Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Any Human Heart Episode 2 on PBS/Masterpiece

Any Human Heart- The Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Gillian Anderson and Tom Hollander)
I didn't want to miss the second installment of the fascinating series Any Human Heart. I've seen a lot of Matthew Macfadyen lately, as I have just finished the lovely Little Dorrit (review coming soon) and my guys have been watching him (and his love Keeley Hawes) on Spooks/MI5. We're on Macfadyen overload but it's all good. I'm getting to know every scar on his face in HD!

Matthew Macfadyen as Logan Mountstuart

This is a very entertaining series. Logan certainly has a good sex life, even though PBS apparently cut a good 40 minutes or so of skin etc. for the more conservative North American audience.  His encounters with the rich and famous are rather amusing, especially with Tom Hollander and Gillian Anderson as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  I rather enjoyed the Duke and Duchess's comeuppance tonight especially as I am now quite partial to King George VI and his bride Elizabeth, due in part to my affection for the film The King's Speech.

Kim Cattrall as Gloria Scabius (causes a few scabs!)
I have truly enjoyed this series, although I don't think it is one that I really wish to purchase and watch again soon.  At times heartbreaking, (no spoilers here) and at other times uplifting, I have to say interesting is probably the best adjective I can pull out to describe this one.  I do have one small beef however.

This is a personal thing which others may disagree with.  I watch most of these shows with my husband.  He is acutely aware of the presence of suicides in movies and television as he had a close member of his family commit suicide.  There is oftentimes a suicide in the films I watch with him, even though I try to avoid downer type films.  It seems to be an all too common way to move a plot these days.  In this episode of Any Human Heart there were no less than 4 (we counted them...4!) suicides or attempted suicides shown.  I think there must be some defect with the story telling ability of this author if he requires 4 instances in one episode, although admittedly one of them was historical and not fictional.  Although I realize that this subject should not be avoided if it is necessary to tell the story, it is too often, I am afraid, shorthand for "this person is unhappy" and I think that is what has happened in this series.

Next week we get more of Jim Broadbent as Logan Mountstuart Senior!

OK, rant over but I just had to have my say on this topic.  Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or if you disagree. I'd love to know what others think.

But don't let this turn you off of this wonderful series.  I am truly looking forward to next week when Jim Broadbent takes over as Logan.  I adore Jim Broadbent who will forever hold a special place in my heart as Bridget Jones's dad.  See you next week!


  1. Despite Matthew's appearance, I couldn't get into this series. I bailed after one-half of the first episode. It seems to be one of those series where you either like it or you don't.

  2. I am interested in the series, but I don't love it that's for sure. It sort of skims over a lot and doesn't really pull you in to the story. I'll let you know what I think after the conclusion next week.

  3. Hi Jenny:

    I found a copy of "A Child's Christmas in Whales" at the local library. Is this movie suitable to watch with children?

  4. Hi Olga
    Re: A Child's Christmas in Wales
    Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes! Did I mention yes? If you have a child who doesn't mind slowing down to the pace of the last century for an hour or so, this one is magical. My grown kids love this as they have watched it with me every Christmas from when they were little. It would work all through the winter however as it isn't too Christmassy (sp?).
    The singing in this one will tug at your heartstrings. Lots of humour in it too (the firemen in the parlour, the kids writing "Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel" in the snow).
    I have bought the illustrated book for children in the family too, but this would probably work better after being familiar with the film.

  5. I found Gillian Anderson's portrayal of the Duchess of Windsor somewhat over-the-top and vulgar. Will the British ever recover from the 1936 Abdication?




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