The Much Vaunted Mini-review goes to TV land: Money

Well, a mini-review for a miniseries. Recently, the BBC finally stopped licking at the remains of Jane Austen’s corpse and decided to adapt a modern classic for the screen. Well, kudos to them for aiming high. I have to admit, though, that this is one of my favourite novels (I even wrote about it as part of my MA) and so I don’t approach this adaptation completely unbiased. Nevertheless if anyone was going to have a crack at it, I’d rather the BBC did.

Where: On my fucking sofa. Where do you think?

What is it then? An adaptation of Martin Amis’ seminal satire of the 80’s. John Self is a wannabe director, who also happens to be a degenerate alcoholic, addicted to junk food and hand-jobs and this is how his life slides into the shitter.

Who? Well, if I’m honest, the best thing about this was the casting- Nick Frost is fucking spot on, looks-wise, as Self, Jerry Hall was an inspired choice for Caduta, Vincent Kartheiser from Mad Men was excellent as Fielding. All the actors were superb looks-wise.

Worth Watching? Erm, not sure. On one hand, absolutely if you’ve not read the novel, but on the other, well, perhaps not.

Please explain yourself, numbnuts. See the thing is I’m overly attached to this book, and I have to be honest and say that there was never going to be a proper balls out adaptation of it. Which is a shame. Frost is good as Self, but too likable, Kartheiser is excellent as Fielding (if a bit too young), and the bird they found to play Selina is pure wank fodder (as she’s meant to be). However, they bottled the climax, inserted a load of Freudian claptrap that’s only hinted at in the book (not to mention a totally inappropriate happy ending). It just didn’t feel as evil as it should have done.

Anything else? Well, the casting of the vacuous actors was spot on- particularly Jerry Hall as fading soap actress, the decision to remove Amis as character from events was a good one, and the suicide was brilliantly handled. They did, however, change Fielding’s motivation and this is a bad thing. I don’t want to spoil, but will do so below the line if asked.

Christ, you aren’t half going on for a mini review. Cunt. Oh, do fuck off, and I’m still not finished. Money was made on an absolute shoestring and looks splendid- you also can’t tell that they spent very little time in New York. It’s an excellent recreation of the time.

So, what you’re saying is… Depends. Have you read the novel?

Final Thoughts: Kudos to the BBC for finally making a drama that doesn’t have fucking toffs in the 19th Century. More please, but this time, try to stick to the material and don’t add your own idiotic interpretation. I have some suggestions for you for other adaptations that would be mint.

Rating:

If you’ve not read the novel: 3 Changs

On the other hand, if you have read the novel: 1.5 Changs

So, there you have it. Not a bad effort by the BBC, just not what Amis was going for.

Until next time,

Jarv

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

7 responses to “The Much Vaunted Mini-review goes to TV land: Money”

  1. Droid says :

    Yeah, I just watched this. It was okay. Frost was good, but he was missing a slight dislikable cuntish quality that I reckon would’ve made the character more interesting.

    And it’s probably not a big thing, but I pretty much picked how it would play out fairly early.

    I’d probably give it 2 changs. Not bad, but it didn’t quite work for me.

    • Jarv says :

      Fair enough. Actually, the only time they got his cuntishness spot on was the scene where he’s berating the stewardess on the plane- that chose Fielding to pick him. In the novel, the only reason Fielding picks him is because of his name. Also, the end was a cop-out.

      Frost had far too much of the lovable loser in him- you couldn’t see his version of self fucking his dad’s girlfriend in the ass.

      • Droid says :

        Self needed to be much more narcissistic, as opposed to self-destructive. He was too much of a pushover, and too matey with the other characters. Like with his partner at the ad agency who was avoiding paying him his share, or his dad with the invoices. I would’ve laughed in his face and told him to fuck off.

        If they’d made the whole character like the scene with the stewardess it would’ve been much better. But as it stands, that scene kind of came out of nowhere, because it was totally out of character.

      • Jarv says :

        You’re touching on kind of the problem with the adaptation. Self isn’t a soft touch, he just doesn’t care. He believes that he has infinite money come in and so just spunks it willy-nilly. That invoice with his dad is straight from the novel, but they cut self fucking Vron in the ass out (the real reason he gets his face done in).

      • Jarv says :

        The other thing is, his old man was completely wrong. He’s actually a kind of underworld figure, not the loser that they put up.

  2. ThereWolf says :

    I haven’t read the novel. I should, but I haven’t. Too lazy when it comes to reading. Plus it’s very rare I’ll watch telly nowadays.

    Positives are, as you say, the Beeb managed to turn out something other than a costume drama.

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