Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Modern-Day 'Les Miserables' TV Show?

About a month ago it was announced that 20th Century Fox are currently developing a modern-day adaptation of Les Miserables. It came from Deadline (which is a reputable news website) and was later reported elsewhere. You can read the Deadline article here. However, all that's been really said about this show so far is that it will be set in the modern-day and that Rob Thomas (the creator of Veronica Mars) is behind it. Oh, and that it will be:

"... a primetime soap about a brilliant lawyer running a legal exoneration program who fights to evade the consequences of his own unjust conviction many years before. He must navigate high society, continue his mission of saving innocent people, and manage his tumultuous family and romantic life - all while staying one step ahead of a ruthless U.S. Attorney who refuses to let the ghosts of the past die."

When I first heard about this thing I was in complete shock and even now I'm still mentally shaking my head about it. Judging from the synopsis that's been released so far it doesn't even sound like it's got anything to do with Les Mis really. The synopsis that they've released suggests that it's only going to be focusing on the Valjean-Javert storyline. But there's so much more to Les Mis than this! What about all of the other characters? What about all of the politics and the social commentary that was going on in France at the time?

I'm sure I'll give this show a watch to see what it's like but to me Les Miserables is one of those stories that can only work when it's in the context of its original setting. I just don't see how they can change both the time setting and the country of Les Mis and still have it be Les Mis. I know that Rob Thomas made Veronica Mars and I know that that show is supposed to be brilliant but this upcoming Les Mis project sounds dreadful to me. Any thoughts?

8 comments:

Miss Dashwood said...

NO NO NO THIS IS HORRRRRRIDDDDDDDD.... they CANNOT just focus on Valjean. Let us hope and pray that the synopsis was only a tiny part of it... there is SO MUCH MORE to the story than just Valjean and Javert. ARGH. Horrors.

:P

Miss Melody Muffin said...

Whoa, WHOA!!!! They are doing WHAT?????? Nooooo!!!!

Normally, I'm interested in modern-day adaptations of classics, but Les Mis?????? I have to admit, I'm pretty skeptical about this. Especially after reading the synopsis. Les Mis is just such an awesome, multi-layered story and it does not sound like they are going to do it justice.

I agree with you, Les Mis is really one of those stories that only works the way it is.

I shall probably look into it when it comes out- out of pure curiosity, but I seriously doubt they can make it work. I will however, reserve final judgement for it until it comes out. :)

Hamlette said...

I think it could be brilliant. Or it could stink. Really depends on writing and casting and 900 other factors, like all shows.

Oh, and... of course Valjean is the main character. He's the main character in the book. That bit about him "managing his tumultuous family and romantic life" is where the other characters will come in.

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

Hamlette - I should have probably mentioned that it's how they present the revolution in this book - if they're planning on including it at all - that's making me most anxious. This is an extremely important section and the most exciting part of the story for me but I have no idea what the modern-day equivalent of building a massive barricade on the streets and trying to overthrow the government would be. What politics would the students support in our time? And the fact that the synopsis mentions Valjean's tumultuous romantic life has already made me think that there might be some kind of a romantic relationship between Valjean and Fantine. Urgh, no thank you.

I don't want to dismiss the show completely because there are some modern-day updates (Sherlock, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) that I adore and I can even love loosely-based, inspired-by adaptations. Maybe it could be great. But for the time being I remain sceptical.

Hamlette said...

Where will it be set? Paris? Or the US? That would make a big difference into how the revolutionaries would play out.

Hannah said...

I'm guessing the USA since it will be an American show & the synopsis does make it sound like Javert will be a ruthless US Attorney, but we'll find out for certain nearer the airdate of course.

Sarah said...

Help! If this catches on, next we'll have the Bronte sisters' characters as the modern day doctors of a psych ward.