Tag Archives: Poldark

Poldark: Hair-mageddon

poldarkby Maggie Gordon-Walker  

I have to confess I was slightly underwhelmed by the first episode of Poldark. Granted it’s been a while since it was last on, so they probably thought a recap was in order, but it felt like over half of it was reminding us what had happened in the last series.

So we have Ross (of course), just as gorgeous and brooding as ever. Demelza, feisty and spirited, still righteously cross about Ross dipping the Poldark toe into Elizabeth, so to speak, although slightly less cross due to her own dalliance with Very Pretty Hugh, who looks like he’d be more at home on Made in Chelsea. Elizabeth, considerably less attractive since her adoption of her husband’s snootiness, George, mouth still like a cat’s anus. Cornwall’s very own Romeo and Juliet – the exceedingly baby-faced Drake and perpetually mournful Morwenna, forever under the watchful eye of the oily Rev, who is like a Christopher Biggins gone bad.

While I was waiting for something to happen and marvelling at how much galloping on horseback across the countryside there seemed to be (it could have rivalled a Lloyds bank ad), I fell to wondering if you put the combined hair of the cast members together, how far would it stretch? For they are all an astonishingly hirsute bunch, man, woman and horse. And there’s always a strong wind, so the locks are blown madly hither and thither. Demelza’s hair has definitely got redder, which is interesting because I don’t think L’Oreal stretched to Cornwall in the eighteenth century.  Continue reading

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Downton Abbey: soothing Sunday wallpaper telly

Hugh 'Mr Sausage' Bonneville

I was talking to my mum on the phone recently and she was extolling the virtues of Downton Abbey. She feels some sense of ownership, perhaps because she lives near Highclere Castle, where it’s filmed. Also she also somehow (she’s the owner of a failed Guide Dog, canine whispers may be the source) knew that the reason Hugh Bonneville’s retriever follows him around like a devoted, well, dog, I suppose, is that his pockets are stuffed with chipolatas. Or that’s his excuse for having sausages in his trouser pockets anyway. Can you imagine poking your hand in looking for a hanky? Eugh.

Anyhow, she says she tends to watch Downton Abbey twice because she often falls asleep and ‘misses bits’. My mum has been snoring through Sunday evening dramas as long as I can remember, and certainly decades before the invention of i-player. There she slumped, in front of the fire, missing scenes of huge emotional resonance in The Brothers, Poldark, and the Onedin Line. The Duchess of Duke Street too, but I think that was on Saturdays. And frankly, I’m dubious as to whether it really matters. I am really enjoying Downton Abbey too. I love Julian Fellowes, all the downstairs politics and intrigue, the upstairs machinations and dusky skinned Turkish Casanovas popping their clogs inexplicably (sort of) mid coitus. The costumes are fantastic too, and I particularly love the kitchen scenes, (and now I think of it, it would pep the format of MasterChef up no end if they went ‘period’ and set the Professionals a task where they have to produce a banquet using only those old fashioned devices that look like torture implements. I would do love the look on Jay Raynor’s face served a plateful of something nasty in aspic in a chrysanthemum mould).

But you know what? I’m not asleep, but I watch it half focussed. It doesn’t seem to matter. As with the Simpsons, other than dead walk-on priapic Turks, everyone largely remains the same at the end of the episode as they did as the beginning. The allure of a good Sunday night drama is exactly that. I don’t want to be mentally taxed or stressed. Monday will do that by itself. I need to be soothed by Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton sniping over who whether peasants (AKA the nice old chap from the village who creates the most divine roses) ought to be allowed to win the cup in the village Best Flower Competition on merit. And hurrah for that. It’s utterly brilliant.

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