Saturday, May 17, 2008
After a rather melodramatic rendition of Madame Bovary, the relatively new cable channel Velvet is broadcasting Charles Dickens BLEAK HOUSE, the 2006 Masterpiece Theater/PBS production. Written in the mold of a thriller, probably one of the first in its genre, the plot revolves around who inherits the fortune left behind rather problematically by one Jarndyce, unfortunately with two wills, and a legal system all a-ready to jump on the circumstances. As is now, the lawyers are the only ones to gain. The many strengths of the production lie in its well-adapted screenplay, the surplus of strong acting (Gillian Anderson of the X-Files alongside the British character actors, and enough of them to confuse a new viewer), and appropriately Victorian setting. If you like legal dramas, Law and Order and their ilk, catch Bleak House while it's being shown every Thursday evening. And no, there are no subtitles!