Last summer, I came home one day to my husband telling me about a show he’d caught on PBS. It was a BBC drama cabout a British captain who returned from the American Revolution to find his father dead, the love of his life engaged to his cousin, and his estate in ruin. It had an odd name that I had a hard time remembering: “Poldark.”
My first thought was, “Meh. Maybe I’ll watch one show with Jesse just because he enjoyed it so much.”
By the end of the first episode, I was utterly and completely hooked. And yet as I talked about it on social media like I often do, I realized very few people even knew what I was talking about.
A few weeks ago, my husband Jesse and I decided we would rewatch Season One in anticipation of Season Two, which premieres on PBS September 25th. Last Monday, I posted on Facebook about the show and encouraged people to watch it. In the last 24 hours, I’ve had at least 10 people tell me they are almost done with Season One, have binge watched Season One or are completely done with it and LOVE IT. Literally, people have texted me today, private messaged me on Facebook, commented on my post from last week, or told me in-person how much they are enjoying the show. So this leads me to believe that many of you would also love “Poldark,” but you just probably don’t know it.
I know, I know, everyone is into “Stranger Things” right now.
Yet I promise you, “Poldark” is a show you’ll want to see, for so many reasons.
First, the setting is absolutely beautiful. It’s the late 1700s and Ross Poldark has an estate outside of town. With a tricorn hat upon his head, he rides his horse to and fro along the Cornwall coast of England. Towering cliffs give magnificent views of the sea. Every time the opening sequence plays, I say, “It’s just so beautiful!” Every. Time.
Secondly, the characters are well developed and deep. You learn to really hate the villains and really love the hero (which is usually Ross). But more than that, each character has a well-placed role in the story. Not one person feels thrown in. Ross’s cousin has you feeling sorry for him in one scene and in the next, you want to give a big Liz Lemon eye roll at his childish antics. I also love that the characters develop well over the series. I find myself wanting to know more about their lives and their hearts. I know, I know. It’s a show.
Thirdly, the historical setting is perhaps even better than the physical setting. The late 1700s is not exactly modern times. For the upper crust of society, life is grand, but not that grand. Don’t feel too bad for them, though. They still have a far better existence than the poor of Cornwall. Copper mines are closing and many are out of work while the rich still enjoy lavish parties and a good roof over their heads. It’s this social divide that probably makes “Poldark” so appealing.
We love seeing the underdog win. We love seeing injustices righted. With “Poldark,” you will find yourself rooting for Ross as he fights tooth and nail against his own class of “gentlemen”. As my cousin wisely pointed out, “Ross basically always tries to do the right thing, bad things happen, then everyone hates him.” For example, he tries to stand up for a poor young boy who is about to face a terrible sentence for a minor crime. The boy was poaching on someone else’s land so that he could feed his family. The rich, arrogant magistrate has absolutely no sympathy and ignores Ross’s pleas for mercy on behalf of the boy. Time and time again we see Ross walking a fine line between the class of his birth, and the peasant class he attempts to serve by providing jobs, food, and shelter. He bucks the social rules of his class while also trying to maintain them as needed.
Lastly, the love story that unfolds is truly beautiful. I simply cannot go into detail without giving more away of Season One. But seriously . . . it’s so very good. To see true love blossom, even if it starts out quite rocky and even if it starts out pretty inappropriately, overall, it’s a beautiful love story that you only hope lasts forever.
“Poldark” seems to be just under the radar at this point in the US. I hope that with the premiere of Season Two, it will gain momentum because it’s definitely on par with “Downton Abbey.” I cannot wait for the second season to start and I hope you can catch up with Season One soon. Find it on Amazon Prime, and let me know what you think of Season Two, which aires on PBS on Sunday, September 25th!
If you already watch “Poldark.” tell me why you love (or hate) it!
*Featured image from PBS.org