Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Merriest Girls In Virginia

I began this Election Day with a bit of American history. Felicity: An American Girl Adventure is the film adaptation of (most of) the six Felicity American Girls books. It doesn't appear that any of the short stories were used this time, only the original six stories.

Though I'm not as interested in the Colonial era as I am in the Victorian era and I've only read three of the six books, I ended up enjoying Felicity's movie debut more than I did Samantha's. For one thing, the use of the actual Colonial Williamsburg as a backdrop gives it more authenticity than Samantha's Canada-as-Victorian-New York. For another thing, the Revolutionary War setting gave it a note of danger that Samantha's more benign adoption tale lacked. Third, Felicity's adventures taming a horse owned by a nasty tanner and helping her dad's apprentice are just plain more exciting than Sam's New York stories.

Another thing I appreciated is, as far as I can tell, most of the original characters are more intact than in Samantha's story. Only Felicity and Elizabeth's teacher, Miss Manderly, is drastically changed from the books (where she was much older). The story is less choppy and better-edited, too, and I actually liked moving the Christmas story from the third to the last, though it did make for a rather sappy ending.

Today was laundry day, and I enjoyed the usual fare with TCM and Nick Jr. TCM's theme of the month is "series movies." They're running films from some of the most famous "series," from the B flicks turned out for double-features in the 30s to the 60s spy capers that generally ended the idea of "movie series" until the proliferation of slasher sequels in the 80s. Today I encountered the later end of the spectrum. I had no idea The Man From U.N.C.L.E made it into the movies. I don't remember this show too well from re-runs, but what I saw was generally a not-bad James Bond imitation. I especially liked the Russian guy.

Dora the Explorer and her buddy Boots the Monkey went on one of their earliest and most unusual adventures today. They headed to Blueberry Hill (hello, in-joke!) for some tasty, juicy fruit, where they encounter Swiper the Fox, who seems to live there, for the first time. They also encounter a big blue bear, who chases them backwards through the obstacles they went through the first time...the only time I recall Dora doing each obstacle twice.

Diego and his big sister Alicia had an even more interesting adventure under the sea that also resulted in a mild format change. This is the first (and so far, only) time Diego and Alicia discover an animal they don't recognize, whom they help lead home.

I stuck around for The Backyardigans, who went exotic as Princess CleoTasha and her band of servants bring presents to Uniqua the Sphinx to find out why the Nile's dried up. Uniqua and the boys finally teach ever-bossy Tasha a lesson - if you really want people to do things, you have to learn to say "please" and "thank you."

I wish they'd teach that lesson to my customers. I had some annoying ones tonight. It started and ended fairly slow, but was busy in between as people came out from the voting booths, trying to avoid tonight's cold weather.

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