I have to admit that I gave the fifth episode a repeat viewing after reviewing it here, this time with my husband and found it just as embarrassing as those cripplingly awful incidents in my adolescence when I would be innocently watching television with my grandparents only to have a sex scene occur before our startled gaze. I initially considered doing what I used to do back then and pretending that I didn’t know what they were doing but then rejected this notion on the grounds that either he wouldn’t believe me or he would be terribly offended. I therefore resorted to pretending that I wasn’t watching, laughing nervously and talking about the weather in the curiously high pitched voice adopted by the British middle classes when they find themselves in a potentially awkward situation.
It was with some relief therefore that I noted that the sixth episode of Desperate Romantics had hardly any sex at all so I was able to watch it without any embarrassment whatsoever! Hurrah. However, it also lacked Charles Dickens which was a terrible shame.
The final installment had a far more morose and gloomy feel than the rest of the series, but the quality of the writing and the flashes of humour remained undiminished, even if they were leavened by a heavy dose of tragedy and woe.
I don’t want to spoil the final episode for those who are unacquainted with the story of the Pre-Raphaelites (I ruined it for Dave by assuming an unwarranted depth of knowledge about artists in general and Rossetti in particular and am determined not to do so again) but suffice to say that there is misery a plenty in the final episode. Purists are no doubt dismayed by the lack of accuracy but I hardly think it matters as those who are interested will look it up or read a book and find out more and those who aren’t interested will just forget all about it and move on to the next thing.
I don’t expect Art History students to start producing essays based on the version of events in Desperate Romantics any more than I expect History students to write essays about the Reformation According To The Tudors. It just isn’t going to happen.
Something wasn’t quite right about this final episode though. It felt rushed and uneasy and unconvincing and is it just me or did the very ending seem to leave things open for a sequel? Is there room for Desperate Romantics Part Two? I think there might be.
I really need some Pre-Raphaelite posters for the flat!