Canadian residential schools

You may have heard it on the news this past week that the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of a residential school in Canada. Residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

I knew these awful schools had existed but I thought only in Australia. It was only on Anne with an E that I realized these schools had also existed in Canada, right up into the 1970s! In season 3 of Anne with an E the character of Ka’kwet (Kiawenti:io Tarbell), a girl from the Mi’kmaq tribe, was introduced…

… and her storyline broke my heart. Hers was the story of a First Nations girl who goes to a residential school full of hope at first but then quickly gets confronted with the horrible reality of these schools. Even though she tries to, she can not escape. Someone made a video about her storyline on the show. At one point a priest says, “God willing, we kill the Indian but save the child” and that line alone just broke my heart. It is included in this video…

The story of Ka’kwet on Anne with an E ends with her being stuck in residential school, her parents camping out near the school and Anne and Matthew going home heartbroken, vowing to start a letter campaign to get her out. Fans, like me, are seeking a better ending for Ka’kwet than she got. A Mi’kma’ki woman wrote a beautiful piece in 2019 just after the show was canceled on how frustrating it is that Ka’kwet never got a real resolution due to the premature cancelation and I’m with her. Showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett has said before that it is impossible to give Ka’kwet an undamaged happy ending as that would not be realistic and she is right. Still, I feel she would have given her some sort of real resolution had the show been allowed to continue and I still really want to see that. So yes, this is another reason why Anne with an E still needs to be renewed.

Today on Twitter Corrine Koslo, who so brilliantly plays Rachel Lynde on the show, shared this…

I’ve been watching these testimonials and it is impossible for me to grasp that these schools existed in my lifetime. Vivian, one of the women giving her testimony, is my age and the effects on her life are harrowing.

In 2008 and in 2017 apologies were made to the First Nations people of Canada and some reparations have also been made. The awful news of finding the remains of these 215 children now has brought this history to the forefront all over the world and that is a good thing. It is important to know what happened (there is some good background info about Canadian residential schools on Wikipedia) and to listen. Of course, we humans do not easily learn to be more tolerant of the other (I’m thinking specifically of Uyghur camps in China right now that are aimed at indoctrinating Uyghurs and other Muslims and eradicating their culture and religion) but I still hope that from knowledge eventually healing and wisdom will come that ends these savage discriminatory practices.

Lucifer & a bit o’ Richard

So, this past weekend the second half of Lucifer season 5 dropped on Netflix. I didn’t really mean to binge the whole thing this past weekend but found myself doing so nonetheless. It was fun! I just loved Dennis Haysbert as God…

… and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) remains my favourite, especially when he is allowed to show a lighter side to his earnest self.

In season 5B he struggled with what kind of a father he wanted to be and also had to make a difficult angel career choice. Of course, I also really enjoyed the other characters. Tom Ellis does a good job playing both Lucifer and his über-baddie twin Michael and Lucifer needed to find out if he was worthy, of giving love and also of becoming who he needed to be.

I think this was one of my fave scenes from 5B, which made me laugh…

I love most of the other characters too, like tech Ella (Aimee Garcia) who had to deal with some of her darker side, therapist Linda (Rachel Harris) finding her way through mothering an angel’s son (I wish there had been more Lucifer and God therapy with her), demon Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) who struggles with having or not having a soul and Chloe’s daughter Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) who had some difficult things to deal with for one so young. I’ve never been a real fan of Chloe herself (Lauren German, even though she is the other lead) and Dan (Kevin Alejandro) was never a favourite either, although I did shed a tear due to a storyline concerning him.

Anyway, Lucifer season 5B was good and I was happy to get another D.B. Woodside fix. Looking forward to the final sixth season that has already finished filming but has yet to come to the small screen.

Speaking of fangirling, there was also the not so good this past weekend. I saw this image of Richard Armitage supporting the arts (which is good – the Royal Opera House in this case) on his instagram last night and, yeah, sadly that image (not so good) did nothing for me…

Source

It is apparent to me that even the handsomest of people can take weird looking selfies (the man always does something really weird to his mouth when taking seflies) and I even did a double take to make sure it really was him. That aside, it’s really great that he can go out and about to support the arts again and he is apparently in London too, one of the best places to experience the arts…

May we all be so lucky soon!

