This was my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episode.
From the get-go I was tossed back and forth betwixt good and bad; happy and sad; pleased and disappointed; YAY and WTF? NEVER have the words ‘…but on the other hand…’ crossed my mind so often while watching a show. Any show.
For example, the biggest J&K (Jekyll &Hyde) Moment was: The First Kiss
FINALLY! Ross and Demelza kiss! I was on the edge of my seat ... waiting ... holding my breath... and I thought ‘Good God they look amazing together…the sexual tension is going to set my tv on fire! But on the other hand, could nobody on the set see that Ross’s nose was going to break and they should re-take the kiss to make it prettier?' I think it was raw and sexy and full of passion, but from a visual standpoint (I dabble in photography so I am very visual) it was awkward and smushy. *yes. smushy.
Let me show you what I mean. I tried to ss (screen shot) The Kiss and this was the best I could get: *as always, click to enlarge each picture*
Let's compare that to other classic kisses:
THEN, there The Ross/Demelza Kiss:
See what I mean? It looks like his nostril is screaming for help. To be fair, it IS natural and un-staged and yes, we all can look goofy in the throes of passion, so why not keep it real. *sigh* Luckily it doesn’t last too long (and, to be honest, even Ross's smushiest kiss is loads better than everyone elses' picture perfect one)....and we get a Master Class is sexy foreplay in the next scene in the bedroom. It makes up for everything. And I do mean everything, including world hunger, most diseases, Chihuahuas, Bieber, Trump and global warming.
So, here is my review in Jekyll & Hyde Form, so you can share my joy/consternation in real-time throughout the show:
Ø Ross is opening the mine and the people have work again…but on the other hand, the risk is all Ross’s and his neck really IS on the line.
Ø Ross’s thoughtful praise of Demelza’s cooking kills you for the sheer delight it brings to her delicate face, but on the other hand, how sad it is that her life has been so shitty that this is a highlight of it.
Ø It’s good that Verity is trying to keep busy and forget her near-lover Captain Blamey, but on the other hand, she may not be succeeding, if her needlepoint is any indication:
Ø How wonderful that there are doctors in that era to help women survive childbirth, but on the other hand WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE THINGS ON THE TABLE? *the looks on their faces says it all...
Ø It is not unusual for men in those days (and unfortunately, even today) to be proud of producing a male heir to their fortunes so, whatever… but on the other hand, two of these three stooges need a good kick to the sac. The third needs one later on in the show.
Ø It is a little embarrassing to see actors try and dance awkwardly to the folksy, local dances of the era they are representing, but on the other hand, R&D exchange some great looks that speaks loads, so who cares. It is a good vehicle to take us to their joining of minds.
Ø Ross’s uncles’ home is pretentious, opulent and reeks of old money born from inequality and the snotty British Class System, but on the other hand, HOT DAMN I want that house!
Ø Ross is tag-teamed by the Warleggan version of Draco and Lucius Malfoy (another father son duo worthy of voodoo doll effigies) and it is unpleasant, but on the other hand, I will get to make a fun meme at their expense.
Ø George Warleggan seems to be everywhere at once and it is annoying as hell to see his influence over Francis and others, but on the other hand, it will make a great Drinking Game addition to down a glass every time the ubiquitous George pops in a scene: I will call it the 'George W. Lush Game' *snicker* Did you see what I did there?
Ø I am not overly excited about the actor they chose to play Francis (Kyle Soller), but on the other hand, Prince Harry can fill in as his understudy in case he gets sick.
Ø Jeffrey Poldark is a good strong name for the new baby, but on the other hand, it IS awfully close to the name Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones), who is associated with pain, bad luck and death. It could be a sign of bad things to come and…oops, never mind.
Ø I cannot stomach these gossipy conceited women, but on the other hand, if they ever do a 'Bitches of Eastwick' movie, these three are shoe-ins:
Ø It is SO romantic that Verity got a locket and miniature painting of her beloved, but on the other hand, who the hell is it? Can’t be Captain Blamey…but perhaps his evil twin? *yikes*
Ø Francis had gone a-whoring with Ms. Margaret and Ross can see that Elizabeth’s marriage is a farce, but on the other hand, if his feelings for her are really faded, then he can view it as her comeuppance for not waiting for him. A small taste of revenge for a man who is so decent, he probably won’t even enjoy it.
