Television

Why does TV assume everyone is so thick they have to have everything explained?

The Scandalous Lady W, a relentlessly 21st-century version of a great period scandal, spells out the social implications with a giant trowel

22 August 2015

9:00 AM

22 August 2015

9:00 AM

My favourite moment in The Scandalous Lady W (BBC2, Monday) was when the heroine played by Natalie Dormer was shown being taken vigorously from behind by one of her 27 lovers. It wasn’t the sex that did it for me but the appalled expression on the face of Girl, who, with perfect timing, had just poked her head round the TV room door to see what the grown-ups were watching. She let out a little yelp of horror — and ran.

Which was rather how I felt during a lot of the sex scenes. ‘Do you think they put in this stuff for us? Or the women?’ I said to the Rat (over on a flying visit from Hong Kong, where he’s doing very nicely as an interior designer, thanks for asking). ‘Oh, the women, definitely. We’re much more Games of Thrones. Straight in there. Tits and arse,’ he replied.

He’s right too. You know where you are with Game of Thrones: pert breasts, heaving buttocks, with sex portrayed as men understand it — as a form of conquest and possession, or a jolly bit of rumpy-pumpy. That’s why you can safely keep your eyes on the screen at all times, unlike with all this female-friendly soft porn such as The Scandalous Lady W or Poldark — or the new Lady Chatterley, by the sounds of it — which just makes you want to hide behind the sofa.

Though Poldark porn — or perhaps it ought to be called Mr Darcy porn, because that scene with Colin Firth was the originator, wasn’t it? — is less visually explicit, it’s actually a lot filthier. As women’s minds are, of course. It’s about white linen shirts, bare male torsos and lush fabrics. Fingers creeping higher and higher up soft legs towards expectant, ahem, thighs. Lips parted in rapture. Terrifying, in-the-head girl-fantasy stuff. Like being forced actually to read Fifty Shades of Grey, which, obviously, any normal man would rather be gang-raped by the Samoan rugby team than ever have to do.


Not that I didn’t enjoy most of Lady W hugely. Natalie Dormer was wonderful, as she invariably is, with that slightly unconventional, almond-eyed beauty and the apparent intelligence and poise enhanced by that sleazy, knowing smile. And the Georgian interiors, exteriors and outfits, as sumptuously shot by director Sheree Folkson, were a visual treat. But I definitely got the impression throughout that I was being sold a relentlessly 21st-century young female version of events, rather than any attempt at objective social history.

It feigned to tell the true story of Seymour Worsley, an 18th-century heiress married to a mildly depraved and unpleasant-sounding politician husband who attempted to sue one of her lovers for the then astronomical sum of £20,000 for having damaged his ‘property’. Back then, as the drama rarely missed an opportunity to ram home, a wife was considered as much a husband’s possession as his house, his land or his cattle.

Now clearly this was a perfectly frightful state of affairs. Seymour — worth well over £100 million in today’s terms when she married Sir Richard Worsley — was, as the law then stood, denied access both to her fortune and to her illegitimate children. Having nothing to lose, she avenged herself in court by allowing every last sordid detail of her marriage to be publicly revealed: that, with her husband’s eager complicity, she had taken a number of lovers (acquiring sundry venereal diseases), that her daughter was illegitimate, that her husband preferred to watch through the keyhole while pleasuring himself manually.

A great period scandal, then, ripe for TV drama: and with the perfect pay-off too. At the end of the case, the jury finds in Sir Richard’s favour. And awards him, in damages, the princely sum of one shilling. Unfortunately, the production team weren’t content to make harmless bodice-ripping entertainment. They had to spell out the sociopolitical implications with a giant trowel engraved with messages such as ‘Isn’t she feisty!!?’ and ‘Gosh, weren’t 18th-century notions of patriarchy so TOTALLY WRONG?’

In real life, Seymour seems to have had few qualms about abandoning either her legitimate son or her illegitimate daughter when she eloped with her lover. She once went on a three-day rampage with friends, which began when she set fire to a room in an inn occupied by the militia. Also, it was said that apart from her fortune neither she nor her sister had ‘one personal attraction’.

