First you will notice a new name and new header for this post and new headers for a few other posts, these are still a work in progress and any feedback is greatly appreciated, I am trying to make the blog look more professional ready for when I start publishing but anyway on with the shows…
The series I am going for today is The Crimes That Shook Britain series and more specifically the episode featuring Beverley Allitt…
Those in the UK are more than likely familiar with the case for those in other countries the case may be less well known. What is really horrifying about this case is not that she killed children, though of course that is horrible it is sadly not uncommon, no what makes this shocking is that she does it as she is supposed to be caring for them. When your child is ill you are a mess, when that illness takes them to hospital you feel doubly helpless, you have to rely and trust the professionals around you to do what is needed to make your child better. I know there will be people who will say that they would not leave their childs side but until you have been in that position let me tell you you have no idea. As much as you want to you have to step away, be it to make calls letting the rest of the family know what is happening, to go to the bathroom or to run and grab a coffee or something to eat, there are those few minutes when you nip out believing your child is in the best hands possible. That was when this woman struck.
If you were writing this character it would be hard to make it believable, why would someone with no feelings for the suffering of others go into a caring profession? It has been suggested mental illness but then you have to wonder why no one picked it up quicker given she worked in a hospital. The truth is sometimes not matter what explanations are given, what reasoning is used, you cannot understand another persons actions, sometimes you have to accept evil is simply evil no matter what label is hung on it.
This is a film I watched with my daughter when she was younger so it was fitting she was here when we watched it the other day. I have heard suggestions that it is going to be remade but I hope not there are far to many remakes for my liking at the minute especially given the abundance of creativity and originality out there if someone would just take a chance.
Now unless you were or had a teenage daughter in the 90’s there is a good chance you will not have watched this, but it is basically a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Now as you know I am not a fan of reworkings of other stories but this one takes the plot outline and uses it to tell a basic story but transforms it to a modern setting. It works because of the amount of changes made and the elements of the story it has used are not forced into the story but are so subtle that if you do not know the original you lose nothing. Yes it is dated now and will probably be remade but it is a classic film of its age.
I am a huge fan of supporting kickstarter campaigns for truly innovative ideas whenever possible and I got to know my FB friend Clare Eden through the Minister of Chance project so when she sent out the word of a new project I was just as thrilled to get involved. The project Strangeness in Space features Trev & Simon who those from the UK will be acquainted with and Sophie Aldred who played Ace in the classic series of Doctor Who. The clip that follows was a little bit of fun at Brit Con but for those interested in learning more about the project you can click here.
Although we ended the series last week I thought it would be fun to include these two episodes.
It is interesting to see how the modern version of the story is updated and the vision of the characters lives following the initial story. I think it is also quite interesting to consider as well the fact this is supposed to be as part of an online seminar and the way in which this reflects the changing world. I know as part of my own degree course I had to attend online lessons and they were quite interesting once you got to grips with the technology required. Is this the way of the future? Will more children learn from home via the internet? I believe it is something which is being used in areas of the Australian outback for children who live in remote areas, of course it cannot replicate the socialisation what a classroom provides but it does make it easier for an education to be gained by all.
This technology has of course influenced other areas, as I writer I have been invited to several events which have an online presence for those who cannot physically get there, some of which I have been tempted by, some of which fail to realise it is not always just physical distance but also time differences that can make it impossible.
The one thing I love about good fiction is that it makes you stop and think, it makes you ask the what ifs? What could this lead to? Austen made her characters so real that two hundred years later girls everywhere still relate to them, the times may have changed but issues remain relevant.
Sorry I got distracted from the programme last time round but this week we have the final four episodes, and it seems fitting one of the most romantic stories of all time should end on this particular day, so lets crack on…
Last week ended with Lizzie calling Darcy but we heard no reply, we know Darcy will appear again but it does seem strange in this age that there has been no contact. Back in Austen’s day of course contact would have been restricted by social conventions and a lack of opportunity but in the modern world with texts, tweets and emails you would have expected the odd message even if nothing overtly personal. The same way she calls him and leaves a voicemail, personally I think it would have been more realistic if she had texted him, we all like to avoid the awkwardness and a text makes it easier to delay speaking to those you don’t wish to and finding out if someone wishes to speak to you in return.
Darcy of course does eventually appear, and we find ourselves in the position of missing the action, he appears at the end of number 98 and then in 99 he states they have been in a relationship 6 days, this actually makes a really valid point about Youtube video’s and vlogs and the fact they are the edited highlights of a life not the full view. A person could make a video and claim it was made in one sitting when really it took them a week and was carefully edited to appear flawless ( mine aren’t sadly I am just not that skilled lol)
The final video is quite touching and it is hard to know if it is the characters or actress talking. I have really enjoyed this series and look forward to watching some of the others though I have no intention of watching them this way.
