Monday, August 20, 2012

Steam Punk Huck

Diani and Devine's re-imagining.

Back in March, I wrote about my desire for a good Huckleberry Finn adaptation. One that went beyond "white boy has adventures!" In the comments, fine fellow Edward Nickelson pointed me to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Robotic Edition) by Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine.

It's quite a few months later, and apparently a Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer TV series is in the works, and while it does have (presumably) robots, it doesn't sound like it goes beyond "white boy(s) ha(s)(ve) adventures!" The official press describes it "as an adventure-themed reinvention that revolves around the two famed literary characters who re-meet as young men in their 20s and form an investigative firm in a bustling and steampunk New Orleans."

Now, I wouldn't mind watching a show created by suddenly sentient Tumblr (and let's face it, bromance + detectives + steampunk is just the sort of thing Tumblr would pen after gaining HAL-like awareness) because I enjoy cupcakes and manly cuddles. And Huck and Tom as detectives isn't totally out of left field. It's canon in one of of the dumb sequels Twain wrote.

This happened.

Honestly, I don't know why this is bothering me so much. Is it because it seems so cynically crafted? Is it because Tom is kind of a dick? Because I'm anxious about how the series will handle race? Because I'm overly possessive of the dark genius that is Huckleberry Finn? Because I'm bitter no one wants to publish my 83-line blank verse poem/thesis on Huckleberry Finn?

I guess it's hard for me to reconcile the Huckleberry Finn that inspired this California College of the Arts show with the blinders-on, old-timey fun so often inspired by Tom Sawyer.

Hypocritically, I totally make exceptions for 1995's Tom and Huck, the Fifty Shades of Grey for tween girls in the 90s.

I was going to marry you, Brad. :( Thanks, this Tumblr.

Maybe this will be totally awesome. I mean, it's New Orleans, steampunk, bros. But why bring Tom and Huck into that? But I'm delving into my douchey fangirl whining default mode again. It's totally possible Jason Richman and David Zabel will bring the life and nuance to these characters that other adaptations have sorely lacked.

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