Slightly different, then, from the TV heroine who was simultaneously required to be a paragon (who took those lovers only out of duty to her pervy husband), a feisty proto-feminist, a doting mother, and a totally delightful person. (Unlike vile, scheming hubby who, like his evil lawyers, was just horrid!) Is this the problem with TV these days: that everyone now is assumed to be so thick that they have to have everything explained?

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • ViolinSonaten b minor.

    Well I had a quick peep before commenting, not my type of thing ( rarely watch TV) and clearly on at the wrong time of year, isn’t this bodice ripping genre suited to the
    darker months. And its not for the faint hearted top say the least, all somewhat
    base. The 18th century slang was unusual :

    ” My mother didn’t tell me that playing rantum scantum would be thus’ breathed her
    ladyship whilst her bloomers were around her ankles.. very bawdy language.
    It wasn’t quite Jane Austen to say the least, but the dresses were quite sumptuous.

    • Conway

      The only reason I could possibly watch this would be for the settings and the clothes.

      • ViolinSonaten b minor.

        Ah ,I didn’t see it but watched the BBC adaption of Macbeth with David Tennant for 3 hours a few Christmases ago 😉
        Tennant was brilliant, and the agony was palatable.
        We could talk of that as I actually watched it.
        Although I must say seeing it live on a stage would be preferable
        and have not done so yet.

    • blandings

      I believe that in that period gals didn’t wear knickers.
      I know many strange facts

      • ViolinSonaten b minor.

        Bet you didn’t know Annie Oakley kept a gun in hers.
        My Grandmother also told me that certain girls during the war waved them at sailors because the lighthouses were darkened- how useful.

        I thought period ladies had bloomers, maybe they weren’t for the same purpose- very strange.

  • HocusPocus

    It’s for broadcast in America, where audiences have to be retold everything that is lost in the thickest mists of time, or at least reminded that things weren’t all Austen.

    • ViolinSonaten b minor.

      Well I’ll assume this wasn’t the norm either, well I hope not.

    • CS-MU-CO-NP

      thank you, 1968. We Americans are just so thick nowadays…

      • Malcolm Stevas

        Not really, but you have to admit it’s always been the case that any US movie scene set in Paris always had to have a subtitle reading “Paris, France” – not for the benefit of the world audience, but for those Americans who might possibly have confused it with Paris, Nebraska (or wherever). “Typical” French accordion music score ditto.

        • red2black

          The accordion music is so people don’t think it’s Blackpool.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          17% of Americans have a passport.

          • blandings

            America is the size of a continent. Americans have little need to travel to Ruritanian backwaters.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            The USA is the same size as China. Chinese tourists are everywhere.

          • blandings

            “Chinese tourists are everywhere”

            Shopping as far as I can see.
            I wonder how many chinese citizens have passports?

            The point I was trying to make was that Americans don’t actually care that much about us – we Europeans tend to have an inflated sense of our own importance.

        • ViolinSonaten b minor.

          Somewhat patronising, I’m sure yourself as an ex colonial masters.
          These new world countries are not awfully bright, blah, blah blah.
          I understand we used to broadcast to the world saying:
          This is London, England, it was just correct and good manners.

    • Frank

      The fundamental problem with this TV drama was that Lady Worsley enthusiastically shagged all the men introduced by her husband, so he might have been profoundly strange, but where was the compulsion that was so unfair to her? In other words, this drama was about as dramatic as old socks. One word to her vicar and the entire establishment would have come out against her husband.

  • Dukeofplazatoro

    Probably because the people who watch this kind of thing are thick. Go figure as Taki might say

  • Irene

    After reading the first sentence, it was obvious this review was written by a man- pause button in tow.

    • ArtieHarris

      Hah. A sexist newbie who has only ever made one post – presumably arriving here from some activist feminist group.

    • Ivan Ewan

      You homophobic bigot, you! I’ll have you thrown out of the queer transgender bisexual solidarity club for that!

      • Frank Marker

        I have my Groucho Marx reply already.

        • ViolinSonaten b minor.

          ” well those are my principles, if you don’t like them I have
          others” I hunted around for a quote and found that ;-D

  • tmc01 .

    Uhh this one is easy. It’s the dumbing down of the population, obviously.

