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Tara Ariano

S01.E04: The Clockwork Prince

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This one will pick up after the last one when she first laid eyes on Albert.  Since he was her cousin, she may have seen him a few years ago before he bloomed into a handsome young man. She was actually rather fond of her uncle Leopold, but I'm sure she quickly began ito find everyone wanting to set her up to be tiresome.

She was definitely struck by the thunderbolt. Reminded of the scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone first laid eyes on his young Sicilian bride.

i guess we'll have to see how their life together is depicted in these series. We all know for the most part, that in royal and aristocratic families, the idea that "we don't get to marry who we want" was very much understood by the high born. Marriages were for getting titles or for political alliances and to produce an heir. A love match was definitely a bonus.

Edited by Arwen Evenstar · Reason: I need coffee
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The actor playing Albert could definitely sub in for Werner Herzog to narrate in any future projects. It's not just the accent, it's the softness of his voice, and the cadence. I kept expecting something traumatic or harrowing or bizarre to happen when he spoke. And I love him!

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Well call me sappy, but I totally squeed at the end.  I was sucked in.  Even though they are painting Victoria as a young girl with a crush who changes for a boy, I still thought it was very sweet they way he fell for her.

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Sappy here as well! I really liked the way the actors played off of each other, and how their scenes were written. They had/have a great chemistry and I totally bought that they had fallen for each other. Whether it was true to history or not, I enjoyed how Albert caused Victoria to reassess things about which she'd become complacent. A fresh perspective is often welcome, and a fresh perspective from someone you're falling for even moreso.

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Hey, I think I would have fallen for Albert too. A guy who bears a passing resemblance to a young Daniel Day-Lewis who appreciates art, cares about the poor and can set my dog's broken leg? *fans self*

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I had the opposite opinion.  I was utterly bored by this episode.  I didn't see any great love.  I just saw two people who really seemed to dislike each other.  Then it was like a light switch got turned on, they were running through the woods and he helps her injured dog and then bam their fate is sealed.

Seemed like there was less downstairs stuff than before (if the Italian cook was on I completely blocked him out because I didn't see him) but what there was still grated.  I knew that the dresser wouldn't keep the collar for herself but I rolled my eyes when she visited her former prostitute co-worker.  I know I am supposed to cry at the plight of the prostitute co-worker, but I just don't care.

I am sadly losing interest.  Instead of watching with rapt attention, I am now watching while washing dishes.  And I realised that I always save shows that I am lukewarm on for dishwashing.  Sad.  I want to like it so much, but Melbourne is the best part of this series and he seems to be fading in the background.

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Yessssssss-sss-ssssssss...

I see from the previous posts that many of us are members of the Vapors Club.

One of my favorite books is a biography of Benjamin Disraeli, Victoria's later-in-life Melbourne & probably the historical figure I most admire.  I remember the line about V & A's first meeting: "...and from the time she met him, she would have no other."

Silly aside: when Leopold was winding up Melbourne re: Vic's impending marriage, and he began, "...you will find your job less..." I yelled, " 'Onerous'!" and then he said, "...onerous."

And I crossed off "onerous" on my Victoria Bingo card.

Edited by voiceover · Reason: Because not all of us are members of the Vapors Club.
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This is the episode that got me on board.  Okay, I confess.  I was waiting for Albert to appear and the real romance to start.  I like the chemistry between the actors, so Victoria and her Prince are working for me.  Albert's initial discomfort and awkwardness were painful to watch, but I liked how he got Victoria to start looking outside of herself and her privileged world.  Of course they grated on each other initially, but the attraction was apparent from their first hello.  I'm good with ignoring all the parts of the series that bug me now (the kitchen people and their issues) because I've got Victoria and Albert to fixate on.  Oh!  And I loved it when she asked if she should ask her question and he replied, "I wish you would."  Puppy mention.  Dash is too stinking cute.  I love him.    

