“Shake Me Up, Judy”

January 14, 2009

One of the many things I like about Bart is that he’s not afraid of BBC movies. You really can’t ask for more in a spouse. I find I particularly like to test this in January.

Last year, I forced him to begin the year by watching North & South, followed by Jane Eyre.

This year, Bart’s parents introduced us to Cranford (written by the same woman who wrote North and South) and wow, I loved it.

Filled with zeal for all things British, we came home and got Bleak House which some friends had told us we must watch and love. It took a little longer to warm up to (because, lets be honest, most Dickens’ things are dark and cold and with a name like “Bleak House,” well, you aren’t helping us out much, are you, Charlie?), but fortunately it’s seven hours long, so there was plenty of time to get into it.

Over the last four days, we’ve worked our way through the five hours of Wives and Daughters. Those were a pleasant five hours (especially the last hour were we ordered Indian takeout and ate our curry and naan bread in front of the screen).

Despite having watched somewhere in the neighborhood of seventeen hours of BBC dramas in the last two weeks, I’m not ready to move on to lame American action films yet (although, Bart may be).

Ralphie has suggested Nicholas Nickleby and my mom is currently watching and loving Berkeley Square. What else should I run out and find so that I can spend hours more on the LoveSac, pretending to improve my mind?

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  • Reply Jeanelle January 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    You are a lucky girl to have a husband who will watch these movies with you!! I watched Cranford over the holidays and loved it. Wasn't it just so enjoyable? I think Judi Densch is fantastic in anything. I need to give Wives and Daughters another try because I couldn't get into it the first time I tried to watch it. Oh and back to Cranford, it was fun to see Bingley as the doctor and wasn't the girl who played Charlotte Lucas in there as well (from the film P&P?) I recorded Masterpiece on PBS the last couple of weeks (Tess of the d'Urbervilles) but haven't watched it yet. If you missed it, I'm sure it's still replaying and Wuthering Heights starts this Sunday!!! Okay, longest comment ever. Sorry!

  • Reply Megs January 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Yay! I absolutely love the BBC miniseries, as I’m sure you know. If you haven’t seen them already, I can recommend The Way We Live Now and Daniel Deronda without reservation. And I’ll be looking into Cranford immediately, because North and South is one of the best things that every happened to me. 🙂

  • Reply Megs January 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Ooh! I’m also a fan of Under the Greenwood Tree, which stars the same Keely Hawes of Wives and Daughters as a miss Fancy Day. It’s a little shorter than the others, but still enjoyable. And if you haven’t found it yet, you should look at BBC’s Shakespeare Retold series, because (with the possible exception of Midsummer) it’s completely delightful.
    Okay. The end now.

  • Reply GeogJen January 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I really like the Shakespeare Re-told, an earlier experiment is re-telling of four of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Not sure if its available in the US yet, but Larkrise to Candleford is a favourite of mine at the moment (the second series has just started). I’m hoping that by the time I get to move to the USA that iPlayer is available abroad.

  • Reply Elizabeth January 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I assume you’ve already seen “Upstairs, Downstairs”?

  • Reply Lady Susan January 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Love love love North and South, Wives and Daughters, Cranford, and Bleak House.

    We recently watched “He knew he was right” which was good but um, a bit depressing and “the secret life of Mrs. Beeton.” (which is actually MPT) That too wasn’t exactly roses and springtime, but still entertaining.

    I second the recommendations for Under the Greenwood Tree, Daniel Deronda, and Shakespeare Retold as being excellent.

    Also, have you seen the new versions of Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey? I thought both of those were well done.

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy January 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    How was Bleak House? What about Tess?

    I can only get Plantboy to watch BBC comedies. Which are, incidentally, hilarious. We love Rowan Atkinson’s “Blackadder” and “My Family.” Though I think “My Family” is a bit like the Cosby Show–the oldest episodes, when the children are a bit young, are funnier.

    The upshot? I have nothing to contribute here. . .

  • Reply Strong Family - January 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I love that I knew what you meant by “Shake Me Up, Judy!” My mom and I watched that one when she came to visit once. We were madly trying to finish watching it as she was packing for the airport. We have Nicholas Nickleby (sp?) if you want to borrow it. 🙂

  • Reply emily January 14, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I LOVED North and South and Cranford but didn’t care for Wives and Daughters for some reason. My sister says to skip Tess of the d’Ubervilles, too depressing, even though it’s filmed beautifully. Did you watch Jane Eyre? I loved the new version of that. I also loved the Jane Austen remakes but I’m sure you watched those too.

  • Reply Ralphie January 14, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Oooo- go get Nicholas from Lauree and bring it over, straight away.

    I also have The Inheritance on it’s way from Netflix. You must come see it with me. And I have recorded the new BBC verson of Tess on my computer.

