“Three Pines” – Two Thumbs Down

Jan 30, 2023 | 2 comments

Alfred Molina as Armand Gamache in “Three Pines” series

FINALLY!  I watched “White Out,” the first two episodes of the “Three Pines” series.  I doubt that I will watch any more.  I was really disappointed — mostly that Louise Penny had endorsed it so heartily.  (But then her last book was a bit of a departure, too.  Maybe she is through with Inspector Gamache et al.)

Mostly — I disliked the characters in the TV episodes — there wasn’t a single one who appeared as I had envisioned.  Not even Rosa, the duck!  (Too big.)  Who was that svelte, neat Clara, for instance?  Surely not the distracted artist with bits of food or paint in her hair and wearing an old raggedy sweater or paint-daubed flannel shirt!  And Myrna?  Wrong size entirely!  Not the woman who sinks clear to the floor on Clara’s old, sprung couch cushions because of her immensity?
And I can’t even begin to talk about Jean Guy, Armand, and Reine Marie — where was the chemistry between them — the years of family relationships honed by threats of unimaginable magnitude?  They seemed distant, polite, but not at all as Penny wrote them.  Maybe Peter, Clara’s husband, was close to her depiction, but we never really got to know him anyway…

Only In The Drawing — Not In “White Out”

But worst of all — the village!  Three Pines!  Where the hell was it?  In fact, where were the three pines which are supposed to be standing sentinel in the village common?  Where was the peacefulness?  The friendliness?  The relationships between the residents?  And why was this village, always depicted as nestled around the central commons — why was the village so sprawling and non-cohesive?  As a matter of fact, why was the Bistro so loud — Penny pictured it as cozy, friendly, a good place to talk and renew oneself, often busy but never 21st century LOUD!  I wonder if the director or script-writers or any of the cast had even read the books.

I guess there was a reason I put off watching this for so long.  (I needed to gather my strength!)  As I’ve often said, there is only one film adaptation of a book that I felt really depicted what I “saw” as I read it.  That was “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  The movie was exactly what I had seen in my head — Harper Lee’s words in 3-D!.  In all other instances, I’ve been disappointed but never as much as in this TV depiction of “Three Pines.”

Sydney at “Three Pines” – 2016  (Better than no pines at all!)

Perhaps, partly, it’s because of the trip five of us took some years back to the Eastern Townships where we explored the places Penny had used as inspiration for her books. Any one of the villages that we visited could have been a better backdrop for Three Pines.

In fact, I wish I had another thumb.


  1. Skyler Walker

    I remember being disappointed when a thin blond woman was cast as detective Agatha Raisin, who is supposed to be brunette and a bit stout. And in the Inspector Lynley mysteries, they made him blond instead of brunette and, once again, cast someone pretty to play Barbara Havers, who is supposed to be endearingly awkward and plain. In the Cormoran Strike series, he had straight hair instead of the oft described curly hair. I think I like a mystery show better when it’s not based on books that I have read. I’ve never heard of Three Pines so I may be incorrect to assume it’s a mystery series.

  2. Miki

    Well thanks for the heads up! I will steer clear. I don’t want anything to muck about with my images.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *