Friday, January 9, 2009
TV on DVD
Emily of New Moon, Season 1: This 1998, Canadian made television series followed on the heels of the successful Anne of Green Gables production, perhaps a bit misguidedly, as Emily was never as popular a series of novels as Anne. It is easy to compare the two properties, what with their vast similarities (Prince Edward Island, Orphans, aspiring writers), and Emily makes its best attempt to fill Anne's massive shoes. Michael Moriarty guests as Emily's doomed romantic of a father early on, and the cast is filled out in his absence with a stunning array of character actors including Phyllis Diller(!?!). The producers had thought it wise, apparently, to cast the younger version of sickly, brunette, grim Emily of the books with a rosy cheeked blond who grips her pet kitten while smiling sweetly at her mother's ghost. As the series progresses, this is corrected with Martha McIsaac's (of Superbad fame) black braids, a detail even a recent anime adaptation managed to get right from the start. Despite the brighter, 'American Girl' treatment, Emily of New Moon can not escape it's source material -- LM Montgomery's Gothy follow up to her famous Anne -- full of ghosts, shadows of death and insinuations to darker themes like murder, abuse and betrayal. All that considered this could have been a very exciting project indeed, but never fully takes advantage of its macabre potential. It's no wonder that audiences longing for another nostalgic, victorian, Anne of Green Gables-esq experience were put off by this cruel and disturbing view of turn-of-the-century Canadian life, while the low production values and the mundane script adaptation failed to grasp the more discerning viewer who might be unfamiliar with the original books. While I may seek out the other seasons as www.echobridgeentertainment.com releases them, I have a feeling that the Emily, Girl of the Wind animated series might hold my attention longer than this (assuming it ever gets a US release). The Japanese love LM Montgomery almost as much as Canadians do, apparently.
(It has been brought to my attention that this is pretty far flung from our normal viewing and reviewing, but hey -- inking comics can be mind numbing work that requires loads of bad TV and Cinema, and sometimes I need to get it out of my system, you lucky readers you! Hey I could wax poetic about watching Dawn of the Dead for the billionth time like every other movie blogger on the interwebs....)