The Pursuit of Love – BBC 1


I feel as if I should have some very strong opinions about this, seeing as it’s in the sacred Sunday 9pm slot; but I haven’t.  It wasn’t particularly good.  It wasn’t particularly bad.  I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on how faithful it was to that.  Most of the characters were intensely irritating, and some of them were so OTT that it was difficult to take them seriously; but I assume that they were meant to be like that.   And not an awful lot actually happened.

Having names popping up and pinging noises was silly and infantilising; it would have been better to have used pop music from the appropriate era; and I really didn’t get that bizarre fantasy scene with Lord Merlin prancing around.  And what was going on with two cousins in their late teens sharing a bath?  Sharing a bath with a sibling or cousin when you’re 7 is one thing, but, when you’re 17, it’s extremely weird.

However, the costumes were great, and the shots of various glorious stately homes were lovely.  But Pride and Prejudice, or even Downton Abbey, this ain’t.  We’re not going to be talking about it in 26 years’ time.  We aren’t even going to be talking about it in 26 weeks’ time.  But there’s nothing else on on Sunday nights, and it was entertaining enough, so I’ll be sticking with it.

It’s based on the book by Nancy Mitford.  I will read it at some point, but I’ve never understood all the fuss about the Mitfords and I don’t think that this is going to change my mind about that.

We’ve got two upper-class cousins, Linda and Fanny, in the 1930s.  Fanny’s mother, known as “the Bolter”, ran off when Fanny was a baby, leaving her with an auntie, and she (Fanny) has somehow ended up living with another auntie and uncle, plus their numerous offspring, who include Linda.  Linda’s dad is a pantomimish type who thinks that women shouldn’t be educated and all foreigners are baddies, and rides around yelling that he hates children.  The children spend a lot of time hiding in cupboards.  They have a neighbour called Lord Merlin.  Linda marries a banker who has a bit of German ancestry.

Er, and that seemed to be about it.

Maybe it gets more interesting later on …



9 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Love – BBC 1

  1. Yes, you’ve done a good job of summing up my take on it, too. I’ve certainly been recommended the next book that Nancy Mitford wrote (Love in A Cold Climate) but I do like my characters to have a modicum of intrigue rather than being too extreme. I’ve not read the book either, but I expect it was quite scandalous for it’s time and now the screenwriter has probably ‘sexed it up’ a notch further. However, from my scant knowledge of the Mitford sisters, I think there are quite a few autobiographical aspects (tweaked) within the story. I’ll bear with it, especially as there are only 2 more episodes but I don’t think I’ve gained an awful lot of entertainment from it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nothing seemed to happen! I thought the girls’ romances would be full of twists and turns, like in Jane Austen books, but Linda danced with someone once, visited him once, and then got married!


  2. mrsredboots

    Love in a Cold Climate, the sequel, is about a sexually molested child who marries her abuser and destroys her family in the process; and incidentally about society’s attitude to gays in the 1930s. But it is a far from grim read, any more than is The Pursuit of Love, which is basically about a serial adulteress who dies in childbirth. Where I take issue with the TV version is that it is really not about Fanny vs Linda – Fanny is the narrator, but there is no hint of discontent – rather the contrary, you get the feeling that Fanny reckons her own life is superior to Linda’s (although anybody would have loved eleven months of unalloyed happiness).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen the series, and I agree with some points in your review which leads me to conclude that it did not give proper justice to Milford’s writing style. The cinematography is not perfect, but it gives me a (failed) Wes Anderson-ish vibe. And I yes, the wardrobe was beautiful and some songs used were great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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