"Crusoe", a TV adaptation of Daniel DeFoe's Robinson Crusoe
premiered last Friday on NBC. The show is a strange amalgamation of the original work, ABC's Lost, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, and draws very heavily from The Swiss Family Robinson (which was itself inspired by the original book). On that last point, it seems to borrow mostly from the 1960s Disney adaptation, where the Swiss Family Robinson has an elaborate tree house with lots of gadgets made from jungle materials. While Crusoe does do some ingenious things in the book, he lives in a cave with a fence around the opening, and he doesn't have a citrus juicer. The score of the new TV series is certainly not the lush orchestrated music of Pirates of the Caribbean, but sounds like it leans heavily on synthesizers and MIDI instruments. But I can't blame them for trying, I don't think I could do any better on their budget.
There is a great deal of cheese in series. That is to say, its somewhat cheesey. And that is the problem with a 21st century action series set so far back in history. It is difficult to know what will strike a cord with general audiences. Just look at Cutthroat Island. A valiant effort for the genre, but it was not close to the success that Disney has had. So we'll have to wait and see.
(Full disclosure: I have read several versions of Robinson Crusoe, but never the unabridged version. As for The Swiss Family Robinson, I am mostly familiar with the 1960s Disney movie.)
You can watch full episodes at the Official Website
Labels: RobinsonCrusoe, TV