Bleak House series (2005)

At some year’s Sinterklaas (the Dutch december gift-giving celebration) I got an ‘encyclopedia of popular culture’. This little book describes the best in books, comics, film, tv-series and more. Keyser gave me a few nice hints and he is very enthousiastic about the BBC series “Bleak House”, describing them as “dark” and “weird”. This brought memories of that brilliant BBC series “Gormenghast” so I ordered a copy of “Bleak House”. These series are based on a book by Charles Dickens and are about 19th century England in which the long-running lawsuit about the inheritance of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has cost a great deal of money, good relations and people’s minds. John Jarndyce (not one of the “wards”) takes a few young people in his household at Bleak House, to make it less bleak. Two of them are nephew and niece and the wards in the lawsuit, the third an intelligent young female servant. The series have some great weird characters such as mr. Guppy and mr. Smallweed. Lady Dedlock is played by Gillian Anderson, a wife of Sir Leicester Dedlock and the centre of all the secrets in the series. “Bleak House” is full of intrigues and power games and the characters develop nicely. The production and acting are excellent like you may expect from the BBC, but inspite of a nice sense of humour, I did not find the atmosphere of the series too appealing. Especially the main character Esther Summerson worked on my nerves. “Bleak House” was not boring, but I am glad there were not more episodes.

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