TTT: Loose Adaptations

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I think I may have done a movie-book adaptation list a while back, so this time around, I’ll get specific. So that means adaptations of specific books. And off the top of my head, I’ve decided to go and talk about movies and mini-series based off of Jane Austen books. Oh yes. This is happening, guys. So happening. And yes, there’s a lot of Pride and Prejudice adaptations I’m going to throw in here, because why not.

Top Ten Movies and Mini-Series Adapted From Jane Austen Novels

 

Sense and Sensibility (1995) – There’s just something about that last Emma Thompson scene where she breaks down that’s absolutely fantastic. It’s pretty much the culmination of all that repressed emotion in the book, boiling down to blubbering when she finally gets proposed to. Definitely one of my favorite scenes, both in the book and movie.

Clueless (1995) – Quite possibly one of my favorite of any modernized Austen retellings ever. Ever. And time and again, a number of films have tried, but for the most part, they don’t really match the quirky caliber of Clueless. It is ultimately Emma if it took place on Beverly Hills with a bunch of high school students who don’t know any better.

Emma (2009) – Honestly, I’ve liked all the Emma adaptations that I’ve seen so far, but after seeing Romola Garai’s version of Emma, I see no one else in the role. Her face is absolutely expressive in that snooty Emma way, and you honestly don’t need her to spell her reactions out when you can see it plain as day.

Mansfield Park (2007) – I actually haven’t paid much attention to this book until recently, but it has started to grow on me after a time. I know the 2007 version adds a bit more backstory of the book, but I liked where the movie went with it, and I actually like Billie Piper as Fanny Price!

Bride and Prejudice (2004) – Because “no life without wife” pretty much sums up the beginning of Pride and Prejudice so well. Also, the songs in this Bollywood movie are so. damn. catchy. I might have to find a copy just to watch it again at the risk of getting all the songs stuck in my head for days to come.

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) – Also another Pride and Prejudice retelling that I loved (yes, I have a lot of those). And I mean…Mr. Darcy is being played by Colin Firth, and he is the modern iteration of Austen’s Darcy…just, a lot of yes to that.

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013) – I’m very picky with my Mr. Darcys, so when I saw this little retelling of Pride and Prejudice on Netflix, I was intrigued. I love Matthew Rhys to begin with, so it wasn’t very hard for me to get won over by his version of Mr. Darcy. This story isn’t really so much an adaptation of a Jane Austen book as an adaptation of somebody’s continuation. Death Comes to Pemberley was penned by P.D. James.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – This is such a hoot and a half, and honestly Matt Smith as Mr. Collins is just perfect. That said, again, this adaptation is of a parody written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and shouldn’t really be taken seriously. It’s just P&P with zombies and a group of fighting Bennett sisters.

Pride and Prejudice (1995) – Easily my favorite adaptation of anything Austen. Yes, it’s a six-hour long mini-series but I seriously can watch this several times within a given year and I’d be okay with that. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth are THE Liz and Darcy for me, and there’s yet to be a P&P adaptation that’s come close.

Lost in Austen (2008) – Now let me talk about this gem of a mini-series. This gem puts a modern woman into the story of Pride and Prejudice and by some twist of fate, said woman gets whisked off into the world of P&P while Elizabeth Bennett gets thrown into the real world (and is loving it, btw). In this particular mini-series, Amanda takes Lizzie’s place, and it’s sort of like an Austen version of Outlander, except, you know, not. Um. I’m losing my point here, but that’s me getting distracted.

I mean, um, what?

Anyway, there’s my Austen showing. Maybe next week I’ll tone it down a bit, lol!

What’s YOUR favorite TV show or movie adaptation of a book?

 

Food and Fandom: Hodor

The fall season is practically the funnest and busiest time for me, and honestly, most of the “busy” bit tends to fall on October and November, especially since I’m spending half that time baking goodies for relatives and friends. I also have two siblings sharing the same birthday month, so I definitely had to step it up and make them something extra creative. My sister already got a Nyan Cake, so at this point, I was all caked out.

