh...okay":

Also made by Pemberly Digital is the series "Welcome to Sanditon" based off the unfinished work of Sanditon by Jane Austen, which I have actually never read so I can't say if it follows the plot line or not. It follow Georgiana Darcy (from Lizzie Bennet Diaries) as she tries to implement Dominio (their video app) in the town of Sanditon. 
The thing I did not like about this is that every other episode was a "fan made video" that they pretend were people around the town. I think in that way I lost interest in the story. 

The other one was... "Elinor and Marianne take on Barton" it is an updated version of Sense and Sensibility. There a few reasons I did not like it but mostly the story seems a little rushed, Sense and Sensibility is one of Jane Austen's longer novels and takes time to develop the characters. I mean they have Edward Ferras interacting with Brandon and Will (Willoughby) which does not happen in the book. However I think the actresses who play Marianne and Elinor understand their characters. Also while Brandon, is no Alan Rickman, I think he does a good role in playing out his part and we do see how he cares for Marianne even while she is obsessed with Will.

I am also enjoying: 

I have recently begun watching the web series "From Mansfield with Love" an adaptation of Mansfield Park. It took me awhile to get into it (much like when I read the book). Frankie (short for Francis) works at the Mansfield hotel as practically a maid, though she gets some liberties, her mom is best friends with Mrs. Bertram but while Mrs. Bertam married rich, Frankie's mom married poor. Frankie's brother Will, is in the Navy and she is posting these video letters, in belief no one else can see them, for him (you got to stretch your imagination). 
Much like the book, one thing that gets to me is that Frankie never speaks up for herself. I hate in the character but I know I am very similar to that. Frankie spends a lot of energy making sure everyone, mostly Mrs. Norris is happy, that life kind of slips by her (very true to book). Even with some changes they are doing a good job of sticking to the plot line, I mean they are on episode 70 now and Edmund is just telling Frankie he "loves" Mary Crawford. I actually the lack of rushing of the story as Mansfield Park is the longest Jane Austen novel. 

One series I wish continued was "East and West" based off North and South but it sadly only had 7 videos and we never even met Mr. Thorton. 
If the creators of this show see this blog I would love them to know I would love for this show to continue.  

Okay I think for now that is enough... I know there are other web series out there and if you have any recommendations for me please let me know. Here is a great article "Book to YouTube" which includes some of these shows and others if you are interested in more suggestions. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Frivolous Friday... Period drama Heroes

Hello lovely readers,
I know I have made lots of post on Period Dramas... what can I say I am obsessed. I have probably written the most about heroines, plot lines or outfits. I have also written a lot about Jane Austen and Downton Abbey. So today for my Frivolous Friday post I am high lighting the heroes of the period dramas to hopefully shine light on other dramas besides Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

1. John Thorton in  North and South
I put him probably because I have seen the mini-series North and South the most and I always squeal in the scene when he says "look back, look back at me." My friend me got me to watch this because she said it practically like Pride and Prejudice and she is right. Both Margaret Hale and Mr. Thorton have their pride that keeps them apart and both prejudge the other one. Also there is a great proposal scene. I would say that is not just a re-do of Pride and Prejudice but it deals with the very grim realities of the 19th century... think Charles Dickens meets Jane Austen.

2. Roger Hamley in Wives and Daughters
I have written a few blog post on Molly Gibson the heroine of the story but Roger is also great. I don't think he gets a lot of attention because he is quiet and steadfast and that could be considered boring for some stories. But he is not boring. I mean he goes to Africa to do some scientific exploration. Also he makes mistakes first he falls for Molly's step-sister Cynthia because she is charming and doesn't recognize Molly's inner beauty. I think it is totally fine for literary heroes to have faults because he who wants to read about person who is perfect... I mean that is boring. I also love Roger because he encourages Molly to learn more and thinks it is great she has such an inquisitive mind.