Marry Me – 7 fantasy husbands

Nell participated in a challenge on her blog to name 7 fictional characters that she would marry on the spot (this is originally a challenge from another German blogger). I’m always one to fantasize, so I figured I’d just jump in and join the challenge as well.

The rule is that it’s all about the character and not about the actor who portrays him (all men, in my case). I know actors of course do influence my choice because favourite characters lead to favourite actors for me and vice versa. So, actors can not be completely ignored and characters played by my favourite actors are naturally on this list. 🙂

OK, on to the challenge: which 7 fictional characters am I so in love with that I could marry them?

1. I just had to pick a character portrayed by Richard Armitage and I considered Harry Kennedy from The Vicar of Dibley because he just feels so familiar, like I could know him in real life, or John Porter from Strike Back, a tough guy who can think for himself, but in the end I would just go for John Thornton. Ah, the way he and I could change the world together! And he sure can kiss…

2. Nell mentioned Joe Bradley, the reporter in Roman Holiday (as portrayed by Gregory Peck) and I thought I’d pick him too but then I thought of a few other characters Peck played who I wouldn’t mind marrying either. James McKay in The Big Country springs to mind, the quiet Easterner in the Wild West who has such moral fibre and is made of sterner stuff than most people think, and of course Atticus Finch who, in a way, reminds me a bit of my own father. I’ll just go with the Oedipus complex choice and pick Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. He’d be a good daddy to my children too.

3. Prince Edward (Richard Chamberlain) in the Cinderella movie The Slipper and the Rose because he was the first character that touched my romantic childhood heart.

4. Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) from The Mentalist because life would never be boring with him around and you know how deeply he can love once he lets you in.

5. Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) from Lucifer because who wouldn’t want a fierce looking but soft hearted angel at your side to fight for you?

6. Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Yes, he’s uptight, but underneath all of that… woof! And he’s smart too, changing the world one high profile human rights law case at a time.

7. Captain Frederick Wentworth (embodied most perfectly by Ciaran Hinds) from Persuasion, a self-made man with a faithful heart and I would get to travel the world with him aboard his ship.

Compiling this list, I chose the characters that popped up in my mind quickest and another one of them was John Keating (so brilliantly portrayed by Robin Williams) from Dead Poets Society, so he gets an honourable mention.

I know that makes it technically eight men I would marry and if I think a little longer I could probably think of 10 more (ooh, maybe hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) from Suits or honourable FBI agent Jack Hudson (Yannick Bisson) from Sue Thomas F.B.Eye or even Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon) from Little House on the Prairie) but I’ll just leave it at this.

Persuasion adaptations

Jane Austen’s Persuasion is one of my favourite books. It’s a toss up for me whether I like Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion more. In 1995 there was a near perfect Persuasion adaptation made by the BBC, starring Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciaran Hinds as Captain Frederick Wentworth.

I can’t tell you how often I have watched this version of Persuasion, I just love it. I also love how into the ending they also incorporated a little bit of the ending Jane Austen had orginially written before she changed it to the current ending (which is much better and contains that beautiful letter). If you’ve seen this adaptation, it’s the scene near the end where Captain Wentworth comes to speak to Anne in the name of his Admiral Croft and asks painfully whether Anne is indeed to marry her cousin Mr. Elliot. They are interrupted and she can never answer but that little scene is so nicely incorporated into the plot. I could go on about this adaptaion for ages, but I won’t right now.

In 2007 ITV made another adaptation with Sally Hawkins as Anne and Rupert Penry-Jones as Frederick.

While the main actors were lovely, some of the supporting cast was not (most notably the one who played Anne’s sister Mary) and they gave some good quotes out of sequence to other characters (why?). Also, what was up with the mad dash Anne did at the end through Bath? Despite it’s deficiencies I have gone back to this adaptation now and again and I like it well enough.

