Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Great North and South Crusade!!


The Pajama Party

We’ve been promising something special this week starting today and – today’s the day. It might not come as a surprise to some of you who drop by and visit that when I get passionate about something, I tend to go a bit overboard.:) The reason is I’ve enjoyed it so much I just want everyone to enjoy it too. I don’t think there will be any raised eyebrows when I say my latest one is the British series North and South. I started hearing about it on the AAR boards and didn’t pay much attention since I thought it was a do over of the US miniseries. But then Sula posted about how much she enjoyed it and many others chimed in agreeing with her. I ordered it, watched it and fell completely and totally in love with the story. Then my partner Katiebabs watched it and experienced the same thing Sula and I and many other did too.The three of us exchanged emails and we all thought it a grand idea to really encourage other romance readers and romance bloggers to see this great series. If you’re a romance reader, especially a historical romance reader which I think many of us are or were at one time, I think you’ll really enjoy this. We tossed around ideas of what to do and one of the ideas we came up with was a 'chat' we thought we would share with everyone.

So one Friday night after trying to figure out what IM to use and with the help of “The Sidekick” we connected. I can’t speak for Katiebabs and Sula, but I was sitting nice and cozy in my jammies with a nice cold beer and settled down for what really felt like a cyberspace pajama party.

So for the next three days, you get to see into our North and South Pajama Party discussion. Part one is here with me posting. Part two is at Sula’s blog and Part three is here with Katiebabs posting.

So sit back and enjoy. We tried to be serious at times but at others descended into girlish silliness.

Kristie(J): Question: So what makes N&S so special that it's grabbed our attention and won't let go? Either of you?

Kristie(J): (The sidekick - you can listen in 'cause we will be after you to watch this too)

KatieBabs: The subtle love story without all the over the top passionate words and touches. When John is watching as Margaret leaves and he says, look back- swoon!

Sula: Also I liked the social clashes (the working class, the nouveau riche, and the elite) and how some of those contrasts are exemplified in the characters of Thornton and Margaret. I mean, she is coming from a rather posh background...or at least some of her family are in the Ton, and now she has been brought down a level, and Thornton, who should be beneath her, is actually above her socially

Kristie(J): That's true - he is above her in some ways and beneath her in others. Like our wonderful Derek -he thinks he is unworthy of her. I do think he came from a better background originally - before his father blew it.

Sula: Yeah, but he had to work his way up from zero

Kristie(J): and yes though, he did raise himself and his family from the ground

KatieBabs: I like the fact that Margaret is strong and outspoken and that is why John loves her

Sula: Yes, I liked that too. She's not afraid to speak her mind even though she's a little naive in some ways.

KatieBabs: She is very caring and understanding, well with John, he rubs her the wrong way though. John was a lot like Derek in most ways. The looks he gives Margaret are much like the ones Derek gives Sara. And whenever someone is critical of Margaret, he defends her.

Sula: true

KatieBabs: He reminds me also of Darcy from P&P

Sula: Yeah, in some ways he is like Darcy, but he's also more emotional I think

Kristie(J): I haven't seen that so I can't really compare them

KatieBabs: OMG you have been deprived!

Kristie(J): I did watch the latest version the other day and there really was no comparison

Sula: Yeah, you really do have to see that one

KatieBabs: No Colin Firth swimming in the lake?

Sula: hehe

Kristie(J): But after watching North and South I don't think I would care for it nearly as much. P&P that is

Sula: I loved how erotic just seeing Thornton's NECK was after going through the entire movie in such conservative clothing

KatieBabs: LMAO!

Kristie(J): Yes!! At the train station when he didn't have his cravat on

KatieBabs: When he took off his neck thingy, that was very sexy.

Sula: Don't you think his starched cravat says something about the way he holds himself? His chin is always up

Kristie(J): I do. It's like he is holding himself back

Sula: Yes, or being held back by convention

KatieBabs: The smoldering looks said it all

Sula: And yeah, the eyes tell the true story. Yowza!

Kristie(J): Another thing I noticed upon many viewings is how he covers his mouth when he is feeling strong emotions, like he is trying to hold himself in somehow. It really starts getting noticeable when you watch it a lot.

Sula: hmm, you're right

Kristie(J): He hardly ever smiles at all!

KatieBabs: he hardly ever smiled unless he was with Margaret

Sula: Did we all swoon over the part where he watches Margaret's carriage drive away and he says, "look back, look back at me"?

KatieBabs: OMG!! I was a puddle on the floor

Sula: Heart-breaking

KatieBabs: That scene... no words!

