En­core of 2009’s windswept Heights airs on PBS

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - MICHAEL STOREY The TV Col­umn ap­pears Sun­day, Tues­day and Thurs­day. Email: mstorey@arkansason­line.com

If Wuther­ing Heights is now con­sid­ered one of the most clas­sic love sto­ries in the his­tory of lit­er­a­ture, why won’t my au­to­cor­rect fea­ture let me type in Wuther­ing? It keeps “fix­ing” it to With­er­ing.

And de­spite all those un­der­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate school English cour­ses, I still wasn’t sure what, ex­actly, wuther­ing was, on a height or oth­er­wise. I looked it up. Turns out it means wind­blown — wind-blown with a roar­ing sound.

That makes sense. As you’ll see when PBS en­cores the Mas­ter­piece Clas­sic adap­ta­tion of Emily Bronte’s only novel be­gin­ning at 7 p.m. to­day, the heights are, in­deed, wuther­ing, as are the pas­sion­ate souls of Cathy and Heath­cliff.

AETN is a good place to re­treat to if tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones (8 p.m., HBO) is too in­tense for you. There may be no fire-breath­ing drag­ons on the re­mote moors, but, as PBS puts it, “the fiery ro­mance of Heath­cliff and Cathy reignites in this thrilling new adap­ta­tion.”

Part 1 of the tale be­gins at 7 p.m., fol­lowed by Part 2 at 8:30.

There have been a num­ber of adap­ta­tions of the 1847 novel that was first pub­lished un­der Bronte’s pseu­do­nym of El­lis Bell, but I best re­call the 1992 ver­sion with Ralph Fi­ennes and Juliette Binoche.

Tonight’s adap­ta­tion, air­ing first in 2009, fea­tures strong per­for­mances by Char­lotte Ri­ley as Cather­ine Earn­shaw, and her fu­ture hus­band, Tom Hardy, as Heath­cliff. The cou­ple mar­ried in 2014.

When it was re­leased, the film had the tag line: “The deep­est pas­sion. The deep­est ob­ses­sion. The deep­est de­spair.”

View­ers may know Ri­ley from her roles in Jonathan Strange & Mr Nor­rell and Lon­don Has Fallen. Hardy has been in a num­ber of films, but re­ceived an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for The Revenant.

I won’t go into a de­tailed plot sum­mary here. If you’re fa­mil­iar with the tale, then you know what hap­pens. If not, well, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I’ll just say that the gypsy boy Heath­cliff was an or­phan liv­ing on the streets of Liver­pool and was adopted and brought to live at Wuther­ing Heights by Cather­ine’s father, Mr. Earn­shaw.

The fos­tered out­sider is ini­tially re­sented by Cathy and her brother, but she grows to love Heath­cliff over the years as he grows up to be pas­sion­ate and tor­mented.

Cathy even­tu­ally mar­ries the weak Edgar Lin­ton, who of­fers her a life of com­fort and wealth. Heath­cliff is then con­sumed with jeal­ously and ha­tred.

Trivia: Edgar is played by An­drew Lin­coln, who went on to fame as Rick Grimes in The Walk­ing Dead.

Tragic things hap­pen “as a man un­able to have the love of his life seeks vengeance against any­one who comes be­tween them.”

■ Shark­nado tonight. C’mon. You know you’re go­ing to watch no mat­ter how bad it prom­ises to be. You’re emo­tion­ally in­vested, hav­ing suf­fered through the first four in­car­na­tions. One more won’t kill you. Prob­a­bly.

I’ve writ­ten be­fore that this series “jumped the shark” af­ter the sec­ond film, but Syfy just can’t help it­self. The thing has be­come a force of na­ture and an an­nual en­tity unto its own. Shark­nado: The 4th Awak­ens was so bad, I had to make my­self watch it even though it’s my job.

As one critic put it, “What be­gan as an iron­i­cally en­ter­tain­ing ex­er­cise in straight­faced silli­ness has de­volved into a pan­der­ing slog of prod­uct place­ment and point­less cameos.”

At least it’s nice to see that Ian Zier­ing and Tara Reid can still pull down pay­checks in mori­bund ca­reers that died long ago.

In case you’ve missed them, Syfy has been milk­ing

this shark stuff all week with “orig­i­nal, shark-tas­tic pro­gram­ming” that will cul­mi­nate with the world­wide re­lease of Shark­nado 5: Global Swarm­ing at 7 p.m. to­day.

You’ve missed such fare as 5-Headed Shark At­tack and Trailer Park Shark, but if Wuther­ing Heights is just too lit­er­ate for you, there’s this.

Shark­nado 5: Global Swarm­ing tells the tale of what hap­pens as shark-in­fested storms grow stronger and more com­plex and the world braces for the in­evitable — a global shark­nado. Tagline: “Make Amer­ica bait again.”

How wacky can it get? In Shark­nado 5, “it gets per­sonal for chain­saw-wield­ing Fin Shep­ard (Zier­ing) and his bionic wife, April (Reid), when their young son gets trapped in a shark­nado and is trans­ported all over the world.”

Cameos? This year they in­clude Olivia New­ton-John and daugh­ter Chloe Lat­tanzi as bril­liant sci­en­tists, Fabio as the pope (I’ll let that sink in), Charo as the Queen of Eng­land, Por­sha Wil­liams as an ar­chae­ol­o­gist, Chris Kat­tan as the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter, Bret Michaels, Clay Aiken, Dolph Lund­gren, Gil­bert Got­tfried, David Naughton, Mar­garet Cho, Kathie Lee Gif­ford, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Greg Louga­nis and Tony Hawk.

Cathy (Char­lotte Ri­ley) and Heath­cliff (Tom Hardy) tell the tragic love story of Wuther­ing Heights.

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