Which meant when my brother’s turn came, I wanted to do something else.

Cue the brownies. And the zombies. And the Game of Thrones reference.

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Thank you, Erin Browne, for the Ooey Gooey Fudge Brownies Recipe! I’ve made these brownies a few times now, and they’ve always been real delicious (although, yes, again, I made alterations according to my semi-sweet vs. dark chocolate taste buds).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp flour for coating chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 F. Coat 8×8 baking dish with light layer of cooking spray (or, well, if you want to take the brownies easily out of the dish, line the dish with parchment paper).

Combine sugar, butter, vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients in different bowl. Beat eggs slowly into sugar mixture until combined. Add flour mixture 1-2 cups at a time, mix until combined.

Coat chocolate chips into 1 Tbsp flour, then fold into brownie batter. Pour into pan, level with rubber spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Some Changes: I actually like adding a bit of a dark chocolate glaze to smooth out the top of the brownie, but for this particular case, I didn’t, because my sister wanted a rougher look to our “brownie door.” I also didn’t have any dark chocolate chips in my cupboard at the time, but I did use my last batch of Jacques Torres dark chocolate (which is AMAZING, by the way), so I just broke that up into pieces and tossed it into the Tbsp of flour. For pans that are larger than 8×8, I would suggest lessening the baking time, which I did. I think 20 minutes was my maximum, to be honest. The only other thing I would also point out is that I found this set of brownies was a little less gooey than the previous times I’d baked it. I’m thinking it’s because my eggs were medium-sized, so I’d probably go with larger eggs whenever I make these brownies again.

Hodor Brownies

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched the latest season of HBO’s Game of Thrones and don’t plan on getting a face-full of spoilers, you might want to skip the rest of this post altogether, because uh, yeah. For the brownie is dark and full of spoilers.

Onto the decorations…

My sister and I had already decided early on what we wanted to do for our brother on his birthday. In fact, it would have been PERFECT had we managed to get the Hodor Funko Pop doll, but it was already vaulted, and neither of us were too keen on paying an exorbitant amount of money just for a tiny decorative figure (even if it IS Hodor). So we decided on the next best thing:

A Hodor cake. Because my brother must always be taught that we respect men who hold doors.

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Too soon? Yeah, my brother thought so, too.

With my sister’s help–because she’s the more artistic one–we proceeded to gather up some colored melting chocolates to use as our brownie topping. Using this picture as reference, my sister began her awesome piping skillz and started sketching out the epic Hodor image that continues to haunt my siblings and me even now.

Alright, you can stop crying now, guys.

Mini-Reviews: The Empire Striketh Back, The Jedi Doth Return

Serious Star Wars craze right now, and I’m totally not apologizing for it. I found these audiobooks on Overdrive and definitely went for them. I finished both books in the span of a couple days. Strong was the Force in these stories.

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Have you read either of these? What did you think?

TTT: Fictional TV Bingers

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I haven’t done a TTT in the longest time. But I figure since Fall TV is coming back, and I have so many shows to catch up to already, it’s about time to do a twist on the Top Ten Tuesday. I feel like if these fictional characters discovered TV, they’d totally be addicted to particular shows. Some of them will probably even binge them in a couple of nights.

Ten Fictional Television Bingers

Once Upon a TimeSharhzad (The Wrath & the Dawn)
All those different fairy tales and the cornucopia of characters that can be followed! This is definitely Shazi’s show, and she could even replenish the tales she can tell to Khalid when she’s in a storytelling mood.

Gotham/The Flash/Arrow/SupergirlDavid (Steelheart), Eleanor and Park (Eleanor & Park)
Alright, these three would probably watch the superhero shows for different reasons. I’m pretty sure David’s watching the shows as research into the inner workings of metahumans, just so he can obliterate the ones in his world. Meanwhile, grown-up Eleanor and Park would watch and geek out over the shows, even comparing them to the comic books that they’d read while they were teenagers.

