Go ahead and let your mom know that you've got big plans for her on Mother's Day this year— you'll both be spending it with the March family. PBS has released the first Little Women miniseries trailer, and it's going to take you way back. Whether you grew up reading the classic Louisa May Alcott novel or watching the '90s adaptation starring Winona Ryder as the irrepressible Jo March (or both), Little Women likely played a role in your childhood in some capacity. Now the March women are heading to TV on Sunday, May 13, 2018 to add an extra dash of nostalgia to your family festivities.
The first trailer for the BBC co-production has everything Little Women devotees could possibly ask for — Jo being melodramatic, a glimpse of Laurie working his boyish charms, and the legendary Angela Lansbury quipping her heart out as Aunt March. In fact, she may have the trailer's best line. "Four small children is a recipe for heartache, headache, and indigestion," Lansbury's Aunt March says sagely over shots of the girls and Laurie bounding around gorgeous landscapes.
In addition to Lansbury, the three-part series stars Emily Watson as Marmee, Maya Hawke as Jo, Willa Fitzgerald as Meg, Annes Elwy as Beth, and Kathryn Newton as Amy. As for your childhood crush Laurie, Jonah Hauer-King will be stepping into the role famously played by Christian Bale in 1994. You'll have to tune in to see if Hauer-King can make Laurie as crushable for the next generation as Bale made him for '90s kids.
By the looks of the trailer, this adaptation of Little Women isn't looking to reinvent or modernize the story. Early on Marmee expresses her hope for her children to one day find "real love from good men," and Jo is still bemoaning being born a girl. However, Little Women doesn't need to suddenly become edgy— and frankly, the story is sad enough as it is.
Little Women simply needs feel warm, exuberant, and make your heart ache. While there have been many adaptations over the years, the 1994 film is most likely the one that you grew up with, and it was at once comforting, heartbreaking, and maddening. As anyone who has visited with the March family before knows, the story takes a few turns that will never stop being frustrating, but to change the endings of the girls' stories would be a disservice to Alcott. Still, that knowledge is unlikely to stop you from hoping that this version of Jo and Laurie finally get the ending you always wanted for them.
There's no doubt the miniseries is in good hands though. Aside from the strong cast, the adaptation was penned by Heidi Thomas, the creator of Call the Midwife, and it has a female director as well. Vanessa Caswill, who directed the dark British series Thirteen, helms all three parts of the March girls' tale. Both of these women have proven themselves adept at telling the stories of women with honesty and depth.
Even though the premiere is still a few months away, it's never too soon to start planning your viewing party. Little Women is a tale of sisters, mothers, and daughters, which makes PBS' premiere date all too appropriate. Whether it was your mother, aunt, or big sister who introduced you to the March family when you were a child, there's an excellent chance that you remember enjoying this story while surrounded by the special women in your own life.
Now you can keep the tradition going by either introducing your own daughter or niece to Little Women — or you can go old school and snuggle up with your mom while you both cry your eyes out over the fate of a certain little woman for old time's sake.