Hump: Technically, Masterpiece Classic’s most recent adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic bildungsroman*, Great Expectations, first aired in April, but who has time to watch a four-hour historical miniseries that doesn’t have Downton or Abbey in the title? What’s important here is that PBS wisely re-aired it on Christmas, which meant my mom and I had time to hold our inaugural meeting of the Douglas Booth Appreciation Society (and just mere hours after the Eddie Redmayne Fan Club held court at a New Jersey movie theater).
Seriously, look at him. What do you think it’s like to walk around with that face? Was Pip supposed to be that startlingly handsome? He was like a hundred times more attractive than the actress who played Estella, and I’m pretty sure Dickens wanted the heartbreaking Havisham protégé to be the best looking one of the lot. Nope, not in this version. It was Douglas Booth’s face’s movie, and everyone else was just living in it.
If you want more Booth action, he plays the guy who deflowers Miley Cyrus in LOL, which yeah, I watched just for him.** He was in the Emma Watson’s Burberry campaign, and he’ll play Romeo opposite Hailee Steinfeld in the upcoming adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Or you can always just Google image him and try not to cut yourself on those cheekbones.
*What up, 10th-grade English?
**These are my confessions.
Marry: In yet another sign that I’m getting old, I was very excited to catch the annual Kennedy Center Honors Wednesday night on CBS — next thing you know, I’ll be DVR’ing 60 Minutes. Seriously, though, they were pretty badass this year. I spent the past hour in a total Wikipedia k-hole that started with Led Zeppelin and ended with the phrase “inscribed in dead wax by the run-out groove.” So, if anyone wants to discuss The Yardbirds or thrash metal, I will be very knowledgable about them for the next half hour or so.
Besides Robert Plant crying while watching Heart and a gospel choir cover “Stairway to Heaven” (and I give the guitarist major props for performing one of the most famous guitar solos of all time in front of the legend who recorded it), the most badass person of the night had to be Natalia Makarova, the ballerina who defected from the Soviet Union — leaving behind her family, the Vaganova school, and the Kirov Ballet — to share her talent with the world. She sat there in her matching dress and headscarf and didn’t bat an eyelash when lesser mortals like Jimmy Kimmel tried to make jokes at her expense.
(Cut to half an hour later.)
Just fell into a vast YouTube spiral of Makarova videos. She is pure magic.
Kill: Since it was kind of a slow week for TV — not that I don’t enjoy 24 full hours of A Christmas Story and the Yule log — I need to break out of the box (lame pun intended) for this one. Along with the rest of the world, my family and I saw Les Mis on Christmas. I was beyond excited for it, as I’m sure you’ve gathered given my membership in the Eddie Redmayne Appreciation Club. For the most part, I enjoyed it — a little long, though. Pee first.
What I just don’t understand is which genius casting directors convinced Tom Hooper that they’d try to reel in Russell Crowe’s ever-diminishing Gladiator fanbase by casting the vocally challenged actor as Javert. He looks the part, but his eligibility for the role ends there. Congratulations on the 50 or so action fans you managed to inveigle into seeing a movie-musical, guys. I hope their ticket, popcorn, and soda money made up for the auditory torture the rest of us had to endure listening to Maximus warble his way through “Stars.” I was not entertained.
Photo: Courtesy of Courtesy of © Nicola Dove/BBC for MASTERPIECE; Courtesy of John Paul Filo/CBS; Courtesy of Laurie Sparham/Universal