Ø How sweet is it that Demelza finds a dress, but on the other hand, too bad its Shrek Vomit green and looks dirty.
Ø It’s a key moment and a lovely one at that, when Ross, concerned about Demelza not having eaten, sets a place for her across from him and says ‘Eat now. Sit.’, as it signifies a whole new intimate side to their relationship where they look like a couple…but on the other hand, George Warleggan is probably under the table...*or in the window? Good Lord...
Ø Ross is a good man and is quite astute, but on the other hand:
Ø The Judge at Jim Carter's trial, the Reverend Halse, is a cold blooded, first class asshole who deserves to be tarred, feathered and run up a flagpole by his balls, stabbed with rusty forks and have his toenails removed with white hot pokers, but on the other hand, the actor playing the part is none other than Robin Ellis, the original Poldark for the 1970’s hit on PBS Masterpiece! He was brilliant!
Ø It is maddening and so very sad that young Jim is thrown in a disease infested jail, never seeing his new wife again and never meeting his wee baby daughter; neglected, abused, and probably dying in that hellish hole before he sees the age of 20, but on the other hand, the camera does catch a classic, well-centered Kodak moment as he suffers:
Ø Even though Demelza is distraught about her father wanting to take her back home, she shouldn’t be rifling through Ross’s things, but on the other hand, HOLY CRAP! Look at that amazing model ship on the desk! Me. Want. Now.
Ø Ross is distraught, angry, belligerent and should just go to bed, but on the other hand, this is a chance for him to see Demelza dressed as a lady and ‘one of his own class’, and maybe a spark would fly… if he’d only turn around. Ross… oh Ross!
Ø Demelza is caught in the ugliest dress this side of the solar system, that is not only unflattering to her athletic, boyish figure, but makes her chest look almost concave…but on the other hand, she could wear a burlap sack and a pair of bowling shoes and look stunningly gorgeous, so it’s okay.
Ø Poor Demelza can’t get out of her dress, but on the other hand, Ross can help. *which gives us this picture; the one that out-sexifies any other pre-sex/first-time/mad-epic-love picture ever made. Killer beautiful moment, perfectly acted and responsible for exploding ovaries worldwide (and for more revived sex lives in the United Kingdom than Tom Jones and Colin Firth put together). Like so many in-your-face shows that need explicit pseudo-porn sex to keep its viewership, Poldark will thrive on the classier Imagination Sex, which is always better anyway.
Ø It would ruin Demelza’s reputation forever and make her the laughing stock of her world AND paint her ruined for any other man if she is caught in bed with Ross, her Master and Upper Class man of Good Name and Position in Society... but on the other hand, she gets to wake up to this:
Ø Ross has to work bone-crunching hard to make his land a viable source of income and it is punishment on his body, but on the other hand, this is his body:
Ø Demelza sees Ross in a new light now, as a lover and a man she truly loves and this can only lead to heartache and trouble, but on the other hand, she gets to watch him with new eyes that sets her blood afire and she will have her memories of their night of love forever…and nobody can ever take that away from her.
* *wait, is that George again?
Ø The ocean is a calming force that helps one think clearly, but on the other hand, floating plastic bottles don’t belong in a period piece where plastic hasn't been invented yet.
Ø The landscape shots are lovely but too prevalent for a show that seems rushed already, but on the other hand, one does get a feeling that they are scouting for a chunk of Cornwall for POLDARKLAND. I am SO going when it’s built! Hope there is a Ride Ross feature…
Ø Ross did right by Demelza and got her to the church to marry her, but on the other hand, GODDAMN MASTERPIECE CUT THE SCENE SHORT and made their marriage a cliff hanger! "Do you Ross Vennor Poldark, take this woman to be you lawful wedded wife?"
Then ZIP! Clipped crescendo in the background music and then cut to closing credits.
Really PBS? That’s how you chose to play with the feelings and emotions of the viewers whose hearts are bursting with joy, waiting to hear the words ‘I DO’ in the sweetest moment in the lives of two wounded and hurting souls who have found each other against all odds, having stumbled onto true love and happiness?
That’s it then. You may or may not agree with all of my points, but admit it, you DO agree with the balls up the flagpole, right?