    Oh, we are going to be having a few late nights my friend.

  • Reply Liz January 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    We watched Bleak House over Christmas with the giant-sized family. It seems like I got the best of the bargain–I missed the first hour or so and had the important stuff explained to me and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it.

  • Reply heidikins January 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I used to watch the old-skool BBC sit-coms–the British equivalent of “The Golden Girls” and “The Cosby Show”–and absolutely loved them. Goodness, I should try and download some of those again!


  • Reply Marie January 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks to you I have a few more movies to add to my ever-dwindling netflix queue. Although, I will probably be watching them alone. Bryan and I have an agreement – I don’t have to watch his (awful) Kung Fu movies with him and he doesn’t have to watch anything too sappy with me… 🙂 Works for us.

  • Reply Sea Star January 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    We love BBC miniseries here. We always look forward to Masterpiece Classics so we can watch some new one. But we loved all the Jane Austen films that they showed last year as well as Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.

    To give you husband a taste of some of the action and adventure while still getting in a good costume drama you should show him Horatio Hornblower. You will both love them. There are 8 parts of it and you will be hooked!

    Also… Have you tried Jeeves and Wooster. So funny! Hugh Laurie is great as Gregory House but he was and will will always be Bertie Wooster to me.

  • Reply Zillah January 14, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    The greatest one of all: Brideshead Revisited. 11 hours of pure bliss: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Claire Bloom, Diana Quick, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier. Read the book, as well.

    Be very careful not to rent the 2008 travesty by accident. Just thinking of it makes me want to poke someone’s eyes out.

  • Reply Melanie January 14, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I can think of few ways I’d rather spend an evening than watching a BBC drama. Thanks to this post and all of the comments I know how a gold mine of material.

    I love the old All Creatures Great and Small series. It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s so happy and simple. Watching an episode is a great way to unwind at night.

    I noticed that several people have mentioned Tess that’s playing right now on Masterpiece Classics. I’ve never been a Hardy fan, but I really, really like this film version. It’s made me think a lot. I’m interested in see what they do with Wuthering Heights.

    All of my other favorites have already been mentioned. It’s not BBC, but the film version of The Importance of Being Earnest (with Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, etc.) is hilarious.

  • Reply emily kate January 15, 2009 at 4:35 am

    I just edited my blog post to add in that information about transferring to BYU! I hope you blog your “how we met” story!

  • Reply Bri January 15, 2009 at 5:52 am

    I have no suggestions, but I am definitely going to check some of these out!

  • Reply Jodi January 15, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I don’t have anything new to add, I just love Nicholas Nickleby! I vote for that one next.

  • Reply Landen January 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Well, as an avid BBC and MPT fan, I have a few recommendations:) I LOVED Cranford, North and SOuth, and Wives and Daughters, but I would also recommend the newest Sense and Sensibility (it is a BEAUTIFUL Movie!), Our Mutual Friend ( another Dickens, so a little slow at first, and sort of gory in a few places, but there are some wonderfully romantic scenes:), I REALLY loved Berkeley Square, and I really want to see the Buccaneers! I really didn’t love Daniel Deronda, and I didn’t love Under the Greenwood Tree… The stories were not really developed… I didn’t believe the love interests. But I am glad some of you love them! Regency movies ROCK!

  • Reply Bart January 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    @ Sea Star:

    Excellent recommendations! It just so happens that Janssen and I both love Horatio Hornblower and watched all of them our first year together. And I agree – Hugh Laurie, as well as he does House (which we also enjoy), will always be Bertie Wooster! Makes me laugh just to think of that show.

  • Reply emily kate January 15, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Back for comment #3. My sister said to tell you that Lorna Doone is good if you can find it.

  • Reply La Petite Chic January 15, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I am super impressed with Bart. Jon usually leaves the room when I put on my programs on the History Channel, TLC and Discovery Health!

  • Reply Angela January 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Great blog- I am new here! I love BBC!

  • Reply nancypearlwannabe January 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Lady, you are lucky indeed. I got 15 minutes into watching the BBC’s Ruby in the Smoke before Chris said “ENOUGH”.

  • Reply Becky K January 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I LOVED the North and South. I watched them all week when I was in high school. Wasn’t Patrick Swayze one of the main characters? Ah, he was hot back then.

    I haven’t watched a lot of BBC stuff. I always forget to check PBS for that kind of stuff. Must try harder!

  • Reply Katie January 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my favorite authors and I loved the BBC adaptations of N&S, W&D, and Cranford. I went through a BBC phase last year – I recommend any of the Jane Austen adaptations (they are either BBC or PBS films – they were featured on Masterpiece Theater last year) and Daniel Deronda, and my new favorite is Lorna Doone. So much fun!

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