Vlog: Strange or Silly Reasons for Banning Books

In which Dorin details some silly or strange reasons why some books have been banned over the years.

Adaptation #127: Still Pretty Close to the Madding Crowd

header127After loving Thomas Hardy’s novel as much as we did, it’s somewhat surprising that we ended up being really happy with Far from the Madding Crowd (2015). There were a few nick-picky things we would have done differently, but the film spurs additional understanding and conversations about the themes and characters that we loved and hated going in.

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Staff Recommendations – May 2015

The Adaptation staff have some top-notch recommendations for you in the month of May!

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The Misselthwaite Archives Adapts The Secret Garden on YouTube

With mother’s day just passing, I find myself reminiscing and missing more the things I use to do with my mom rather than past ways we celebrated the holiday. One of my fondest—and also possibly the nerdiest—is when we use to go to the library to rent VHS tapes. They were free but there was a limit of how many you could take out at a time and we were each allowed to pick just two of three. You might think two or three is a relatively large number for a nine year old but when you live in a house without cable a VHS tape is worth more in its ounces than gold!

My point is that it was on one of these public library treasure hunts that I first stumbled across The Secret Garden, an enchanting mysterious tale of a young girl who befriends a sickly boy and has magical adventures in a long forgotten garden. I watched the movie, completely enchanted to the point where I ended up having my mom hunt down the book for me and it is a piece of literature that I still re-read today as a twenty-something.

It seemed like a wonderful splash of serendipity when I found The Misselthwaite Archives—a web series adaptation of that same beloved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s that recreates the characters in a fresh modern way—on Youtube.

I was drawn in almost immediately when I realized this inventive adaptation bumps the characters ages up from adolescents to disgruntled teens, swaps a manor for an academy and the cholera that kills the original heroine’s family for a sudden accidental car crash.

I normally shy away from modern takes on classic tales, but this looks good—really good—and I’m actually kind of giddy that I found it while it’s still airing weekly!

Watch new episodes Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am on YouTube, and find all their multimedia accounts at MisselthwaiteArchives.com.

Adaptation #123: Right in the Middle of the Madding Crowd

header123The hosts could not be happier that Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy made it onto our schedule. They enjoy getting back to their roots with some classic lit, and found FftMC a funny, progressive and thoroughly absorbing read.

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For a similar discussions, check out our episodes on Cinderella, Little Women, Emma, And Then There Were None, and Much Ado About Nothing.

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Vlog: Comic Character Inspirations

In which Kendyl takes you through some of the comic characters that were inspired by other things.



Vlog: Five Memorable Quotes You Wish You Could Forget

Jenn lists off the top five quotes that we would love to scrub from our brains.



Vlog: WORST Shakespeare Adaptations

In which Jenn gives our picks for the worst adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays.



Spotlight Vlog: William Shakespeare

In which Kendyl talks about the many influences that Shakespeare has had on language, jokes and the stage.


Vlog: Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

In which Dorin explains the confusion that is Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, and contemplates how the recent film with update it.



Vlog: Adaptations That Are Better Than the Book

In which Kendyl gives the short list of movies we prefer over the original books.



Vlog: Little Women (1978 and 1994)

In which Kendyl goes over the 1978 mini series and the 1994 film adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.


Little Women 1933 and 1949 Vlog

Little Women Podcast

Classic Alice Lives Classic Lit

When reading a book, do you ever say to yourself, “I would never do what such-and-such character just did!” or “why on earth did they do that?” or “oh, if I were in that situation, I’d do it completely differently!”

In case you couldn’t tell, this was a rhetorical question, because I think I can safely assume that the answer for everyone is yes.

Yes, we’ve all imagined ourselves in the place of characters in the story. We’ve all pictured ourselves in their shoes, and we’ve all considered those ‘what if’ questions about how our presence might change the events of the book. If you ask me, these endless possibilities are a large part of what makes reading so fun.

classic aliceBut what if it were the other way around? What if instead of it being our normal, mundane lives influencing the story, we allowed the events of the story to affect our normal, mundane lives?

