Tag Archives: Shakespeare adaptations

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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Caffeinated Links: Atwood and Nesbø Retell Shakespeare, Blistering Book Reviews, Men Get Dumber When Women Watch

measureofsuccessbook

 

Carolyn McCulley, one of my favorite authors, has a new book on success coming out RT

“The Norwegian thriller writer Jo Nesbø will write a retelling of Macbeth for the Hogarth Shakespeare series, according to a press release from the publisher. Nesbø is quoted in the release saying, “Macbeth is a story that is close to my heart because it tackles topics I’ve been dealing with since I started writing. A main character who has the moral code and the corrupted mind, the personal strength and the emotional weakness, the ambition and the doubts to go either way. A thriller about the struggle for power, set both in a gloomy, stormy crime noir-like setting and in a dark, paranoid human mind. No, it does not feel too far from home.” Hogarth has enlisted authors including Jeanette Winterson, who will retell The Winter’s Tale, and Margaret Atwood, who will retell The Tempest, for its series launching in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.” RT

There is NOTHING I love more than a blistering book review

“On reflection, it might be quicker to list everyone Raphael loves, a roll-call that begins with R for Raphael and ends, a little abruptly, with R for Raphael” (nominated for Omnivore’s annual Hatchet Job awarding well-written critical/negative reviews) RT

The Atlantic putting the Academy Award noms with their customary succinct accuracy  –

“Finally, there’s Her, my choice for the best film of the year. It made out okay, with nominations for picture, screenplay, score, production design, and even a surprise nomination for “The Moon Song.” As much as I would’ve liked to see Scarlett Johansson nominated for best actress (or supporting actress, if necessary), that was always going to be a heavy lift given her physical non-presence in the film. But the Academy’s decision to pass on Joaquin Phoenix for actor and Spike Jonze for director—those are not to be forgiven. If one day in the not-so-distant future, our artificially intelligent computers turn out to be ill-tempered, more Skynet than Samantha, they will be able to point to these snubs as a rationale for their distrust—and ultimate eradication—of the human race.” RT

And finally, men get dumber when they think women are watching: “Unfortunately for men, this is a case of negative stereotypes containing a grain of truth. A pair of studies showed that when men were simply told that a female observer would be watching them perform a cognitive test, they performed less well, while women showed no difference regardless of the gender of their observer. Whether this is due to societal pressure for men to impress women, or a biological condition was not established.”  RT

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