Les Misérables Series-Episode 1

What is it like to see Les Misérables without the music? Les Misérables has a six week series, but without music. I was thinking, I don’t know how I can watch Les Misérables without the music. After all, I had been watching Les Misérables with the music for six years now. Then again, I had the book, and when a scene came on that resembled a song, I did not play the song. It was Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables that the musical came from. Yesterday, I watched the first episode- since I only knew the musical film and the stage show, I had no idea what the order of scenes would be and had no idea if I would be affected in the same way the musical affects me.

Major and Minor Spoilers

Right away, I knew how different this series was going to be different. It starts at the end of The Battle of Waterloo- that would mean the first character you would be introduced to would be Thenardier. This episode gives you a backstory to Marius- it was Thenardier that unintentionally saved Marius’ father from the Battler of Waterloo. In the musical, you never saw Waterloo or Marius’ father. You never knew about Marius’ grandfather and the conflict between Marius’ father and his grandfather- that is an important part of Marius’ backstory. You got to see that Marius’ grandfather did not want Marius’ father in Marius’ life.

You got to see that life in the prison was affecting Valjean even deeper. The prison was terrible. You saw them working for more days, and the guards yelling at them. You understood why prison made Valjean a harsh and angry man when he left. The musical only shows a snippet of that- at least in this version, you understood it much much better. When he visits the bishop, he did say to him that he does not believe that love could change a man. He still was angry at society. It has that scene in the book where he stole a coin from a young boy- this is when he realized he truly messed up, and that he needed to change.

Even with Javert, you got to explore more of his backstory. The only thing I learned of his backstory in the musical is that he was born in jail. I did not know anything else. In one scene, Valjean saved a prison guard. Javert questioned him, and he explained to Valjean that he was born in jail, and that his parents were criminals-that now makes sense why Javert believes that “once a criminal always a criminal”. He was born to criminals and in jail. So Javert learned to hate them- now that logic makes sense.

Now with Fantine- like the other characters, backstory. You got to see her when she was truly happy. You saw her before she was abandoned. You got to see her living life and loving Felix, the one who would be Cosette’s biological father. This episode ends with Fantine holding baby Cosette wondering what they are supposed to do now that Felix left them.

Since there was no music, I had no idea how I would react. I cried and got emotional- which is my same reaction in the musical. I had gotten so emotionally connected to Les Misérables- the plot and characters. I feel like next week is going to be harder to watch.

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“One Day More”

As many people know, I am obsessed with Les Mis. I have known about the Masterpiece six part series for a long time. It has aired in the UK leaving audiences in the US waiting until April. It will be Les Misérables, not Les Mis. That means it is a non-musical version. I keep on trying to visualize what Les Misérables will be like without the songs. I am so used to the songs that Les Misérables without songs sounds crazy.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the six part series. It will take place over six weeks. What will it be like without the songs? It still is Les Misérables. It still will have Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, Eponine, Marius, Cosete, and Enjolras. I did read the book, and there are a few differences with some of these characters. How will I approach this when it is not the musical?

I believe I will approach it in a similar way that I did with the book. This time, instead of using the musical, I will use the book. It will be looking at the book versions of the characters. You will be seeing more of the backstory of the characters. The backstory wasn’t in the musical with some of the characters. The musical will still help in a way- when I read the book, the musical was extremely helpful in understanding what was going on even when I saw differences. The book made me realize that some of the characters are more complex than I thought they were.

Some of my favorite Literary friendships

I did talk about about my favorite musical theatre friendships before, but I think it is time to talk about some of my favorite literary friendships.

Friends of the ABC:

  • This is an overlap between literary and musical theatre friendship. This friendship is in both. This friendship is found in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Enjolras is the leader of this group. They not only are friends, but they are like brothers. They are passionate about the cause that they fight to the end. What I love about the book is that you get to know them individually unlike the musical where you get to know them together as a group. It is their passion and their friendship that I love about them.

Nicholas and Smike

  • This two characters are my favorite characters in Nicholas Nickleby. I love the compassion Nicholas shows to Smike. When Nicholas leaves that school, Smike follows and Nicholas allows Smike to stay with him throughout the rest of the book.

Frodo and Sam

  • Would Frodo have made it without Sam? It is Sam’s loyalty to Frodo that makes me love the two of them. At end of Fellowship, Frodo was going to do the rest of the quest alone, but Sam would not allow it. Sam was going to staying with Frodo. That first question is the biggest reason why I love the two of them as friends- Frodo never would made it without Sam.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione

  • This trio is one of my favorite things about the Harry Potter series. It is one of the biggest reasons why I love the series. Just like with Sam, would Harry have defeated Voldemort without his two best friends? He relied on the two of them as the books went by. All three of them went through some trials and tribulations as the books went by. Harry wanted to do some of these things alone like Frodo, but his two best friends would not allow it either. Harry and Ron quickly became friends, but it took a while until they befriended Hermione- they finally became friends with her at the troll incident- that trial was going through the trap door. Each book- they had to go through some trial- it seems- which used some rule-breaking.

