“What’s the Story, Wishbone?”

Had the pleasure of revisiting some oldie VHS off-air recordings this evening including the 1995 Wishbone episode of Pride and Prejudice. Wishbone was a popular PBS tv series in the 1990s that aired on PBS.

The protagonist–a cute male Jack Russell terrier–would have a different encounter with a literary classic played off against a modern-day story involving his owner–the junior-high student Joe, his mother and friends Sam and Dave. Wishbone spoke in voice-overs throughout the show. In the modern context, he wisecracked, unheard by the humans. In the interwoven literary adaptation, he became a human character who conversed and interacted with the characters from a given classic.

The one I watched tonight was from 1995, a take on Pride and Prejudice with Wishbone as Darcy! He got to dance, court, and plant flowers with Elizabeth, wearing a couple of different costumes with a floppy bowtie and lace around the neck and paws. This episode, like all the others, shows the relevance of literature to daily life and concludes with a number of morals reflected in both storylines.

I think this series did a lot for reading and was equally entertaining for literate parents  already familiar with the classics covered. Some favorites include:

Pride and Prejudice
Joan of Arc
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oliver Twist
The Hound of the Baskervilles
A Tale of Two Cities
The Count of Monte Cristo
Great Expectations
The Courtship of Miles Standish
Treasure Island
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Tales of Hercules
The Odyssey
The Tempest
The Phantom of the Opera
The Red Badge of Courage
Henry IV, Part I
Tales of Robin Hood
Poe’s The Purloined Letter
Cyrano de Bergerac
Romeo and Juliet


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