Susan Trenchard saves the day – and her own scheming, lying ass! This concludes the recounting of the surprising parts of the Belgravia (first season?) finale. Every single story element clicked into place, exactly as it was loudly foreshadowed in every scene prior. Charles Pope miraculously turns out to be the legitimate heir to the Brockenhurst title, Maria wins over her heretofore angry and kind of awful mother, Lady Templemore, John Bellasis is a fugitive from the law, Susan and Oliver get a wholly outrageous happy ending, the Trenchard family’s standing is elevated further, and Mrs. Trenchard and Lady Brockenhurst are now good friends. Believable? Not a bit of it. Satisfying? Maybe, but in a cheap candy bar sort of way. It gives you what you paid for, but you don’t wind up feeling like you got a quality version of what you wanted.
Say what you will about Julian Fellowes and his idiosyncracies and obsessions, but we tend to think he’s better off launching an actual series than trying to tell this kind of story and wrap it all up in one season. He’s already hinted that he’d be willing to continue Belgravia as a series, but that would mean devising entirely new storylines for these characters, which probably won’t work as well since he gave them all such definitive happy (or appropriately tragic) endings. We only wish he’d had the idea for a second season before concluding the first in such a rushed and somewhat cheap manner. The last ten minutes or so had some of the worst dialogue and acting in the entire series because everyone was forced to raise their glasses or plight their troth in some of the most hackneyed speeches imaginable.
Having said that, would we come back for a second season with these characters? Oh hell, yes. We wouldn’t go into it expecting Jane Austen, but then again, we didn’t go into this first season expecting anything more than what we got. In the end, it’s always about the scheming, the social order being disrupted, the teacups and great houses, the servants and fine furniture, and of course, the gowns, the gowns, the gowns. Maybe next season he can add tiaras to the mix and have them all pay a visit to Queen Victoria. It’s not like he didn’t go that route with Downton Abbey every now and then to shake things up.
Our only advice and plea to him should he continue with this cast is for God’s sake, give Harriet Walter, Tom Wilkinson and Tamsin Greig something to do. All three actors were wasted in roles that asked them to underplay every scene they were in, with motivations that were barely ever sketched out or explained. Even now, we have no idea why Lady Brockenhurst was always so keen to ruin Lady Maria’s relationship with her mother.
Ah, well. Let’s look at the pretty clothes and not ask any more of it.
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“The Politician” Season 2 | Premiere Date, Key Art and First Images