Edited by taurusrose
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47 minutes ago, voiceover said:

Yessssssss-sss-ssssssss...

I see from the previous posts that many of us are members of the Vapors Club.

One of my favorite books is a biography of Benjamin Disraeli, Victoria's later-in-life Melbourne & probably the historical figure I most admire.  I remember the line about V & A's first meeting: "...and from the time she met him, she would have no other."

Interesting fact: Ian McShane, years ago, played Disraeli in a MT series. I've always felt that Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell could play father and son.

I kept waiting for Victoria to ask Leopold, "Don't you have a country to get back to?"

I was pissed that Alfred left Victoria to pick Dash up and carry him back. Did Dash get caught in a poacher's trap? Poor baby.

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5 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

Interesting fact: Ian McShane, years ago, played Disraeli in a MT series. 

Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic.  Until he played Al Swearingen in Deadwood, I always thought it was his best role.  Now it's tied.

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I loved the romance, too, but, yes, let's talk about the kitchen.

I'll put this here, rather than the True History thread because my education about servant life comes from "Upstairs/Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey. "  Based on those, the Queen's servants seem little better than "Poldark's," Jud and Prudy.  Come on!  In a world where most people were servants these jobs would have been the very pinnacle of achievement.  Think of the pride Hudson and Rose took in their positions and their attitude that the people they served were a reflection of themselves.  They were all about creating perfection and reverence for their "betters."  These scruffy cellar dwellers seem to be living below a seedy London restaurant and not Buckingham Palace.  What ex-prostitute gets to be Lady's Maid to the Queen?  Weren't references asked?  I'm going to start saving my dishes for their part.

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Albert's mustache looks really out of place on the guy's face (to me, anyway).  It's as if Albert grew one not because it was a cool thing for guys to do back then, but a way to prevent others from thinking he's 12. 

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8 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

Interesting fact: Ian McShane, years ago, played Disraeli in a MT series. I've always felt that Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell could play father and son.

Thank you! For a few years, I've done a double-take whenever I see one of them to confirm which of the two I'm watching. And both so handsome, so, there's that.

7 hours ago, humbleopinion said:

The actors playing Victoria and Prince Albert are a couple in real life...chemistry, indeed.

Aha! Did not know that! Nice!

5 hours ago, IrishPirate said:

And of course the guy in the kitchen speaks fluent German...

I saw that development coming, and it was fun to see. Wish it had been played up a bit more, although he IS a bit scruffy to be head butler(?) in the QUEEN'S household. When you aren't as put together as the personal valet to a minor German prince, maybe you could stand to put the flask down and step up your game a bit. Just sayin'...

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although he IS a bit scruffy to be head butler(?)

I guess Mr Carson has spoiled me for head butlers forever.  I didn't realize this guy (he'll always be Uncle on Doctor Who to me) was the butler.  I figured he had some under-position. 

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I love the upstairs part of this series.  This episode was dreamy!  Although it was painful to watch Lord M in the shadows.  I love the way they built up the relationship of Victoria and Albert so quickly.

Can totally do without the downstairs, dark and dingy, with uninteresting glum faced characters.  How is it that people can just walk into the kitchen of the Palace by way of a dark alley?

Plus Skerrit is just Lagohaire from Outlander.

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10 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

I was pissed that Alfred left Victoria to pick Dash up and carry him back. Did Dash get caught in a poacher's trap? Poor baby.

I was too!  And then, to make it worse, it appeared that Vicki completely forgot about her poor beloved dog as she watched the prince stomp off.  At least the director had the wisdom to show us the dog was safe with her in the carriage.

I'm not sure if it was a poacher's trap or a game keeper's trap that Dash tripped.  There was definitely a "snap" sound effect just before you heard the dog crying out.  I thought the poor dog was lucky that it only had a broken leg.  Those traps are nasty, nasty things.

And, yes, the dog's health is more important than any drama, upstairs or downstairs.