I hope you guys have enjoyed it, next week a final bonus to round this series off properly.
We are nearly at the end less than ten episodes remain plus a couple of specials so on we go…
Lizzie discovers that it was Darcy who stepped in and saved the day, it does raise a really interesting question regarding the purchase of websites, distribution of videos etc in this digital age where nothing is really gone once it has been posted. Had the video gone live, as has been proved by several celebrity cases, there is not much that can be done. A few years ago the Pamela Anderson tape with her then husband Tommy Lee which was stolen from their home could not be removed once it was out and if my understanding was correct the only way to stop other profiting from the tape,was to get copyright on it. It seems crazy that there is no way to stop these things but the reality is once out there you cannot track every download, screenshot or other method that can be used to copy. Sadly another aspect of this is the ex sites who profit from people exploiting relationships which have ended and manipulation and blackmail of young girls who are foolish enough to fall for the lies and lines delivered by a stranger from behind a keyboard miles away and perform acts they are not capable of understanding the consequences of. This is not the post for going into this in such detail but I really do believe that we as parents have to take responsibility here, too many parents want to be their kids friends not parents, it is up to us to firstly teach our children to respect themselves and demand others treat them with the same respect but also to know what is going on in our kids lives, if your child is kicking off over you looking at their phone or on their computer then there is even more reason to look, there should be nothing you should not be able to look at, there should be no secrets they have to keep from you. And I know people might not agree with me on this one but if they have a problem with you picking up their phone take it off them, simple, it is not a necessity it is a luxury that they too often take for granted if they want something secret then they can wait until they grow up get their own job to pay for it and live under their own roof. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying you need to be checking on a daily basis but lets face it chances are if there is no problem with you checking you probably don’t need to actually do it!
I did toy with the idea of just watching these and not bothering posting but as we have done most of this together I thought lets finish the last few, it should take four weeks to finish up and then although I want to watch their new productions I think I will just do it then post a review of them rather than a weekly post.
Okay we know Darcy saves the day and it kind of sucks knowing the plot ahead of time in some ways but lets wait to see what this week brings…
The first episode this week was rather slow and I did worry about whether I had gone off the series while not watching it but by half way through the second episode I was hooked again. Bing and Jane reunite and it looks like love is on the cards once more.
Although these episodes are slower paced than the others the interchanges between Jane and Bing are thought provoking, can you really ever go back and pick up where you left off? Is it possible to really make a fresh start and leave the past behind? But it is also interesting to consider Bing’s career choice and the pressure placed on his to conform to his parents choice without stopping to think about what he wants. For most of us our parents while pushing us to do our best, encourage us to do what we want and what we are good at, but they also want us to do well in life, I am pretty sure that had I told my parents I wanted to be a writer age 16 they would have said that’s nice dear now you better marry someone rich or concentrate on getting a job that pays the bills and gives you plenty of free time! I know I am as guilty myself as a parent, my daughter writes amazing poetry and while I encourage her and have suggested she put together a collection to publish I am also realistic enough to know it will not pay the bills in the foreseeable future and made sure she got a proper education and a day job that makes sure she can lead a comfortable life.
Speaking as a parent how easy do you think it is to encourage your child to follow their dreams knowing what real life holds? Or from when you were the child did you feel your parents would have backed you no matter what you wanted to be?
Okay Lizzie rushes home as the sex tape is about to be leaked, we know Darcy will intervene, I would even go as far as to say we all know how he will but lets see if we are right…
It is really uncomfortable watching Lydia’s discovery of her betrayal, I think because most of us have either been betrayed in one way or another or had to support a friend and witness their pain. So many young girls are so vulnerable because they trust and do not think through the consequences of their actions, what seems like a harmless interaction within a loving relationship can be made tacky and tawdry by placing it in another context. The vlogs parallel the original text in that it is the woman in the situation who acts outside social expectations who is vilified rather than her male counterpart.
There is a lot of mention of the other videos and I debated including them but instead I think once this series is finished I might look at the other videos separately, I think trying to fit them all in would get too complicated.
These episodes are quite dark and hard to watch and I confess I few times I felt myself tearing up, a compliment both the the writing and the acting but I think also because in real life we know of the youngsters who have taken their own lives after far more innocent interactions have led to their exploitation by older people. I actually think this would be a great series to show to those just starting high school who have their whole lives ahead of them and are naive and trusting of people and technology yet believe they are worldly wise.
At the end the website disappears and we are left wondering who even though we know who it is really, and Kitty gets a mention even if it is only as a cat.