Criminal MindsVictor Vale (Vicious)
I don’t know why Vale comes to mind for this particular show. Actually, yeah, I do. Criminal Minds is all about catching criminals by delving into their psyche. Victor is nothing if not a good reader of people, and he’d probably be interested in the methods of crime the show portrays. He’ll probably find some of the crimes distasteful, but he won’t shirk away from the crimes, either.

Grey’s AnatomyKaladin (The Way of Kings)
I sort of giggle at this. Kal would definitely find this show frivolous and absolutely horrifying in a medical level, but it’s the type of aimless medical soap opera that he probably wouldn’t be able to take his eyes off. Syl would probably be perched by his shoulder, asking Kal if any of the medical procedures were right. I can totally imagine him scoffing, murmuring under his breath about what’s wrong with the infirm, and wondering why he’s still sitting around watching the drivel. Guilty pleasure, Kal. Guilty. Pleasure.

Big Bang TheoryCress and Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)
Actually, I feel like the entire Rampion gang would be dragged into watching this show from time to time, but Cress and Cinder would probably stick around longer. Cress being the biggest geek ever would adore the show, and Cinder is a closet nerd. She just hides it better, but she knows when Cress comes along and looks at her with those pleading eyes, she’d probably sigh and follow along.

How to Get Away with MurderKylar Stern (The Way of Shadows)
Not that Kylar needs any more help, with his stellar wetboy mentor critiquing his every kill. That said, Kylar might watch this one, horrified that people were trying too hard to get it right, but doing it wrong anyway. I can imagine Durzo dragging Kylar away from the TV and yelling about poisons to learn, hah.

The Vampire DiariesSimon Snow and probably Baz (Carry On)
Netflix and chill, Simon Snow! *snickers* I do see this happening. In fact, I can see the conversation right now.

“Baz. Baaaaaz. This one’s about vampires.”

“What madness are you on about now, Snow?” Baz says with his typical sneer. “Why on earth would I want to watch a show about vampires?”

Simon eyes Baz with a pleading look. “They’re your people.”

And cue Baz resignation amidst his glaring.

SurvivorKatniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), Tobias Eaton (Divergent)
Oh come on. You totally know this is exactly the type of show they’d watch, because it’s got all the thrill without any of the threat. Sure, the players are marooned in the middle of bumblefudge, but nobody’s dead at the end of it. Katniss may be more reluctant to watch this because trauma, but I can see her being amused at the stakes. Tobias might just watch this and wonder at the resourcefulness of the show.

Doctor WhoClaire and Jaime Fraser (Outlander)
Time traveling done right, amiright, Claire? The show would totally give Claire many ideas of time travel, and if she could, she’d probably steal her own TARDIS to make the journey back to Jaime. That’d make her the Time Lord and Jaime the companion, but hey, it can happen.

Downton AbbeyAdam Hauptman and Mercy Thompson (Mercy Thompson)
Considering how these two get into too much trouble without any help, Downton Abbey is the sort of thing that would probably be relaxing. Adam’s not a fiction type of guy, and Mercy likes her history, so a period drama with clever Britishisms sounds about right. Adam won’t admit it, but he’s totally crushing over Dowager Countess Crawley (Maggie Smith) and her sass. Mercy totally knows, though, and she’d be crushing on her, too.

SherlockMarianne Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility)
Oh, Marianne. I feel like she’d be fascinated by the fast-talking Cumberbatch and would probably romanticize the idea of being Sherlock’s Watson. Geeky is the new sexy, and Marianne is not only a romantic, but the type of girl who’d find a riveting conversation to be the best company. Honestly, I think she’d be thrilled at the episode with Irene Adler as a dominatrix. Just saying.

I had way too much fun coming up with some of these…

What fictional character do YOU think would binge-watch a TV show?

Mini-Reviews: Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris

I usually don’t read nonfiction outside of necessity, but having access to a ton of audiobooks via my library is a blessing, and I’ve increased my nonfiction book count this way. Which is why, when I saw memoirs of Felicia Day and Neil Patrick Harris, I totally went for them. Now, these audiobooks aren’t my favorites in the world, but I did come to respect the celebrities who penned these down more than I did before.

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Have you read either of these? What did you think?