One of the beauties of a literary classic is that we can come back to it time and again and still find something new within its pages.
Last week, the latest adaptation of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, premiered on Hulu/F/X. Pip (Fionn Whitehead) is a young man from a lower-class family. Living with his sister and brother-in-law, he is invited to be a companion of sorts to Estella (Shalome Brune-Franklin). Estella is the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham (Olivia Coleman), a wealthy recluse. When Pip receives a financial windfall from an unknown benefactor, the doors to the higher classes open for him.
Coleman was born to play this role. She is both compelling and repellant (if that is possible). As the viewer, I could feel and smell the decades-long grief and anger that she clings to like a liferaft. Whitehead’s Pip starts off as a boy who is curious, intelligent, and eager to spread his wings beyond what is expected of him. I feel for Brune-Franklin’s Estella. She is more than a sharp tongue, a quick-witted young woman who she initially appears to be. Like all of us, she wants to please her mother, but at what cost to herself?
It’s been decades since I read this book. I love the color-blind casting and the opportunity to look at text with fresh eyes. Since watching the first two episodes, I have a new appreciation for Great Expectations and its timeless coming-of-age narrative.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The first three episodes of Great Expectations are available for watching on Hulu. The nextepisode will be released on Sunday, March 9th.
*I apologize for the delay in posting. I should have written this before New Year’s Eve.
Loki: Tom Hiddleston shines once more as Loki, the complicated immortal who has become much more than the standard antagonist. Forced into new circumstances, he goes on a journey that forever changes him.
Ordinary Joe: This new NBC series is the story of one man and three distinct life paths before him. Told concurrently and using different colors for each decision, is is a reminder of how one choice can affect the rest of our lives.
The Book of Boba Fett: This latest entry into the Star Wars universe from DisneyPlus just premiered on December 29th. Though only two episodes have been released, it is already asking questions that are begging for answers.
Behind Her Eyes: Based on the book by Sarah Pinborough, this six part Netflix series about a married man’s affair with his secretary has a delicious ending that is jaw dropping and completely out of left field. Few endings have wowed me as this did.
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Mrs. America (F/X/Hulu): In the 1970’s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was close to becoming the law of the land. A tug of war begins between one group of women that is for it and another that is against it.
Sanditon (PBS): Based off the unfinished book of the same name by Jane Austen, we follow Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), a young woman who leaves her family for the seaside resort town of Sanditon.
When one transcends from ordinary human to legend, we forget that this person is still a human being.
Fosse/Verdon premiered last year on F/X. Stepping in the gigantic shoes of the late Broadway legends that are Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon are Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. Told over the course of multiple decades, the series follows the professional and personal ups and downs of the main characters.
Though they separated (but never legally divorced) in 1971, Gwen and Bob were joined at the hip. She stayed by his side as he cheated on her with multiple women, dealt with addiction issues, and never truly faced his demons. On his end, he relied on her as a respected professional collaborator who understood his unique way of working.
This is one of the best miniseries that I’ve seen in a long time. Both Rockwell and Williams are flawless in their roles, humanizing these giants of the entertainment industry.