1 hour ago, Suzysite said:

  I didn't realize this guy (he'll always be Uncle on Doctor Who to me) was the butler. 

I missed that!  I thought his voice was familiar but did not place the face.  I certainly did not recognize Eve Myles, Gwen Cooper of Torchwood, as Mrs Jenkins!

==================================

o/t - while was was looking up the actress' name, I saw her most recent tweet and thought I would share.  Kids!  At least the child is showing interest in books!

Eve Myles ‏@TeamEveMyles  Jan 28

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6.15am my 7yrold shouts from her room 'Mam is it ok if I read that DICKHEADS book'..my response through tears ' DICKENS darling DICKENS'!!!!

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but Melbourne is the best part of this series and he seems to be fading in the background.

Like Melbourne, like Sewell but alas history must be repeated.  lol

Please, please did anyone here NOT notice Ernest for Coburg's sake? I found him hilarious - his expressions especially. He stole the show for me. I am looking forward to his escapades. Albert is one brooding specimen.

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And of course the guy in the kitchen speaks fluent German...

He's been working in a household with a LOT of German speakers for a long time. No doubt, he was waiting for the moment when he could break it out. Interesting that the Baroness did not know he could speak/understand German.

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Ugh, I really want to like this series, but I find it so boring and dark.  Albert is a snooty art student/minor royal.  I'm having trouble reconciling this Albert with the one in Young Victoria.  Even looking at actual history, I thought Albert and Victoria were on good terms and even friendly but this series makes it appear that they were distant cousins at best and Victoria was annoyed that he even showed up.  I guess she found it attractive that he kept correcting and challenging her?  Are we supposed to think she immediately found him handsome when she looked up at him for the first time?  I wonder how many people find this pairing having chemistry because the actors are dating in real life?  Obviously they end up together, I just think maybe a different set of circumstances, like actually showing them liking each other in each others presence, would've been helpful.

I'm so confused about the ladies maid, was she or wasn't she a prostitute?  I know she said she worked in the laundry, but what is her tie to the woman with the baby?  Are they sisters? Coworkers?  I realize the woman must've been the one actually hired for the position in the palace, but must've become pregnant so the other girl took the job?

The best part of the episode for me was the butler breaking out his German, and of course all of the staff knew he could do it except for the new guy.

Poor Lord M, he tries to decline the Queen's invitations but she won't hear of it, but then he's forced to watch their stilted courtship?  He's still sending her flowers, surely she must know that this would be hard for him to watch.  And we know she knows this because her Lady in Waiting and Albert have both pointed out Lord M's affection towards her.

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I never got the sense for a second that Albert respected Victoria, only that he admired her and for me, that isn't enough.

I didn't see it that way. He was a man coming to marry a woman -  not just a queen's husband like he kept muttering to himself. The respect should come later when he starts to get used to her being monarch and having royal superiority over him. That ought to take time to develop. Right now it is just a connection based on simple admiration and attraction. I didn't expect them to stuff in all the dynamics in one episode. Frankly it will be interesting to me to see how he deals with the whole 'my wife, the queen' phase which is inevitable.

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Boy, do opinions differ. This might be the episode that loses me. I saw zero chemistry with Albert (and it doesn't help Tom Hughes that his Albert's romantic "rival" is played by Rufus Sewell.) He is dour, humorless, disapproving, and borderline socially inept. I know that historically Albert was pragmatic and/or phlegmatic, but damn, son. You know perfectly well why you're there, and no you don't have to like it but it's still the reality of your world. The show made it seem like Victoria had to pursue Albert, when she was actually the more desirable mate. The constant negging, ugh. And there's poor Jenna Coleman, working her ass off to convince us of her fascination, as Hughes mumbles through a fake mustache that was almost as bad as George Lucas' beard in Legends of Tomorrow. The scene with the flower and the knife on the dance floor - I had to turn away in secondhand embarrassment.

