& Moira Bianchi: Sanditon: the TV SHOW's characters

terça-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2020

Sanditon: the TV SHOW's characters

The so talked about TV show is finally on in the US!

Oh boy, I am still not sure what to say about it!
The first episode is sooo all-over-the-place!...

Here in Brazil we watched it through streaming and it caused quite a stir... Fanfics, petitions for another season, swwons for gorgeous men...
You see, SANDITON is not very known here, few people recognized the title as a Jane Austen work. Before it started, I composed a juicy translated abridgement with quotes to introduce the smallish novel to anyone interested to read it. I presented it in two parts: chapters and characters.
For me it was specially fun because I got to study Austen's work before Mr. Andrew Davies showed his view and I must say I was very surprised with the comparison. 

So, curious as I was, I found on Hello! magazine site a listing of the show's characters to which I'll add my personal view - since now I have watched it all. 
CAREFUL: spoilers ahead.

You'll find the original here'The ultimate Sanditon character guide - from Charlotte Heywood to Sidney Parker' or you may come with me with all my comments. In the end, Sanditon TV is kind of a salad of fanfics and mad theories of what Austen thought seasoned to please contemporary viewers/readers. 

Well, of that I can admit a certain guilt...    

Here you go, the TV characters compared to Austen's.
Let's go!
This scene, so much fun...
Ah!... Au mer, allons y!

Charlotte Heywood

The main character is a mix of Northanger Abbey's naive Catherine with P&P's headstrong Lizzy. 
Adorable girl from a small village enchanted with society and meeting new people. She has a keen sence of observation, sharp tongue she can't control, and is silly enough to say whatever comes to her mind as any heart of gold girl should have.
Charlotte likes Sanditon very much, enjoys the company of her guests, the Parkers, (who she has met a few days before her parents allowed her to set off with them), and as she is from a very confined society, she has no high expectations of how rich life is supposed to be. Neither of the dealings with cunning folks.
A modern heroine - let me not fail to repeat MODERN - with opinions and risk-taking. At some point she is a working girl, even if still irresponsible and gullible.
>> Well, in Austen's canon, she makes it very clear how simple minded Charlotte is, I agree with the Catherine Morland comparison. Maybe not as gullible, but still so much so. I'd say  Catherine + Fanny Price.

Sidney Parker

His indifference and haughtiness are all from P&P's Mr. Darcy, but he is prone to jokes and teasings as Northanger Abbey's Henry Tilney. Prepair to swoon. especially for his... mmm... figure!) In spite of a brief meeting of him with Charlotte in canon, Sidney was created to be her romantic interest. Very handsome and clever, rich, he is the perfect Austen hero. The black sheep of the Parker family, impredictable, restless, mysterious, and back at Sanditon. His history includes business in the Antilles and a broken heart.
He is often put out with Charlotte's way of saying what she thinks, but that is exactly what attracts him.
>> Sidney has no voice in canon, he appears at the last moment before Austen stopped. But, by the manner she paints him, he has NOTHING of Darcy, Brandon, Wentworth or Knightley. Nothing at all of the most famous heroes of Austen. He is said to be fun, teasing, full of jokes and good humor all the time. Maybe Tilney meeting Bingley. I thought his brooding very exagerated on the first episodes. 
Handsome, oh yes! Furious for no reason too. You didn't need to be so rude, darling... Really. 
This five-o'clock-shadow - Was it fashionable in Regency era?...

Lady Denham

Kind of  P&P's Lady Catherine de Bourgh, overbearing and rude an all, but also Mansfield Park's Mrs. Norris, with her cruelty and love for riches. The great dame of Sanditon, Lady Denham has 2 deceased husbands, a title and fortune that many young relatives want to get once she passes away. Seems foolish, but is an eagle. Well sketched in the canon, she would be a great oponent to the best Austen female vilains. 
>> I agree, but she is also a gossip; could well fit in Emma's Highbury. Too rude, though, excessively so. I bet she believes that once a person has passed a certain age, everything is allowed. It's not, milady. One has always to care for words are swords.

Tom Parker & Mary Parker

Tom is kind and trusting as P&P's Bingley, while Mary is a mix of Northanger Abbey's Mrs. Allen + Persuasion's Lady Russell. 
He is head of the family and town, its biggest investor and master mind. Rich by inheritance, he takes too many risks. The wife is suportive even if sometimes she needs to take the reins. 
>> IMO, he has a lot of the good in Lady Susan's Mr. Vernon. Bingley, I'm not sure. Not so many smiles and easy laughs, I suppose. Enthusiastically, yeah... As for the wife, in canon it is hinted she is the lucid one in this marriage. 

