Tuesday, December 22, 2015

North and South {Mini-Series Review}

*All photos, gifs, and even the blog post header are not mine! I own nothing but my writing content*

I have not strayed from my path of fangirling entirely. In fact, there are many times where I feel as if though I do. I just do not feel that I must openly share it will all of my readers. Well, this is an absolutely necessary time to completely fangirl out.

I shamelessly and proudly discovered this miniseries while being bored on Netflix. Why am I proud of that? Because I have been contemplating whether or not to try the series out. What series is it?

*drum roll*

If you don't like spoilers then LOOK NO FURTHER

*Squeep* Oh my goodness. I guess you could say I'm a good ten or so years late to jump onto this bandwagon, but goodness, I'm on it now. It looked interesting by the summary on Netflix. But I feared that it would be like Jane Austen's novels; Boring. *ducks flying tomatoes* Look, I tried reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice twice. TWICE. With years in separation of my efforts. I have never been able to finish that darn book. And believe you me, I NEVER not finish a book. The only book aside from P&P that I have not finished was a book that I read this year for my English Honours class called Bless Me, Ultima. It was so boring and I just couldn't put myself through the misery anymore. I mean, Les Mis had its boring parts, but I prevailed and kept going through that book and it was one of the best reads of my life. But I just couldn't get through Jane Austen's book as much as I tried. And because of that, I was scared to even attempt to watch North and South.

Well, let me say, I'm glad I tried. I was hooked immediately from the first episode. Mind you, there are only four and they're about 53 or so minutes long. To be completely honest, I'm terrible at summaries so humour me, please. 

Admittedly, I read the entire summary of the series and the book before even watching the series, because I don't really like just watching something I find on Netflix without looking up what it's about and if the content's appropriate and so on. It seemed pretty clean, so I went for it. That and it's BBC, so yeah. 'Nuff said. 

To be honest, I couldn't help but be irked with Margaret Hale (played by Daniela Denby-Ashe) at first. Just slightly, she seemed to think herself above people in Milton. That and she sort of seemed just slightly empty-headed and extremely judgmental. As I continued to watch the series my opinion changed. She seemed to grow and lose much of what London Society had taught her and began to see the world as it really was in that time period. She learned to see both sides of the matter between strike workers, and the boss, who just so happens to be John Thornton. 

Ahh. John Thornton (played by Richard Armitage). Agh. He is amazing. Like, I couldn't help but love him right away. And to be honest, it was his voice that first made me "fall for him". His voice is so deep and yet in control and at times emotional and humble. And the fact that he's tall and dark and handsome doesn't help. But what's most admirable is that he's had a hard life; struggling to get from the bottom of the ladder all the way to the top is remarkable and you can see how being the man of the house after his father dies has affected the way he is. As the series progresses on, you can see how his cold barrier continues to break down as he and Miss Hale get closer. He's a fighter and won't back down from what he believes is right (even if it actually isn't).

There's also the side/supporting characters Nicholas (played by Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey's Mr. Bates)) and Bessy Higgins (played by Anna Maxwell Martin) about how they impact both Margaret and John's lives. Bessy more towards Margaret and Nicholas definitely more towards John.

Ah, now we come to one of the main topics that pull our lovely Miss Hale together with Mr. John Thornton. All around Milton workers are holding meetings (Nicholas Higgins is one of the leaders) to strike against the industrial giants there (Thornton included). Though Nicholas demands a peaceful strike, one man who has a wife and six children to feed breaks that. On the day of the strike Margaret just so happens to be at the Thornton home when the mob comes through. She tells John to talk to them like a man and he does so. She even goes as far as going out to try to reason with them as well. But things turn ever so slightly violent when a half crazed man throws a stone aimed at Thornton but instead hits Miss Hale. The army then comes to drive out the mob (sent by Thornton). This is where the relationship gets complicated. He goes to her house and proposes to her, but she turns him down flat (and breaks his heart, basically). *Note* I wanted to start screaming. I was so angry. He came and professed his love and affection for her! He opened his heart to the one person he loved. And she flatly rejected him. My heart broke for his......

Now comes the even more complicating part. Margaret's life is turned a bit sad and perilous at the same time. Bessy Higgins dies because of the cotton in her lungs, and her brother, Frederick, who has been hiding in Spain due to a misunderstanding aboard a ship some six or seven years ago appears after Margaret writes to him that their mother is unwell. That and basically her dying wish is to see him before she leaves the earth. The problem? Frederick has a court-martial hanging above his head if he ever returns to England. But he does just before Mrs. Hale passes away. He cannot stay for the funeral and has to leave England again on a night train. Unfortunately, he is seen embracing his sister by Mr. Thornton, who assumes that Margaret has a secret lover. But that's not the worst part..... A man from Frederick's past recognises him and they get into a small fight. However, Frederick pushes him down a flight of stairs and it later leads to the man's death. Frederick escapes by train, but then Margaret is suspected of killing the man because an eye witness identified her. She is later saved by Thornton after she denies that she was there and he lets the case fall through.