3. Prince Henri in Ever After 
In some ways he is very juvenile at the beginning of the movie, as he is running away from his duty. I mean I am not saying you should be forced to marry someone you do not love (though it happened a lot back then). I am just saying as a Prince he should have known that his life of privileged came at a cost. However it is Danielle that teaches him that yes his privileged life does come with a cost but he can use his power and influence to help others. He also learns his life is nothing without following his heart.


4.  Prince Albert in The Young Victoria

Okay another prince. This film has probably heavily romanticized the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But from other things I have heard they actually fall in love but they both had tempers. In that I think the movie portrayed that well because they do fight. And though he married to the Queen he doesn't sitting idly by but actually wants to help her rule. And in the film after they fight he still puts himself in harms way to protect her. He is a great example of supporting his wife, encouraging her to make good decisions and ultimately putting her first. Of course he is so cute as he tries to pursue her.

5.  Alf Arless in Lark Rise to Candleford

I know I have not given this show Lark Rise the love it deserves. And Alf is not like the other heroes on this list. Spoiler he doesn't end up with the main girl, Laura Timmins, but who he ends up will make you happy (if you watch it). He does start off the show with a crush on Laura and though he has some jealously toward a boy Laura falls for, eventually he puts that aside and is the best friend Laura needs. He supports her and looks out for her best interest. He also works hard to support his family and no matter what he puts his family first, even if sometimes it causes him to sacrifice his heart. He may not be the main love interest but he is a hero.

I guess the most common theme in this whole post is these are all strong men standing next to and supporting the strong women in their lives. They might argue with them but at the end of the day they are pushing the women they love to be better people. I am not saying you need a man for this but its nice to have a support team.

This hard was hard to only think of five men. Even with my period drama board on Pinterest to look for ideas, it was hard to only limit it to 5 so here are honorable mentions:

 Dr. Harrison in Cranford
Cranfrord is a good light hearted mini-series and while Dr. Harrison is surrounded by strong willed women he a little too soft spoken.
Jack Thorton in When Calls the Heart
this is a new love but I binged watched the first season and now I am going through the second season. I am waiting to see what do to the story before I give my heart away to Jack. But I am totally on Team Jack not Team Charles.
  Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables
I could not have had this list complete without Gilbert but as I have only seen the movie once (my own short comings) I didn't feel justified in putting as a love of mine.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Too many stories in my head

Dear lovely readers,

I am writing mainly to the other bloggers out there who are writers... well I guess all bloggers are writers. But I feel like this is more a writing problem. I am in the middle of writing a story I love and it has been going through my mind for years, so writing it finally feels like I am accomplishing a goal. However, I am re-reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (I know I have talked about the book and mini-series a few times on this blog...if you have not read it or watched it by now, you are missing out) anyway I love this story so much and I have thought about how to update it.
Roger Hamley and Molly
Or re-tell it in some way. I have watched a lot of vloggers updating stories on YouTube and while I feel this would be a great and easy vlog to do... I do not have any film experience. So if a vlogger is out there reading this blog can you please please make a adaptation of this story I would be eternally grateful.

For myself, I feel more comfortable with writing about the early twentieth century than I do in modern times. The last story I wrote was a re-telling of Sense and Sensibility but set in 1906 in western Massachusetts. It was lots of fun bringing the characters of Elinor and Marianne, who I love so much to life as Laurel and Emmy and trying to figure out what women in 1906 do when they are completely dependent on the generosity of family members. 

Molly, Cynthia, Mrs. Gibson
So now I my mind wrapped up in how to bring Molly Gibson up-to-date. The basic premise of Molly Gibson is she is very selfless, and always trying to please people, especially her papa. Unfortunately she is too selfless and in that has a hard time speaking up for herself and when she does some people think she is being selfish, especially her new step-mom. Her new step-mom frequently pretends that she is better than the station she lives in and acts in ways that are quite silly because she wants to be considered high-class. With her step-mom come a new step-sister, Cynthia, who is beautiful... I mean it is said about a hundred times how enrapturing Cynthia is. I personally think this is because she is actually not that good of person on the inside. But good Molly loves her anyway and goes to great lengths to protect Cynthia... even at the cost of ruining her reputation. Eventually her reputation is restored, thanks to Lady Harriet and she does find love (sorry spoiler). However, Elizabeth Gaskell dies before the actual book is finished so we just have to assume all ends happily for Molly.

