Jo has always been a standout role, and Hawke — in her TV debut — makes the most of it, in advance of joining the upcoming third season of “Stranger Things.” (In a nice bit of symmetry, her co-star in that Netflix drama, Winona Ryder, played Jo in the 1994 movie version.)
“Tears are an unmanly weakness,” Jo says at one point, a characterization that seems more profound — filtered through the mores of the time — given her own steely resolve.
It’s always a challenge tackling such a familiar and beloved story, and bringing enough freshness or relevance to justify devoting three hours to it. Still, it’s hard to find many weaknesses — manly or otherwise — in this latest take on “Little Women.”
“Little Women” premieres May 13 at 8 p.m. on PBS.