Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear BBC, I love you forever

Today was a wonderful day, for one simple reason. My boss gave me back my copy of North & South, which she borrowed in JANUARY. I've been going through withdrawal symptoms ever since... If you've never seen North & South, you need to go out and find it IMMEDIATELY. Cos, look:
Rawr. And also, source

Or you could just watch this (EPIC spoiler...):


*swoon*

As far as I'm concerned, North & South is, hands down, the best costume drama the BBC has ever produced. Course, it doesn't hurt that I have a serious weak spot for a Midlands accent, courtesy of doing a study abroad program in Leicester in 2002...

While North & South tops my list, I've yet to meet a BBC costume drama that I don't love. Actually, that's a lie. The ones that were made before 1995 are pretty crap. Speaking of 1995, it brought us Colin Firth this:
Source
Source

Since then, there've been these:

  • Vanity Fair. I spent most of 1998 obsessed with this, and I still love it.
  • David Copperfield. It introduced Daniel Radcliffe to the world, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.
  • Wives & Daughters. My introduction to Elizabeth Gaskell. Plus, Justine Waddell is great in it.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel. Richard E. Grant is a genius. And the portion of 1998 that wasn't taken up with Vanity Fair was taken up with this.
  • Jane Eyre. The Toby Stephens version. SO much better than the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton that we were subjected to in high school. I'm kind of curious to see how the new movie version with Michael Fassbender stacks up.
  • Little Dorrit. If it hadn't starred Matthew McFugly McFaddyn, who I hate with a fiery passion, this would have been pretty much perfect. Okay, Russell Tovey could have cried a little less too...
  • Cranford. Brilliant. That's all there is to it! Kind of weird, because the book was really quite dull...
  • Sense & Sensibility. Minus the movie version's horrific Emma Thompson sobfest when she's proposed to. Plus Dan Stevens chopping wood in the rain. Yes please.
  • The Forsyte Saga. Damian Lewis plays quite possibly the creepiest ginger in history, other than Uriah Heep...
  • Daniel Deronda. I can't stand George Eliot books, I really can't. But I enjoyed this.
  • The Lost World. Sure, the story was completely changed from Arthur Conan Doyle's original text, but you get Tom Ward sporting a hilarious moustache and generally acting like Lord Flashart. Woof! And speaking of which...
  • Blackadder. Okay, not a costume drama. But it's still the Beeb and it's still genius!
  • Great Expectations. Good grief, they really did cast Justine Waddell in everything for a while there... Still, it was good! 
  • Bleak House. Apparently the most difficult of Dickens' books to get through (I'll let you know - I bought it the other week and it's sitting in the pile waiting for me to finish Harry Potter). The series was completely incredible.
  • Emma. Somehow, I've managed to not see this yet. Probably because Emma is my least favourite Austen book by a LONG way...
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Aah, Thomas Hardy. Makes you want to slit your wrists, but it was beautifully done.
  • Persuasion. The 1995 movie version with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. Well...it's the Beeb, so I imagine it aired on TV in the UK. But I saw this at the movies for my 13th birthday, and I love every single second of it. 
(There are probably a bunch more, but that's all that springs to mind, and it seems the Beeb themselves don't have a list available anywhere. Weird...) Basically? The BBC costume dramas are amazeballs and they make me stupidly happy.

What's your favourite BBC costume drama?

K xx

PS. Oh dear God. There's apparently a new version of Great Expectations coming out next year. And it stars Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham.......... *brain explodes* Wait. Now I'm really confused. IMDB says there are TWO versions of Great Expectations coming out next year, and both are affiliated with the BBC. One stars Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, and the other stars Helena Bonham Carter. I'm really not sure which is worse! O.o

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guilty pleasures

This morning at work, R emailed me this. Oh dear...

On one hand, this is kind of lame and publicity grabbing, and Man vs Wild kind of makes me want to throw up whenever I watch it, while I'm simultaneously vaguely intrigued. On the other hand we have this:
Source

Rawr. In case you're new around here, I *may* have a small obsession with Jake Gyllenhaal. To the point where I occasionally refer to him as my future husband. And Bear Grylls isn't exactly bad looking. Clearly batshit crazy (have you SEEN the names of his children?!), but that's completely not the point. HOLY CRAP.  YOU CAN DO A JIGSAW PUZZLE OF THAT PICTURE. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Anythat'sthefunniestthingI'veeverseen, after spending part of the work day trying to find out when that episode is going to air in Australia (Dear SBS, your website is unhelpful on matters of such ridiculously high importance...), I instead came home and indulged in one of my guilty pleasures: watching Prince of Persia.

