shallowness: Catwoman looking at the Batsign in the Gotham City night sky (Catwoman watching Batverse films)
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I caught up with The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

Ep 88 Reunion

It almost sounded like Rochester was too well for ICU? Anyway, within the context of all that’s happened, it was good that the reunion of the title involved Adele, who’d missed filming. Jane’s apologies sounded like her blaming herself, not her being sorry that this had happened to Adele, which was taking on a little too much.

Er, of course it was a car accident, as Jane said.

89 Transitions

Among the litany of injuries, it doesn’t sound as if Rochester’s lost his eyesight.

So the Rivers are ‘too far from the city’ (I thought they were in some other town/city where with a big hospital and university where Diana must study, frankly, given the time Jane had been travelling etc) and so Jane is looking for an apartment. Er, okay, while saying that she’s sure that Diana and Mary will help her through this tough time – of being emotionally there for Adele while watching the man she loves but has a complicated relationship with sleep in hospital. Er, yeah.

While the letter, with its link to Jane’s kind parents and emphasis on love was lovely – of course, Rochester didn’t know where she was to forward it, but must have held on to the letter in the hope of giving to her. I suspect he did read it, probably – there was a lot going on, too much, perhaps (I assume there are external reasons for posting once a week). Jane switching the camera off, then back on, then keeping it on while talking to Adele was a bit weird.

90 Abstract

More effective. For me, the most effective bits were the cuts – because yes, watching their concentrated faces as they’d draw for long enough to produce the art would have been dull. I liked the rhythm of the whole ep, the suggestion of ebb and flow in – I was almost going to describe it as a conversation, but it was almost two monologues. They always give that kid a mouthful (Jungian archetype of the mother, anyone?) The quality of listening from Jane made the first half, and I liked that when she talked, she could relate what Adele had shared to what she’d been through, while acknowledging that it wasn’t precisely the same, but reinforcing what she’d told Adele about it being okay to have these feelings.

Of course, what went unsaid was how Jane had and was filling the maternal role for Adele, unlike Beth.

What should have gone unsaid was ‘in the fall’. Didn’t Jane leave at the start of the year?

Ep 91 Pitch

Yeah, no. Stressed Grace was so broad, and while Jane turning to her for advice with her plan was logical and the germ of a good episode, it was all too broad, well before the panic attacks. Control freak Grace breaking down while letting her emotions get out about something new, yes. Execution, no.

What are ‘art cars’ meant to be, anyway?

Jane not asking but asking about how many vlogs Grace had watched was amusing, though.

I can’t think about the geography of AOJE any more.

AND THEN YouTube cannily promoted ‘Classic Alice’ on the side of one of those videos, and I was intrigued.

Episode 1 is entitled Down the Rabbit Hole. While not based on a specific novel, it’s a transmedia-ish metatextual high-concept fictional vlog. Or something. It had the equivalent of footnotes. I’m doomed.

Spoilers from the prequels to episode 3

The idea is that ‘Alice Rackham’ a literature graduate student who is used to getting top marks gets a B-, which she sees as abject failure, and she flips out. (It’s clearly influenced by LBD, with bookshelves and, heh, dirty laundry in the bookground, not to mention the titlecard, and surely by now there are theses on the LBD phenomenon and its spin-offs.) Her Charlotte is Andrew, mainly a snarky voice in the background, the crew and the creator of the footnotes/subtitles, who is a wannabe film-maker who handily agrees to Alice’s over-reaction to this B- (oh, FINE, I got where she was coming from in seeing it as flunking. Not so much what she did next, though.)

Her professor/teacher said that she wasn’t responding emotionally to some poetry. She got it rationally, but not viscerally. So, here comes the high concept: Alice is going to use classic literature to help her make life decisions. Which has surely been done before in books, but a webseries?

What could possibly go wrong?

The first book is by a Russian novelist.

Add the further twist that Andrew admits to the viewers at the end of the video when Alice has left the room, having lied to her about when the camera was switched off, that he’s using Alice’s flip-out as a documentary project for grades of his own. How long she will go without realising this credibly, I don’t know, but we’ve got two characters with lessons to learn in life. FOOTNOTES and pictures and a made-up university. I laughed with and at the characters and would like to see Alice Show That Professor...

(I found this
which gives the narrative: the first prequel establishes another situation where Andrew is filming Alice and tells her it’s something that’s encouraged by the class. And sets up Alice/Andrew, although that’s also clearly there in the first proper episode.)

Ep 2 Just a Little Peril Or, Classic Alice hopefully explains ‘Crime and Punishment’ to me because nope, I’ve never read it:

While the episode didn’t serve as a full crib-sheet, it established the ground rules, introduced ‘My Crime Ideas’ file <3 and made me giggle. Alice’s relationship with the audience is still a little fuzzy, probably because of the lack of acknowledged feedback. Plus she’s still working out her relationship to the project, we got to see more of her relationship with Andrew (who dubbed her Hermione, which yessssss), who addressed the audience behind her back again and admitted to interfering and thus breaking one of the ground rules.

So, she’s still not watching the videos, the video in which she’s plotting a crime at her fake university...Just a little peril indeed.

Ooh, it is going to be worth reading all the posts under ‘narrative’ because here Alice does address ‘her’ audience – on Tumblr no less, behind Andrew’s back, because she’s seen his postscripts to the vids, and...she’s not sure what she thinks, but isn’t negative?

Hmm, perhaps because this isn’t based on A book, let alone one I know (I’ve seen adaptations of ‘Alice’ but never read the books through) it’s not going to be all about the videos, which is fine, if they take the other transmedia elements seriously, and they really add to how the story is told. Otherwise, what’s the point?

(If it weren’t for the ‘Classic Alice Entirety!’ playlist, I wouldn’t have found the ‘between’ episode where Alice interviews Andrew, making her the voice behind the camera, and in a SHOCKING TWIST we find out he likes GoT, so where does he get off calling her dorky? But I did like him talking about art as a door, given the whole Alice thing. Also, it’s clear how comfortable the two characters are around each other.)

Ep 3 (A Lot of) Battle Plans

Really entertaining episode.

ALICE BUILT A DIORAMA. I was wondering if she was going to take a phone or something to the scene of the crime, although that would be way incriminating. But acting it out in the diorama, doing The Crime off-camera, while Andrew was futzing about (and I’m so pleased that they’re having the person who edits and films and commentates be an even more active participant in the story than Charlotte was) worked very well.

Plus to introduce a new character, who got that Alice was being stealthy, when she was freaking out about what she’d just done added another layer. Obviously, Andrew was a little bit jealous, and I have hopes that they’ll play on the fact that the boy is the film-maker and editor while the girl is the one on the screen, but the fact that I already want to caveat that with ‘normally’ and that the story is being told in other ways where Alice has more control means that there’s some awareness of this going on.

Good to see Andrew have qualms about what Alice has done amid his denial. (Couldn’t she have just visited a pawn shop? Well, it wouldn’t have been that high concept, would it!?)

Er, if you like literary rom-coms with metatextual aspirations, this may also be your kind of thing. I just realised I could use my an alice in a wonderland tag. DOOOOMED.

The narrative (with vids, Tumblr posts, tweets and pictures) is here although it’s not exhaustive. The Classic Alice ENTIRETY! playlist seems to have all the vids.

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