Kristie(J): Oh me too! You can just feel his pain and longing

Sula: He's so vulnerable

Kristie(J): But yet - he turned his back on Margaret first when she was open to something

Sula: be fair he did propose to her and got turned down

KatieBabs: He doesn't want to give his heart away

Kristie(J): One thing I'm puzzled over is why she turned him down so rudely

KatieBabs: His proposal was an angry one because he is angry for loving so deeply

Sula: Yeah, I thought she was pretty mean to him

Kristie(J): But I think she was almost afraid of his passion

Sula: Did you watch the extended proposal scene? The one thing that I got out of it was that she was angry that people were assuming that she was chasing after him because he was rich. Again, I think she was upset that SHE (who would normally have been the catch but is now poor because of her father's loss of fortune) is the one that now is looking like a gold digger

KatieBabs: Her parents IMO were so weak

Kristie(J): Yes they both were she was the leader of the family especially after her brother left

KatieBabs: John and Margaret are very strong. Their wills clashed and John's sister was weak and empty headed

Sula: Oh yeah, but funny

Kristie(J): His mother sure was strong though. She would make a frightening mother in law

Sula: I liked his mother. She was a bit of a battle ax, but she really loved him

Kristie(J): Almost too much though. Having two sons who have both been disappointed by women, I would never say I hate them. Especially if they told me they loved them.

KatieBabs: It is funny because John was close with his mother and Margaret was close with her father

Sula: Yes, well I think you can see where John gets his passionate nature from.

Kristie(J): And she did talk him out of going to see Margaret right away after he left the house when Margaret was hurt

KatieBabs: John's emotions were dark

Kristie(J): Yes - like the first time Margaret saw him. He beat that employee up pretty good. I imagine that did frighten Margaret quite a bit.

Sula: He has a lot weighing on him. He's responsible for the factory and for the jobs of everyone and for his mother and sister being kept in style

KatieBabs: But did you see how he changed towards the end of the movie. And when he found out about her brother, his face lit up?

Sula: Yes! "Her brother"

Kristie(J): I loved that part too! Like a light dawned

KatieBabs: His smile!

Sula: Love the change in his whole demeanor when he finds out that the guy she was embracing was her brother

Kristie(J): *swoon*

Sula: Random bit...I like when he's sitting in the cafeteria with the workers. That whole section shows how he's changing and growing

Kristie(J): Oh yes - I like that part too. I thought it interesting that it was Higgins who told him

KatieBabs: Poor Higgins

Sula: Also the interactions between him (Thornton) and the kid

Kristie(J): And how gentle he is with the little boy

KatieBabs: I felt sad for Margaret's friend who had originally asked her to marry him

End of Part 1

And we have a couple of other things planned for after including a Very Special Guest. So – hopefully you get curious and want to see what makes three grown women gush like teenagers. I'd also like to add another link. If you're curious, if you've seen North and South and can't get enough of it, there is a very good discussion also going on another blog - Lights, Camera...History, an excellent blog dedicated to historical books and the movies.

So - Stay Tuned. Part two of the North and South Pajama Party is up tomorrow at Sula's!

'til later


Dev said...

I knew your little surprise had something to do with North and South! I am really looking forward to seeing this. :-)

Devon said...

Okay, so this sounds awesome! What is it and Where can I get? The only North and South I was familiar with was the US version that my mom wouldn't let me watch in the fourth grade.

Mollie said...

OMG LOVED N&S. I have it on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas. If no one gets it for'll be the first thing I buy with my Christmas money!

One thing that I noticed after watching N&S the second time through was Margaret's face. She has the SAME expression throughout the entire movie! There are like 3 or 4 scenes when she shows some major emotion but I remember thinking, damn, her face has to hurt, she's had the same expression through the entire thing! HAHAHA.

I heart N&S!!!!!!

Ana T. said...

Hi Kristie, I can see you had great fun chatting!! eh eh Looking forward to part 2 ;-)

Kristie(J) said...

Dev: heh heh. I tried to be subtle but that's not my best suit. And we'll be anxiously awaiting your verdict once you watch it.

Devon: It IS Awesome!! It's a miniseries - 4- one hour episodes based on a book written by Elizabeth Gaskell set in Victorian England. I know it's available through Netflix and Dev reserved a copy from her libaray. And it's nothing to do with the American N&S - I think that's what many of us on this side of the pond thought.

Mollie *g* hold those thoughts - cause there's more coming!! It is awesome isn't it? We heart it too - that's why we want others to see it and heart it also :)

Ana T: Oh we did have a grand time!! And in such a worthy cause too. Just wait until silliness takes over!

CindyS said...

Mine has arrived but I want to make sure I have lots of time to just sit and relax. So I need enough pop, food and comfy clothes.

Why is it I always find a new obsession over the holidays! I read just bits and pieces of your post right now because I want to watch it somewhat unspoiled - although I know I'll be watching for a train scene ;)


Rosie said...

Simmering, smoldering, passion and that deep resonant voice. Just awesome. One thing GG and I commented on watching it the second time is that both Margaret and John are products of their times and the actors played their parts true to the time period. Talk about stiff upper lip and no public displays of emotion. Everything is in their eyes.

