Deborah Yaffe

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Death comes to PBS

By Deborah Yaffe, Oct 23 2014 01:00PM

Just because I didn't much like Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James' 2011 murder-mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice -- and, like so many Janeites, I found it unsatisfactory as both detective story and Austen pastiche -- doesn't mean I haven't been eagerly looking forward to the BBC adaptation, which finally arrives on PBS this Sunday.


Basically, I'm a sucker for any Jane Austen-related movie, at least until my innocent hopefulness is cruelly shattered by the tragic reality of dreck like "Austenland". I always imagine that this one will be the film that perfectly captures Austen's spirit, holding comic irony and deep feeling in elegant equipoise.


Since Death has nothing like Austen's genius to live up to -- James' tedious, overlong book places pallid simulacra of P&P characters into a perfunctory and un-mysterious mystery plot -- the movie version should have an easier time of it than, say, another failed attempt at Mansfield Park.


Yes, all things considered, I think Sunday is going to be a good night for popcorn. . .

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