Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book-to-Film: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

From The MarySue:


"Y’all, I just don’t know anymore.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC is teaming with Natascha McElhone (Californication) on a “limited series” modern adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women. The special event will [...] follow the lives of four sisters coming of age against the backdrop of a military scandal as their family loses their fortune and position finding themselves at odds with the conservative and traditional society in which they live.

Little Women‘s script commitment comes from the ABC “boutique division,” a unit tasked with developing “challenging” programming for the network. McElhone will star and executive produce alongside Simmone Overend and Alison Owen. Jordan Roberts (Big Hero 6, March of the Penguins) will adapt the script, and Julie Anne Robinson (Suburgatory) will direct.

...Little Women remains a classic partially because it features identifiable heroines that manage to defy the “strong female character” fallacy; Jo, for instance, is radically independent and ambitious for the time period, but Alcott also allowed her to be emotional and fallible.

Still, though, I’m kind of stuck on the “modern reboot” aspect of ABC’s adaptation. I mean, how do you find the modern equivalent for something like Pilgrim’s Progress without seeming gimmicky? What, in 2014, is analogous to giving a suitor one’s glove? (If Meg gives Mr.Brooke some underwear, I will die.) I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be treated to lots of narrating voice-over scenes of Jo typing, which just seems so much less charming than The Little Women I fell in love with. But I hope ABC surprises me!

What do you guys think?"


  1. Eh, I don't think I would be very excited about this. Sometimes you just need to leave the classics alone.

    1. Yes, I agree. While sometimes adaptations can be fun and make me look at the original work in a new light, this one feels like too much tampering.

  2. STOP! I mean I will absolutely watch this because Little Women is one of my top three favorite books of all time!

    I agree about the best part of Little Women being the strong yet diverse female characters. And I'm also worried about it feeling gimmicky. ABC's most recent "modern reboot" of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, Selfie, while hilarious and adorable was extremely bubble gum. It worked for that kind of story but something as wholesome and beloved as Little Women I think won't play that way. I think it will probably be either overly-dramatic or try too hard to be wholesome and it won't be successful.

    But like I said, I will watch because I seriously am a sucker for anything relating to Little Women!

    1. So many great points! I agree, Little Women has wonderful and diverse female protagonists, but I think this story is particularly hard to adapt to a modern setting because so much of its charm is precisely in its setting. As one of for sisters myself, this book has a lot of nostalgic value for me, and I love the original story enough to give this show a try, but I admit to a fair amount of skepticism.


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