Monday, December 01, 2008

Little Merit

I was going to write a critique of a televisual drama series, but may not be able to in light of my having discovered that I am number one in Theodore and Evadne Google’s list of references for “radish adultery”. The only person with more reason to be miserable than I on this discovery, is the perverted sod who inserted this phrase into his search engine, missus. It is not even my fault, it was Frontier Editor who introduced the word “radish” into the comments on my discourse about Liz, turnips and arses.

Anyway, I finally got around to viewing the first few episodes of the BBC’s latest costume drama. I shall probably watch it to the end, but doubt whether I will benefit much from it. We have been spoiled somewhat of late, what with Eileen Atkins making an all too rare appearance in Cranford and acting everyone else off of the set. Bleak House was even more impressive – the director and actors actually managed to turn Dickens’s ridiculous caricatures into believable characters, and even allowed Philip Davis to ham it up like a very large pig.

Little Dorrit, on the other hand, shows all the acting range of a Carry On film, or an amateur dramatic society rendition of a pantomime in Spanish. Tom Courtenay is passable, but I suspect that he did not have to make much effort. As for the rest, well, that is what I suggest that they take. I just can’t get to grips with Dickens. Did he ever intend us to take any of his characters seriously? Was his intention merely to draw attention to social conditions? I suppose that the adaptees have run out of classic novels to convert to television drama. I think the kindest criticism of this nonsense is to call it “ordinary”.

19 comments:

Dave said...

It's about the only one of his works I hadn't got around to reading, so I thought I might as well watch it. I gave up after the first two minutes.

Why did you not write this critique earlier? I'll never get those two minutes back.

Vicus Scurra said...

You bloody started it! You never told me Pickwick Papers was so crap.

raincoaster.com said...

It's Dickens. Of COURSE it's crap. The only lively parts of Dickens are when the girls die or the radish adultery scenes.

tom909 said...

I've always been very fond of Dickens (not in a sexual way of course), and I am particularly enjoying Little Dorrit (not in a sexual way of course).

Vicus Scurra said...

RC. But Bleak House was very good (apart from the radish sodomy scenes).
Tom. You are never without Our Mutual Friend in your hand are you?
Cue Dickens Cider jokes.

Richard said...

Of course, as I still do not have a television I haven't a clue what you're on about. Never read Little Dorrit but I'll have a guess, the poor kid gets it. Is Gillian Anderson in it? She could shake me up any time, fnarr fnarr.

KAZ said...

It's a case of 'I've started so I'll finish'.
But I've lost the plot and I miss Gillian Anderson.

Vicus Scurra said...

Richard. No she ain't. Load of actors such as Alun Armstrong, who is in bloody everything so that you get sick of seeing him, the wooden actor from the first series of Spooks (hasn't foiled any terrorist plots in Little Dorrit yet) and others such as Courtenay and Sue Johnston (Johnson?) who turn up and do their stuff and bugger off, without being brilliant. And, for you information, I am not "on about" anything. I am writing intelligent and helpful essays for the benefit of humanity.
Kaz, as usual, I agree.

MJ said...

The radish is a nice change of pace because, after all, who hasn't had carnal knowledge of a carrot?

Richard said...

My dad went to school with Eileen Atkins.

Dave said...

'We eats our biled mutton without capers, and don't care for horse-radish ven ve can get beef.'

Sam Weller, p. 114 in The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club [Charles Dickens].

The only refernce to radish I could find in the entire Dickens oeuvre.

zIggI said...

I thought an oeuvre was an egg?

Donn Coppens said...

I draw the line at poo-pooing the cinematic soulfests known collectively as the Carry On films.

One should never expect much from costume dramas other than a sense of voyeuristic release during the frequent scenes when the protagonist requires about 15 minutes to get out of their period costume. Then it is a given that they will enthusiastically recreate an overtheatrical misrepresentation of the act of human reproduction...
all that silly heaving and passionate kissing pfft as if!

I didn't mind the Tudors although it prolly would have been far more entertaining to watch the older, porcine version of Henry still gettin' it on with the laid-ees.
As Mel Brooks says, "it's good to be the King."

wv hailya..
I kid you not.

Geoff said...

We watched the first episode and were bored out of our brains. Did Andrew Davies get to develop his usual lesbian fantasy?

wv - patho (sadly lacking in Little Dorrit)

Vicus Scurra said...

MJ. You will need to specify the carrot.
Richard. My dad went with rickets.
Dave. Thank you for reading the entire works of Dickens this afternoon. Never let it be said that you are wasting time.
Ziggi. Never mind, lovey, you can always come over here to be educated. I am so pleased you take advantage. It is clearly needed.
Donn. I think you misunderstand. Little Dorrit is suitable for children. There are no naughty bits. (apart from the radishes).
Geoff. Yes, and he helped by making it black on white, so you can see which bits belong to whom.

Rol said...

It's not often that I agree with anything you have to say (of course, I'm joking: I hang on your every word), but I'm very pleased by your assessment of Dickens. I've long thought him a precursor to Roger Hargreaves, being that all his characters are called names like 'Mr. Piggledy Wiggedly' and 'Little Miss Scrote'.

Hargreaves had more believable plots though.

I, Like The View said...

Sue Johnston

("has campaigned on behalf of the Labour Party and has been a long-time gay rights campaigner; she is a fan of Liverpool Football Club")

I hope this helps

I've often thought that Dickens was the Barbara Cartland of his era

Vicus Scurra said...

Rol. Hargreaves did not do the girl on girl stuff quite as well though.
ILTV. Yes, that helps. It is nice to know that someone can be relied upon to go and gather up dull data that none of the rest of us can be bothered to look for.

Rol said...

You've obviously not read Little Miss Bi-Curious.