Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pass me a paintbrush, I've come over desperately Romantic!

I think I'm turning in a squirrel - I've been hoarding posts like you wouldn't believe. I was going to post tonnes and tonnes tonight, but I got distracted.

However, there is one post that I cannot leave for another day, because if I do, the series will be over, and there'll be no point.

'Desperate Romantics' is made in the spirit of 'Lost in Austen' (and you'll remember how much I loved that!). Irreverent, modern and completely mad are all epithets that could be attached to this BBC 2 romp; but it is also a highly original and illuminating take on the lives of the Romantic Brotherhood. Men such as Millais and Holman Hunt, who are now revered and looked up to as men of the age, are here shown as the struggling artists they were to begin with. Add the exotic dash of Rosetti, and the prudence of Ruskin, with his ignored wife, and you have the makings of an excellent BBC drama.

True enough, even with period costumes, it's not entirely your usual Beeb drama ... the Guardian critic said a few weeks ago that when all three strut down the street (as they tended to do early on, in their search for the perfect model) the soundtrack to Reservoir Dogs could have been played. Well, it's not quite that bad, although I do feel like humming the Ride of the Valkyries at certain moments.

Anyway, you should definitely catch the last three parts if you can - if nothing else, you get to see quite a few paintings in various stages of completion. The background to Millias's Ophelia, without an Ophelia, is really rather intriguing!

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