What are some your favorite literary friendships?

Fairy Frogs-Snippet 6

(This happens a few weeks after Sarge blew up on Norg- this snippet does show that Norg is one of the most interesting characters of my book. )

Norg decided to look for where the Fairy Frogs lived. He knew that Sarge was losing his temper more and more. He was going to warn the Fairy Frogs. He still could not believe that Sarge was going to make him stay the spy. He eventually spotted Darcy, Felipe, and Claude hanging out, which was right near Fairy Creek. 

“Hey Norg, I thought you would be with Sarge”, said Claude.

“Claude, I don’t want to be with him.” 

“What, what happened”? Claude had a feeling something was wrong. 

“He…a couple weeks ago, he blew up on me.”

“Oh my, that does not sound good”, said Darcy.

“Find your leader, he needs to know”, exclaimed Norg. 

“Norg, I think you don’t need to look for Aries, it is Sparkle who needs to know first”, said Claude. 

“Why Sparkle?”, questioned Norg. 

“Let me get to the point- she befriended Marge- it was her and Marge’s idea to befriend all the toads. I think it is the best decision for Sparkle to know that Sarge blew up on you first. Then we can find Aries, our leader. One more thing- are you giving up on him?” 

“Smart, decision- so Sparkle is that frog who is always with Marge. Yes, I do not think I can do this any longer with Sarge. I saw you guys recently in Fairy Creek. What was that about? 

“Sarge, it was Sparkle’s idea for us to invite the toads to Fairy Creek.” 

“That was why I saw you all of you in Fairy Creek.” 

            All four went for a search for Sparkle. Sitting on the edge of a creek, Marge, Misty and Sparkle were discussing the day that the toads will visit. Sparkle was busy drawing the creek, making sure it had the pebbles. She also, in honor of the day, added Fairy Frogs and toads to the picture. Marge was afraid no one would show up. She was afraid that others had told Sarge. 

            “Sparkle, do you think the toads will come?”, exclaimed Marge. 

            “Yes, think of the toads who are here now.” 

            “Well, I know there is Claude and I, but what of the others?”

            “Why wouldn’t they, stop worrying.” Even though Sparkle had calmed Marge, she still had this feeling that toads would not want to leave. The toads did not know where Fairy Creek lived. What she did not know was that Norg was in Fairy Creek now. 

            “Misty, what are you working on”, Marge said, noticing her working on something.

            “Marge, obviously writing a song”.  Marge could not believe she did not realize that because she knew Marge was a singer. However, she was so used to Sparkle drawing that she never saw Misty writing songs much. 

            “Marge, draw some”, said Sparkle. 

            “Sparkle, you know I can’t”, exclaimed Marge.

            “Never say can’t, draw randomly”. Marge decided to join in the fun. She created a very interesting piece. In Sparkle’s mind, it was amazing. It was an abstract piece.

            A few seconds later, the three were surprised to find Darcy, Felipe, Claude, and were most surprised to see Norg with them. 

            “Darcy, what is this all about?, said Sparkle.

            “Norg has to tell you something”, exclaimed Darcy. The girls were thinking, why would Norg have to tell us something. He is connected to Sarge. This got to be horrible they thought. They thought Norg was going to do something bad. 

“Marge, Sarge….well he…”, said Norg. Norg did not know how to say it to Marge. Saying that to Marge might make her more terrified of him. 

            “He, well what”, said Marge.

            “I got to warn you, he just blew up on me”. Marge could not believe what she was hearing. Sarge blew up on Norg. This has got to be bad. 

“This might mean things might get harder, I have told him I can’t do this anymore”. He exclaimed everything.

“You gave up on him.”

“Yes, Marge, we have to be careful when the toads visit us, he might figure where all of you live.” 

“He might be more determined than ever to stop this friendship”. The girls did not know what to do. How can they make sure Sarge does not get in the way? So Sarge was mad at them. Marge could not blame him. She never knew he could be that angry. So Sarge blew up on him all because Norg did not report to him.  

“Let’s find Aries because he needs to know. He needs to know that Sarge is more determined to stop this.”, said Sparkle. Sparkle along with the others went looking for Aries. 

Aries at the moment had hooked Tweetsie up with the dancers. He was excited about the visit all the toads were to have with them. Aries had no idea that Sarge was so angry with them, and that he was so determined more than ever to prevent this. 

            Claude, Darcy, Felipe, Marge, Misty, and Sparkle found Aries chilling out at the Gazebo. Aries was surprised to find Norg there. Aries knew that Norg was Sarge’s spy. He thought Norg was going to do something harmful. 

            “Aries, listen, Sarge is getting out of control.” 

            “Norg, WHAT?” 

            “Yes, he blew up on me.” 

            “On you?” 

            “He feels like I betrayed him, you never know when he is going to strike.”

