Adaption, BBC One, christinesrant, Entertainment, Literature, Mini-series, Rant, Review, Television, TV, TV-series

And Then There Were None. Above and Beyond.

We have just left Christmas celebrations behind us. A holiday full of jolly nostalgia and hard core glitter use.

I must admit, I am not that into Christmas traditions. Christmas will be upon us anyway, I say.

So without seeming too grinchy or scroogey I really do not see the appeal of watching the movie Love Actually (2003)  more than once. The rest of the TV schedule (at least in Norway) is full of crap B-, C-, and D-movies not worth your while, and the A-listers keeps running and running, staling for every channel you switch on to.

But the holidays is a perfect time to catch up on movies, TV series and shows!

I especially like to indulge in mini-series because they often fit perfectly into my holiday schedule. Short and effective stories with high production value and the best part, you do not have to wait a year for the next season!

So while everyone else was watching and talking about Making a Murderer (2015) (I was saving it for the new year’s celebrations), I was thrilled when I found the new TV adaption of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery And Then There Were None (2015). Perhaps more known as Ten Little Indians.

First class British crime and costume drama from BBC One.

Oh, Holy Night.
Jackpot!

First published in 1939, the novel is recognized as Christie’s masterwork, and has been adapted many times on screen, TV and the stage.

The story is as simple as it is meticulous.

MV5BMzRlMzU0MTgtOGYyMC00MjExLTgwN2QtNWU2M2EwOWM4Y2M0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTExNDQ2MTI@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_It is Saw set in 1939 without traps and all the gore. And without the possibility of making it out alive.

The mysterious Mr and Mrs Owen invites eight strangers to a secluded Soldier Island. Greeted by the butler and cook when arriving, it is quickly revealed neither they nor any of the guests have actually met the Owens, and that their hosts are nowhere to be seen.

Completely alone on the island, they are interrupted after eating dinner by a recording that reveals that all ten of them have been complicit in the deaths of others but has managed to escape notice and/or prosecution.

Ten artfully crafted table pieces and an American children’s rhyme (Ten little Indians) are also important pieces in the continuing story where the characters are killed off one by one. Until there are none left.

I was thrilled!

The cast is excellent with many familiar faces such as: Toby Stephens (Captain Flint from Black Sails), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper from Torchwood and Major Hewlett from TURN), Noah Taylor (as some of you may know as Locke from Game of Thrones, but who cares about GoT right?).

Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter), Anna Maxwell Martin (Elizabeth Darcy from Death Comes to Pemberley  and Mary Shelley from the new and very promising TV series The Frankenstein Chronicles).

Aiden Turner (mostly known as Kili from The Hobbit-trilogy, but for me he will always be Mitchell from Being Human (UK)).

Douglas Booth (Pip from Great Expectations and as Mr. Bingley from the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and (at least for me) the more unknown Maeve Dermody.

And, to top this smorgasbord of, the ever-so cool Charles Dance and Sam Neill, with too much goodness on their filmographies to single out just a few.

It is beautifully crafted TV. And when I got over the cucumber castle in the intro, this three-part series is a total delight!

A must see for crime and costume fans!

Did I just birth a new term?

I can live with that.

Christine

 

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christinesrant, Entertainment, Television, TV-series, Uncategorized

Vikings. The Real Housewives of Scandinavia.

A friend requested a rant about the hit TV-show Vikings.
To be honest, it was a difficult rant to write for many reasons.

The Canadian TV-channel History has done a good job with the show. No horns on their helmets. Or wings.

Oh, Hollywood, how you have mislead generations!

Which makes me willing to forgive them almost everything else at this point. I should know. I am Norwegian.

However, the request was a rant so; here is two things that irritate me about the show.

Why are they so dirty all the time?

Vikings were very fond of cleanliness. Supposedly, they were the clean freaks at the time. Washing their face every morning and bathing once a week, when the rest of Europe thought it okay to wash once a year. Combs and different grooming tools for men and for women are very common findings.

