The Casual Vacancy, Jo Rowling’s post-Harry Potter adult novel, has been adapted for TV, and the BBC has made this into a three-part mini-series, which made its debut yesterday evening. Reviews have been generally good, but in one mean-spirited corner of the Fourth Estate, nothing, but nothing, but NOTHING coming from Ms Rowling can be given even the most mildly positive review, as is evident this morning.
What the f***'s wrong with kicking someone we just libelled, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
While the Independent tells “JK Rowling's story is a far better drama than it is a book … The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s first Muggles-only book for adults, was deemed a mild disappointment on its 2012 release, but as a three-part TV serial, it’s much more satisfying”, the Guardian concludes “The Archers meets Benefits Street … nicely done”, and the HuffPost UK calls the adaptation “confident, vibrant … big-screen ready”, over at Northcliffe House, that big dark cloud marked GLOOM had descended.
Because within the domain of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, kicking Ms Rowling’s work is obligatory. Ever since the Vagina Monologue’s attack doggies libelled her and she then took them to the cleaners, the Daily Mail has been in a mardy sulk. And so it was that Glenda Cattia Maxima Jan Moir was dispatched over the top.
“Nasty nimby toffs and typical Tory-bashing from the Beeb” she decides at the outset, continuing “this contemporary drama depicts the English upper and middle classes as relentlessly awful people — unless they happen to be Asian — while the working class characters are almost all noble savages who have been wronged by society … To paraphrase Mrs Merton, I wonder what first attracted the BBC to millionaire JK Rowling’s work of adult fiction? Answers on a voting slip”.
Yeah, it’s all rotten lefty propaganda! That is clearly the Mail’s line, as witness “One can see, in an election year in particular, why the Beeb was desperate to get this substandard work of working class oppression and parish council venality onto the small screen … I suppose we should be grateful that this drama didn’t call them ‘evil Tory cuts’ but we get the message. That adorable little boy is going to die and it’s David Cameron’s fault!”
As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. The idea that the BBC is on a political mission continues: “Rowling’s book has been adapted by former EastEnders screenwriter Sarah Phelps, who has made this everyday tale of sour countryfolk into a kind of Albert Square meets Cranford. True, she has made Keeley Hawes’s character (sex shop owner Samantha) more sympathetic but elsewhere, the Right-bashing message is undiluted”.
Ms Moir concludes by telling anyone still reading “JK Rowling’s simple caricatures of good and evil might work well in Harry Potter and the undemanding realms of children’s fiction, but her grim vision of contemporary Britain is a little too simplistic for discerning grown-ups”. That’s why all the other reviews range between positive and glowing. This is a puerile hatchet job from a paper that can’t abide successful women.
Dacre should have retired when he turned 65. And so should some of his Glendas.
This is day 2. Yesterday's article was
"JK Rowling and the idyllic village that never was... And the five Cotswolds towns TV show used instead"
Day 3 will likely feature a Littlejohn article claiming that all villages were idyllic in the 1950s
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