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      The average UK adult has a reading age if 10. In a recent poll only 22% of those under 35 knew what the Battle of Britain was. 35% thought Russia was on Hitler’s side in the War.
      Only 40% could find Russia on a map of the World. 28% thought Barrack Obama was our leader.
      The BBC needs to appeal to the half of the population who are thick if it seeks to retain an audience.

      • blandings

        “In a recent poll only 22% of those under 35 knew what the Battle of Britain was.”
        Well, it was a long time ago. Why do we expect people under 35 to see any significance in events that occured three-quarters of a century ago? For them it’s ancient history – it’s easy to forget that. They are not necessarily thick, they probably don’t care. Recently I was given a compendium of Punch cartoons and stories from 1942/43 (very witty actually). I was struck quite forcibly by the realisation that it was describing a world that no longer exists: A world as alien to a modern youngster as, say, Tudor England. Even if I explained the jokes to them they wouldn’t understand many of them because the social assumptions and conventions that gave those jokes their significance no longer hold.
        Your getting old, I’m afraid.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          No. The Battle of Britain was only 75 years ago. It is within living memory. It is one of the most signicsnt events in our recent history. It is a failing of both parents and schools to tell them about it, whether they are or not.
          I would equally expect them to know about Waterloo, Agincourt and Hastings. Even longer ago but even more significant.

          • blandings

            “It is within living memory”
            Not if you’re under 35 it ain’t!
            The concept of a “national story”, which is I think what you are alluding to, has been mocked to death: Dead things cannot be resuscitated.

            Sometimes Yvonne, you come across as a right litttle conservative

          • ArtieHarris

            “The concept of a “national story”, which is I think what you are
            alluding to, has been mocked to death: Dead things cannot be
            resuscitated.”

            Good to hear that you’ll be telling all those wimmin who are forever complaining about the “oppression of women” that it is of absolutely no significance today.

          • blandings

            You have an unhealthy interest in women

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            You have a casual disregard for your nations heritage.

          • blandings

            You misread me. I have every regard for my nations heritage but I regard it as lost beyond recall. You are welcome to disagree of course.
            O England, pale mother.
            What have we done to you?

          • Tom M

            I agree with Yvonne, what do you think the recent history of our country actually is if it doesn’t include the near invasion by another country and our armed forces efforts to prevent it.

          • Gregory Mason

            You have to be real dunce to not know about the Battle of Britain, Waterloo and Agincourt and I say this as one of those under 35’s whose stupidity you’re trying to defend.

          • blandings

            I’m not defending them – just explaining them.
            The elephant in the room of course (which i was to delicate to mention) is that a fair proportion of them are British in name only.

          • Nicholas_Keen

            Oh, here we go….

          • ViolinSonaten b minor.

            You cant deny that’s not true. There is a large proportion of children in
            this country whose roots ( or those of there parents) are elsewhere
            some far flung places actually. They’d be more interested in the history
            of their parents homeland, maybe . They’d be more interested
            in technology or sports like most children.
            Such subjects go in one ear and out of the other, until older.
            Besides, Isn’t it against multiculturalism to rattle away about the history of this country.

          • Duncan Richardson

            Against multiculturalism? Yes.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            If we had lost the Battle of Britain their roots would be in Germany. Lost Waterloo we would all speak French. Foreign people who want to live here must learn about the marvellous place they have been admitted to and may even take some pride by association.
            They are drawn here by our freedom and sense of fair play, they need to know where it hails from. They need to know that tyrants and dictators are ignored here, we simply laugh them out of existence.

          • Morris Jasper

            Quite…”Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? That brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten? Is all this to be forgotten?”

          • notaluvvie

            Was she Hungarian? I thought she might have been Roma.

          • ViolinSonaten b minor.

            They just bring their tyrants here and our cowardly politicians
            hide beneath pretty speeches whilst we are forced to tolerate
            the intolerant.
            They care nothing for our history or our people.

          • blandings

            “Oh, here we go….”

            go where dude?
            I was merely making an observation. It was not a criticism. I would not be interested in Britain’s “heroic wartime stories” if I came from a different cultural background.
            But there you go again: Trying to impose your trite bourgeois sensibilities on reality.Well, the world is as it is. If you can’t handle it go and have an attack of the vapours, don’t come bleating at me.
            OK, Nicky babe?

          • Nicholas_Keen

            Oh Lordy.

          • blandings

            Nope, don’t think so.

