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ETV, Episode 6: The Enchanted Doll

 Oh no, reader[s]. The episode description for Episode 6 runs as follows:

“A doll Emily finds causes her to see and communicate with a ghost.”

Deep breath.



Ilse and Emily are walking through the forest. Emily sees – guess!

Guess what she sees!

You will never guess!

Even though I don't approve of some of the changes to Aunt Elizabeth's character, I love Susan Clark as Aunt Elizabeth. I love her tinny, no-nonsense, Colleen Dewhursty voice. All the Murrays of New Moon are doing an excellent job.

But see, I read this book, and I know some things about how the people in it talk. Emily, for example, does not say “Hey, hey! Get your paws out of there.” Ilse says “Get your paws out of there.” This is not hard, screenwriters.

Ilse is already a million times better at ACTING!! than Emily. Now it is time to fight! And Ilse is the best at fighting ever, just like in the book! I am sorry to say that this show does not adequately represent the difference in fighting styles between Emily and Ilse. Instead, Emily fights like a poor imitation of Ilse. This is a missed opportunity for the writers. The second sight I inherited from my Highland Scotch great-grandmother tells me there will be many more.

Aunt Elizabeth doesn't believe in friendship. And Emily is really, really way too much like Anne Shirley in this scene, with her questions and her hair-trigger temper. This scene between Emily and Aunt Elizabeth is excruciatingly Anne, down to the latter's contention that “beauty is as beauty does” and Emily's skeptical reaction.

This Emily delivers a sassy prayer-- not an accidentally-pagan one as Emily might or an overly chatty and self-deprecating one, but “Dear God, Aunt Elizabeth, who is right next to me, is so boring when she prays. I like more variety in my prayers, blah blah, I saw half of Anne of Green Gables on TV one time and heard this was by the same author, AND ANOTHER THING, GOD. . .”

WHAT THE HELL, screenwriters. Read the book that you are adapting to the screen before you do your character development. You are driving me to italics, screenwriters.

All of this is just a ploy to get Aunt Elizabeth to give Emily her mother's room. But oh, no, it turns out to be haunted! What an unexpected development with no precedents in the previous five episodes of this show!

The ghost is Emily's mother when she was a little girl. SURPRISE.

Then, when they find Emily's mother's doll in the attic, Laura tries to put it away, but Jimmy invokes the LAW OF THE SEA to convince Laura to let Emily keep it. That made me laugh. Jimmy is pretty great in this episode.

When Emily is locked in her room for a night without supper, three different people sneak her supper separately. That's kind of sweet. Then Laura sneaks the doll out to a lighthouse so she can paint its face back on, and in the process meets. . . a handsome lighthousekeeper?

No, just a guy in a giant fur coat.

He's an original character and he collects objects from the sea. He asks a lot of questions, and then comes to see Emily and Ilse at their Literary Society in the Disappointed House, and then leaves. Who is this mysterious, yet boring, man?

Then he shows up at New Moon! And brings a gift for Laura, which Elizabeth attempts to refuse! Will she open it in front of everyone? Yes! Then Jimmy shows up with tea in the best bone china pot, which technically he should probably not be allowed to handle in the first place, but it's funny enough to let it go, and Elizabeth is forced to let the stranger in for tea, thought she is not forced to refrain from being rude to him. Then the stranger tries to buy the doll so that he can sell it to the American tourists at the PEI gift shop, and when Emily refuses to sell it, offers to buy new dolls from them. Now-- they're under contract to make dolls? But they have to keep it a secret from Elizabeth? And everyone else at New Moon is in on the conspiracy?

I guess this is an interesting move for the show-- making Laura frustrated artist. All presenting a counterpoint to Emily's development and whatnot. Maybe. We'll see.

Oh no! Emily sent her mother's doll by mistake! Now Aunt Elizabeth knows! Another thirty-second secret is out!

So they go to the hotel to rescue the doll and the doll guy tells Laura that her hatpin has a diamond on it, which I guess is the Lost Diamond? Then the doll guy invites them to stay for a concert and they figure they might as well. But Laura's secret hopes are secretly dashed when she sees Doll Guy kiss a charming young lady on the cheek. Bet she's his sister.

Aunt Elizabeth is resigned.

Aw, that's sweet. Jimmy and Emily have a dance while creepy mom-ghost sings creepily from atop the cabinet. But what's this? Laura in a wedding dress? I can't tell if this is literal (she was told to put on this other lady's clothes and put on a wedding dress that was just hanging in the wardrobe) or some kind of dream sequence. Then she shows up downstairs in a different dress and meets the charming young lady, who is the Love Interest Placeholder's fiancée, not his sister. Disappointment leads Laura to behave awkwardly in front of everyone.

The Lost Diamond was inside the doll this whole time?

Ok, I guess.



In conclusion, Episode 6 contains 0% Maud Montgomery and is also a Perry-Free Experience. Emily veers between being way too precocious and being Anne Shirley. This episode is like what would happen if you cut up Emily of New Moon and a bunch of magazine stories from the 1890s and threw the pieces into the air immediately before inventing television.

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