Poldark, Episode Two: Dumb things men do

Dancing is not one of the dumb things.

Dancing is not one of the dumb things.

So last night found me once again sitting raptly before the TV, immersed in the world of “Poldark” while warming my hands on my obligatory cup of tea.  (I always drink tea while watching “Masterpiece Theatre.” I’m such an Anglophile dork.)

Anyhow, Episode Two was just as good as Episode One, about which I blogged last week.   I am loving this series.  It’s as good as “Downton,” though so very different; it’s like comparing apples and oranges (or like comparing bowlers and tricornes?).

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Below are a few thoughts on Episode Two.  I will warn you that there  are mild spoilers coming up, so if you DVR’d it, watch it before proceeding.  (And if you haven’t watched any of the series yet, you’re only two episodes behind!  Go watch it!)

Episode Two musings:

1) Where “Downton” has the servants, “Poldark” has the miners.  Each series, in its own way, deals with the class differences.  Class has more fluid boundaries for Ross Poldark than for Lord Grantham; this is surely a function of time, setting, and personality, as we have already seen that Ross is a bit more of a rogue than Lord G. is.  I love how Ross cares about the welfare of his miners and eats and socializes with them and won’t let Demelza demean herself.  Maybe he brought more home from the Revolutionary War than just the scar?  Could it be that those “all men are created equal” ideas rubbed off on him? (yay America!). Anyhow, this lack of snobbishness is one of the nicest parts of his character.

2)It must have been quite a job for the makeup artist to put the scar on Aidan Turner every single day of filming.  Was there a “scar continuity” person to make sure it was always the same length, width, and color?  Viewers tend to notice if it isn’t, and then they write snarky blog posts about it.  (This is not one of those posts.  It looks pretty consistent to me.)

3) We had a ball scene!  A period drama is not a period drama without one.

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Every time I watch one of these balls, the dances look so enormously complicated.  They have all these intricate weaves and patterns and turns; you really have to know what you’re doing.  I try to imagine myself in there dancing and I see myself making a wrong turn and knocking a few bewigged gentlemen down like bowling pins.  Good thing I live when I do.  But still: such dancing is lovely to look at, and these scenes always serve to further the relationships between the characters in dramatic ways.

4)  George Warleggan = thoroughly bad guy.  And if you couldn’t tell from his actions, you could tell from his hair.  Am I right in thinking they would never give a romantic hero hair like this?

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5) The media has said that Ross Poldark is the new Mr. Darcy.  There is some truth to that.  I have to say, though, that Mr. Darcy would probably never pick up a prostitute in a tavern, a plot twist which was probably less surprising to me than to others because I’ve read the books and knew it was coming.   It is unfortunate that he unwittingly chose George’s girl, a fact that would probably make Ross lose his lunch in a hurry.  Maybe he should try a different stress release next time.

6)Kudos to Ross, though, for knowing how stupid it was for Francis and Verity’s boyfriend to fight a duel.  Honestly, the male ego has been responsible for some seriously idiotic things throughout human history, and the concept of a duel has to be right up there at the top.  Women would never do anything that stupid, right?  Right?

Did you watch?  What did you think?

4 responses to “Poldark, Episode Two: Dumb things men do

  1. Loved it! And drink tea out of my Downton Abbey mug that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas while watching it, too! I love that I am not the ONLY Anglophile dork out there. 🙂

  2. You are definitely not the only one, Chris! 🙂

  3. yes, the duel was so stupid (probably historically accurate for the time, but still just stupid). Francis is even more of an idiot in episode 2 than in 1. And now Verity has no beau thanks to her stupid brother and father. At least Charlotte Lucas gets Mr. Collins and her own home in P & P. Here the plain girl is stuck with nothing. (but maybe she will win in the end). I love the way they deal with class stuff and how Ross is going rogue. I agree he has more room to do so than Lord Gratham – but more like Tom in Downton who knows both sides.
    I do think Ross is the new Mr. Darcy – in the brooding, handsome, you are dying to know what he is thinking (and happy to sit on the cliff and watch him swim) kind of way. thank goodness it is only on once a week or I would binge watch the whole thing if I had a chance.

  4. It’s totally binge-worthy, isn’t it?

    What galls me in the series (and the books) is how Verity’s father seems to think she has no right to a life of her own … she’s the plain daughter, so she should stay home and be useful to him. I love your Charlotte Lucas comparison … though she had to marry Mr. Collins to have her own life, which may have been a high price to pay. (Fascinating question: would you rather have the pedantic and correct Mr. Collins, or the naval captain who indirectly caused his wife’s death?).

    I also saw P&P parallels in the strenuous efforts of Mrs. Teague and Ruth at the ball. Eligible man at ten o’clock! Oh, wait; he wants nothing to do with us! That can’t be right!