- Historical Fiction
Happy My Mom’s Birthday, FYAers! I hope you are having a wonderful My Mom’s Birthday and that you, too, are celebrating being 26 again! (I can’t say how many times my mom has celebrated turning 26 because then I’d be drawn and quartered.) Also, Happy Birthday to my mom, who I hope isn’t reading this because I’m going to mention sex at least twice and probably cuss a bit!
One thing I love almost as much as I love my mom is British costume dramas. So let’s talk about Parade’s End, which is airing on BBC now and will soon be coming to an HBO subscription near you. (And probably next year’s Emmy nominations as well, though not for sound mixing, because you can barely understand a word anyone mumbles.)
Parade’s End is based on the works of Ford Madox Ford, which is, like, the genesis of every bad celebrity baby name ever. I mean, you can just see Angelina naming her next kid Chevy Madox Chevy, no? Ford Madox Ford wrote several books in a series which have now been condensed and turned into Parade’s End!
Parade’s End is about a man named Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch), which is pronounced, as closely as I can mimic the Yorkshire mangling, “Tin-gins.” and who is married to the carefree and morally bankrupt Sylvia (played by Rebecca Hall). Everyone knows Christopher never should have married Sylvia, because she hates monogamy and also him, but he had sex with her on a real train and then she claimed she was knocked up with his child (in actuality it is more likely to be her lover’s), and Christopher is the tedious, moral sory, so he felt obligated to marry her.
Not that Sylvia treats wedding vows as anything more than words exchanged, mind. She gleefully continues her quest to fuck half of Parliament without much regard for her husband, who to be fair spends more time reading the paper than he does talking to his wife. It’s not a happy marriage, is what I’m saying.
And, while Sylvia’s on an extended vacation with her awful, stupid boyfriend whose mustache is even worse than Tom Hanks’, Christopher meets and falls for the adorable young suffragette, Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens). Yes. Her name is Valentine Wannop and it’s the best name imaginable. Say it out loud in a Yorkshire accent! Wannop. Amazing.
But because Christopher is a moral individual, he refuses to actually have an affair with Valentine, and thus pines for her from across drawing rooms and golf . . . fields? Greens? Circuits? Parks? What do you call the things where you play golf? I don’t know about golf, OBVS.
Also, there is a World War going on, dead Archdukes and all that, so, you know, there’s that.
This is basically the entire plot of the series, but let’s be honest; we do not watch these costume dramas for the plot. We watch them for the pretty people in the pretty dresses. So let’s just drool over some of that stuff!
Hey, look! It’s Benedict Cumberbatch! A blonde Benny! And that’s a bearded Rupert Everett lurking behind him! Remember before Rupert had his plastic surgery and played charming men light in their loafers insted of mean bearded men who might eat you? That was a good time.
Let’s pretend that young Rupert Everett is in this show instead.
There, that’s better.
But to be honest, I’ve got a big ladycrush on both of the female leads in this series. First, there’s Sylvia, who looks a little like Scarlett Johannson, but doesn’t make me eyelid twitch.
Siiiiiigh. Isn’t she pretty? I want to have a painting of her in my house. Is that creepy? She’s just so pretty!
Sorry, I just wanted to look at her again. I’ll stop being creepy now.
Actually, no, I am not done being creepy yet! Because I also have a girl crush on Tiny Valentine Wannop (wannop, wannop, wannop; it’s never less fun to say) as well!
Look how cute our sister suffragette is!
So far, HBO hasn’t set an air date for the show yet, so unless you have a British television license or have fooled the internet into thinking you have, you’ll still have a bit of a wait until you can see this show. But! You should totally see this show! And if you’re already watching this show, let’s talk it up in comments! (Don’t be worried about being spoiled, folks, I basically did that for you.)