February 10, 2006

Bleak House

I picked up a uncrippled screener for Bleak House, which is currently airing on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, sometime last week. Since I've been sick, and somewhat bored, I ended up watching it. It was longer than I expected, and a little slow, but I liked it more than I usually like Victorian dramas. Probably because it was less proper and more gritty than most.

Rather than a dry and whimsy narrative filled with people who don't do anything except ride back and forth between the city and country, picnicking and spreading gossip, Bleak House has real people who have day jobs and personalities that range from goody two-shoes to mean old Mr. Scrooge. And it's not a clean place at all. Alcoholism, drug use, poverty, and just plain meanness are everywhere.

The plot is complex but drives forward at a good pace, well focused for the most part. There's some excellent acting although the only name or face I recognize is that of Gillian Anderson. Unfortunately, the final explanation of the murder, while providing a plot twist, does not entirely make sense. I find it difficult to fathom why inspector Bucket, being the thorough and cunning person he is, would fail to have a person watched at any hour, rather than only during the daytime.

Posted by josuah at February 10, 2006 12:58 AM UTC+00:00

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