The below-stairs drama was cliche after trope, and while the butler's German putdown of the valet had a certain satisfaction the dude's a sleaze robbing the household so I can't root for him except for in that moment. 

Hopefully Hughes will get better, but for me he's not holding a candle to Rupert Friend's Albert, who while still formal and distant still seemed sweet, and was clearly present in his interactions with Victoria, not dissing her in a flailing attempt to continue a conversation. I did like the actor who played Ernst, and wished he was playing Albert. He always shows up as the brother or second son, usually louche and irresponsible, and sometimes in very bad wigs (The White Queen and also I think Medici: Masters of Florence, or maybe The Borgias).

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It seems odd to me that an hour and 45-minute movie would spend more time developing the relationship between Victoria and Albert than an eight-part series. This episode made it seem like they barely knew each other up until this point and were already engaged by the end of the hour. Talk about whiplash. They've got a whole season, why not spend a little more time on this? It's not an insignificant relationship. Pacing is definitely a problem on this show.

That said, I thought both actors sold the chemistry pretty well, although I wasn't clear on how much Albert really liked Victoria or not. She did a good job acting like a willful teenager trying to pretend she didn't like a boy who got under her skin. Jenna Coleman still reminds me of Christina Ricci which I find distracting.

I was delighted to see David Oakes playing a nice character for a change, and together with Rufus Sewell it felt like a Pillars of the Earth reunion. 

Still not feeling the downstairs B-plot. I think there was a deliberate choice not to specify which woman the baby was calling "mommy" during the scene where Skerrett was visiting the prostitute. Is that actually Skerrett's baby and, more importantly, do I give a damn?

Edited by iMonrey
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1 hour ago, scenicbyway said:

I'm so confused about the ladies maid, was she or wasn't she a prostitute?  I know she said she worked in the laundry, but what is her tie to the woman with the baby?  Are they sisters? Coworkers?  I realize the woman must've been the one actually hired for the position in the palace, but must've become pregnant so the other girl took the job?

 

 

21 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Still not feeling the downstairs B-plot. I think there was a deliberate choice not to specify which woman the baby was calling "mommy" during the scene where Skerrett was visiting the prostitute. Is that actually Skerrett's baby and, more importantly, do I give a damn?

 

I'm not sure what they were trying to say in that scene, but these theories are as good as anything I've come up with.  I definitely DID think they were supposed to be sisters, though.

I really wish they hadn't bothered with the downstairs plot overall.  I agree with the person upthread who suggested the time would have been better spent with her ladies-in-waiting.  That's a position I've never really seen explored, as opposed to the servant angle, which was so fully brought to light in Downton and in Upstairs, Downstairs before that.  I don't even know her ladies' names, there's just the one who looks like Laura Benanti and does all the talking, and some other people.  They're all brunette, too, which doesn't help!

I bought Victoria and Albert's chemistry, and I'm glad the "romance" with Melbourne is over, as much as I like Rufus Sewell.  The only other thing I've seen Tom Hughes in is Silk, where he didn't get much to do, so he's a clean slate for me.  He's a little intense and quiet, but I thought it was a nice contrast to everyone else who are constantly blathering nonsense.  Everyone thinking they should get married based on one piano duet!  So silly.

I have a new favorite word:  Waldeinsamkeit.

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I could be reading too much into it, but it's possible that Albert's somewhat abrasive attitude was due to the fact that he himself didn't really want to become prince consort to the Queen and was chafing against the behavior expected of him to "win" Victoria. It might have been a deliberate, if subconscious, effort to self-sabotage the marriage. Or, at the very least, his determination to assert himself from the start and not simply be Victoria's yes-man. 

I think The Young Victoria did a better job of showing where Albert was coming from by showing scenes of just him before his various meetings with Victoria and all the pressures that were put upon him to learn about her and express interest in the things she liked. Even then I'm not sure how much of his whole life was spent grooming him to become prince consort to the Queen. It may have been something his parents, aunt and uncle decided when he was a young child and his whole life might have been geared towards that. 