Will Lizzie ask Bing if he still loves Jane? Will she stick to her resolution not to interfere? Let’s see…
These episodes are the most heartfelt in some-ways, they are about truths and lies and how even the best intentioned lies are misplaced and do more damage. The interactions between the three characters in the first are awkward and full of tension but lead into really in depth conversations which bring aspects of several characters true persona’s into better light.
The acting is brilliant as always but I was really impressed with the actress playing Gigi when she reveals the plot between herself and Wickham and her betrayal at discovering her brother was right about Wickham’s intentions.
We get to see Darcy lighten up a little which is great but then as we knew would happen Lydia ends up in trouble with the release by Wickham of a sex tape, I confess it never fails to surprise me the number of celebs who film these things then act shocked when they are released by an ex, maybe if both partners are celebs where it could hurt their careers it might not be so dangerous but for most it always seems to be when the woman is more successful than the male he releases it. Pre-fame sex tapes are one thing, maybe even those where the partners were married and the tapes were genuinely stolen are different, but if you are a celeb who makes a sex tape after you have become famous and it gets released then you should have learnt from all those who went before you and not been so stupid.
I confess I caught on to the identity of the tour guide straight away but only because I knew she was due to put in an appearance, I love the idea that the firm it so wonderful and takes such good care of every need the staff could have with is in complete opposition the the views we know Lizzie has on Darcy, that she had no idea it was his company when she agreed to the placement I find a little harder to believe as it is the sort of thing that you would have expected to have been mentioned previously.
I have to admit I got blind sided, I am guilty of sexism! I assumed that Doctor Gardiner was male like the uncle mentioned in the original however this episode showed her to be female and I found myself shocked by my own preconceptions.
Gigi’s matchmaking is hilarious especially when she pushes her brother into the room and the awkwardness between the two is so comical, I think episode 78 was the funniest yet.
Bing makes a reappearance and Lizzie’s efforts to protect Jane are so heart warming, although I find it funny he still has no idea about the vlogs and thinks she is still recording video letters to Charlotte. I totally relate to Lizzie in the final episode of today in that she had the chance to confront Bing and failed to take it up, I think we have all done that where brilliant comebacks spring to mind a few hours after events.
The interaction between Darcy and Lizzie was interesting, and raises some interesting questions regarding Jane and Bing and if you can get back a romance after a break if it causes one of you to change.
We pick up with the morning after the night before or should that be the morning after the week before?
I found the first of today’s instalment quite moving in the interaction between Lizzie and Lydia, I totally get where both characters are coming from it is hard to hear that something about the way you are puts people off but also some types of behaviour are not only embarassing but can also be dangerous. The comments about putting things on the internet is also a hot topic given the recent spate of hackings that have seen private celeb pics put out their for everyone to see.
As the oldest of 5 siblings I completely get the angst that comes with family feuds and to way no one can hurt you like family, they always know exactly where to push in the dagger and how to twist it to inflict maximum pain. These episodes fly through Christmas and New Year, Jane puts in a quick reappearance as does Charlotte before Lydia heads off to Vegas where we can assume she will get into some sort of trouble. it is the final few words of the final instalment for this week that have to real impact for the story when Lizzie announces she is going off to shadow and get work experience at Pemberley Digital, again this was another thing I was not sure how they would manage, while I know the US has many historic buildings and places, I think the stately home and the opening of the homes to the public for viewing is more of an English thing and in modern times many of the homes which are open are no longer privately owned, although a few such as Chatworth still are, so making it a business makes perfect sense in terms of the updated story line though I reserve judgement until next week on whether or not I think it works.
Heading towards the final third now and things have certainly got interesting, I have loved seeing how they actually update the story to take modern sensibilities and technology into account.
It was fun watching Jane loosen up and pretend to be her younger sister but I love the fact in episode 70 we see a new stronger more independent Jane which is a lot more fitting for the modern age than the traditional moping character I do believe that is very much part of the changes modernity places upon the story. In Austen’s day her Jane would have had far more restricted options to help mend her broken heart and fewer chances to occupy herself to put the pain from her mind.
I loved the list of guests Lydia invited for the party, this is of course the parallel to Lydia going away to Brighton, but I am wondering how they will deal with the elopement thing as to be honest running off with a guy is not going to be as shocking as it was back then. I really enjoyed that we got to meet cousin Mary, and I have to say the ‘goth/emo’ persona actually works really well as a updated version of the serious and sensible sister, I can imagine a modern day Mary being very introspective and moving away from purely religious study to a wider study of the human psyche, she is actually the one character who I believe would be very different in a modern society, the ability to occupy her mind and study more freely would allow her to take up a career I could imagine her as a psychiatrist, and she would feel the need to try to please people and fit in less in ways which do not flatter her.
It really is interesting to consider how classic characters would fair in the modern world, which would flourish and which are really stuck in their own era.