Young Stringer

The magazine compared his good intentions to Emma's Mr. Knightley, although I find it odd because the main characteristic of Mr K for me is seriousness and Stringer is charming. Lovely dude, he is. Tom Parker's contractor is ambitious and competent, drawn to Charlotte's open nature. They surely cause a stir in one another... I'd say they fit. And form a kind of a triangle with Sidney.
>> In canon it's only mentioned that's he and his father have a fruit shop or something like it. But they actually got quite a good spot in the TV show and frankly, Charlotte would do well with him... I can even concoct a nice fanfic for them.

Diana Parker & Arthur Parker

Of the 3 sickly siblings, only Arthur & Diana lasted, and they got a humorous coloring. He is a good guy, she is a gossip. The magazine compared them to Persuasion's Mr Elliot and P&P's Mrs Bennet but I see them both as Emma's Harriet: naive and good-at-heart. They live together, repeat to be invalid for their many illnesses that are never proven, but drink, eat and exercise as normal people. Maybe a bit too much at times. Hypocondryacs as Emma's Mr. Woodhouse, you'll see. 
>> The most sickly sister, Susan, was cut and joined in them both. In a way it was for the good because she used rather extreme health methods in canon. Here in Brazil Arthur was seen as victim of fat phobia, real prejudice against him. 

Sir Edward Denham & Esther Denham

The worst in Mansfield Park's Henry Crawford and Northanger Abbey's Isabella Thorpe. Half siblings with something more, greed, evil machinations, spiteful grudges all mixed up. Do not let me give out their secret here - although it'spretty clear. Plus, they have something of S&S's John & Fanny Dashwood, in avarice. Sir Edward and Esther are half brothers in line to inherited Lady Denham fortune (her late husband was the baronet whose money she kept and title passed to the nephew). He is handsome, vain, obviously whicked. She is also handsome, sour, constantly in a bad mood. We only have to wonder why...
>> Well... Right from the start these two take us by surprise and, oh dear! He does have a lot of Anne Elliot's father (Persuasion) since he is a broke baronet, also a lot of Emma's Frank Churchil - have I told you I consider this to be Austen's greatest vilain? Oh, well, here I go telling you spoilers... And, of course, last but not least, P&P's Wickham! 
Edward and Clara on the green... urgh! Please, don't! It's disgusting.
Esther is a hurricane at first, but then... Ah! *delighted smile*

Clara Brereton

Mansfield Park's Fanny Price in status since she is an inpoverished niece but, do not fool yourself, very S&S's Lucy Steele underneath. Seems to be a good girl, but is determined and fights with arms and teeth to get her share of the old lady's fortune. Is a good oponent to the Denham brothers. 
>> In canon she promises to be much of a wallflower, like a P&P's Jane Bennet, although she can see through Sir Edward's schemes. Maybe a mix o Jane and Charlotte. That'd be nice, right? Anyway, in canon, her scene on the green with the baronet is not so... graphic. Almost compromising, but not quite. Could be, though. here on TV... Why, why, why?... 

Miss Lambe

Persuasion's Louisa Musgrove, the crazy gal who wants it all, and wants it now! She's the 'half-mulatto' from the Indies, rich as Emma or P&P's Georgiana Darcy, also as naive as both. Right, a young girl with so much money, she had to be guarded. She has open animonisity to her guardian, Sidney, and hates Sanditon so she is ready to cause trouble. Just wait and see. Of course, befriends Charlotte. Ha! 
>> In canon she is said to have lighter skin, and do not see any prejudice in me, please. Half mulato I understood as my color, deep browned or something. But in this TV show she is black and the reason to go to Sanditon is related to Sidney, not to the school of refinement. In canon it could have had something to do with him too since he arrives in town shortly after her, but it is not said. Let me tell you that, this show has a few moments of extremely bad taste in prejudice, they forget prejudice sometimes and then, suddenly, they remember it with a vengeance... Weird!  Anyway, it's said she's worth 100.000, as much as Mr Darcy. A girl worth that much would have to go down many people's throat, huh?

Also, these characters are not in canon nor the magazine article, but keep them in mind:

A happy widow that appears out of nowhere and decides everything at the last moment.

A rich know-it-all that also appears as magic and is barely used in plot. A pity.

This is it.
for now.

I've made several posts as I watched it, later I'll work on those.
The last episode is already in English, if you (like me) enjoy a spoiler. Here.

This city maquette is awesome!

I'm about to realease a new JAFF
while I don't, check out my last one...
a free read

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