This Sunday, Masterpiece Theatre brings us part one of White Teeth, adapted from Zadie Smith's sprawling novel about two families, one Indian, the other British-Caribbean, in 1970s London. Gothamist and practically everyone else seemed to be reading White Teeth in 2000, and why not when a book is so funny, sad, moving, and distinctive in voice.
The Masterpiece Theatre site for White Teeth is fantastic: It maps out the characters' relationships without giving much away, has a 101 on 70s slang, an interview with Smith, information about the 70s soundtrack, tons of essays...it's Gothamist's dream of a companion site for a piece of entertainment.
Reviews from NY Times and Daily News are enthusiastic if cautious to the book's fans, reminding that as always, an adaptation is its own animal. The Times also adds, "Its irreverent depiction of sex, substance abuse and violence, however, are a bit of a departure for Masterpiece Theater."
Gothamist is excited but wonders why its only British television and cable that seem to make these amibitious miniseries/TV movies on novels. We need an American Andrew Davies. Gothamist on Andrew Davies, the go-to man in Britain for adapting books to television, like Pride and Prejudice, Victorian lesbian drama Tipping the Velvet, and Daniel Deronda.