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These stories are about the "female condition" within the social circles occupied by their female authors far more than they are about these characters romantic matches and mismatches. These are women who grow and change and act rather than be acted upon like most so-called "heroines" of today's so-called "great" stories. This is why these stories have appealed to women throughout the ages--they provide us women with both a template for growth and one for happiness.
This is something men can never understand. To cover for their own incomprehension, the male directors and writers who have in the past taken over such projects have focused on the men's stories instead.
Suddenly the women seem like victims, rather than act-ors in their own lives; they stand still in the center of rooms where men pace and rant.
If we want stories that actually reflect our lived experiences of the world, we have to fight to get them made. If we sit back and let whatever happens, happens, we simply wind up with dreck like this.
So just as the main fare is perverted in a cartoonish simple sense, so is the antidote extreme in the other.
To feed this beast, you need to have stories that only have scope in the larger context and you must (a rule) be able to get that context only by watching more than one chunk, what in TeeVee land is called an episode. Its a strange term that belies its odd requirements.
Into this niche have long come soap operas, shaped by emotional bumpings and worries of extreme characters. And for a few decades the rich uncle of soap operas have flourished as well. These have to be lush, set in a romantic era. And if they come from a respected novel, so very much the better.
Its better because viewers think they are doing something intelligent, and also because writers don't have to thrash out the essential mechanics. But in reality it doesn't matter what the source material, these all go through more or less the same refining process and come out the other end much the same. Its a matter of market need.
If you actually read the books behind these you'll find a bewildering variety that isn't apparent in their small screen translations. Where Austen (for example) was all about the appearance, Eliot was about the internal holding of bonds. Where Austen was all about attaining a position, Eliot, writing in the next generation, was about the challenges of holding those positions.
In a way, Eliot's innovation was get inside, under the appearance. It doesn't matter what the doctor's house or service look like, only that some nitwit thinks the appearance is important. Its a bit scandalous that as we consume this product, what attracts us, at root, is the appearance of the thing. We are the enemy she writes about.
If you just glanced at this, you'd find it indistinguishable from any of the other such pretty things it is classified with. Its a true insult to the book. An absolute scandal. The creative team should be driven out of the village. Cinematic heathens!
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.