          • Scylla

            It’s ‘too’ dumbo.

          • blandings

            Ware wood eye bee without yew fare Cilla?
            Awl at see , my sole bear and pray to homophonic mishap.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            Are you seriously suggesting people should only know about things that happened since they were born? It is hugely important to understand history so as not to replicate past mistakes, but also to help understand your own and other cultures . Those who choose to live in an idiocracy, deliberately blind to the details of life can only blame themselves for being intolerant ,I’ll informed and oafish.
            Whilst history never repeaats itself, but it often rhymes. If you don’t know the tunes or the lyrics you will be at at a disadvantage.
            Your who cares, why bother attitude is one I have seen espoused a lot recently. Why preserve old buildings? Some say. Why teach history it doesn’t earn money? Say others. It is used to justify a lazy and fatalistic approach to life and is a sad indictment of the modern World.

          • blandings

            “Your who cares, why bother attitude”
            That isn’t my attitude – I didn’t realise I was so difficult to understand.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            When I was at primary school in the early 70s , my little Devon village had lots of dignified old men who had all been through he horror of the trenches in WW1. One was still deranged by shellshock and received no medical care. One had been a stretcher bearer and proudly bore 3 nasty bullet wounds from his heroic efforts in no man’s land, but received no medal. One lived in a corrugated iron shack, like a tramp,close to freezing in winter, no toilet, no fridge. Village folk gave him food, but he got no war pension despite having been a Sergeant in the Guards. The local Church refused him entry on Poppy Day because he smelled unpleasant.
            As a boy I was interested enough to ask these wonderful men about their experiences. Some would say nothing, some tried to sweeten the horror for the ears of a child, but I have never forgotten these old men. Better people from a better generation. Part of the battle is being curious enough to ask. Empathy is sadly in short supply these days.

          • blandings

            I think we are talking passed each other.

            We can have a sense of common belonging, a national story, national myths, a sense of continuity, a sense of cohesion (and yes, you can induct outsiders – my wife of Polish ancestry being a good example) but once you have broken the links with the past they cannot be re-created. Many of our youth see this country’s past as being of no relevance to their lives. It is not something that belongs to them, or they to it. They are being perfectly sensible. They have learnt their lessons: We have created a country that scorns its own past, so why on earth should they treat it with respect?
            You may be amused to know that I give money each month for the upkeep of our village church although there are more ghosts in it than worshippers and two thousand years of theology has been reduced to waving candles and singing Jesus wants me for a rainbow: A dead church in a dying country.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            I agree it is a shame the immense national treasure that is Britain’s 9,000 mediaeval churches are left largely in the care of a dying religious sect, the Anglicans. They should be liberated from them and given back to the communities they serve. As village halls and meeting rooms. The Anglicans could make their booking alongside the WI and the youth club and pay the going rate.
            I have been part of the Churches Conservation Trust for nearly a decade, looking after the buildings the God botherers no longer want.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            Living memory tends to refer to those living around you, not you. Hence contemporary history is that within living memory. Modern history is 1492 to about 1920.

        • IvanDmitrich

          A world where people travelled by car, flew by plane, went to the cinema, listened to the radio and lived in a modern democracy is as alien to youngsters today as the days of Henry VIII? Then maybe youngsters today really are stupid…

          Most people today surely know at least one person who lived at least a short time in the 1940s. It’s not that long ago.

          • blandings

            “Then maybe youngsters today really are stupid…”
            You know that cannot really be the case.
            Hey, look at their “A” Level results.

          • ArtieHarris

            “Hey, look at their “A” Level results.”

            LOL!

          • blandings

            Yes – I was being tongue in cheek

          • ViolinSonaten b minor.

            ‘ I was being tongue in cheek’
            What with that and head over heels with foot in mouth, its
            fortunate humans are so very flexible or we’ll be tying ourselves in knots ;-D

          • blandings

            Are you suggesting, dear lady, that I regularly put my foot in it?
            Well ok, but I like to think it’s part of my charm – maybe.

          • ViolinSonaten b minor.