Just when things started looking up again, Mr. Hale suddenly dies after he goes out with the family friend named Mr. Bell. Mr. Bell later tells Margaret, his god child, that he is leaving his inheritance for her and going to South America to live out the rest of his days in peace. Margaret travels back up to London, but soon leaves, realising that the London Society is not for her. She takes a train back to Milton with Mr. Lennox, the same man she turned down before she left Helstone. When she arrives at the empty mill, she learns that Mr. Thornton's mill had gone under, due to the lack of work and being behind on orders because of the strike. She then goes back to the train- and runs directly into Mr. Thornton. She offers him a business proposal- her money and his management. But, of course, Thornton doesn't want a business proposal; He wants her as his wife. They share a kiss and end up going "home" back to Milton.

The most impressive thing, that I have to say, is seeing the characters grow in the four episodes. I get tired of just seeing one-sided characters or one who learns nothing. It's my ultimate pet peeve. Seeing Margaret grow and John grow separately and then together was a beautiful thing. Not to mention the costumes, the accents, the location, and all.

I'm currently reading the book (which I thought would be about 300 pages on my phone in iBooks, but turns out it's 1185 pages)  which is actually already really good. I liked how they actually used a lot of the dialogue from the actual book and how they incorporated it into the script. I'll definitely be giving a book review on North and South when I finish it. I'm on page 766 as of right now.

And now, I shall spam you all with any kind of North and South things I find on Pinterest. (Please forgive my over-use of gifs. I finally found out how to use them)

Yeah, basically

That one moment when she finally takes his hand

Margaret's costumes

Oh, this scene :'(

Oh, his face!!!!! The horror!!

"Look back at me"
That moment that he realises what she did for him
To think that she thinks so terrible of him :'(
His smile though
"I knew I was not good enough for her. Yet I think of her more than ever."

The way he looks at her

Okay, I think I'm good. But my post, nor my summary, nor the photos or gifs can really do this justice. You really just have to watch this series. It was beautiful... It was just plain beautiful. If you're like me and are a little leery of it, due to the un-Jane Austen in you, just maybe trust my opinion...

This post, I guess isn't actually a review... more like a summary and a bunch of gifs and I kind of feel a bit guilty about that, and I'm almost tempted to just trash this entire thing and try to rewrite it. I think that I'll just do a little more coverage when I give the book review.

Anyways, I hope you somewhat decently enjoyed it, I know it's one of my worst-written ones. Sorry if I went over the edge a bit. 

Tell me what you think of my review and if you'll be adding this to your To-Watch List!

I've finished the book and I'll be releasing a review of it soon


    Ohhh, you watched North and South!! And liked it! I'm so glad-North and South is one of my favorite period dramas ever. :) (although, so is Pride and Prejudice....but I suppose we won't go into that now. ;) haha)

    Yes, yes, yes. The character development is extraordinary. Just everything about this movie is so good. Richard Armitage is amazing in the role and I can't imagine anyone else playing Mr. Thornton!

    I feel so bad for him, too, during the marriage proposal scene. The way he says "I love you" in his accent.... :)

    I can't wait for your book review! I only recently bought the book, and am planning on reading it soon, but my mom is reading it at the moment. :)

    If you want, I would greatly recommend checking out Cranford and Wives and Daughters-they are miniseries based on other books written by Elizabeth Gaskell. I do love them, although not as much as North and South. :)

    Hope you're having a lovely Christmas day!

    1. Merry Christmas to you to, Natalie!!! I loved North and South so much. I feel as if I have a bit of an obsession over it right now. Like, I keep watching every episode with them together in it every night. And I get so excited when I watch the end. Richard Armitage is agh, he's amazing. No one could ever do Thornton justice like he does. And his accent is just beautiful. The scene of the rejected proposal broke my heart. I was about to start crying. I'll check out Cranford and Wives and Daughters and see if it's on Netflix. Thanks for the recommendation!
      But now that I've seen North and South, my bar for my future husband had jumped like ten thousand times higher. Like every Jane Austen fan wants their Mr. Darcy, I'm going to be wanting my Mr. Thornton. :)

  2. Anna,
    Thank you! :D I hope your Christmas day was really lovely.

    Haha, I can understand that feeling. ;) I get "obsessed" with new/old shows, movies, or books, regularly. Obsessed in a good way. ;)
    And, awwww, I know!! I love rewatching favorite scenes.

    Oh, good! I hope you enjoy them if you are able to watch them! :D

    Oh yes, definitely. I certainly don't expect to ever find a "perfect" man, but I think it's rather a must that he has SOME of the wonderful qualities of my favorite heroes! :D

  3. And oh! I forgot to say-your new blog look is very pretty! I like the header, especially. :) And the new title!

    1. Aw, thanks. I rather like it myself. And I hope you had a great Christmas as well! I don't expect to find the perfect man either, but there are definitely some requirements he must meet. But *sigh* whoever God has intended for me is who I'm gonna get. :)

  4. Anna,
    Haha, very true! But how exciting that God has it all planned out. It definitely keeps me from worrying about it when I remember that His plan for my life will be better than anything I would choose. :)


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