ITV’s new adaptation of Vanity Fair debuted on Sunday night (in direct competition with BBC1’s Bodyguard), and drew a mixed reaction from fans on Twitter – with many complaining about the use of CGI in a period drama.
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The new seven-part series (based on William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel) follows charming antihero Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke) as she attempts to escape poverty and ascend the heights of English Society.
With such a beloved literary work, expectations are always high, and even the slightest tweak to the source material can lose devotees instantly.
— Dr Louise Raw (@LouiseRawAuthor) September 2, 2018
And this seems to have been the case with the drama’s decision to introduce its characters with a cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower…
The contemporary music is definitely weird #VanityFair
— MarieCaroline Morand (@mc_morand) September 2, 2018
Already unimpressed by Vanity Fair… the contemporary music at the start just didn't seem right to me… back to the bodyguard… #VanityFair
— Alice Rose B-D (@alysroseb) September 2, 2018
But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction:
I loved #VanityFair. The different take with more modern music and the looks direct to camera were fun. I've got the book, I really should read it.
— Sarah Kutschera (@NotSoWittyUN) September 2, 2018
The next biggest nit-pick was the implementation of CGI to bring the world of 19th century Britain to life (read more about how it was done here) – followed by some criticism with the way some of the characters looked directly into the camera.
“The way this is going, (contemporary music, overlit, CGI) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Becky texting someone soon…” @Alfredoshead wrote. “And stop breaking the fourth wall, it’s Thackeray, not Deadpool.”
The way this is going, (contemporary music, overlit, CGI) I wouldn't be surprised to see Becky Texting someone soon…?, And stop breaking the fourth wall, it's Thackeray, not "Deadpool."…. #VanityFair
— Benny's Bag (@alfredoshead) September 2, 2018
Well this is 45 minutes of f my life I’ll never get back, the awful CGI and graphics have been the most entertaining part for me! #VanityFair
— Rachel (@FlimmakerBull) September 2, 2018
I really tried to get into #VanityFair last night, it was so poorly acted and written that I couldn't take it seriously as a period drama. The shots of Cooke looking into the camera took me off guard too, nope no thank you '@ITV
— Sanoobar Patel (@Sanoobar) September 3, 2018
— Rebecca Dew (@rebeccasdew) September 2, 2018
However, despite this wave of criticism, there were plenty of people who were mesmerised by the world created by the show, many of whom reserved particular praise for Olivia Cooke’s performance.
“Don’t understand all the hate for Vanity Fair,” Becca Henderson tweeted. “I really enjoyed it, loved Olivia Cooke, love them breaking the 4th wall now and then and the CGI wasn’t so bad. People can’t just enjoy anything and relax these days.”
Don't understand all the hate for #VanityFair I really enjoyed it, loved Olivia Cooke, love them breaking the 4th wall now and then and the CGI wasn't so bad. People can't just enjoy anything and relax these days ????
— Becca Henderson ???????????????????? (@becca_blossom_) September 2, 2018
I really, really loved #VanityFair tonight. Olivia Cooke is wonderful.
— Jo (@Nerdmaid) September 2, 2018
— Emma Finnegan (@Gossipgirl25) September 3, 2018
#VanityFair is just wonderful. A real kick up the arse for bonnet dramas, with a career-making performance from Olivia Cooke.
— Paul Kirkley (@prkirkley) September 2, 2018
Maybe it's because I've never read or seen it before, but I seem to be enjoying #VanityFair on ITV a lot more than everyone else on Twitter.
— アンドリュ ? (@boyleastlikely1) September 2, 2018
Vanity Fair continues on Sunday nights on ITV
This article was originally published on 3 September 2018