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Netflix’s ‘Persuasion’ Seems to Miss the Point of Jane Austen’s Book Entirely

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When it was first announced that Netflix was making a new adaptation of Jane Austen‘s beloved book, Persuasion, I was excited. When I found out the project starred the likes of Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Wentworth, and Henry Golding as Mr. William Elliot, I started getting giddy with anticipation. But when the first trailer for the film dropped, revealing that Johnson’s Anne Elliot would be narrating to camera “Fleabag-style” and doing other witty, quirky girl things like smirk, tease, and drop gravy on her head…I was, well, horrified. And subsequent reports of the film’s tone have done nothing to combat my fears for Netflix’s Persuasion.

It would seem I am not alone. My fellow Jane Austenites have quickly made Persuasion its punching bag on Twitter and I can only assume the ire will grow after the film’s July 15 Netflix premiere.

What’s rankling fans? Not race-blind casting or even Dakota Johnson’s extremely period inaccurate bangs. It’s the fact that while Jane Austen was a woman of exceptionally keen wit, Anne Elliot was not. Persuasion is basically Austen’s saddest, most mature finished novel. It’s full of bitterness and resignation, not laughs or winks. Anne Elliot might still be in love with her Wentworth years after losing him, but she doesn’t flail in front of a friend about it. She might see the people around her as fools wallowing in their buffoonery, but she never vamps to camera, pointing it out with a sneering barb. There are no gravy boat incidents in all of Austen’s Persuasion. It’s not a thing!

Anne Eliot (Dakota Johnson) and Mr. Eliot (Henry Golding) in Persuasion
Photo: Netflix

Persuasion is a story about the silent tragedies that people carry with them and the leaden weight of regret. To adapt Anne Elliot’s story as one of quips and eye rolls and giggles betrays her dignity and the genius of Persuasion.

Persuasion is the last novel that Jane Austen completed and it was published posthumously in 1817. At the age of 19, Anne Elliot, the middle daughter of a haughty baronet, is persuaded to break off an engagement with a dashing naval officer named Frederick Wentworth. Her father and older sister considers Wentworth’s lower class beneath the family and Anne’s mentor, Lady Russell, thinks she is too young for the match. So she breaks Wentworth’s heart and her own in one fell swoop.

Eight years later, when Anne is 28, the tables turn. Captain Wentworth is a wealthy war hero and highly eligible bachelor. The Elliots have to rent out their vast estate to afford their lifestyle. Naturally, Anne and Captain Wentworth cross paths. Austen’s prose makes it clear to the reader that Anne struggles to contain the depths of her emotions whenever they meet; but Anne does. Likewise, Wentworth initially seems aloof to Anne, but it’s soon clear he, too, was devastated by their parting.

Anne Eliot (Dakota Johnson) looking like she's about to walk into the sea in Persuasion
Photo: Netflix

Now, it’s totally kosher for a director to upend the rules when adapting a novel. In fact, some of the best-loved Jane Austen adaptations — Clueless and the recent Hulu hit Fire Island — do just this. But those films maintained the souls of their characters. In Clueless, Beverly Hills princess Cher Horowitz had all of Emma Woodhouse’s privileges and blind spots. Fire Island transforms the Bennet sisters into a found family of gay men struggling to find love within the catty, superficial world of Fire Island. The spirits of Austen’s characters remain intact, proving the universality of her storytelling genius.

However, if you turn Anne Eliott of Persuasion into a comic character, you undermine all that makes her great. Anne is a vessel for the darker, sadder side of romance. She is a portrait of a woman not on fire, but slowly sinking into her own sea of sorrows. The magic of Austen’s book is that she not only vividly portrays Anne as a figure of dignity, but as one who learns to find love again, against all odds.

Jane Austen was a very funny writer, but she was also a woman who knew the pain of a broken heart. Persuasion is her ode to the broken-hearted. In it, she explores the lingering ache of love lost and provides her fictional characters with the happy ending she never got. Which is all to say, Persuasion is not meant to be funny. It’s meant to be beautiful. And it’s certainly not meant to be silly.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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