LITTLE WOMEN (2018 PBS)

"Battles of the Heart"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

LITTLE WOMEN, a 2018 dramatic adaptation from PBS of Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel, is about a family of four girls in Massachusetts, their coming of age, and their mother and their father, who becomes a soldier in the Civil War and eventually returns home. LITTLE WOMEN is heartwarming, engaging, and wholesome, with a strong Christian, moral worldview stressing faith, perseverance, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, patience, wisdom, sacrifice, and love.

Review:

LITTLE WOMEN is a 2018 dramatic adaptation from PBS of Louisa May Alcott’s book by the same name, about a family of four girls in Massachusetts, their coming of age, and their mother and father, who becomes a soldier in the Civil War and eventually returns home.

The four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, live with their mother, whom they affectionately call “Marmee”, in Massachusetts while their father is away serving in the war as an army chaplain. In this classic coming of age narrative, each of the girls possesses her own unique personality and has specific struggles to overcome.

In the first episode of the miniseries, the girls’ father writes home to his “little women” and encourages each of them to fight the daily battles of the heart, to learn how to conquer their flaws through diligence, kindness and perseverance. Meg, the oldest, works to overcome her vanity and her propensity toward romanticizing. Jo struggles to overcome her temper and her habit of acting rashly. Beth tries not to let shyness keep her locked up within herself. Meanwhile, Amy slowly strives to become less petulant and selfish.

In the other two episodes, the girls grow older and learn about love and sacrifice. While her sisters dream of engagement and marriage, Jo initially believes she will never marry and struggles with unrequited love for her childhood friend. The series addresses the subject of romantic love and marriage in a biblical manner. Meg marries a man for his character rather than his money, and Jo eventually discovers the gift of marriage with a man who pushes her to become her best self and who understands her strong personality. Eventually, Beth struggles with frail health, and Amy makes a tour of Europe with her Aunt Carroll while finding love with an old friend.

The miniseries is cinematographically beautiful. Filmed in Ireland, the frozen ponds and flowering hillsides are idyllic, and the costuming is excellent. The storyline is both heartwarming and wholesome. Each girl’s journey is relatable and engaging as they come into a deeper self-awareness and learn how to maximize their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. That said, readers of the classic book may find that the condensed nature of the miniseries often makes some scenes seem too short. Sometimes the plot seems to skip around, leaving out some integral plot points.

There’s very little objectionable content in the LITTLE WOMEN miniseries. There’s one old-fashioned obscenity in Part One, two brief scenes depicting war injuries, and a handful of chaste kisses shared between engaged or married couples. The topics of death, grief, childbirth, and romance are addressed in the latter two episodes, warranting discretion for younger viewers. Overall, however, the miniseries is refreshingly innocent and ethical in nature. It has a strong Christian, moral worldview stressing the value of family and marriage, with references to Scripture, God, prayer, and Heaven. LITTLE WOMEN also stresses perseverance, kindness, generosity, charity, forgiveness, patience, wisdom, and love.

Content:

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
  Very strong Christian, moral worldview with some biblical references stresses the value of family and marriage, generosity, kindness, diligence, patience, forgiveness, sacrifice, charity, integrity, selflessness, patience, wisdom, purity, modesty, and love with positive references to God, a pastor, reading sermons, prayer, Heaven, Scripture, a wedding sermon, the Tower of Babel, and angels, plus light feminist elements where a character struggles with accepting her femininity, making frequent comments about wanting opportunities that boys and men have and working on her writing to become a professional writer;

Foul Language:
One “d” word in Part One;

Violence:
  Light violence includes one girl slaps another girl across the face, a man shown getting wounded on the battlefield, a man grabs a girl by the ear and strikes her across the hands with a cane, and issues of sickness and death;

Sex:
  No sexual immorality, with married couple kisses, unmarried young couple kisses, an engaged couple kisses;

Nudity:
  No explicit nudity depicted, but a woman is shown topless from behind after giving birth;

Alcohol Use:
  Some alcohol use and references in each episode include wine is mentioned, a girl says she drank punch not realizing it had alcohol in it, people shown drinking champagne and claret, drinking whiskey is mentioned, a man drinks some wine, and drinking beer is mentioned;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
  Man smokes a cigar several times in Part Three; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
  Light miscellaneous immorality in each part of three-part miniseries such as anger, revenge, bitterness, disobedience, lying, stealing, and jealousy.

In Brief:

LITTLE WOMEN is a dramatic 2018 adaptation from PBS of Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel. The four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, live with their mother in Massachusetts while their father’s away serving in the Civil War as an army chaplain. Each of the girls possesses her own unique personality and has specific struggles to overcome. Their father writes home to his “little women.” He encourages each of them to fight the daily battles of the heart, to learn how to conquer their flaws through diligence, kindness, and perseverance.

LITTLE WOMEN is heartwarming, engaging, and wholesome. The cinematography is beautiful. Each girl’s journey is absorbing as they learn how to maximize their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. That said, the plot sometimes seems to skip, leaving out some integral plot points. The topics of death, grief, childbirth, and romance are addressed in the miniseries, so caution is advised for younger children. Overall, however, the miniseries is refreshingly innocent and ethical. LITTLE WOMEN has a strong Christian, moral worldview promoting family, marriage, love, sacrifice, charity, God, faith, and prayer.