Thursday, December 2

Roald Dahl’s universe might not be a golden ticket for fans of the writer | Rebecca nicholson

IIt’s been a lucrative week for the Roald Dahl property and expensive for Netflix, that Roald Dahl Story Company bought for an estimated £ 500 million and although no organization confirmed the exact sum involved, I’m sure the corks were broken. In a statement, the streaming service said its planned adaptation of Matilda the Musical and your next animation Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The series had “opened our eyes to a much more ambitious undertaking: the creation of a unique universe through animated and live-action films and TV, publications, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.” .

Phew. It will be Frozen all over again, right? I don’t have children, but I have nieces and nephews and I have learned through them that there is nothing you cannot beautify with Anna and Elsa. A fork? Frozen. Sparkly lace-up sneakers? Frozen. exist Frozen urinals, hula hoops, bed bases, tents. There are more snowflakes on children’s toys than there are people who write the word angrily on Twitter. It’s surely only a matter of time before we get Miss Trunchbull-branded javelins, Mr Twit beard combs, or a Grandpa Joe-themed quilt.

Most kids who grew up on Dahl’s dizzying and dreadful diet will have a nagging fantasy that the chocolate factory might one day be a possibility, though the pandemic may have had a lasting impact on the desirability of wallpaper that can be made. lick. Yes, Willy Wonka’s machines mutilated children, but it was worth it, for the sounds of that Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. If the Dahl universe gets the full Harry Potter treatment, then beware of false hopes – I made the real-life attempt at Butterbeer, so you don’t have to. I’d rather face the dementors than drink it again.

Netflix has been urged to acknowledge Dahl’s well-documented anti-Semitism, for which his descendants apologized last year, and the British Jewish Board of Deputies asked that a documentary be made about his intolerance, to avoid painting it as some kind of model of goodness and virtue ”.

Still, the Dahl brand is now available. Matilda has given her name to the bubble bath. You could buy disappointing Wonka chocolate with candy for years. I remember a gentle boat ride in Alton Towers that took all the evil out of the chocolate factory. It’s a particular kind of possessive nostalgia, I think, that makes Roald Dahl’s idea of ​​an “immersive experience” instinctively unpleasant, but the hope is in the prose. His books are about powerful, self-sufficient children and inept, cruel, or useless adults, or sometimes adults who are all three. It’s about farts, death, and abandonment, and magic, strength, and freedom. This is a heady mix to balance. Hopefully those immersive experiences can handle it.

Competitive hike? It’s a slippery slope

Go for a walk
Take a hike: on your marks, get ready …
Photograph: Stephen Kingston / BBC / Cardiff Productions

I started watching a new program on BBC2 last week called Go for a walk. I enjoy the comedy by Rhod Gilbert, who narrates. I enjoy walks, even though it’s just walking, puffing up my chest and trying to look important, and I enjoy TV so I settled on some indirect opinions and maybe some fleece-based inspiration for the next few cold months.

There are jokes in the narration and beautiful landscapes, but above all, Go for a walk it is a competition. Of course it is. We already have Coast and Walks with my dog, and Channel 5’s full Friday night show to watch people wander through beautiful landscapes, so it was inevitable that this had a competitive element to it. It is one of the many programs that are borrowed from the school of Come have dinner with me, pitting people against each other and then ranking their efforts out of 10. Here, the winner, with perfect BBC stinginess, receives a gold cane and a coupon for walking gear.

Does every activity have to become a competition? The ratings don’t bother to be obnoxious: “Beautiful views, but did she serve cheese for lunch?” and “I would have [had] a little less mud ”are not entirely in the Four in one bed ruthless level still, and the show is mostly about looking at hills. Surely, I thought, walking is the last place this format can go. And then I saw a preview of A perfect shade, in which avid campers compete to find the best campsite in Britain, hitting Channel 4 this week.

Catch up, like Derry Girls

Derry girls
Derry Girls – All good things must come to an end. Photograph: TCD / Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo

That’s it, then, for Derry girls, which is officially Coming to an end. Lisa McGee, its creator and writer, announced that the upcoming third season of the comedy would be its last. The hilarious show is about to start filming, after a two-year delay caused by Covid. “What trip!” McGee wrote on Twitter, confirming the news, though he teased that the gang might “come back someday in another form”, which is helpful for those of us who wish to put our vaguely uncomfortable confidence with the phrase “catch up.” for later use.

It seems like an odd time for it to come to an end, having risen to the coveted level of “special edition with celebrity guests at Comic Relief,” but I strongly believe that a three-series limit should be imposed on almost every show. British and Irish productions have a knack for brevity that their transatlantic cousins ​​sometimes lack, in part because they are often not given a chance to improve in the first few seasons. Sort out the laugh wheat, so to speak. (Sorry.) Three sets and out is a graceful move and should be enough to keep the Derry girls living legacy.

Rebecca Nicholson is a columnist for Observer

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