Thanks goodness I've already finished Bleak House, because I'd have no chance of getting through the Dickens classic before the PBS series starts tonight. The good news is that Gillian Anderson plays the cold, beautiful Lady Dedlock. The bad news is that she's gotten Madonna-itis: in an NPR interview yesterday, she sounded exactly like someone from Detroit who'd adopted what they think is a British accent. Hopefully that's confined to her civilian life, and in the series, which will be on Masterpiece Theatre, Sundays through February, she'll pick just one and sound either British or Midwestern.
The worst news is that during the NPR interview, Gillian spoiled one of the great mysteries of the book. It's revealed halfway through, but with Dickens, that's after enjoying about 400 pages of story. What is she thinking? I truly hope the TV version doesn't start with the secret revealed. And wait, the worst gets worse, but first: SPOILER ALERT - stop reading if you haven't read the book yet.
The serious bad stuff is after the jump.
OK, the worst part of this is that Gillian said something like "Lady Dedlock falls in love with a soldier and lies with him for one night, then finds out she is preganant." Um, WHAT? The emphasis is mine, because there is nothing, absolutely nothing about the circumstances of Lady D's pregnancy in the book, other than that her evil sister told her the child was born dead. One night? That's both unnecessarily tragic and, well, it doesn't make sense. You're an overheated teeanger in an illicit relationship with someone you love, and you have sex once and never again? You wouldn't know you were pregnant for months — why stop schtupping? Especially if this is someone with whom you would exchange letters, letters that you'd be desperate to get and conceal later in life.
I can think of only three things. 1. This Gillian's convoluted (and crummy) actorly backstory; 2. Some crazed Masterpiece Theatre writer has run amok over Bleak House; 3. I wasn't paying as much attention to the book as I thought I was.
I guess I'll find out later tonight. Because of course I'm watching.