Thus is born the premise of Classic Alice, a fictional YouTube webseries chronicling the life of Alice Rackham (played by Kate Hackett) as a documentary film project for her friend (?) Andrew (played by Tony Noto). Alice is a college student and aspiring writer who—after receiving a bad grade on a writing assignment—makes a vow to live her life according to classic literature.

Yes, readers, classic literature—and I’m not talking Jane Austen romance here, where everything turns out mostly okay in the end. Thus far, the protagonist of Classic Alice has chosen a diverse, even eclectic range of stories, starting with Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and most recently covering A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Other literature that has made an appearance in the series includes Pygmalion, The Butterfly, Rip Van Winkle, Macbeth and more. In fact, the only real commonality in Alice’s story choices is that they all contain some pretty bleak plot points—criminal activity, betrayal, corruption and…let’s see…what was that last one again?

Oh yeah. Death.

I’m looking at you, Shakespeare.

In short, none of these books are what you would really want to base your life around—yet that is exactly what Alice does. Voluntarily.

Cue the dramatic irony.

While the conflicts that Alice faces pale in comparison to what actually happens in the literary works, there are nevertheless plenty of twists—not to mention humor!—that will leave you wanting more from this series. The different plotlines are woven seamlessly together, and the characters are all excellently portrayed. I guarantee that you’ll love the banter between Alice and Andrew, and I’ll eat my hat if you don’t absolutely adore Alice’s best friend and roommate, Cara (played by Elise Cantu). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sigh, you’ll gasp, you’ll run the whole gambit of emotions…and then you’ll move on to episode 2. This series is such fun that it’s almost enough to make me want to take Alice’s vow myself.


If you’ve been enjoying Classic Alice from the beginning or you’ve just started watching and think it’s pretty cool, be sure to check out their IndieGogo campaign to extend the series. It ends March 6th and they are only half way to their goal! If you can’t afford to donate, just take the time to share it!

Adaptation #113: Little Women Meet World

header113Jess and Kendyl discuss Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, remembering how they felt reading it in younger years and how their opinions have changed.

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For a similar discussions, check out our episodes on Frankenstein MD, Emma, And Then There Were None, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

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Vlog: Little Women (1933 and 1949)

In the first of two videos, Kendyl goes over the good and the bad of the 1933 and 1949 film adaptations of Little Women.


Little Women Podcast

Vlog: Most Anticipated Adaptations in 2015

Kendyl lists all the films we’re finding it hard to wait to see in 2015.


Adaptation #109: And a Hobbit with the One Ring


In discussing the final installment of The Hobbit, the hosts get into a heated debate about where the film starts, but agree on many of the other aspects like the fantastic fight choreography and the over-done love story. Make sure you let us know what you thought of the film, the end of the series and our discussion in the comments!

*NOTE* This episode is unusually quiet because of some problems with the recording. We promise to do better next time.

Be sure to check out our other Hobbit podcasts: (novel) (part 1) (part 2)

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For a similar discussions, check out our episodes on A Feast for Crows, The Maze Runner, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Emma Approved.

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Vlog: Favorite Adaptations of 2014

Jenn lists off our favorite Adaptations of the year!


Adaptation #107: Victoria “Ghoulish” Frankenstein, MD

header107There are just too many things to talk about with Pemberley Digital latest endeavor Frankenstein MD. After reading a record number of comments, the hosts go over how a gender-swapped Frankenstein is pulled off, Victoria’s likability, and what things they wish had been included. Pacing, sexism in STEM, Steve’s acting ability… it all leads to a jam-packed episode!

If this series got you thinking about reading Mary Shelley’s novel, check out Kendyl’s book review!

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For a similar discussions, check out our episodes on Emma Approved, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I, Frankenstein, Frankenweenie, and Once Upon a Time (season 2 and 3).

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Vlog: Best Friendship Chemistry in Books and Movies

In which Jessica tells you our picks for the best friendships in books and on screen.