The Biggest Change to NBC's 'Rosemary's Baby' Miniseries Is Also Its Weakest
The first half of NBC's Rosemary's Baby adaptation premiered Sunday night, and it's, well, fine. The acting is fine, the cinematography is fine, it's all just fine. The biggest problem with it is that the inciting incident — how Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse meet and become neighbors to the Castavets — doesn't really make any sense.
In the book and film version, Rosemary (Zoe Saldana) and Guy (Patrick J. Adams) move into the Castavets' apartment building, where Minnie and Roman quickly take to the young couple (unsurprisingly, since they want to impregnate Rosemary with demon spawn).
In the miniseries, Guy and Rosemary suffered a miscarriage shortly before moving to Paris so he could take on a one-year teaching gig. They move into the apartment the school provides, and one day, while Rosemary is out and about, her purse is stolen. She chases down the thief, who suddenly (and non-fatally) gets hit by a car, allowing Rosemary to collect her purse and wallet.
Except it's not really her wallet: It belongs to Margaux Castavet, whose home Rosemary immediately heads to.
After getting back her wallet, an extremely grateful Margaux invites Rosemary and Guy to a party that night, going so far as to send a car to the surprised Woodhouses' home. The party is fairly uneventful, barring the hallucinatory threesome that sends Rosemary into fits of lust, and she and Guy leave (but not before the Castavets give them a black cat/feline spy).
That night, Rosemary and Guy's apartment catches fire, leaving them homeless — until the Castavets swoop in and offer their extra apartment for practically nothing (except for Rosemary's womb, of course, but she doesn't know that yet). How nice of the Castavets, who met Rosemary and Guy like, less than 12 hours ago. You might even say it's insane — which Rosemary's friend Julie does, after offering to let the Woodhouses crash with her.
Rosemary and Guy move into the Castavets spare apartment, because that's not weird at all. I know that if I were suddenly stranded in Paris without a home my first instinct wouldn't be staying with a friend for a few nights and demanding the university I was working for put me up somewhere until they could offer me new housing.
Now, clearly Rosemary and Guy feel they're in sort of a desperate spot. Their now-charred apartment is super tiny and wasn't that great even before the fire. Of course the chance to live in a beautiful, lavish apartment is more appealing than the air mattress and sofa switch-off situation Julie offered.
Still, the whole thing seems like a contrived way for the writers to make this new version of Rosemary's Baby stand apart from the film. Not wanting to replicate a previous adaptation certainly makes sense, but this particular route is convoluted — worse, the unbelievability of it reminds us that the entire story is unrealistic and renders the horror of it pretty ineffective.