It was when I'd reached disc 3 of the 4 disc set that I was looking for a new book to read and remembered Fitcher's Brides. I'd bought the book knowing little about it except that it was used, only $2 (or maybe free with a coupon), and looked unread. It had looked interesting enough at the Bookery Fantasy (which is where I'd seen it) that I got it. Years ago I'd read a book of reimagined fairy tales called Red as Blood by Tanith Lee, which I had liked well enough. So I thought I'd probably enjoy this novel.
Thing is, as I was reading the introduction to the story, I realized I'd never actually read or heard the tale of Bluebeard. And while I was reading the intro, I remembered "Hey, I have a book of Grimm's Grimmest fairy tales. I should read that too!" So while Fitcher's Brides was my bedroom book, I read Grimm's Grimmest in the library. (Only took 3 days for it - it's a pretty short book.) It had a version of Bluebeard in it - "Fowler's Fowl" - which, along with the introduction, pretty much educated me in the general Bluebeard lore.
Despite knowing what basically would happen by the end of the story, I found Fitcher's Brides a good read. Indeed, I think I liked the book even more because I knew, generally, what would happen later. For one thing, it made the grimmer bits a bit less grim. :-)
As for the remainder of Faerie Tale Theatre - the latter half was a bit easier to swallow than the earlier stuff I'd talked about before. Perhaps because I was less familiar with the stories (I'd seen very few of the third and fourth disc stories), but also because the stories weren't quite as misogynistic as the earlier ones. (More Andersen, fewer medieval tales.) There were still a few surprises. I guess I had never known the original ending to "The Little Mermaid" before - I found myself teared up at the end of it. (And then read about Hans Christian Andersen's even more religious version after watching the story.)
I found "Rip Van Winkle" (as directed by Francis Ford Coppola) to be far too stylized for my liking. Actually, it looked too much like a pantomime than anything. (I wonder if it was the inspiration for Duvall's other children's series, Tall Tales and Legends. I never cared much for that series - not like Faerie Tale Theatre. Probably because of the lack of Eric Idle and/or Jean Stapleton.) Oh, and in other director coups, they had Tim Burton directing "Aladdin." (That one wins simply for having Leonard Nimoy as an evil magician and James Earl Jones as the Genie of the Ring and the Genie of the Lamp. Heh.)
Although I'd not seen "The Dancing Princesses" as done by Shelly Duvall & co, I knew the story from another telling of it. I liked how they tackled it and I think it could go up there with Eric Idle's "Pied Piper" and Jean Stapleton's "Cinderella" (she was the fairy godmother, if you're curious) as favorite Faerie Tale Theatre stories (despite Peter Weller's stupid mustache).
I could probably continue my fairy tale trend - I've got an eBook of Hans Christian Andersen's stories which I might read. I don't think it has "The Little Mermaid," however. (It wasn't in the table of contents, but then again, neither was the first story in the book. Just what one needs - an eBook that's been coded incorrectly.)
Anyhoo, Lucy's sleeping on the chair arm beside me. Linus is who knows where (probably in the living room chair). I'm still fighting my cold. (Hey, when I get a cold, I know how to hang on to it!) And tomorrow's a family reunion. Good times, good times. :-)