Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Little Dorrit Episode 1

Little Dorrit: Episode 1

Guest post by two of my absolute favorite ladies in the blogosphere, Kim and Amy of Romancing the Tome.


Can’t we all relate? It might technically be called a “prison,”but truth be told, the Marshalsea didn’t look half bad during last night’s U.S. premiere of Little Dorrit. So let’s pretend that the Dorrits’ digs didn’t exceed, in square footage, that of our own humble abodes for which we pay an arm and a leg. Let’s just pretend we wouldn’t kill for a fawning “doorman” like John Chivery to stroke our egos day-in and day-out. Instead, let’s reflect on a few of the things we learned from Installment #1 of the Charles Dickens classic:

•In the market for a new job? Take heed: If your prospective employer says, “I’m a terror when roused,” it might not be an ideal employment situation. Especially when the office resembles the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

•Travel in Victorian England was almost as inconvenient as it is today. Still, being quarantined in Marseilles beats getting stuck on the tarmac in a cramped, foul-smelling metal tube.

•When you feel tempted to bash in your sort-of sister’s skull with a lawn bowling ball or are otherwise reduced to a state of spastic rage, try counting to five-and-twenty. Or, seek solace and
counsel from a creepily sympathetic closet case.

•When you refer to your hot and gentlemanly son as a “vessel of sin,” you should understand that for some red-blooded female viewers, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Not in the least.

•Hospital food was once pretty decent, if Maggie is any arbiter. Also, when she was rolling around in Arthur’s bed eating cake, we have to admit were a little jealous. That’s our idea of a good time.

•Dads are soooooo embarrassing!

•Sometimes, a “gentleman” and a “scoundrel” are one and the same. Sadly, this is all too true.

•Amy Dorrit is not the sort of girl you could have a nice bitch fest or gossip session with, but let’s all breathe a big sigh of relief that actress Claire Foy managed to strain out some of the saccharine, at least. She’s a little unbearable in the book.

•When two clever ones tell you you’re getting married, it’s pointless to resist. Poor Affery!

•It’s okay to hate someone named “Pet,” because they probably really are kind of annoying.

• Lascivious Frenchmen? Not to be trusted — or slept with.

•The Circumlocution Office: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Was that Barney Frank and Harry Reid?

• Women in China are different “down there,” pigtails on women of a certain age are not becoming, and sometimes, misty-watercolored memories of the childhood sweetheart you were
cruelly separated from are best not revisited. Also, in interior design, a little bit of pink goes a long way.

•Stray buttons are sexy.

And finally, yes, we know the Marshalsea was really overflowing with wastewater and the smell of privies, but we are completely enraptured by this first episode in the series anyway and love the Gothic touches reminiscent of the Bleak House adaptation. As in the book, Little Dorrit has proved well worth the wait...

Thanks so much to Amy and Kim! I'll never forget that you guys linked to me when I was just starting this blog (and I begged you to.) Your wit is unparalleled. And next week, tune in to a review from the highly-esteemed BethDunn.


  1. I've been waiting for this adaptation for a long time and it didn't disappoint. Being a big fan of the BBC multi-part Lit adaptation and writer Andrew Davies, my expectations were high. I enjoyed the dark, dirty, social commentary of it all. Who doesn't think about debt right now? I'd probably be in Marshalsea. Very topical.
    I found this opening episode to be a lot of set up. Not having read the book at all I felt as if I was playing catch up. I'll have to watch it again.
    I will say that I am in love with Arthur Clennan. Matthew Macfadyen has been on the verge of stardom. He is an excellent actor and this is a great showcase. Claire Foy makes a fine Amy Dorrit, not as sicky sweet, she's the "good" daughter. I can't wait to find out how all the plotlines come together.

  2. There are definitely a lot of characters/plots to keep track of, and not all the characters have even been introduced yet! If I hadn't just read the book I would have been a little lost as well.