             “Norg, I thought you were his spy.” 

“I was, but I do not think I can do this anymore, he is mad that you guys always, including Marge, always outsmart him.”

“Norg, we’re Fairy Frogs, we are clever.” 

“I think he tries to act more clever than he really is…just here to warn you.” 

“Norg, thank you, but what to do now?”

“Can I enter-I have an idea”- said Sparkle. 

“She’s right- Misty, Sparkle, and I all came up with an idea and never told you”, said Marge.

“What is it”, said Aries. 

“While Sarge is more dangerous, we have invited the toads over for a hangout, which is happening in a few days.” 

“Sparkle, you think that is safe if Sarge is losing his temper more and more- you heard what Norg said”, said Aries. 

“I did, but we invited them before I knew”. Sparkle had to think of an idea of how to get the toads to Fairy Creek safely without Sarge following them. Norg decided to stay in Fairy Creek. He no longer wanted to help Sarge. He followed along with the Fairy Frogs befriending the toads. He loved the hangout idea. 

Fairy Frogs- Snippet 4

(context- this happens when Sarge is at his worst. He decides to take revenge on the Fairy Frogs- the toads don’t want to leave Fairy Creek because they don’t like Sarge. Soon enough, he plans to capture all of the toads)

Sarge waited till midnight to visit Fairy Creek. He was right. All the Fairy Frogs and toads were asleep. He struggled with finding Claude, Norg, Effa, Rudy, and Marge. Where were they? He soon realized the Fairy Frogs found a way for the toads to get up in their treehouses. He slowly climbed up those rods. The toads must be up there. The toads were up there, the ones that bothered him the most. The one that got on his nerves the most was his cousin. How was he going to get them to Graysloup without them knowing? He found some rope nearby. Now, which treehouses were Norg, Claude, Effa, Rudy, and Marge in? He slowly found them, and as he found them he quietly started tying them up. He then climbed down slowly down without them knowing they were tied up. He then dragged them all them all the way to Graysloup. He took them in a forbidden place in Graysloup. It was very deep, a place he knew Sparkle would never go. It was a place Sarge liked to call “The Bog”. 

Thirty minutes later, Tweetsie woke up. She woke up having a feeling something was wrong. She slowly went looking for Claude, Norg, Effa, Rudy, and Marge. She could not find them. She had a bad feeling Sarge was behind this. She had to wake up Sparkle to warn her despite how early in the morning it was. 

“Sparkle, wake up, wake up, wake up”, said Tweetsie jumping on her on all her all over the place 

“Tweetsie, it is only like five in the morning, go back to bed”

“Please, pretty please, this is an emergency” 

“Why, you are only 5” 

“Don’t you notice something missing”? Sparkle looked around her house. 

“WHAT, WHERE’S MARGE?” 

“See, that is what I was trying to tell you”. Sparkle went looking for Claude, Effa, Rudy, and Norg as well. She peeked in Darcy’s, Felipe’s, and where the others toads were sleeping. She could not find them anywhere. 

“Something is not making sense around here Tweetsie.” 

“Wake up Darcy, Felipe, Celeste, and Misty, not Aries”. Sparkle went straight to work. Everyone was puzzled. Where did those toads go? Tweetsie was right. Sparkle had one thought to mind. 

“Guys, SARGE, said Sparkle” 

“He must have snuck in the middle of the night and captured them”, said Darcy 

“Those closest to us”, said Misty.

“Great, let’s alert Aries”, suggested Darcy. 

“Why him?”, said Felipe.

“Why, he would not let any one of us to Graysloup”, said Sparkle. “Especially in this situation.” 

“Sparkle, you need to tell Aries about this situation”, exclaimed Misty. 

“Misty, No, we are leaving now, and we are not telling him”, said Sparkle 

“Sparkle, it is like 6:00, and it is too early for any of us to leave Fairy Creek. You know that is breaking the rules. Remember: we have to Aries if something like this happens. We are not rescuing them until 8:00 or something. It is too early”, exclaimed Misty. 

“Let’s allow Tweetsie and Celeste go this time, Celeste knew Effa and Rudy and Tweetsie alerted us”, exclaimed Sparkle.

“Tweetsie is too young, Sparkle”, said Misty. Misty was extremely mad at Sparkle. Sparkle would be breaking a lot of rules. She was not telling Aries about the situation, taking Celeste and Tweetsie with them, and leaving so early. “Then I am not coming” 

“She is one of our only hopes, come on guys, we need to rescue them and you are coming whether you like or not”, said Sparkle to Misty. “We need you- do you want to rescue them or not- the more Fairy Frogs the better”. Misty was still mad at Sparkle. 

“Fine, but you do know you are breaking a lot of rules”, said Misty. 

“I have an idea, bring some of your art supplies- it might help”, said Sparkle. Sparkle knew art is one of the things they do best. It could help them rescue their friends. This might be their hardest challenge.