Tag Archives: literary adaptations

Well-Read: Chabon Showtime adaptation, Gorgeous Harry Potter Gifts, Chicago’s Best Bookstores and Literary Bars

Harry Potter Time Turner clock

  • Showtime is adapting Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay into what’s being described as a “sprawling” series. Kavalier and Caly  follows the lives of two Jewish cousins—an artist and a writer—who seize on America’s obsession with superheroes during World War II and become wildly successful in the comic book industry. Now, I don’t like Chabon – I once tried to read Kavalier and Clay and didn’t make it through – but I REALLY don’t like Showtime, which tends to make splashy, overly dramatized, hyper-sexualized stuff – so this is a match made in heaven in my opinion. [A.V. Club]
  • Lithub has a gorgeous article on How To Spend a Literary Long Weekend in Chicago (which is one of the most literary cities in America, and somehow also one of the few major cities I haven’t been to). [Lithub]
  • All happy couples are alike; each couple in a Noah Baumbach movie is unhappy in their own way.” Rachel Handler’s Vulture article begins with this brilliant opening line, and ranks every couple in Noah Baumbach films from least to most miserable. I love it. [Vulture]
  • Bookriot has a delightful list of fairly affordable and high-quality Harry Potter-themed gifts; my favorite is the King’s Cross Station clock. [Bookriot]. Or, here’s a list of higher-end, more expensive HP items (most still under $100): my favorite, predictably, is the time turner clock pictured above in this post [Business Insider]

Webseries Love: ‘Call Me Katie’ based on The Taming of the Shrew

Y’all, here again to spotlight another cute webseries I’ve fallen in love with. I don’t like it as much as any of my hallowed eight, but it’s romantic and fairly fast-paced and the leads have good chemistry together. Call Me Katie is loosely based on Taming of the Shrew and is somewhat similar to 10 Things I Hate About You. If you’re like me, you just want to see the Good Stuff, i.e. the leads interacting with each other, so here’s the first instance of that.

Secret Garden Webseries Introduces Dickon!!

As your resident webseries lover, it is my duty to inform you that The Misselthwaite Archives, which has been pleasant but mostly uninspired so far, finally introduced Declan Sower, based on Dickon of the book, and there are sparks and cuteness.

New Web Series: ‘Baker Street’ Based on Sherlock Holmes

Baker Street is a new web series based on Sherlock Holmes. It’s genderbent, with both leads female, which is perfectly fine with me – as I’ve said on Twitter, I don’t care what juxtaposition of gender you make Holmes and Watson, as long as under no circumstances do you make it a romantic relationship. That would be to go entirely against the fundamental spirit of the relationship as Conan Doyle wrote it.

In Baker Street, Jane Watson has dropped out of medical school in Britain and returned to Canada to help out her family in a time of crisis. Unfortunately, they have rejected her, and her mysterious roommate is driving her mad. This feels a little lower-budget than some others, but is also much more dynamic and willing to shift physical settings and scenes. The pacing and camerawork are uneven and the character of Sherlock is both underwritten and underwhelmingly acted. Not a fan of this so far, though I do love the concept and would love to see this done well. (PSA: For web series I really do love and which are incredibly sharply written and acted, see my list of 8 Favorite Literary Web Series)

Far from the Madding Crowd Trailer Starring Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge

How did I miss this trailer when it first came out? This is my favorite Hardy novel and one of my favorite love stories. 

Pan Official Trailer – Starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Headland

Joe Wright is a master of bringing a cohesive, deft magic to updated versions of old stories (Pride and Prejudice anyone), so I’m excited for this. Stars Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Rooney Mara, Garrett Headland and Levi Miller.

8 Favorite Web Series (Or, 8 Favorite Romantic Literary Adaptions): Nothing Much to Do, The Classic Alice, and more

8 favorite webseries

Webseries adaptations of beloved literary classics have been absolutely the sunshine of my life the past few months – like many people, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is what initially pulled me in to the genre, then Kissing in the Rain made me happy, and it’s all history from there. Of the thousands of webseries on Youtube, my favorite are hands-down the literary adaptations, which have been seeing a huge boom in both creation and attention recently. They are five-minute interlocking episodes of romance, banter, combative chemistry, friendship, sisterhood, and a reworking of classic and loved characters into modern and immensely identifiable characters. Nothing not to love.

Now, note that while I whole-heartedly recommend the top four, the other four are fun but flawed. I’m waiting with great expectation for future ones to debut to knock these down or off the list.

I am not going to include The Lizzie Bennett Diaries because it goes without saying it’s my overall favorite (though NMTD is so close) and because I wrote it up here and am tired of talking about it.

1. Nothing Much to Do. God. I’m obsessed with this. Created by four New Zealand girls and performed by a large-ish cast of New Zealanders and one British boy, this is deliriously gripping and romantic for a webseries. It’s a loose modernized adaptation of Much Ado about Nothing in which Beatrice and Benedict are high school students who were good friends when they were much younger but drifted apart when Benedict acted like an idiot, and the two have hated each other ever since. When he comes back into town, the two immediately get off on a combative foot, to the dismay of all their mutual friends, who decide to convince each that the other is in love with them.

There’s a lot more characters than in most webseries. There’s also a delightful looseness and flexibility to the filming – there are several group scenes and scenes in differnet locations, including ones set at a party, at the high school, and outdoors after a football match, which is really fun and makes the world feel more real. Also, there’s almost no monologues at all – nearly every episode has at least two people dialoguing and interacting with each other onscreen.

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New Webseries: “Shakes,” a Modern Adaptation of Much Ado about Nothing, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet

Don’t tell anyone, y’all. I’m about to start ANOTHER webseries. Perhaps this weekend I’ll do a roundup review of all the ones I’ve seen recently, because it’s become quite the sickness. I can’t help it! There’s romance! Adaptations of my favorite Austen novels and Shakespeare plays! There’s easily-accessible viewing on Youtube! What’s not to love?

I just found out about this one, which is a mashup of Much Ado about Nothing, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet,  with Beatrice and Benedict as the main characters, a journalism student and young lawyer, respectively, and and am going to start the first episode tonight!

Outlander Review: A Bold, Richly Imagined Series

outlanderpic-copy

I reviewed Starz’ Outlander for Sound on Sight – spoiler, I loved it.

Here’s the thing about the novel, at least the first one in Diana Gabaldon’s series (and I say this understanding the instant hatred I will earn): it’s tripe. The bare-bones plot of Gabaldon’s series is fantastic – a fiery 1950′s nurse who time-travels back to 18th century Scotland, is plunged into the conflict there, and falls in love with a Scottish warrior? You’ve got romance, time-travel, a fantasy element, war, and not one but two wildly disparate time periods to draw on. It’s literary gold.

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Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries – “Heartlines”

One of my much-loved television shows that is relatively unknown here in the U.S. is the Australian series Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries. It’s witty, it’s suave, it features one of the most compelling, long-simmering small-screen romances of all time…what are you waiting for?

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