            Me ? as if I would. You just keep your chin up. I’m sure Artie doesn’t
            have a leg to stand on and you’re an old hand at dealing with him.
            Apologies- these bodily parts Idioms can go on a bit- thought I’d make a
            clean breast of it 😀

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            I’m afraid it is all part of the media’s worship of youth. It is why catwalk models and X factor winners are barely 16. Sports stars are younger and younger. Meanwhile Hollywood actresses disappears age 45.
            Young people have little or no respect for elderly. They sneer at them for not having mobile phones and no longer having the looks that are so important to the twitface genersation. It is not cool to like your grandparents or even to speak to old folk. Sadly they miss out, as the over 70s often have the best tales to relate.

        • kaymanaisle

          “Your” getting old. I think you’ve inadvertently reinforced the point about people being uneducated and rather thick.

          • blandings

            “Your” getting old. I think you’ve inadvertently reinforced the point about people being uneducated and rather thick.”

            A common slip that indicates nothing of the sort.
            Is that really the most substantial criticism you can come up with?
            Irony eh bro?

          • kaymanaisle

            Plenty else to criticise in your comments but you’re doing little more than trolling so are not worthy of serious analysis. Bro.

          • blandings

            “Plenty else to criticise in your comments but you’re doing little more than trolling so are not worthy of serious analysis. Bro.”

            Don’t draw your sword unless you intend to use it.
            I await your criticism with interest.

          • blandings

            Where’s th criticism then?
            Windbag.

        • Cornelius Bonkers

          Come on now Blandings old fruit. Is the denigration of ignorance a sign of becoming an old git? If so then we’re all sunk I fear. Knowledge of “Alien worlds” is all that is going to save us…good god!

        • notaluvvie

          It’s “you’re”. Perhaps the English language is also faltering.

          • blandings

            I know, but thank you!

      • Nige Cook

        Russia invaded Poland jointly with Hitler in 1939! It was only after Hitler invaded Russia two years into the war, that Russia joined our side. Before then, they massacred more Poles at the Katryn Forest Massacre (1940) than the Nazis.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          So Did Russia not win World War Two? Did the Soviets not defeat Hitler? Did they never reach Berlin? Was Stalin not at Yalta?

      • notaluvvie

        Well the Soviet Union, not the Russian SSR per se, was actually an ally of Germany right up ’til the time the German National Socialists invaded the Soviet (International) (socialist) Union. See the common thread there? The Soviets never really were in World War two, one assumes that is the War to which you allude as there was another with a previous number and even quite a few before that and generally denoted by the year or number of years. The Soviets fought The Great Patriotic War. On the other hand if you actually did mean to state “Russia” then that country was previously at war with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kaiser’s Germany, but Hitler was only a corporal at that time and could hardly be said to be responsible for belligerent sides in World War 1.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          So technically the Soviets were in an alliance of convenience with Hitler until the spring of 1941. Strangely most of my books on WW2 say in the index ” for Soviet Union see Russia”. Do you really suggest that Russia with all the losses it suffered ,was never in WW2?

          • Hamburger

            It was more than an alliance of convenience.

  • ArtieHarris

    “, a wife was considered as much a husband’s possession as his house, his land or his cattle.”

    Er, not quite.

    It was the husband’s duty to protect his family and he was also responsible for his wife’s misbehaviours – and her debts. (e.g. if she refused to pay her taxes – which many did – he was nobbled.)

    Notice also that she was, “worth well over £100 million in today’s terms.”

    So, why would she marry if she got such a bad deal from marriage?

    Was she forced to marry?

    Was she stupid?

    This notion that women were hard done by when compared to men is just feminist-inspired nonsense.

    • Grace Ironwood

      Overstatement anybody?

      • ArtieHarris

        One has to fight hard against decades of misandric feminist indoctrination and deceit.

        It’s not easy.

        • Ruthmeb

          This is such incredibly ignorant, baity drivel. Women could be legally beaten by their husbands. Fact. Have their earnings stolen by a husband who had deserted them. Fact. Never see their children if their husband said otherwise – and no, they needn’t have done anything wrong themselves – see Catherine Dickens. Fact.

          All of these can be substantiated.

          But to point out these *facts* is ‘misandric indoctination” Sure. Sure. Keep on saying that to yourself, it’s so much more comforting to the small mind than the effort of thinking and facing the truth. You are not a noble warrior, you’re an ostrich.

