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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Live-Blogging PBS' "Wuthering Heights," Installment II, ( part 3)

Part I, Part II, Review of Installment I

  • So we've cut to the future. Nelly Dean looks really good for like, an octegenarian! Heathcliff on the other hand seems a bit ragged.
  • And the number of deathbed scenes has increased to three. Life was tough on the moors for the Linton clan.
  • Hareton and Cathy II spar verbally whilst sitting by the kitchen fire. Oh no s/he didn't. Truths are revaled, a connection is forged, but try as we might it's so hard to care about these kids the way we cared about their irritatingly vital parents.
  • Shaky camerawork speeding over the moors and through the halls of the Heights approximates the ghost of Cathy I. "Let me in!" she cries, sounding a lot like Kate Bush.
  • And Linton Heathcliff has left this earthly realm. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for that whiny miserable invalid. Sorry to speak ill of the dead, but it is true!
  • And fairly quickly we see that Hareton and the recently-widowed-but-it-doesn't-count bc it was-a-marriage-forced-upon her Cathy are falling in lurve. Heathcliff can't do much to thwart these two besotted lovers and he knows it, because they both look like Cathy I and because let's face it, he's losing that Heathcliff touch. Hearing ghosts, not viciously beating those who piss him off, unable to get his rocks off by exacting cruel revenge. Is this the Heathcliff of yesteryear? When did he become such a shadow of his Fiendish self?
  • Uh-oh, the cheesy music signifies that the scene everyone's been mocking is coming our way. And here it is, Heathcliff is happy and smiling (I know he's supposed to be all weirdly hyped and grinning at the end of his life but this is sap-city) and he joins the ghost of Cathy in the hallway. This cannot end well.
  • Wait, huh, did Heathcliff SHOOT HIMSELF? Wtf? Cath's ghost is supposed to do the job, not Hindley's pistol! This is mad confusing and happening quite quickly.
  • It's moving day. This reminds me of the time the Bushes moved out of the white house earlier this week. That was a good move. But back to the 19th century... Our happy couple move from the infernal Heights to the celestial Grange--or is it the other way around, eh? Are they leaving freedom in favor of propriety, thus shattering the bucolic memory of their parent generations' blissful childhood? And then...
  • The older couple, H and C #1 stand at the window watching and smiling(?) as the young couple moves off. Why they so happy, prat tell? Is it because they can prowl the halls in ghostly forms without the damn kids getting in the way? Because those young folks just grow up and have love affairs so damn fast? Or is it because the director didn't know how else to end this tale? Also, if they're going to put them in the window, they should look more ghostly.
  • Okay, so I think the last five minutes were kinda crap-tastic. And the first half was definitely better than the second half, but on the whole I remain fairly pleased with the adaptation particularly 1) Tom Hardy and 2) the scenery and filming.

That's a wrap folks. Let's let Nelly Dean take us out: "But the country folks, if you ask them, would swear on the Bible that he WALKS: there are those who speak to having met him near the church, and on the moor, and even within this house. Idle tales, you'll say, and so say I. Yet that old man by the kitchen fire affirms he has seen two on 'em looking out of his chamber window on every rainy night since his death:- and an odd thing happened to me about a month ago. I was going to the Grange one evening - a dark evening, threatening thunder - and, just at the turn of the Heights, I encountered a little boy with a sheep and two lambs before him; he was crying terribly; and I supposed the lambs were skittish, and would not be guided. 'What is the matter, my little man?' I asked. 'There's Heathcliff and a woman yonder, under t' nab,' he blubbered, 'un' I darnut pass 'em.'

What did you think?


  1. branwell10:33 PM

    hahahah awesome liveblog as always! your "losing that Heathcliff touch" riff made me LOL.

  2. Wasn't this supposed to be a 3 hour mini-series, not a too-long-for-theaters 150 minutes? After all, what else is PBS for if not for full-length creativity?

    I think the economic downturn must have sabotaged the last half hour that should have been.

    I agree with you where Tom Hardy and the scenery are concerned. IMHO, all the other characters were well cast, including Cathy of the first part.

    However, the clipped pace of the second part and the fabricated ending is literary blasphemy.

    PS. Laura Linney is fabulous, by the way, so much more apt for the role of host than the moribund Gillian Anderson.

  3. Thanks Branwell! @MacSmiley, I like Gillian Anderson, but agree that Laura Linney has that sort of serene twinkle in her eye that makes her great for the role.

  4. What great live blogging of "Wuthering Heights"!!! I was disappointed when Heathcliff shot himself too.

    Thanks for joining me on Twitter. I'm new there. Added you as a favorite.

    Cheers! JJ/Nancy

  5. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Hilarious. What happened to the Heathcliff we used to know?