Every once in a while — say, a few times a year — a commercial comes on the television that actually informs you of something worth knowing. Last night I saw the trailer for “Z,” a new series by Amazon starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Fitzgerald.
But there could be no story of Zelda without F. Scott (and vice-versa), and so the series also stars David Hoflin as the author who gave us not only “The Great Gatsby,” but also one of the great college novels in American literature, “This Side Of Paradise.”
The series debuts tomorrow night. For more info, check out this piece by Town & Country.
Find out how to watch the series here. — CC
I hope I’m wrong, but if the brief glimpses shown on British TV (on a talk show) and Ms Ricci’s commentary are anythign to go by it looks like an alt-Feminist screed about poor, poold Zelda who was held back by her domineering hsuband, rather than the truth of seriously damaged Zelda who, amogn other things, made the life of America’s best writer a living hell.
Zelda was held back by a domineering husband. It’s the way it is with most all rich men. Such alpha males think they own the world-master of the universe. They euphemistically call their wives patrician wives, but everyone knows they are just pieces of trophy meat, Zelda was no different.
Prediction: this will go over about as well as the Ghostbusters remake did. Not saying they should or shouldn’t take the angle they are taking but it does appear that there isn’t as large of an audience looking out for these kinds of projects as many seem to think. I think most people would much rather watch a series on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the themes of his life and writing than Zelda. Not because she is a woman but because she just simply didn’t write numerous captivating pieces of literature.
A mini-series on Fitzgerald and his strange sense of place and dreams would have been more interesting to people, I think. Maybe a mini-series (all filmed on site at each place he resided) contrasting his “middle west” origins as a poorer family in a rich neighborhood, his dreams/desires to escape to the big cities of the world, and the unhappiness that seemed to follow him to each place. With so many of his characters following this pattern I would think it would interest many. Of course, partly selfishly I would totally watch if part of it was filmed in my hometown St. Paul (where he wrote This Side of Paradise) and highlighted his origins there. I’ve always heard it was originally a St. Paul writer and James J. Hill who sparked some of Fitzgerald’s interest in the extraordinarily wealthy/old-money themes. Filming on sight in places like St. Paul MN, Princeton NJ, Lake Forest IL, Baltimore, Hollywood, and of course NYC would seem like a good way to peek interest across a huge geographic spread. Not to mention his going back to many of these places (including his parents home on beautiful Summit Ave St. Paul) to write many of his books. Part of the interest in Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby is the setting and the aura of the era he lived in.
Jacobsb17, I agree. I hope St. Paul is covered in the series. Here is a recent NYT article which covers some of his old haunts:
Seve, granted I have not seen any of it but a snippet from a commercial and a description from T&C and CNN it looks like it largely focus on NYC/Hollywood crass and crude jazz age debauchery and with some theme on feminism as others have described here above, O well.
Personally, I am waiting for a mini-series on Nathanael West. I won’t hold my breath.
I would rather see the story of them getting kicked out of White Bear Yacht Club!
I look forward to seeing Christina Ricci in a silk camisole and tap pants. 😉
If the writers of this miniseries agree with our completely neutral and fact-driven friend Fem, and wrote it from that perspective, then it will have an audience of LGBTQQQRSXYZ* ideologues (and their friends) who care about the early 20th century—in other words, no one.
For the reasons Jacob admubrated above, Zelda’s husband is a far more inreresting and compelling character, and a show about him would probably draw a much larger audience. This has nothing to do with their sex—except, of course, to Fem and zir fellow travelers.
*Also known in some circles by the alternative acronym NINCQMPQQPS.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is quite over-rated in my opinion. Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is a far superior book than anything FSF wrote.
@sacksuit: I’m in the middle of re-reading The Sun Also Rises right now, and I agree that it’s generally better than Fitzgerald, at least in capturing the Lost Generation zeitgeist. (says the guy living in the 21st century). Which is also not to say that Hemingway doesn’t have his annoyances, at least to the modern reader.
Two follow-up cinematic points: a) why has nobody ever made a decent movie of Gatsby; and b) I encourage all Hemingway fans to see Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris” – if there’s such a thing as a reverential take-down of the man, that’s it.
Finally: Zelda was crazy and burned the house down; people will watch that sh*t on t.v. (or their tablets, in this case)
Hemingway was etiolated illiteracy mimicking art more-or-less successfully.
Fitzgerald had one and a half books in him (Gatsby & Tycoon). The rest is tiresome verbiage for its own sake desperately stringing a few good lines together.
His (Wilson’s?) notes are probably a better read in this regard.
West was, in my none-too-humble opinion, the first truly modern American novelist. Without him there would be at a minimum no Salinger or Burroughs.
Besides he was a Brown man of sorts and the most “Ivy” dresser of the three.
Salinger was an insufferable whiner and, in my opinion, took himself way too seriously. A recent viewing of a Salinger biopic lead me to believe that his entire life consisted of people disappointing him. I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye when I first read it as a teenager but hated it when I tried to re-read it in my 30s. It was similar to watching The Breakfast Club in the theater in the ’80s and a recent (five minute attempt) to see it on television recently. Ghastly tripe. I did enjoy Franny and Zoe though.
too many recently’s. Sam’s Club waiting area having tires put on car.
Make sure they pay attention to the “direction of rotation” arrows on tires. You’d be surprised…
Yes, Salinger was an insufferable bore but he was also hardly as original in terms of voice/style/tone/imagery as his fans claim. Read “Miss Lonely Hearts” and “A Cool Million” (understanding that they had no predecessors as far as I know of) and tell me that Salinger doesn’t owe a lot to West.
Too bored. Drinking beer and fixing my dryer because I am too cheap and stubborn – oops, I mean frugal and resourceful – to pay for such foolishness.
Somebody report here on whether Scott, Zelda, Humphrey Bogart and Tallula Bankhead are shown in the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel.
Will, Christian & I discussed Catcher in the Rye some years back, and neither of us cared for it precisely because we both read it as adults. It’s probably not great literature if you can enjoy it only at a certain age.
As for The Breakfast Club, I think a lot of things (this movie included) that are popular when they are released are so much a product of their era, not just reflecting it but thoroughly ensconced in it, that they are unable to stand the test of time. In the end, they are of interest only to nostalgia buffs and historians.
I think Catcher in the Rye loses its appeal the day you become a phoney.