So yeah, a battle can be messy and bloody, but they did not wallow in the gore longer than necessary.

Why the nuclear family?

My biggest problem with the show is the portrayal of family, its structure and morals. It is very similar to the nuclear family, but the nuclear family is a modern concept. Vikings lived their life in big family groups consisting of multiple families often with some blood ties to each other, and their servants.

Does Lagertha react so violently to Lothbrok’s suggestion that Princess Aslaug pregnant with his child, could join them out of love or power? Her place seem secure. She has given him a son. And, she has Lothbrok by the balls. But then again, Aslaug is a Princess.

Lothbrok explains to Lagertha that it is his child and that he have to take care of it. Why?

In addition, what is this talk about ex-wives and boyfriends?
Why, oh why?

Princess Aslaug now “married” to Lothbrok (we did not see it, did we?) is full of jealousy when telling him off for flirting with a thrall/slave girl in the longhouse. “Oh, you think it strange for a pregnant woman to want her husband to be supportive and kind?” she demands.

Poor Lothbrok!

He seem surrounded by women with ideas and concepts of a modern kind.

How very astute of them.

Christine

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Adaptation, christinesrant, Entertainment, Literature, TV-series

Black Sails. In Rough Waters.

I am following up my last post “The Musketeers. All for one and I am all for it”, with a rant on Black Sails, a pirate TV-series from Starz.

You have been warned.

Black Sails is a dramatic adventure TV-series intended as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1881).

Although fictional, the novel is blamed for most of popular and wrong perceptions of pirates. It does indeed contain references to historical pirates such as William Kidd and Blackbeard, but because of the high level of fiction, it is recognized as an adventure novel, not as historical.

Back to BS (a very fitting abbreviation).
My question to you: How could they ruin it?

Where is the swashbuckling? Where is the sass?
Actually, where is the adventure?

BS tries very hard to be historical realistic but it comes out in the other end as sappy drama. I have been more entertained by watching paint dry.

I mean, it took them five episodes to get on the fucking water!

They conflict pretense of realism with adventure making it a pretentious work of shit.

They do know it is fiction, right?
Why do they fuck with fantasy, making it look like reality when reality is fucked up enough?

I do not think I will bother with a season two, and will instead hopefully optimistic wait for Crossbones with John Malkovich.

As they say, smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

Christine

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Adaptation, christinesrant, Entertainment, Literature, TV-series

The Musketeers. One for all and I am all for it.

Visual representation of historical settings, characters and events mixed with a pinch of fiction, makes a troublesome yet delightful storytelling. Just look at shows like Vikings and Black Sails.

The Musketeers is a historical-action TV-drama based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas’s historical novel The Three Musketeers (1844).

Fun fact 1: The Musketeers of the Guard were indeed a military branch (created mid-1600 and disbanded early 1700) by King Louis XIII of France. They were light cavalry equipped with muskets, which was a “new” combination. Shooting from horseback became an important military strategy for many reasons. However, the Musketeers were not as portrayed in Dumas’s novel, the royal family’s personal bodyguard.

Fun fact 2: The Musketeers was open to lower classes of French nobility. Their prominent fighting spirit is considered real since excelling their task, was the only way for social advancement. Interestingly enough, they are known as musketeers rightfully because of the muskets, but they are more famous for their sword fighting, i.e. swashbuckling.

Fun fact 3: Cardinal Richelieu (yep, real too but perhaps not as sinister but then again he could have been worse) did indeed create his own unit of bodyguards and the bitter rivalry between the two units are in fact true.

Dumas based his novel on Memoirs of Mister d’Artagnan (originally a much longer and french’ier title) from 1700. D’Artagnan is a historical person but Dumas’s version of him is more famous.

The Musketeers is much less an adaptation of the novel as it is a tribute to every swashbuckling movie ever made. A celebration of lovers and drunkards!

Successfully, I may add.

 Christine

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