FX’s A Christmas Carol

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I will state upfront, and for the record, that I did not hate this re-interpretation of the Dickens classic. In fact, I found it entertaining and if I didn’t know the original story, very well.. I would have enjoyed it a bit more.

The acting is very good, the story (although had very little resemblance to the original) was dramatic and suspenseful, and the pay off.. well, it had a little to be desired, but by today’s standards, I’ve seen a lot worse.

I would recommend viewing, for those curious.. but be warned that it is not for the kids, with various adult themes (see below). And with that, I will give you all a chance to view it and make your own opinions.. Spoilers are to follow.

I did have issue with a few of the changes from the original story.. though I understand they did so to create drama, and some sort of sympathy for the reasoning behind Scrooge’s hatred of Christmas. I’ve said before. Not every villain needs sympathy.

Original: Marley is dead, to begin with. And outside of his single visit, that fateful Christmas Eve, he has nothing to do with the story

FX’s: Marley is a secondary character. Bound in purgatory, he pleads with the Spirits of Christmas to allow him to repent for his sinful ways, but his fate is tied to his old partner, Scrooge.. who must also repent his ways, or Marley will be stuck in purgatory for all time.

Original: Bob Cratchit is meek, yet a loving and devoted husband. Under Scrooge’s threat of unemployment at every turn.

FX’s: Bob is sick to death of Scrooge, and is not at all subtle about it – even calling the old skinflint out on his BS a few times, and makes plan to quit the day after christmas.

Original: Tiny Tim is sick with a mysterious illness (we can assume Tuberculosis, aka “consumption”), and is destined to die shortly after the events as they unfold, until the final events of the Story, where Scrooge sees to his healthcare costs.

FX’s: Tim is born “Unwhole” – a dwarf with some health issues, who is destined to die by falling through the ice while skating.. until Scrooge wrecks the rink, after his reclamation, by tossing gravel on the ice, making it unusable.

Original: Mary Cratchit is a kind and strong housewife, devoted to her family.. really not much else is said.

FX’s: Mary Cratchit is a kind and strong housewife, devoted to her family.. for some reason she is also black.. which, historically speaking, I have my doubts of an interracial couple in the 1800’s (i’m not being racist here, it’s simple fact of the times)

OK, here comes some WTF moments…

Mary Cratchit, in desperation to help (tiny) Timothy.. visits Scrooge without Bob’s knowledge and begs for a loan. Scrooge makes a proposal that she earns the money needed for Tim’s surgery.. by coming to his house, on Christmas Day.. and does “What ever he says”.. wow..

Original: Scrooge’s father sends him to a boarding school, blaming him for the death of his mother, where he spends every Christmas alone and unloved, until his sister Fran convinces the father to bring him home.

FX’s: Scrooge’s father sends him to a boarding school.. allowing the headmaster to sexually molest young Scrooge, in lue of tuition. (Yes, you heard me right) Until his sister (renamed Lottie, for some odd reason) comes to collect him after his father’s death.. threatening the headmaster with a gun. And his mother is still alive.

Original: Only a brief reference to Scrooge’s father, Mother is dead.

FX’s: Father is a drunk who makes horrible financial decisions and savagely beats young Scrooge, along with the aforementioned schooling deal. No other mention of his Mother.. which makes me wonder why she was noted as being alive.

I could go on, but I’ll leave some for you to discover. But it’s pretty dark stuff.

If all this leaves a bad taste in your brain.. I could recommend my favorite versions:

Author: Jethal