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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Web Series | Cate Morland Chronicles - Part 1

AUTHOR NOTE: I decided to try to do an episode by episode reaction/review of the Cate Morland Chronicles. This is the first of many posts on this series. I don't know how many episodes have been created for the series, but I feel like if I actually waited until the end this post would be so long that unless you're truly interested in this series you'll probably not read all the way to the end. You still may not read all the way to the end. I don't know, I'm not you. In this post you'll find general information about the series and thoughts on episodes one through ten.


Cate Morland Chronicles is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's one and only Gothic Romance Northanger Abbey - my all time favorite Austen novel! The scripts were written by Ellen Lloyd. The episodes were directed by Amanda Taylor, who also makes episode appearances as Isabella Thorpe, with Assistant Directors Kevin Smale, Jr and Carina Brown. The series was produced by Amanda Taylor and Chelsey Saatkamp. And all transmedia (each social media account that a character possessed) was managed by Brooke Randell.


I love the fact that Cate is super into anything and all things fandom. I think it helps connect her to a younger audience even though she is presented as a twenty-four year old. I do think it's interesting that they chose to put Cate in her twenties. In Jane Austen's novel Catherine is around the age of seventeen. I'm interested to see how it'll work out.

I really like that they turned Ann Radclif's novel into a TV show that Cate is obsessed with! I would love to see it actually become a TV show, because it is an eerie sort of novel that fits in with plenty of shows that are on air.

We'll see how this whole "Henry Tilney is an Actor and not a member of the clergy" thing goes. I'm not saying that things need to be exactly as they are in the novel. Because it's not like it would be super common to find someone who is going into the clergy in today's society. It is an interesting choice nonetheless, and I'm not completely sure how things are going to go because of this choice - does that make sense?

Nicely done writers! Weaving Ann Radclif with Jane Austen! "No one who had seen Luke Valencourt in his infancy would have supposed him to be a hero" is the line that Cate quotes from the fictional show, BUT the opening line of Northanger Abbey is "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." A little character change. A slight amount of paraphrasing. But it's a nice little easter egg.


We are introduced to the Allens - in a sense... Cate alluded to them in her first episode, but this is the episode where we find out more about them. But we aren't literally meeting them. We also get a little bit more into why Cate (and a good amount of the internet population) loves fandom culture so much.


Cate is at ComiCon! The entire time I was watching this episode, I could only imagine what it must have been like to shoot this episode. How many people thought they were crazy and how many wanted to be them. How many times they were interrupted because people want to be them?

The whole practicing "I've idolized you since I was fourteen" sequence was the complete embodiment of majority of fangirls. And it was great!


We get to meet Henry Tilney!..sorta.

There was a moment when I thought we might have caught a glimpse of John Thorpe. Not entirely sure, but we'll see.

The "formalities" conversation is PERFECT! And Henry Tilney is absolutely charming! And the journal comment turned into blog is great.


Interview with Henry Tilney - the not important parts for regular ComiCon interviews. Having Henry already know who she is...I don't know. Yes, it's plausible for this day in age, but I'm still not sure about it.

This episode does give some insight to the character of Henry and we get an idea of how old he is. In the novel Henry is eight years older than Catherine. The impression I got, for this series, is that Henry is about four or five years older. Not that age has anything to do with anything. For the novel that was what was normal for the time. It's not so normal now, so it makes sense to close the age gap a bit, but not to the point where they're the same age. So I think it'll work.


We get to officially meet Mrs. Allen. Mrs. Allen is a total Cate-Henry shipper (Canry as they have called it) and it's slightly discomforting. Cute, but discomforting.


Set up for more Cate-Henry interactions. We're left with a small cliffhanger.


We meet Isabella Thorpe. There are a few moments where I see the social climber seeker part of Isabella's character shine through.

Cate's inner super fangirl comes out when she finds out that Isabella has never seen The Mysteries of Udolpho. I wonder if this is set up for the introduction of The Monk?


Them talking about The Mysteries of Udolpho is really making me want this to be a real thing.

Getting to hear about Henry's brother Frederick and the drama that surrounds it all. It's interesting how this episode plays out. While the situation around Henry's mother's death is believable, the set up of how Cate is finding all out doesn't quite seem authentic to me. While there is a statement about the fandom's rules of "no rumor" discussing, it just seemed like Cate had no idea at all and that does not seem plausible to me.


Cate goes on a rant about an article on genre TV and the impact it has on today's generation. Now I haven't really read anything that has been posted on Cate's blog, but maybe I should start looking into it all.

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