          Why did Seymour marry? Good question. Triumph of hope over observation, perhaps. Social pressure. Too young to be a good judge of character (she was 17) . Whatever the truth, your answer is simply wrong.

          A challenge – look it up, educate yourself. If you dare. I’d lay a large bet you won’t, though.

          • ArtieHarris

            ” Women could be legally beaten by their husbands.”

            And children could be legally beaten by their mothers.

            So, what is your point?

            The reality? The law did not have the power to deal with domestic situations. The same is true now, despite all the additional resources and the technologies. Furthermore, it was men, not women, who have suffered the worst violence throughout history.

            ” Never see their children if their husband said otherwise -”

            You mean like it happens today for men who cannot see their children? Are you protesting about this current state of affairs?

            In those days, men were seen as being responsible for families. And they suffered legal and social consequences for failing in this duty.

            ” you’re an ostrich.”

            Ad hominems make you sound ignorant and unpleasant. Best avoided, in my view.

            “But to point out these *facts* is ‘misandric indoctination””

            Straw man. You made no reference to these facts before now.

            “Why did Seymour marry? Good question.”

            Yes. And you haven’t answered it.

            So, I’ll ask you again. Was she stupid?

          • Chamber Pot

            Some of them liked to be spanked so let’s not pretend this is a bad thing.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            How many women died in the trenches of WW1?

          • blandings

            They did their bit – they died lonely in their cold beds – widows and spinsters all.

          • ArtieHarris

            No they didn’t. They had families.

          • blandings

            Yeah, yeah.
            Sigh

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            ….and the ones who stood in the streets handing out white feathers.

          • Gregory Mason

            Because that’s as horrid as watching your mates being blown up and dying painfully far from home in some crappy field in France.

          • Gregory Mason

            ‘Have their earnings stolen by a husband who had deserted them.’

            If her husband had deserted her how exactly did he go about ‘stealing’ from her since having deserted her he was no longer there?

        • Grace Ironwood

          Your argument would be more compelling if you didn’t employ obviously overblown statements!
          Marriage had definite advantages for women,children & society but also a major site of women’s oppression. Still, feminists need to understand that the institution of the family in particular needs a more nuanced understanding than just smash it and wear the consequences of a generation of fatherless kids.

          • ArtieHarris

            “Marriage had definite advantages for women,children & society but also a major site of women’s oppression.”

            Indeed. It was also a site for men’s oppression who were expected to work in the most horrible jobs for 16 hours a day in order to support their families, or to go off to war in support of the rulers.

        • blandings

          “It’s not easy.”
          Stop blaming women and grow some b@lls

          • ArtieHarris

            Where did I blame women Cupcake?

            Still, it’s good to know that you are not a feminist.

          • blandings

            Talk about deluded – read your own posts.

          • ArtieHarris

            Grow up, Cupcake.

          • Gregory Mason

            Feminists also seem to forget that many women opposed feminism to the degree that they opposed female suffrage.

            The National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage being a good example.

      • blandings

        Artie believes, firmly, that women have done him down.
        Actually, in his case you could be forgiven for yielding to the temptation.

        • Grace Ironwood

          Many people have bad divorces, Artie should take comfort from the finding that men are financially better off than their partners five years on, whatever the terms of the property settlement.
          🙂

        • ArtieHarris

          “Artie believes, firmly, that women have done him down.”

          You still think that feminism=women, eh, Cupcake?

          LOL!

          Time for you to get an edyoucayshun.

  • AJH1968

    Don’t get me started on rom-coms were the protagonist is a fashion editor and engaged to a wealthy Brad Pitt like Harvard lawyer or neuro-surgeon, who helps out occasionally in the third world (she is still conflicted by the way). Why, that is about as
    realistic as a plumber turning up at a flat filled with delectable super models
    that are insatiable and quite eager.

    • ViolinSonaten b minor.

      Those rom – coms such as Jo Lo with immaculate glossy lips and hair that looks as if she’s just got up and the vacant looking male with bulging biceps.
      These TV adaptions go between those and powder and corsets when they’re
      not in a slightly darker Elizabeth Gaskell frame of mind.
      This we are discussing is no more then a bit of BBC trying to shock by televising this salacious titillation. Not awfully pleasant by all accounts.

