The Gospel in Dickens
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December 19, 2019


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I'm not that interested. The plot honestly sounds like a parody of a dark and edgy updating of A Christmas Carol. I don't think I'd be able to take it seriously as an adaptation.

That doesn't mean I'm mad about it or anything. There have been enough good adaptations of the book that a not so good one doesn't bother me much.

I can’t finish watching. It’s an abomination. From the opening showing a person urinating on Marley’s grave to Fred’s appearance where the Carol Philosophy speech is completely gone, to the non-appearance of the Portly Gentlemen—and I gloss over the use of the f word multiple times before Marley’s Ghost disappears...this is tone-deaf and a blight on the process of adaptation. Fine, make it dark, add in the slave trade, but this adaptation should be beaten with a stick until senseless (which it already is).

Fred did seem remarkably incoherent!

I like the bleakness, the dark sets, and the imagery. The adapters are putting new material in to reflect the fact that Dickens' concerns about the treatment of the poor and underprivileged has contemporary relevance (the most striking in the first episode being Scrooge's penny pinching leading to a fire where lives are lost - a reference to the cheap and wholly inappropriate cladding at Grenfell Tower, London, which caused a fire to quickly get out of control, and cost 72 lives, 2 years ago).

Overall though, while interesting and different, I can't say this is an adaptation I would return to, though I will watch the next two episodes. The main bugbear isn't the unnecessary swearing, or the artistic license used. It is the changes to what the characters are saying - on the whole, absolutely woeful.

I finally watched this last night and when it ended, I just said to my husband "Well, that's one i won't need to ever watch again!" It had its moments, but there were too many changes from the story as we know and love it. My one concern is that people who have never read or seen the real story (are there people who haven't??) may see this and dismiss Dickens unfairly. And also, what, no Fezziwigs? How dare they!

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