Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Bonnets and Big Houses
One thing the British are good at is making period costume dramas. The King's Speech winning big at the Oscars is evidence of that.
It is also evidence that Americans are only interested in the British when it is something that involves the Royal Family.
I can't blame Americans for thinking this, we English maintain this image through the amount of costume dramas we churn out. We've got it down to a set formula.
Everybody in period dramas are posh, there is always a scene where a carriage pulls up outside an enormous stately home with a massive gravel drive outside.
There is always a woman called Emily and a man called Charles.
Men and women walk slowly around the grounds of these houses, the camera in front of them and moving at a torturously slow pace.
The man has his hands behind his back and the woman carries a frilly umbrella even though it isn't raining.
They will discuss their feelings for each other while they amble around the garden for what seems like bloody hours. It is surprisng there are any people left in England, the characters are so tightly wound and repressed that it is hard to imagine them getting down and having sex.
Lark Rise to Candleford, Downton Abbey, Middlemarch, anything written by Jane bloody Austen, they are all the same.
Self-obssessed posh people endlessly banging on about marriage and status.
These things have been a staple diet of Sunday night television for years and they never change, only the budgets are bigger.
We'd be better off watching Jackass.