Going back to my writing- as I said I feel more comfortable with the early twentieth century. So I am trying to configure a way to bring Molly into that time period. However, as much as I am enjoying those musings I must stayed focused on my story at hand. Ugh to be a writer with too many stories on my mind. I guess it is better than not having any stories.
If I do write this story I must use this line.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Webseries love Wednesday

Dear Lovely Readers,

If you have been reading my blog you know I easily "fan girl" for certain things, especially literary things. And I must commend Pemberly Digital and other online Vloggers (video bloggers) for recreating great fiction into modern telling. I have written about my love of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (a retelling of Pride and Prejudice).
However I don't think I have told you about my love of  Emma Approved (a retelling of Emma). Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel, even though I know many people called Emma selfish. And maybe she is but I think she learns a great lesson in the story and though she makes many mistakes I believe she always the people she loves best interest at heart. Also I love the idea that no matter how many time she makes a mistake that Mr. Knightley loves her (sorry spoiler).

These webseries are amazing not only are they videos on YouTube, they have twitter accounts as characters, tumblr accounts, and even pinterest accounts. So they really reach all levels of multimedia.

There are others out there The Autobiography of Jayne Eyre which I have not watched as I am not a fan of Jane Eyre (I know shocking). And there is East and West which is a retelling of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South. However, it is on hiatus and I really want it to come back on. I mean I know how it is going to end I have read the book and I have watched the mini-series four or five times, but still I am excited to see how they do this and I want to see who they cast as Mr. Thorton... he will have big shoes to fill.

This leads me to my most recent webseries I have fallen for called "Classic Alice." It tells the story of a creative writing/lit major who at first criticized from a professor for not being able to relate to the characters. So relate to the characters she decides to take books and her own way live them out. She is filmed by her friend Andrew who is a film major. She reads such books as Crime and Punishment, Macbeth, to Wind and the Willow. I found the story adorable.
I also found Alice very relate-able. She is a book geek who likes to read classics...Yep. She also is doing this project to experience new things she can be a better writer. Yep I want to be a better writer. She also is very timid and has a hard time putting herself out there... Yep. Plus she is a red head... Yep.

If you have not watched these webseries... I recommend you do. If you know of other webseries out there, please post your suggestions on the comments below.


From the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten...Period Dramas

I love getting lost in the past, I have probably said it many times but I have a very idealistic view of the past. I love the world of etiquette, refinement, and perhaps some chivalry. When I am having a bad day I love escaping to the world of these dramas and escaping just for a bit.

These are my top ten favorite period dramas.

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)- I owe this miniseries for starting my love of Jane Austen. I don't remember when I started watching this, it was always just around my mom's house on five VHS tapes. At first I thought it was ridiculously long and I got lost in all the characters but now I am happy to spend five hours watching it and still waiting to see if Darcy and Elizabeth get together.
2. North and South- I know there was an 80's or 90's drama with the same title about the Civil War, but this is not it. This is a mini-series based off the Elizabeth Gaskell novel and probably the only time I am going to say that the movie is better than the book. I think Gaskell was trying to be too much like Charles Dickens with lots of details and dealing with the struggles of society. But I feel the plot get lost in book. In the mini-series you can see Mr. Thorton and Margret's love develop (very much in the Pride and Prejudice way). And you still get great one liners from Mr. Higgins (you might recognize as Mr. Bates). Plus you get to watch the beautiful Richard Armitage.
Left to right: Mr. Higgins, Mr. Thorton, Margret Hale. Mr. Hale
He is just so beautiful I could not help but share..
3. Emma- I like both the Gwyenth Paltrow (1996) version and the Romola Garai (2009) version. They both portray Emma well. I know the 1996 version is not exact to the book and there are some plot points that get lost, but I think they casted it very well. Paltrow plays Emma with lots of arrogance and her facial expressions are right on. And I think they did a better job casting Jane Fairfax as a great beauty (as she is suppose to be). But I keep coming back to Emma (1996) because of the line "Now I might call you Mr. Knightley, but my Mr. Knightley."
Mr. Knightley and Emma 
But I also enjoy watching Jonny Lee Miller play Mr. Knightley and he really is concerned for her, which I think is more obvious in this version.

