Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Due to unforeseen circumstances, Adaptation Week got delayed.  It will still be happening! I have (at least) 3 more installments for you.  But I've been busy living - which is wonderful, but not so conducive to consistent blogging.

A few random updates:

//  Life has been "everything, all at once" lately.  While it can be emotionally taxing, it simultaneously makes me feel more alive.  It's like a peony blooming.

//  In other news, I turned 24!  24 is one of those ages where you imagine "life" happening.  And, the funny thing is, life is happening.  It's a constant adventure - never certain, never satiating.

//  Last month I wrapped my first-ever Lent.  I thought I would mention it before now, but didn't know how to casually bring it up.  Like, "hey, I'm not doing [this] right now, but it's all good."  Now that it's concluded, it's easier to talk about.  I went to my first Ash Wednesday service and received the imposition of ashes.  I started a list on the first day, a list of specific things I was praying for in my life or the lives of people I love.  And it was incredible to watch things actually change or move while I was praying for them.  It was, not coincidentally, one of the most potent seasons I've had in long while.  I will certainly be participating in Lent in the future.

//  My younger sister posted a bunch of great pictures of our niece and nephews, including this one:

//  Speaking of my younger sister, we've decided sunny days are for picnics and silliness

//  I have been doing a lot of research and re-evaluation lately.  They've led me to some incredible authors and bloggers.  One of them, Sarah Bessey, did somewhat of a series of open letters to those leaving evangelicalism, to those who stay, and to pastors. I find peace and a piece of myself in each of these.

//  This is the most Seattle-esque proposal, and I can't stop watching it...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adaptation Week: Classic Alice

Welcome to day 2 of Adaptation Week!  You can check out Day 1 (BBC's Mansfield Park) here.

Today's featured adaptation is a new web series called Classic Alice [which, turns out, is sadly not a modern adaptation of Alice in Wonderland - still waiting on that one!]  But what it is is pretty cool! The show's synopsis, according to their website: 
It is the story of Alice Rackham, a college student with a huge drive to succeed. When she gets a bad grade on an essay because she isn’t emotionally connecting to material, she decides to take it a step further and live her life according to classic novels. Her friend, Andrew Prichard, uses the opportunity to make a vlog-style documentary about the process, and together they create ‘Classic Alice’.
This "adaptation" is different in a couple of ways. Unlike other adaptations where actors directly assume the characters and attempt to convince you of the life-likeness (or "verisimilitude" ;) of the played out narrative, Alice drops the pretense of meta and just lives it: she is actively emulating characters rather than pretending to be them.  Also, the construct of why they're filming makes this adaptation more believable than many others.  These strengths allow the series to avoid forced plot points, feel more realistic, and (best of all) explore more than one story within the same series.  Their first book was Crime and Punishment - an arc they played out over 7 weeks.  They are currently working on the next book/mini-series, due to air in June or July.  

While it may seem like a weakness to dedicate only a few months to a summarized view of the story, I think this could turn into a show strength in that this team will be able to tackle books that would be much harder to focus a whole series to.  Pemberley Digital, for instance, has chosen stories that adapt rather well across the years.  But Classic Alice has the potential to take less accessible stories (like Crime and Punishment) and explore it's application without forcing certain aspects that wouldn't fit in today's setting (e.g. no down-and-out prostitute, thus far). 

Alice is a fun and engaging character.  [Though, I may be biased because when I showed these videos to my flatmate, she just kept saying "Oh my gosh, she's you!"  I'll let my friends be the judge of that :]  She is played well by the show's creator, writer, and executive producer: Kate Hackett.  The show also has a fun sub-plot in (and many BTS videos dedicated to) her "friendliership" with Andrew.

Classic Alice is currently on hiatus, but you can catch up on both the Crime and Punishment episodes along with a host of additional content here.  You can also follow on FaceBook [source for all of the above pictures] or Twitter.  If you get a chance to check out the show, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Update: 7/2/14

Classic Alice will return on August 5th with Season 2 / Book 2 - Pygmalion!  Could not be more excited!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Adaptation Week: Mansfield Park

The winner of the Wait and Hope 1000 Giveaway is my good friend and fellow blogger: Cami!  Congrats, Cami, and thanks for everyone who entered.

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Anyone who chats to me long enough is bound to discover I love adaptations.  I simply love classic stories retold well.  Adaptations serve to introduce some to a story for the first time, others get to relive it and rethink their prior assumptions.  What's more, they often prompt great discussion about characters, plot points, and the way in which we understand a narrative. Being that I love adaptation so much, I thought I'd take this week on my blog to hi-light a different adaptation that is new or currently going on.  So, welcome to Adaptation Week!


To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, the BBC is re-airing a radio drama they recorded initially in 2003.  That's right, before Tennant flew the TARDIS, before Felicity Jones played Northanger Abbey's gullible heroine, and far before Cumberbatch sleuthed in a long overcoat - they all were in a production of Austen's third novel.  Mansfield Park is interesting in that it is the author's most controversial novel as it can be read as exceedingly moralistic or covertly subvertive.  Due to the fact that she sits in the canon between Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price seems a frail and prudish heroine by comparison - but, this of course depends on how she and the novel is interpreted.

The BBC will be airing 10, 15-minute episodes beginning today, May 12.  You can listen to these episodes within a week of their airing via iPlayer Radio.  The stellar cast includes:

Fanny Price: Felicity Jones  
Sir Thomas Bertram: Tim Pigott-Smith
Lady Bertram: Liza Sadovy 
Tom Bertram: David Tennant  
Edmund Bertram: Benedict Cumberbatch  
Maria Bertram: Kate Fleetwood  
Mrs. Norris: Julia McKenzie  
Mr. Rushworth: Toby Jones  
Henry Crawford: James Callis  
Mary Crawford: Susan Lynch  
Narrator: Amanda Root