elisi: (Clara HBIC)
[personal profile] elisi
Finally managed to finish watching this week... A delight from start to finish. Spoilery thoughts beneath the cut.

First of all - Jenna Coleman is an outstanding actor. She carried this series seemingly effortlessly, and quite simply *was* Victoria. And we watched as Victoria grew up before our eyes - learning every step of the way, but with that iron will in clear evidence in that tiny frame.

What made it especially interesting were the gender dynamics. Victoria had power, yes, but there were people ready and plotting to take it off her at every opportunity. She was too young, too irrational, etc. etc. Just a young girl. When she fights for her ladies-in-waiting, refusing to part with any of them, she describes it as being at war, and thus she cannot do without them. Her choice of words is questioned, and she replies to the Duke of Wellington that with all due respect, he's not a young woman.

She fights every step of the way, and she wins. I felt like cheering. (Not that she doesn't make missteps.)

Also the power struggle between Lehzen & Penge! <3

I feel like I should say something about Lord M, but I'm not sure what. It's so rare to come across such thoroughly decent people who do the right thing, even if it hurts them, that it's always a surprise (even if you know that's how the story goes). Also appreciated all the digs at the Tories. Because I'm shallow like that.

Then there is her mother... And darn, their power play was fascinating and complex and sort of terrible and it's no wonder that she was deeply ambivalent about having children herself. (Also MOTHER-DAUGHTER relationship, not father/son.)

And then Albert...


Socially awkward, but so earnest it was almost painful. Also extremely cutting, and the flirting/arguments at the start of their relationship was like bloody catnip. And that piano duet!! And the aftermath...

Albert: "You could improve your piano playing if you practised for an hour a day."
Victoria: "I'm a Queen. I don't have time for that."
Albert: But you have time for playing cards..."

Impish Girl's comment: "Savage!!!"

Oh and the ballroom scene where she gives him a flower and he cuts a hole in his shirt by his heart because he has nowhere to put it, actually happened. No wonder they were the love story of the century... (Also, so pretty!)

But of course the gender stuff didn't stop. Albert struggling to find his place, relegated to an essentially female role ("Why do you need your own money?" "Why do you want to interfere so much in running the country, I'm fine, I don't need your help..." "Just wait until your first child is born, then everything will change.") was one of the things I enjoyed especially. (Also seeing poor Victoria having her eyes opened to all the infidelity - and feeling that fear herself. The Queen of England, and yet how could she be sure her husband wouldn't go have an affair?)

Oh! And the visit to the brothel. He brought pen & paper and just asked for information. I don't know if this happened, but I hope it did. It's beyond endearing. <3

And then the early marriage, and the little arguments that inevitably arise, things that seems small, but not if you're living them... And oh, Sir Robert Peel. So many great touches.

The flip side was the life portrayed below stairs. I loved seeing both, and of course especially Nancy's story, the mirror to Victoria's. The girl with the 'dark past', who found love, but dared not pursue it, since the price she might pay (her freedom) was too much. It was heartbreaking, and sobering.

And now I'm looking forward to seeing how The Crown tackles the same story/issues, but a century later...
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