4. Sense and Sensibility- Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, enough said. But in case you didn't know there is a 2008 mini-series with Dan Stevens playing Edward Ferras, which is also really good but it is hard to love it with no Alan Rickman and no Hugh Laurie. 
 Hard to decide

5. Downton Abbey- Speaking of Dan Stevens. I'm still getting over the loss of Matthew. The other week I went through season 2 of Downton and I admitted to my roommate I didn't own season 3 because it is hard to watch the end of it. However, I owe Downton Abbey my love for the Edwardian and WWI era (as I am sure many do). The costuming is wonderful, the Countess's one liners are brilliant, and it is hard not to get swept away in it.

"If you really like an argument... we should see more of each other."
-Edwardian flirting at its finest

6. Lark Rise to Candleford- As another series I recommend Lark Rise. It has some characters your will recognize: Julia Sawalha (Lydia Bennet (1995)), Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates and Mr. Higgins), and various others. It really cements my idea that there are only 12 British actors who do historical dramas because most of them have connections through this series, either being long time characters or guest of the show. The show revolves around Laura Timmins and when she moves from her little hamlet of Lark Rise to the bigger town Candleford to work at the post office. However all the characters and their shenanigans are the real enjoyment of the story with enough heart to keep the story grounded. I also love the love interest either in regards to Dorcas Lane (Sawalha), Laura Timmins and Alf Arless. 

7. Wives and Daughter- This is another Elizabeth Gaskell novel adaptation. I love Molly Gibson. She is a great heroine to look up to. In fact I have a whole post about my love for her: A new heroine to love
Rodger and Molly
8. Little Dorrit- A Charles Dickens adaption (thus far the only Dickens I have read). The story deals with a little more heart break than the others on this list. Amy Dorrit is born in a debtors prison because of her father and while the whole family tries to act grander than their fortune, she is very humble and selfless. She gets a jobs sowing for Mrs. Clennams when we meet her son Arthur (Mathew MacFayden). Like any Dickens work there are lots of sub-plots. So while I am glad to cross Dickens off my list of authors to read, I'd rather watch the mini-series.

9. Cranford and Return to Cranford- I personally like Cranford more than Return to Cranford but I mention it because it has a great story involving Tom Hiddleston (and wouldn't miss a moment to see him in a cravat and top hat. Cranford is great because like Lark Rise it takes place in a small town but yet is full of nonsensical commotions that bring laughter but lots hearts. Also the story line between Dr. Harrison and Sophy Hutton is sweet and a great reminder about courting.But there are also lots of stories that make this little town such a great to visit. Once again there are many people you will recognize: Judi Dench, Jim Carter (Carson on Downton), Imelda Staunton (Umbridge in Harry Potter), Julia Sawlaha (Lark Rise, Pride and Prejudice). 
Sophy Hutton and Dr. Harrison 

10. The Young Victoria- To end this list is so hard. I love so many films check out my Pinterest board (Chivalry does exist) to see more I love. There are other films I would include on this list if I had more time. So I will end this list on The Young Victoria, it is always a film that makes me feel better and the costumes are absolutely breath taking. 