I even got my hands on a 1971 miniseries of Persuasion starring Ann Firbank as Anne and Bryan Marshall as Frederick.

Ann Firbank, by the way, was also with Richard Armitage in The Crucible.

That Persuasion version I only saw once, it was quite close to the book if I recall correctly but also slow moving and a little too serene. I did like Firbank and Marshall in their roles, though, with the right amount of unease and awkwardness and long silent looks.

There is also a 1960 miniseries, but according to Wikipedia that version is most likely lost. Seeing how popular Emma or Pride and Prejudice are, there haven’t been quite as many Persuasion adaptations but it looks like that is changing.

There is a new Persuasion movie in the making, starring Sarah Snook and Joel Fry. I’ve never heard of Sarah Snook before but I do ‘know’ Joel Fry from his supporting role in the fun movie Yesterday. The actors do look interesting, I hope they’ll be good and that the story/movie will be good as well.

There’s also a Netflix Persuasion movie in the making, starring Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot. Apparently it’s a modern retelling of the story and just yesterday I read that it will also star Henry Golding as Anne’s cousin Mr. Elliot. Gotta say I could see him in the role of Frederick as well. I really like Henry Golding.

No mention yet on who will play Frederick, so I am very curious to find that out. I’m also feeling a bit iffy about this project. Will it be any good? I’m neutral on Dakota Johnson but not so neutral on modern setting remakes. I’ve seen a few and many are not so great. Most notably, in the recent two or three years, Hallmark has been making some modern setting Austen movies that are loosely based on Jane Austen’s novels (though no Persuasion as yet) and they are all terrible. Sometimes I only recognize the names, the characters just aren’t there and the stories are so bare bone Austen, you could hardly call them Austen either.

Yesterday I watched another modern Austen adaptation made last year, this time a Persuasion one which is not Hallmark, but not far off that mark either. It’s called Modern Persuasion (uninspired title) and nope, that movie really wasn’t it. It tried a little too hard to be witty (although some jokes did make me smile). The story was there, the characters sort of as well but I have no idea why it was necessary to change the names so much. Anne Elliot (played by Alicia Witt) was called Wren Cosgrove and Frederick Wentworth (played by Shane McRae) was called Owen Jasper (really, how is that an improvement?). Witt was alright, even if a little too pouty, but McRae sadly had no Wentworth charisma whatsover, he looked uncomfortable in the role.

I have a feeling that the man who played the Captain Benwick character (actor Dominic Rains), named Sam Benson here, would have made a much better Captain Wentworth or Owen Jasper as he was called here.

I found most of this movie to be awkward, I hope the modern Netflix version that is being filmed will be much better than this.

There are a few good modern adaptations of Austen novels out there. I quite loved the Bollywood meets Hollywood Bride and Prejudice, I loved Bridget Jones’s Diary, I loved the YouTube webseries The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Clueless is a pretty good modern Emma adaptation. Heck, I even (very surprisingly) enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that, despite being a costume drama, is very modern with the zombies added in. I so hope the new Persuasion set in modern times adaptation can fit in with those and won’t be like the Hallmark ones or the Modern Persuasion movie I just saw. The more traditional Persuasion that is being filmed has big shoes to fill and I have slightly higher hopes for that one. In any case, I am quite happy these adaptations are coming and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

But what about Anne?

Breaking news today is that Sanditon will be renewed for a season 2 and 3 after all. It was canceled but is now being brought back. I never loved it but I did like Sanditon well enough and I am happy about the return. However, I couldn’t help but have my first thought be: but what about Anne with an E?

On my birthday a month ago showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett again reiterated that Anne will not be renewed…

That’s a bitter pill in and of itself but when I hear that Sandition gets renewed and Anne does not, the pill is even more bitter. I’m jealous and I need a hug.

Maybe PBS Masterpiece could consider Anne as well? Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for Sanditon and I will watch that with interest but it’s no Anne