Monday, January 23, 2012

"It's Not The Done Thing In Cranford"

After the success of "Little Dorrit", Mum, Charlotte, and I wanted to watch another period drama together. Last time had been so much fun, we just had to do it again. So, which period drama to choose?

Over the internet grapevine Mum had heard that "Cranford" was a good movie to watch. And so, hardly a week after "Little Dorrit", we sat down to start Cranford. Even Dad was persuaded to join in and trial this new mini series.

Never having read "Cranford", or even heard of it before then, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was what was written on the back of the case. And that sounded a little dubious. A series about old ladies running a village? Boring, right?

Wrong. It might have been a mini series about old ladies, but these old ladies had us in stitches before we were ten minutes into the first episode. Cats ate antique lace, cows wore flannel pyjamas, gossip flew around the village, and the characters embroiled themselves in more and more trouble every episode. We loved it.

One episode in, I went and looked up Elizabeth Gaskill's book "Cranford", which is one of three books the mini series is based upon. Again, I wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be as good as the mini series? As funny? Were they anything alike at all?

The book was just as good as the mini series, and heightened my enjoyment of it. I anticipated good scenes, and was never disappointed.

When the last episode ended, we sat back and sighed. It feels so good to finish a wonderful mini series like "Cranford". However we didn't take long to plan our next movie. Only the next evening we sat down to watch "Return to Cranford", which reunites most of the principle characters of "Cranford."

And where to after this? What will our next period drama be? Well, on my shelf sits yet another mini series, "Bleak House". Both Charlotte and I have read the book. Now we can't wait to get started on the series!


  1. "Frank, this is CRANFORD. A society that knows itself, where everything is unchanging, perpetual. A place at peace."

    I LOVE that scene, and Miss Pole is so funny.

    "He's choking! He's choking!"
    "He deserves to choke." ;D


  2. I was dubious about Cranford too, but I ended up liking it.

    Bleak House is really good. Different (for me anyway), but very good.

  3. Oh I've thought about looking into either the mini series or the book! I've heard a lot of people saying they hadn't liked it very well but after reading your blog post I'm feeling all inspired to look it up again. Thank you!

  4. Libby, the cat scene was one of my favourites. Miss Pole was probably the funniest character. I loved the way she nearly ran around the village to be the first with any news. Yes, Cranford certainly was a place at peace with itself and it's people.

  5. Victoria, so you've seen 'Bleak House' then? I'm really looking forwards to watching it. Mum started reading Charlotte and I the book, and then we finished it on our own. I like to read the books of movies or mini series before I watch them. Especially with the period dramas. it just makes it that little bit easier to understand what's going on, which I find helpful with Dickens.

  6. Emily, the one off putting thing I found about the book was that it was more a collection of short adventures than a proper story, but I think it was written for a newspaper, so I forgive it. Please do have a look into both. I'm glad I've inspired you. 'Cranford' is well worth reading and watching.

  7. I've caught bits and pieces of Cranford on TV, and I love it!

  8. We're still waiting for Little Dorrit to wriggle its way to the top of our Netflix cue. Now we'll have to look into this Cranford business.

    You might want to check out my blog. It just might make your day. :)

  9.'s all go in Cranford! (lol once I drew a picture of a betta fish in a bowl saying that...I was in a strange mood but it makes me laugh all the more0.) I LOVE THAT MINISERIES!!! *hugs it dearly* I have it in my personal collection of movies :) It is a must - though I've only seen the first one and not the second...though I must say if you love Gaskells work you must check out her other two. They are awesome though maybe not quite so light-hearted as Cranford though I doubt that Cranford could really be called light hearted with all the sad deaths! *sobs*
    But Wives and Daughters is a family favorite with us and us girls are rather partial to North and South - though it is a bit more of a love story than anything else but an excellent story none the less.

  10. Magdalen, I love it too. I never knew when Cranford was on TV, but I think it's better watching it on DVD. You can watch it faster!

  11. David, I'm glad you're going to see Little Dorrit at some point. I really would recommend you watch Cranford too. It's really good.

  12. Jessica, I have read North and South, and Cranford now, and will soon start Wives and Daughters. But first, I'm going to read the other two books the mini series is based off. We found out what they were and got them!

    Yes indeed, it's all Go in Cranford. Often go out in a coffin, but always 'Go'.

  13. I love Cranford! Other BBC's to try are "Wives and Daughters" "North and South" "Jane Eyre (2006)" "Larkrise to Candleford" and the 2011 "Upstairs Downstairs" aso "Downton Abbey" but that has a few adult scenes/themes, though it is still fantastic.
    Beth xxx

  14. Beth, Downton Abbey seems to be the mini series of the moment. Everyone's talking about it! It must be good.

    I'll have to remember your ideas. Thanks.

    Sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment. I only just realised I hadn't. So slack of me!