. . . that a single man in possession of a good fortune,must be in want of a wife.”
I watched a lot of period dramas over the Christmas period.
Cranford, Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey, Pride & Prejudice (BBC 6 hour version) (twice), Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey.
It was amazing.
I’m not sure why these types of programme are so much more appealing than dramas set in the modern day, or even the future. I think their humour is a lot darker, which suits me just fine, and, of course, the costumes are always stunning. But I think what is most enchanting about them is that life appears simpler: there are rules of etiquette, an accepted social order, and a general appearance of everything being nice. Obviously, there wouldn’t be much “drama” if these boundaries weren’t pushed; nevertheless, we know that nothing can go too far wrong!
And, at the centre of them all, is that lovely romance which we become fascinated with and obsessed by. Will she? Won’t she? Does he? Could he? Sly walks through the garden. Whispered words during a dance. Glances across the room. He just happened to be passing by and she, entirely coincidentally, dropped her hanker chief.
Simpler times indeed. (If you were suitably rich . . . But let’s not spoil the magic)
I tend to think that beautiful programmes such as these present a better morality than modern romances all about who can get who into bed first. And even, perhaps, a more realistic depiction of the work it takes to maintain a relationship. However, I’m beginning to think that they’ve done just as much damage to my psyche as the all the romcoms and chickflicks!
I’m not expecting love at first sight like in Romeo and Juliet, or The Notebook, or WALL-E (that’s right, it happens there too!). I’m not expecting to be swept of my feet. I’m not looking for “the-one”. All that romantic nonsense has been cast out from my mind by the likes of Elizabeth and Darcy, Emma and Knightley, Mary and Matthew, Fanny and Edmund. For whom, I think it is fair to say, love is . . . stumbled upon. (Or, you know, you see the size of his batchelor pad and the mist suddenly lifts . . .) Time, friendship, respect and eventually something clicks.
I think that maybe it’s time I stopped watching any of them . . .