Saturday, June 2, 2012
When I started high school, I went from reading Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club (Yay 90's!) to reading only classics. I fell in love with Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and I wanted to read anything that would transport me to another time.

So when I would see a classic story turned into a modern film, I always felt like they kind of missed the point.

I first saw the 1996 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in English class my freshman year of high school. Even though I did enjoy it, I never liked it as much as reading it or seeing it acted out on stage with period costumes and posh English accents. 

My feelings changed when I saw BBC’s Sherlock. At its heart, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes aren’t about the costumes and picturesque Victorian streets. They’re about this extraordinary man solving crimes in a way that no one’s seen before and his relationship with this ordinary doctor. When you watch Sherlock, you get to see Holmes as people saw him in 1887 — as a man way ahead of our time. 

Here's a trailer, in case you haven't seen the show.

Now I want to see other classics updated and done just as well. What would Anne Shirley be like in the 21st century? Or Frankenstein and his monster?  

What classic stories would you like to see modernized?


Sara (of the Page Sage) said...

I hated that Romeo and Juliet adaptation, too. It missed the mark by A LOT. But I love Sherlock. It's really a perfect adaptation.

If you're looking for other adaptations, have you seen the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube? They're fantastic!

Stephanie Mooney said...

Sara, yes!!! I love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! The girls they cast are so perfect. :)

Kristan said...

Aw, I really liked Romeo + Juliet, actually.

Also, Clueless (update of Emma), 10 Things I Hate About You (Taming of the Shrew), Easy A (The Scarlet Letter), and Revenge (soooort of an update/spin on Count of Monte Cristo).

I'd be curious to see Jane Eyre modernized somehow (the Bertha thing would be tricky) and maybe... Moby Dick? (Haha I haven't even read that one. But I know the basics and the theme.)

Jennifer Dominique said...

Don Quixote! Haha, that's the first one that came to mind (:

kaye (paper reader) said...

I don't think it's possible to put into words the amount of my ridiculous love for BBC's Sherlock. (CBS, I am not similarly impressed. Meh.)

I liked Romeo + Juliet for what it was: a film, but not necessarily as a Shakespearian adaptation. My favorite Romeo and Juilet is the (arguably) original version in Italian - completely different!

I'm looking forward to see Anna Karenina at the end of the year (it's one of my absolute favorite books), although I'm not sure a modernisation would work well; that's a book that's very rooted in situational history. I'd kind of like to see a version of Aldous Huxley's Island, though I'm not sure anyone really knows that book!

I think it would be really interesting to see, now that I think about it, Henry James' Portrait of a Lady. I would absolutely watch that. Also, George Eliot's Silas Marner.

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Colour me intrigued thinking about how the Anne/Gilbert story might play out in contemp times. I think it might lose some of the whimsy, but I guess it could still work.

Personally I love the 'Lost in Austen' mini-series... I know a lot of people cringe at it, but depending on how you approach it it's a LOT of fun. I also adored the 'Alice' miniseries from SyFy.

Stephanie Mooney said...

Kristan, I liked Romeo + Juliet too! It just wasn't my favorite. And I completely forgot about Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You! I LOVED those movies when I was in high school.

Jennifer, Don Quixote would be hilarious in the 21st century! Not sure how that would work with all the chivalry, but it would be fun. :)

Kaye, Sherlock is one of my favorite shows! I would love to see Silas Marner modernized. I've actually never read Portrait of a Lady. I should do that.

Ashley, I haven't seen the two series you mentioned. I'll have to check them out! :)

Sarah Hipple said...

I'll have to check out the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I really like Sherlock as well, and I do actually like Elementary, although I don't view it really as Sherlock. More like another interesting crime solver type drama, but it is very obvious Sherlock is based off of the Conan character.

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