I've had a number of people tell me recently that it's one of the biggest pieces of crap they've ever seen. Clearly, these people are overlooking the main point with Prince of Persia: the plot is tenuous and should be ignored at all costs. (Hands up who just got so distracted by that jigsaw puzzle that they don't really care about anything else I have to say? *raises hand*)

The sole point of Prince of Persia? Is this:
Source
And this:
Source
And this:
Source
What more do you need, really? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and bookmark that jigsaw puzzle so that I can do it every day...

Please tell me I'm not the only one who likes this movie solely because of the eye candy?

K xx

Monday, June 27, 2011

30 Days of Books - Day 27

First of all, I woke up yesterday morning to an email from Bloggers.com telling me that I was a featured blogger of the day. Wow!! My phone spent half the day telling me that people had added me as a friend on there, so I'll definitely be spending a lot more time on there in the future. And welcome to anyone who's stopped by from Bloggers.com - thanks so much for stopping by! 

Day 27 - The most surprising plot twist or ending

I had a pretty hard time coming up with something for this topic. I don't know if it's my choice of books, or that I'm just not particularly surprised by twists. Originally, I was planning on writing about Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, because I watched the BBC adaptation before I read the book, so finding out (I don't think this REALLY counts as a spoiler) that Gaskell died before she finished writing the book came as something of a surprise. 

But then while grabbing the next Harry Potter (18 days until I leave Canberra, 18 days to finish Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows!) off my bookshelf, I found this:
Source
Twilight (aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8, volume 7). Yes, I'm kind of a comic book nerd, although I do try and limit myself to Joss Whedon related comics (BtVS, Firefly, Dr Horrible etc). Anyway, the reveal of the Big Bad's identity actually did come as something of a shock to me. And not in a good way. In a "Oh COME ON!" kind of a way.

I'm really hoping the final volume is an improvement on this one, otherwise I'll be a wee bit crankypants... 

K xx

Day 01 - The best book you read last year
Day 02 - A book you've read more than 3 times
Day 03 - Your favourite series
Day 04 - Your favourite book of your favourite series
Day 05 - A book that makes you happy
Day 06 - A book that makes you sad
Day 07 - Most underrated book
Day 08 - Most overrated book
Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 10 - Favourite classic book
Day 11 - A book you hated
Day 12 - A book you used to love but don't any more
Day 13 - Your favourite writer
Day 14 - Favourite book of your favourite writer
Day 15 - Favourite male character
Day 16 - Favourite female character
Day 17 - Favourite quote from your favourite book
Day 18 - A book that disappointed you
Day 19 - Favourite book turned into a movie
Day 20 - Favourite romance book
Day 21 - Favourite book from your childhood
Day 22 - Favourite book you own
Day 23 - A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
Day 24 - A book you wish more people would've read
Day 25 - A character you can relate to the most
Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 - Favourite title
Day 29 - A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 - Your favourite book of all time

Thursday, June 23, 2011

30 Days of Books - Day 26

I decided when I came home tonight that it was probably time for me to clean the bathroom. I hate hate HATE cleaning the bathroom, because whoever designed my bathroom was kind of a moron. Seriously. Who designs a bath with a shower over it and then puts in a SOLID GLASS SHOWER SCREEN???? You basically have two options:
1. Stand in the bath while scrubbing it out with bleach; or
2. Become a contortionist to reach the parts of the bath that actually require scrubbing out with bleach.

Tonight, I went with option 2. As a result, my t-shirt now has bleach stains all over it and my eyes feel like I've spent way too long in a swimming pool. Thanks a LOT, idiot design people... *sigh*

Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion on something

I had a hard time coming up with an idea for this topic. But then I remembered this:
Source
Before reading this (which, incidentally, is classic literature in tweets of less than 140 characters and is pretty damned awesome), I really had no idea what Twitter was other than some weird thing where random celebrities would say useless tripe like "Going to the gym then to get a smoothie - yay!". Only with worse spelling...

This book made me realise that Twitter can be so much more than just Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. It can be freaking hilarious, too. And I'm so ridiculously glad I signed up.

K xx

Day 01 - The best book you read last year
Day 02 - A book you've read more than 3 times
Day 03 - Your favourite series
Day 04 - Your favourite book of your favourite series
Day 05 - A book that makes you happy
Day 06 - A book that makes you sad
Day 07 - Most underrated book
Day 08 - Most overrated book
Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 10 - Favourite classic book
Day 11 - A book you hated
Day 12 - A book you used to love but don't any more
Day 13 - Your favourite writer
Day 14 - Favourite book of your favourite writer
Day 15 - Favourite male character
Day 16 - Favourite female character
Day 17 - Favourite quote from your favourite book
Day 18 - A book that disappointed you
Day 19 - Favourite book turned into a movie
Day 20 - Favourite romance book
Day 21 - Favourite book from your childhood
Day 22 - Favourite book you own
Day 23 - A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
Day 24 - A book you wish more people would've read
Day 25 - A character you can relate to the most
Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 - Favourite title
Day 29 - A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 - Your favourite book of all time
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