Fix: When You Hate Yourself So Much That Spending Time with Cathy and Heathcliff Sounds Like a Good Idea -or- When You Are in the Mood for a Ridiculous, Ridiculous, Over-The-Top Drama -or- When You Have a Terrible Cold and Are Lying on the Couch… Alone.
Emily Brontë’s sweeping tale of romance set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire moors gets the “Masterpiece” treatment in this lush made-for-television adaptation starring Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy.
A kind — if ineffectual — old man brings home an orphaned boy who grows up to be a sociopathic asshole, and with the help of the old man’s narcissistic daughter, proceeds to ruin the lives of everyone he comes in contact with.
Tom Hardy as Heathcliff
It’s Tom Hardy’s pillowy lips, everybody! Oh Tom Hardy’s pillowy lips, how soft you look! I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: when I was 14, I LOVED the shizz out of this story. Mostly, because I had a ginormous crush on Laurence Olivier, (had a pic of him on my bedroom wall and everything!) and I thought Heathcliff was just SO MISUNDERSTOOD!!! He was DRIVEN to it by the horrible, horrible mistreatment he received, don’t you know!!! *Sigh* (Shakes head at 14-year old Jenny). Hardy hands in a stellar performance, playing Heathcliff as the psychotic dog-killer that he is, strutting around all wild-haired and gravelly-voiced. I kept waiting for him to bust out with a “Wuthering Heights is YOURS!!!!”
Andrew Lincoln as Edgar Linton
Before he was machete-ing heads on The Walking Dead, but after he held up signs about how, to him, Keira Knightly was perfect in Love Actually, Andrew Lincoln played Edgar Linton, the only redeemable person in this whole story! Apart from the nanny, possibly. And Daddy Earnshaw, who, by rights, might be guilty by association. And he played him with such sweet sincerity, that I couldn’t help but say to my tv, “I choose you, Edgar Linton!”
Kevin McNally as Mr. Earnshaw
Kevin McNally — who’s been in just about everything, but most importantly played Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies — turned in another swarthy performance as Mr. Earnshaw, who was the kind of dad I’d like to have a beer with. Too bad for him every single one of his kids turned out to be a douche.
Charlotte Riley as Catherine Earnshaw
Charlotte Riley plays Cathy with cock-eyed abandon, and somehow makes her a more sympathetic character than she actually is. Where you’ve seen her? All over the BBC, but also in the Ben Barnes flick Easy Virtue. You might have also seen her on the arm of Tom Hardy, to whom she is engaged to be married. Perhaps there is something to this story, after all?
Couch-Sharing Capability: This Is a 1-Friender
I watched this sharing the couch with my 80 pound pointer mix and maine coon cat. Also, my couch is small. But, in general, I think this one would be best shared with one good friend. You could either sigh when the feeling strikes you, or yell at the tv — as I’m wont to do. My dog and cat didn’t quite get the intricacies of my rant about how Heathcliff and Cathy deserved each other.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: High
I watched this one with a fever while on cold medicine, which is tantamount to being pretty intoxicated, and I enjoyed it IMMENSELY. So yeah, I recommend that.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent
Whether you love Emily Brontë, or love tragic romance, or love Tom Hardy or Andrew Lincoln, or love making fun of any or all of those things, this two-part mini-series — and be sure to watch Laura Linney’s hysterically dramatic introduction to Part 2, trust — is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.