Just a great mini-series.

I noticed you guys mentioned the extended proposal scene. I think it should have been left in tact. The way it is in the final cut Margaret seems almost heartless whereas in the extended scene we do see her anger about it being assumed she is chasing John or desperate to 'land him'. Besides it explains about the gift of the fruit to Margaret's mother later in the series.

You can understand how John is his mother's son. But how did Margaret come from those two wimpy people?

Kristie (J) said...

Cindy: *chuckle* I had my copy a few days before I watched it. Then I watched the first two episodes and life interrupted before I had a chance to watch the second two episodes. All I can say is - *g* clear time soon and make sure you have a bit of time after to sit there is a puddle of happy gooiness. The first two episodes are great, but those last ones - specially the fourth one - well - I guarantee a puddle melt.

Rosie: you are so right!! They did play their roles beautifully. And Richard Armitage's voice *shiver*
Their passion for each other was so restrained but so obvious through their eyes and their simple touches. It's not until the final moments they become unguarded with each other - and then, when they do - Yowzers!
Margaret sure was in a different class altogether wasn't she?!? And I agree with you - they should have left the extended proposal scene in. If gives you more of a glimpse into her head.

Tumperkin said...

I'm not sure what's going on here. Are you ladies trying to set Richard Armitage for - I don't know - world domination or something? Cos let me tell you, IT IS WORKING!!

As you know (Kristie has blogged about this) Richard Armitage is in a new Robin Hood series on BBC. It's a big Saturday night famiy show over here in the UK and has just started it's second series. I didn't watch the first series (it's a kids thing really) but now I have taken to watching it: just to see RA's Guy of Gisbourne. And get this: I am LOVING Guy (Robin is just *meh*). Yes, I can confirm that he DOES wear too much eyeliner in the role but get this: he makes Guy really human and I WANT HIM TO GET THE GIRL. Cos he is so good at acting like he is in love with someone. I can't believe that stoooopid Maid Marian prefers the little boy that plays Robin. *pause for breath*.

I need to go and lie down now...

Kristie (J) said...

Tumperkin: LOL - yes - we've been talking about Robin Hood too, Katiebabs & Sula have both seen Season 1 and I just got it myself. So far I've only seen the first 3 episodes. And we have been watching a few Season 2 courtesy of YouTube - Chest for example *huge grin* But O.M.G. Guy!!!!
Hot! Hot! Hot! We are so envious of you Brits - being able to see current episodes. And dumb, dumb, dumb Marian! Why want a boy like Robin when she has a man like Guy wanting her? Sure - he kills people but he just needs her to soften his harder edges and get him steered to the good side.

Devon said...

I was a bit surprised, only three libraries in my major metro area library system had it. But I've got it on reserve. I was like, "Not the one with Patrick Swayze, the BBC one." I should have it by this weekend. I'll wrap and watch.

sula said...

yay devon! you will lurve it...I promise. *g*

Tonite I am hoping to regain my personal copy which I kindly lent out to a classmate over a month ago. Now she keeps "forgetting" to return it. HA! Forget, my arse. Keep dear Mr. Thorton on replay more like it. lol.

tumperkin, I so want Marian to get together with's not even funny. He's the ultimate bad boy. Just needs the love of a good woman, that's all. *g* Robin who? A mere infant, that boy.

Katie(babs) said...

I can't wait to watch season 2 of Robin Hood. Good stuff such as more naked chest action from Richard and Marian can't take her eyes off of him!
Robin is a pansy who likes to play in the forest. Guy is the type who will march through the forest and destroy everything in his path because of his smoldering looks!

Mollie said...

I'm off work sick today (bronchitis) ...what better way to spend the day than watching N&S.....going to check to see if the library has it! Looking forward to more discussions about N&S!

Mollie said...

Who-hoo they have it! That'll make me feel better...;)

Katie(babs) said...

I have the sniffles also *sniff sniff* So let's discuss about the party scene where John quickly touches the gloved hand of a female guest, but when it comes to Maragret, he holds onto her naked hand for a much longer time then necessary. That scene is one of my favorites in the whole movie. So sexy and so telling about John and Margaret's reaction to him touching her!
Now if this was a 2007 romance novel, they would look at each other lustfully and Margaret would excuse herself to go out to the balcony or garden (well, maybe to the loons) and John would follow her and kiss her senseless, but GASP before they can go further, John's mother would come searchng for him...

Kristie (J) said...

Devon: Squeee!! I can hardly wait to see what you think of it!!! Will you be joining The Great North and South Crusade :) I'm thinking a resounding YES (heh heh)

Mollie: If you're home sick, I can't think of a better way to make yourself feel better!! A nice hot cup of tea, in comfy jammies, all wrapped up in a warm blanket and watching North & South - sounds wonderful being sick ;)

And Kateiebabs: I think the restraint shown throughout the movie just gives it so much more impact!!