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.
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But while the three-part drama didn’t impress everybody, there’s no denying that the finale was EMOTIONAL.
Some came at it with (seemingly) unsuspecting innocence…
Looking forward to Little Women tonight. Thank god Beth has recovered from scarlet fever – was worried about her for a bit.
— Isabel Rogers (@Isabelwriter) December 28, 2017
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.
— Lisa Angus (@lisanicoleangus) December 28, 2017
Beth dying in Little Women always kills me pic.twitter.com/7Afx6xtIik
— Gavin (@GavLawler) December 29, 2017
every time i read/watch little women I hope beth wont die and laurie and jo will end up together and it never changes
— esta (@communesta) December 29, 2017
No matter how many times I see a Little Women adaptation, Beth's death always gets to me. 🙁 #LittleWomen
— Louise Frederick (@PurpleHaze_1983) December 28, 2017
— Tori Brazier (@dinotaur) December 28, 2017
— Laura Wells (@LauraWells18) December 28, 2017
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
— Emma Black (Lander) (@Emma_L_Black) December 28, 2017
It’s been about 65 years and I STILL can’t get over Laurie marrying Amy. Just awful! #LittleWomen
— adele geras (@adelegeras) December 28, 2017
Am usually fastidious about faithful adaptations, but would have been 100% OK with Jo & Laurie getting married in this version #LittleWomen
— seaside_girl89 (@seaside_girl89) December 28, 2017
Me neither. Total cop out and fricking Amy got Laurie who was definitely Jo's
— Kate Pearce (@Kate4Queen) December 29, 2017
Still – Jo has her reasons. Her brotherly love for Laurie can never become romantic…
I am conflicted. Laurie and Amy terrible but surely Jo is right to reject him (at that moment)? That scene remains so unusual in fiction…
— A Bindoff (@a_bindoff) December 29, 2017
I consider it a mark of maturity when a growing girl realises Jo is right to knock back Laurie.
— Sarah Ledger (@sezl) December 29, 2017
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…
This article was originally published on 29 December 2017