Here in the U.S., it is Thanksgiving. One thing I am very thankful for right now is the selection of BBC miniseries literary adaptations that are available to watch instantly on Netflix over the long weekend. If you have a few days off, there are worse ways to spend your time.
My top five picks within the BBC-miniseries-literary-adaptations-Netflix-instant-viewing parameters:
1. Bleak House (Dickens) (2005): A powerhouse cast strides purposefully through this surprisingly suspenseful story about the remorseless machine that is the Court of Chancery. Plus lots of people die!
2. The Buccaneers (Wharton) (1995): The soapiest option here concerns four American heiresses who travel to England to find husbands. The resulting marriages are mainly ill-fated. Plus lots of people die!
3. North & South (Gaskell) (2004): This is about the industrial North and the pastoral South in England. Nothing to do with the U.S. Civil War. (Lots and lots and lots of people die, but not in battle.) Now please excuse me, I come over a bit faint around Richard Armitage.
4. The Way We Live Now (Trollope) (2001): It's all about money and swindles and guys basically being pricks and some very shady financial dealings. The way we live now, indeed! (A fair number of people die, but, frankly, not as many as one might expect.)
5. Wives and Daughters (Gaskell) (1999): This is the most domestic, least political selection. Tortuous family dynamics lead to many, many secrets and much, much subterfuge. Oh, and lots of people die.
Connections to previous Wreckage: Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Mary Barton (Rec. #57) hasn't been adapted since the 1960s. It is time, BBC! Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend (Rec. #88) has a very good 1998 BBC adaptation, but it's not available instantly on Netflix right now.
I previously mentioned the adaptation of Wives and Daughters during Personal Wreck Week (List #3).
General warning: Be careful when choosing literary adaptations on Netflix! The DVD cover art on the site is not always for the right version. Proceed with caution.