Rating: 3.5 Stars
From IMDB: Because of their “new money” background, four American girls have difficulty breaking into the upper-crust society of New York. Laura Testvalley, the governess of one of the girls, suggests a London season and thus the young women set sail for England and the unsuspecting English aristocracy. In England, all the girls soon find eligible husbands and the youngest girl, Nan, seems to land the best husband of them all: the handsome and very wealthy Julius, Duke of Trevennick. Nan and Julius meet for the first time in a ruin, which is an indication of where their marriage is soon heading. After the nuptials, Julius seems more interested in clocks and stable boys than Nan’s happiness, and all the girls soon discover that English upper-class men are not at all what they expected and hoped for.
Trailer (more of a summary):
I’ve had this in my instant queue on Netflix for probably a year now, waiting patiently. I’m sort of on a period piece/BBC Masterpiece Classic kick right now, so I’m watching a bunch of these mini-series that I’ve been meaning to get to.
On the whole, I enjoyed this series. My first impression was that all the women were very beautiful, and all the men, not so much. The only love interest that was attractive was Guy, and I was immediately like, oh, she’s OBVIOUSLY going to end up with him because everyone else is horrid. Plus he’s romantic and adorable and sweet. But I digress.
The story starts out fairly depressing and only gets worse. Four American girls (nicknamed The Buccaneers) travel to London to participate in the London season, as they are unfairly shut out of New York society. They one by one snag rich English husbands, and find that married life for women of their position and level in society is quite the opposite of “happily ever after”. More like misery, sadness, affairs, illness, etc.
The only bright moment was Nan and Guy’s relationship. They were pretty adorable. Nan’s storyline reminded me of “The Duchess” (Keira Knightly, Ralph Fiennes) although it wasn’t QUITE that miserable. It makes me so thankful that I live in a day and age where women aren’t treated like possessions. It was painful to watch at times. Being able to come back to focus on Nan and Guy at times was like a breath of fresh air. There was another of the girls (I honestly don’t remember which one) who was randomly happily married and that was nice as well, although her story wasn’t very important (obviously, since I can’t remember who it was).
The costumes are GORGEOUS, as they should be in a period piece. I love the clothing for this era; I think it’s so feminine and absolutely beautiful. It was interesting to see the transition of the girls from “teenagers” to wives through their hair and costumes.
It took me FOREVER to figure out the actress who plays Nan is Carla Gugino, the same actress who is the mom in Spy Kids. Fun fact for you there. I thought all the acting was good. No one really stood out as absolutely excellent (although Gugino and the actress playing the governess were very good), but I didn’t feel there were any particularly weak performances.
If you’re a fan of period pieces, it’s worth the watch.