• PBS Masterpiece Sanditon

    Episodes Five and Six

    It remains to be seen if Andrew Davies’ Sanditon (2019) will prove popular enough in the USA to justify a second season, but the extreme reactions to the series do not bode well for a continuation. On one end is the #sanditonsisterhood’s plea for a second season, whose hype for the series is indexed under #sanditonseason2, #SaveSanditon, and the compound proper noun, #Sidlotte, after the series protagonists Sidney Parker (Theo James) and Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams). A second season depends entirely on how it fares with American viewers, according to Davies and ITV, since its popularity in Britain was not enough to warrant a second season (Hallemann). On the other,…

  • Web Series

    Rational Creatures: The inclusive Austen inspired series we need

    In this transition from 2019 to 2020, Janeites have been regaled with a TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s last and incomplete novel, Sanditon (1817), directed by Andrew Davies and produced by PBS Masterpiece, and a glamorous new version of Emma (1815), directed by Autumn de Wilde and produced by Focus Films. Both are backed by major production companies, whose prowess is evinced in the quality of the production, the casts, and the costume design. Both have generated a frenzy of Tweets and a proliferation of online essays. Unlike Sanditon, which will almost certainly not see a second season, Emma has fans and critics—especially those with a penchant for period minutia—drooling, albeit not enough to…

  • Holiday Austen

    Nostalgia, Merriment, and Hallmark Prejudice

    In our very first marathon, we’re taking the season at its word and focusing on movies that entwine Austen’s novels and Christmas. We are curious about the increasing number of holiday movies touting Austen novel titles—and also a bit suspicious. For instance, Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen (Hallmark, 2019), which we decided against reviewing due to a paywall (and today we have one more reason not to pay a dime), seemed like a stretch even to the casual reviewer. To be sure, the connection between Jane Austen’s novels and Christmas is as old as the novels. The opening chapters of Emma, which was published just in time for the holidays, on…