      • blandings

        I would not expect you to watch that kind of thing.
        PS:I don’t have a tv. A fact that can make me insufferably smug

        • ViolinSonaten b minor.

          Well I saw a CD of the Darcy lake scene and thought if this
          was a Emily Bronte adaption, Darcy would’ve caught pneumonia and Lizzie would have been dabbing his fevered
          brow. That man suffering would have made it more edgy ;-D

  • salieri

    The unsurprising answer to your question is ‘yes’. More surprising is that the BBC approved a script with the line: “I require a bedchamber for my husband and I.” Ouch.

    • Conway

      The Bbc (sic) is, alas, but a shadow of its former self when its erudition and punctiliousness were the envy of the modern world.

      • ViolinSonaten b minor.

        Indeed.

    • vieuxceps2

      Apart from the grammar howler (not unknown today) the point is to emphasise the “feistiness ” of the woman in ordering rooms rather than leaving it to the man.

      • salieri

        Quite so. True to BBC costume drama ethos, all the men were wimpish, nasty or both.

        The howler itself has long-standing ‘form’ among those who affect poshness without the education that used to go with it. In the Granada TV adaptation of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ (what, 35 years ago?) there’s a ghastly instance near the beginning, where either Charles or Sebastian (I forget which) asks some Oxford girls: “Would you care to dance with my friend and I?” The titles credited John Mortimer with the screenplay, although his script was never actually used; I always thought this rather libellous.

    • doctorseraphicus

      You hear that particular “false genteelism” everywhere. Amongst the rabble it is unsurprising; that a writer could not be aware of it is quite shocking.

  • Conway

    After the destruction of the grammar schools and 13 years of Blair education (or should that be edjookashun?) those under 50 need to have everything spelled out to them, preferably through pictures with very little writing.

    • vieuxceps2

      No,it’s much worse than that.Not only was it dimming down but it was also a re-writing of history in that the actions of the lady were actually of her own volition rather than enforced by her husband. This is a normal feminist agenda these days whether it’s earnest lady-profs on history, or historical dramas as here.All facts are slanted and nuanced to suit the misandrist agenda ,or ignored where inconvenient. It’s known as revisionism and is especially rife in lefty circles.Add the flavour of feminism and you get an unappetising pot of stew.

  • Grandma

    Yes, they are that thick. And ignorant. What’s your point please?

  • Chamber Pot

    Er, come again ?

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      That’s what my first wife used to say.

      • ArtieHarris

        Very true. She often said it to me too.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          Did she mention the scabies too?

  • ArtieHarris

    Hey James

    You might enjoy this newly-discovered passtime …

    “Five of Amazon’s top 10 last week were adult colouring-in books, as were
    six of Brazil’s top 10 non-fiction list. Last year in France, the
    combined colouring-in industry sold 3.5m books.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/26/adult-colouring-in-books-anxiety-stress-mindfulness

    🙂

  • ViolinSonaten b minor.

    Apparently James, she only fell pregnant twice, quite extraordinary really.

  • Shorne

    Could this be similar to the device one sees U.S detective etc. dramas where somebody says ‘Well Inspector (or whoever) what I don’t understand is…’ and then the whole plot is explained? There is also a concept in scriptwriting known as ‘As you know Bob’ as in ‘As you know Bob as you know your family are all hereditary thieves’

  • Tway

    Dumbing down was unusually apparent on BBC news last night when Will Gompertz didn’t dumb down his report on Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet. He spoke in theatrical terms to the people who would be interested in the report: theatre goers.

  • Josie

    Still haven’t recovered from the news presenter who said “58% of people – that’s more than half………..”
    Though to be fair, it’s not just TV, many politicians speak down to us, their eyes widened patronisingly as if we’re a bunch of primary school kids.

  • Nige Cook

    BBC porn like Lady Chatterley’s lover (quite rightly banned when published by DH Lawrence) is the adult version of Dr Who, just as the One Show is an adult version of Blue Peter. It is designed to spread subversive left propaganda. Shame.

  • peter_peterclarke

    Are there any grown-ups here?

    • Hellen

      I too thought that the review was written by a child. 🙂 This was a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching movie that doesn’t cater to children who desire only gore & sexualization in their TV lives and complain when they’ve watched something worthy by accident.

  • lapis

    Wtf did I just read?

Close