Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why We're Watching Great Expectations

Oops! We kind of forgot that Great Expectations was premiering on Masterpiece Classic this past Sunday. But never fear, that's what their website is for! And can we just take a moment to say thanks to the Masterpiece gods for providing us with such a stellar schedule this year?

If you aren't already watching this 2 part miniseries, you need to get on that pronto. For my part, this story goes straight to the bullseye of my imagination and I couldn't be happier with the result. First off, I love to dabble in the world of Charles Dickens. His characters are so rich, their connections to each other so complex, the plot twists so unexpected... I will never get over his brilliance! I'd especially like to applaud him for this one because I was hooked from the very first scene.

It's creepy fabulous!
Let's start from the very beginning i.e. the setting. The foggy labyrinth of marshes sets an eerie tone for the story to come, especially for the little boy running through them. He is, of course, the main character Pip.

Who is quite possibly the cutest little boy I have ever seen! With what I think is one of the greatest character names of all time. This kid is an absolute treat to watch. His reactions are so genuine, his delivery so natural... I can't tell you how many times I awww'd with a heart-clutch. As a 24 year-old, he has me asking very serious questions like a) is adoption feasible and b) can I pinch his cheeks for the course of an afternoon without freaking him out? But poor Pip just can't catch a break. Apart from the brother-in-law he idolizes, everyone is either threatening, hitting, or manipulating him to their own advantage. So when his face falls into something more like this...
OUCH!!!! MY HEART!!!!!!!! MY CREYES!!!!!!!!!! Somebody pass the tissues. He wants so much from life, but is left powerless to control it. Most of this first episode revolves around him as a child and I'm well impressed by how much I enjoyed it. Usually I'm thinking, 'yeah, yeah, yeah get on with it,' because I want to get to the juicy stuff when they're older. But such is the power of Dickens. I was legit upset when his screen time was over.

Oh Miss Havisham. Where to begin. Maybe... please Lord let that never be me! The jilted spinster walks around her mansion barefoot in her wedding dress, obsessively plotting night and day. Of course, Pip is too young and naive to understand what she's planning for her adopted daughter Estella just yet. It doesn't take a genius to notice she's hysterical and cruel, but as a character, I love her. She's so dark and twisty with a genteel facade, making her one of the most fascinating people in the story. I mean, the woman has kept her dining room untouched since the wedding that never was. Even the who-knows-how-old corpse of her wedding cake remains. She's sick, but so gosh darn interesting! Gillian Anderson is perhaps a bit on the younger side to be playing this part, but I think it brings a whole new level of tension when Pip grows into a young man. Making them closer in age certainly fuels her jealousy where his love of Estella is concerned. Please tell me this isn't in my head! Was anyone else picking up on that vibe? Anyway, this story is full of villains, but she's the best.

So, Chase Crawford, do you happen to have any British twins you'd like to tell us about?
At the end, we find Pip all grown up and... heyo!!!!! Douglas Booth's face + being a blacksmith = absolute goner. What's interesting though is that even though so much of the story focuses on his younger years, we can still see how naive he is as a young man. He still believes Miss Havisham has his best interests at heart. Oh honey...

PROXIMITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *smelling salts*

I really really enjoyed the first installment and I can't wait to see what's next! So many villains, so many plot twists, so little time! And we get to meet Herbert Pocket in the next episode!!!

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