We’re coming up on finals season now and with all those essays and problem sets, it can be hard to gather up the energy to read something for fun. But if you’re still hankering for something literary, worry not: Netflix has been outdoing itself with a steady stream of high-quality book adaptations that are sure to take your mind off GenChem, senior design, or Orgo. Want all A’s? Look no further, because I’m sure one of these is sure to fit the bill.
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
If these strangely pessimistic, uniquely verbose, darkly comical books weren’t a part of your childhood, you’re still in good time to become a fan of Lemony Snicket and the Baudelaire children with the brilliant Netflix adaptation that is now in its second season. Originally thirteen books, each one is split into two hour-long episodes that perfectly capture Snicket’s sharp wit and cynicism as they narrate the tragic story of precocious orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. This adaptation includes details of the intricate plot that previous adaptation have glossed over and perfectly captures the steampunk gloom of the original books. Featuring a star-studded cast with big names such as Neil Patrick Harris as antagonist Count Olaf and Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, this show is sure to ruin your day in the best way.
Based on the strange science fiction novel by Jeff VanderMeer, this movie starring Natalie Portman is a slow-budding, aesthetically beautiful work that leaves you strangely satisfied, even if it does raise more questions than answers. Centred around an all-female group of scientists that ventures into a The Shimmer, a wildland from where no previous research time has returned, Annihilation is filled with shifting landscapes, vivid colors, and strange creatures. Although the film deviates quite significantly from the novel, its great cast, soothing soundtrack, and amazing visuals make it a more than worthwhile watch.
3. Alias Grace
This Canadian-American adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name is, in my humble opinion, the only one of these three titles that by far surpasses the original literary version. Centered around accused murderess Grace Marks, the Netflix miniseries organizes the confused and rather underdeveloped narrative from the novel into a coherent, riveting narrative that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Combined with a stellar cast and well-executed plot twists, this is a nice and easily bingeable series perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, period dramas, or psychological murder mysteries.
That’s all for now, folks. Happy finals!
Written by Mariana N.
As Owl Days approaches us in the last two weeks of classes, I’m looking forward to speaking to prospective students and parents about why they should choose Rice. I like talking to prospies because they make me feel like an expert on Rice, even though I still need to use Google Maps to find my way from the stadium to the north colleges. Talking to prospies also allows me to reflect on the person I’ve become since coming to Rice, how I’ve grown and developed, what new opportunities I’ve had, et cetera. For example, this is the person I was when I visited for Owl Days:
“I’m at Rice. My host has a freaking rooftop suite with a view of downtown, like, come on! I wish I just went to this school. All these events are tons of fun, but it’s such a chore to have to text my host every time I want to get in and out of a room. I wish I just went here already and was just like a regular student. Like, let’s do it, you know, let’s get this thing going.”
And this is the person that I’ve grown to become in two semesters here:
No, but really. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had here that I don’t think I could have had anywhere else. I have met so many wonderful people over the course of nine months that I can’t imagine my life without, I’ve taken so many cool classes and had a ton of exciting experiences, I’ve learned so many lessons about independence and self-reliance, and I’ve come away from this year knowing that other people have read my writing on the R2 blog, which has been a dream and goal of mine probably since I was in elementary school. (Well, I didn’t know about the R2 blog when I was in elementary school, but you know what I mean.) My only regrets are that, like I said a year ago, I couldn’t choose Rice earlier, and that I took 24 credit hours in high school that will never transfer.
Written by Rynd M.
April is the cruelest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain.
-T. S. Eliot
R2: The Rice Review
Rice University's undergraduate literary magazine. Here you can find event updates, monthly writing contest winners, and opinions by the R2 staff on what's new, interesting, or subject to discussion in the literary and arts world.