I always enjoy learning about other period dramas so if you have any you think I should watch let me know. If you have seen these and want to know of other films... I found this article "British Period Dramas Online" it has links to many of the titles listed her and it has others not listed. Also I recommend checking out what is at your local library (they have hidden gems). 

Thanks for taking time to enjoy this frivolity.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Some frivolous-ness


I am celebrating being done with this semester, with some frivolous YouTube time... 

Song: A Thousand Years
By: Christina Perri

I don't know all the films and TV shows but the ones I recommend ...
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Little Dorrit
Downton Abbey
Kate and Leopold
Ever After
North and South
Becoming Jane
The Paradise
The Sound of Music
Mansfield Park
Sense and Sensibility
Lark Rise to Candleford
Wives and Daughters

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No ryme or reason... just love

Hello lovely readers,

I have posted some deep blog post so to lighten the mood I thought I would post this cheesy period drama montage video. I am kind of a closet "fan-video loving girl". When I fall in love with a movie, or TV show I love seeking out these fan-video music videos. I am going to say it is my hopeful romantic side that still wants to hold on to the story and not let it go, however it is probably just my geeky side.  

It is funny as much as I love the love stories, I am more and more starting to appreciate the hero or heroine's journey(as the case may be). I have given my friend some books of mine to read and she gotten annoyed at me because the last few I have given her (I capture the Castle and A Northern Light) do not have the typical romantic ending. In fact the heroine leaves the "hero" of the story to have a very independent life. She thinks it is odd that I have such strong hopeful romantic feelings. I told her "I am giving her heroines that are strong that settle for nothing but the best in life." I have a very deep heart for love and sappiness but I think the only way to have true love is not to settle for anything but perfection. I know love will not be perfect (I am not expecting a Disney movie), I know it is hard work, but I also know that love should not feel like settling. I can watch sappy movies but at the end of the day the love stories I admire are the ones where the characters grow and empower themselves. So I am still on the look out for these heroines...

Some I highly recommend (highly bias but in no particular order)
Cassandra- I Capture the Castle
Molly Gibson- Wives and Daughters
Elinor Dashwood- Sense and Sensibility
Amy Dorrit- Little Dorrit
Fiona- The Tea Rose
Hadassah- A Voice in the Wind and Echo in the Darkness
Shelby Parker- The Princess
Mattie- A Northern Light
Fanny Price- Mansfield Park

Cassandra from I Capture the Castle

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Heroine in the rain

Every heroine deserves a great moment in the rain. This is a truth from both period dramas (rather they happen in the book or not) and modern TV and movies. There just seems to be something about the rain that makes a scene more romantic. I am happy I let my heroine, Rose, have her moment... 
A Folly
         At that moment we heard the overcast sky give a little grumble and the pale gray sky was now presenting us with a summer shower. Kelby without thinking took my hand and lead me to the Temple of Diana. It wasn't really a temple just a folly. It had been popular in the eighteenth century for grand estates to build these little arch ways and call them temples. Now they mainly served as places to hide during the rain. But it was the closest structure to the backwoods and a good place to wait out this summer storm. Even though it was the closest structure we were still soaked causing a shiver over my body. Kelby must have seen me shiver as he pulled me close into his arms and held me there. I think outside of Marcus, who used to hug me when I had bad dreams, Kelby was the first man to hold me.

            "Come let's get me home," he said once the rain had stooped.
            "Oh Kelby I do not want to go home. I cannot face her."
            "Miss Rose, one must never be afraid to face your fears." With that he took his thumb  and brushed the hair that had fallen in front of my face. "But perhaps you need some tea to strengthen you up." And he gave me a little smile.

            I was only eleven so I could not explain how I really felt then but I mark this down as the beginning of my love for Kelby Gray.
Here are some great rain moments...
Colonel Brandon and Marianne
My new favorite..

And probably the most famous...

And in modern days...
Jim and Pam
Sweet Home Alabama
Saw this on pinterest and just thought it was funny...
Needless to say when the time does come, I hope I get a romantic moment in the rain.