The BBC’s festive adaptation of Little Women was always destined to split viewers’ opinions: it’s such a beloved novel and movie that any new version will inevitably get a mixed reaction from fans. And sure enough: in a RadioTimes.com poll of more than 1,600 readers, only 43% felt the 2017 adaptation had lived up to their expectations – while 57% said they were disappointed.
But even for those of us who knew what was about to happen (spoiler: BETH DIES!!) it was 100% heartbreaking. After her miraculous recovery from Scarlet Fever and her joyful reunion with Marmee and Mr March, Beth sickened again – and this time it was terminal.
And then there was Jo March’s rejection of Laurie’s love! And then… Laurie marries her SISTER Amy! And Jo marries an older professor! The series finale was full of twists and turns, just like the book – and all these years later, people still can’t deal with such a controversial ending.
As long as I live, I will never be happy that Laurie ends up with Amy instead of Jo. Damn you Louisa M Alcott.#LittleWomen
Whichever way fans feel, any adaptation which wants to stay true to Louisa May Alcott’s original novel will have to follow the story all the way through to this inevitable ending. But maybe it’s time for a version of Little Women where Beth lives and Jo marries Laurie and Amy drowns in a pond? Now THAT would be controversial…