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Web Series Wednesday – Classic Alice

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By: Krista Ann Freego

WHAT?       Classic Alice

BY:                Creator/Writer/Star is Kate Hackett

WHO?          This series is created, written by and starring Kate Hackett.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH?

Classic Alice is an innovative web series that has a Type A main character, Alice Rackham (Kate Hackett), who can best be described as Anna Kendrick meets Rory Gilmore with a frosting of Hermione Granger and a dusting of Paris Gellar. If that isn’t reason enough to watch this series, then I don’t know what would be. The series opens with Alice in college, having just received what she considers a failing grade on an English Literature paper. In actuality, she got a B- (hence a dusting of Paris Geller’s dramatic overachieving nature).

This is how Alice introducers herself to her viewers:

“I’ve always been good. I’m respectful. I’m a great student. I work really hard and it’s always just worked. You know, I went to school. I studied. I got great grades. I applied to great colleges with great writing programs. Oh, that’s what I want to be. I wanna be a writer. I got into these great colleges. I decided to go to Valeton and that’s where I am, Valeton University. English major. I mean, I wasn’t Miss Popularity or anything.”

Then, Alice goes on to share a little more information about herself:

“Today was not good. We got a paper back today. I…I love paper day. I love turning paper in day. I love getting paper back day. I just can’t sleep the night before because I get – and not because I’m nervous – because I get like super excited and I’m like, “Oh my gosh! What’s the teacher gonna say? What’s he gonna write on my paper? What am I gonna get?’ And it’s really great. But today. A B-. He gave me a B-. I flunked! I failed! I failed a paper that is in my major. A paper about writing.”

As you can see, the fact that she is good and respectful is reminiscent to me of Rory Gilmore. She has a lot of sass, as you will see in later on episodes and is hinted in the first two episodes. So, I attribute said sass to Anna Kendrick. She loves, loves, loves all the aspects of education and doing work and getting work returned, enter everyone’s favorite female wizard Hermione Granger. Equating a B- with a failing grade (as I mentioned earlier) is straight out of the Paris Gellar book of overreacting.

The professor wrote the following comments on Alice’s paper: “You didn’t identify with the speaker. You seem to have an academic understanding of the material, but little else. At best this work is sterile. At worst your writing is consistently dull and unimaginative.” Now, I say that Alice only has a dusting of Paris Gellar because if Alice had any more than a dusting, this professor would be missing and presumed dead.

Alice struggling for the first time scholastically immediately reminded me of Rory when she first started Chilton (minus the deer running into her mother’s jeep) and, again, when she was at Yale and did not do well her first semester (because she was taking a heavy course load, just like her grandfather did). And much like Rory, even though Alice is clearly Type A, she is not whiney and irritable. Rather, she is endearing and charismatic.

Alice decides that the best way to prove her professor wrong about her “academic understanding of the material but little else.” Alice concludes that for the foreseeable future she is going to make all her life decisions based upon the choices of characters in classic novels.

In order to maintain order, as all Type A individuals must, Alice sets up some ground rules to guide her on this literary journey she is about to embark on:

  1. “No murdering. And No kidnapping. Nothing major. No really major crimes.”
  2. “Only first time reads.” Meaning she cannot use characters in a novel that she has already read.
  3. “Not forcing others to act out the book.” Meaning that she has to act like one of the characters, but that the other people involved in her choices can act as themselves and will not be forced to act as one of the characters from the book would.
  4. “No interfering.”

Why would someone go to such great lengths to prove someone wrong? Because they have a splash of Paris Gellar in them and they cannot stand to not be the best at something and cannot stand to be wrong. The end result? An incredibly endearing, captivating, comical and entertaining web series.

The first book that Alice chooses is Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. For those of you who are familiar with this classic literature, I will give you a moment to process this…For those of you who have not read this yet, here is a synopsis:

“The main character is a student and he is losing his mind, kind of going crazy. He is a mess. Then, he goes to a pawnbroker. ‘He dealt her another and another blow with the blunt side of an axe.’ He kills her. He kills this woman because he overheard people talking about how awful she is.”

So, as you can probably surmise, this is where ground rule No. 1 “no murdering” comes from. Instead, Alice decides that an Alice equivalent would be to steal a container of nail polish from the campus store. This idea is vetoed and replaced with the equivalent of a dare to steal an upcoming test from one of the professors, who is notorious for giving impossible exams. Will Alice steal the test? Will she succeed in proving her English Literature professor wrong? You are just going to have to watch and see!

WHERE CAN I WATCH?  As of May 19th, you can now find all 100+ episodes of Classic Alice on Amazon and Amazon Prime. You can still find the episodes on YouTube, as well. The episodes, which have just been released on Amazon Prime for the first time, have been edited into longer episodes arranged by book. Thus, it makes it easier than ever for viewers to enter Alice’s world. You can find out more information about Classic Alice at the following locations:

http://www.classic-alice.com

http://www.twitter.com/TheClassicAlice

http://www.facebook.com/TheClassicAlice

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