MTV puts its spin on 'Wuthering Heights'


Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
In MTV's adaptation of Wuthering Heights, Heath (not Heathcliff) is a tortured musician and Cate (not Cathy) feels trapped by his possessiveness. Rock on, Emily Bronte
Fans of the 1847 novel about obsessive love will recognize the Brontë-inspired touches in this update (7 p.m. Sept. 14):

The father figure, Earnshaw (John Doe of the '80s rock band X) lives with his mismatched family in a lighthouse called the Heights.

Earnshaw's young son, Hendrix (Johnny Whitworth), feels displaced and instantly dislikes the orphan, Heath, that his father brings home, but his sister, Cate, finds a kindred soul.
Ten years or so fly by quickly as Heath and Cate play music, ride motorcycles and romance in the caves. Hendrix sulks and drinks.

The voyeuristic Edward Linton lives with his family in a pristine beach house nearby. Edward also wants Cate as his own.

There are many touchstones for Wuthering fans, but this musical is set on the beaches of California. It's a modern-day romance that seems a bit odd because the dramatic, love-struck Heath and Cate seem so sheltered. Don't they ever watch The Real World? Friends? Dr. Phil?

Mike Vogel (Grind, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Erika Christensen (Traffic, Swimfan) get to sing in their roles as Heath and Cate. Vogel looks like a rock star, which Heath becomes when his beloved Cate leaves him. She marries odd Edward for security.

Viewers know Edward, played by Malcolm in the Middle big brother Christopher Kennedy Masterson, is too uptight for Cate because he wears shirts with collars and kisses with his mouth closed.
Yes, there are some PG-13 sex scenes. There's also rage against women and stalking.
Toward the end of this 90-minute production, Cate ends up pregnant, confused and feeling a bit faint. Heathcliff/Cathy watchers know what happens next. But that's about the middle of the book. Maybe a sequel is planned.




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