As I've said, it feels like the story of Victoria and Albert has already been told dozens of times, but there is obviously always a tendency to tell the story from her perspective. A story from his might be a refreshing change, starting with at an earlier part of his life.

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Which of Albert's awkward flirting techniques work out for him,

You forgot, tearing off one whole shirt sleeve to bandage up her injured spaniel's leg.

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I think that it is important to remember that albert and Victoria were only 20 when they married.

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Are we supposed to think she immediately found him handsome when she looked up at him for the first time? 

Spoiler

IRL,Victoria was smitten from the moment she saw Albert as her diary details. The real Albert was quite good looking in his youth and basically Victoria was like "huba huba" LOL

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1 hour ago, LuciaMia said:

You forgot, tearing off one whole shirt sleeve to bandage up her injured spaniel's leg.

I felt sorry for his poor valet.  Everytime Albert changes his shirt he needs brand new ones because there are giant holes in them or arms missing.  I'm guessing the valet isn't able to sell the old shirts on the street like everyone else.

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2 hours ago, photo fox said:

 I don't even know her ladies' names, there's just the one who looks like Laura Benanti and does all the talking, and some other people.  They're all brunette, too, which doesn't help!

Everyone thinking they should get married based on one piano duet!  So silly.

 

I have no idea who Laura Benanti is, but Harriet (Duchess of Sutherland) is the one Ernest likes and Emily (Lady Portman) is the one always making snide remarks to Melbourne.  And to be fair, everyone thought they should get married before Albert even showed up.  

1 hour ago, LiveenLetLive said:

I think that it is important to remember that albert and Victoria were only 20 when they married.

  Reveal hidden contents

IRL,Victoria was smitten from the moment she saw Albert as her diary details. The real Albert was quite good looking in his youth and basically Victoria was like "huba huba" LOL

Practically infants by 2017 standards.  

Edited by taurusrose
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6 hours ago, scenicbyway said:

I'm guessing the valet isn't able to sell the old shirts on the street like everyone else.

The thought wouldn't occur to Lohlein who is German and holds himself to a much higher standard than the riff-raff serving Victoria. Remember how annoyed he was by Penge's idea of shaving and drinking on the job?  

Edited by taurusrose
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5 hours ago, vibeology said:

I have to admit I'm not very impressed with Albert or their love story. What I saw was a snooty Prince explaining and correcting Victoria over and over.

What I saw was a Queen who expected everyone to stop eating after she did while still feeding Dash at the table.  I like pets, but if you showed me less consideration than a dog, I would walk out.

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10 minutes ago, Constantinople said:

What I saw was a Queen who expected everyone to stop eating after she did while still feeding Dash at the table.  I like pets, but if you showed me less consideration than a dog, I would walk out.

I love dogs, but touché.

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26 minutes ago, Constantinople said:

What I saw was a Queen who expected everyone to stop eating after she did while still feeding Dash at the table.  I like pets, but if you showed me less consideration than a dog, I would walk out.

Princess Margaret was known for wolfing down her food, knowing no one could eat after she finished. And Princess Di never ate much, so she was done early, therefore, everyone else was finished too. It's a protocol thing. When the highest ranking person is done, everyone is done.

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53 minutes ago, Constantinople said:

What I saw was a Queen who expected everyone to stop eating after she did while still feeding Dash at the table.  I like pets, but if you showed me less consideration than a dog, I would walk out.

 

24 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

Princess Margaret was known for wolfing down her food, knowing no one could eat after she finished. And Princess Di never ate much, so she was done early, therefore, everyone else was finished too. It's a protocol thing. When the highest ranking person is done, everyone is done.

Everyone except Victoria's dog, hence my comment.

Not that I think protocol should be an excuse for rudeness.  Either the highest ranking person should eat more slowly or insist that others keep eating after she is done, particularly when she is also the host.

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That scene was hilarious - the various expressions. Leopold was still chewing, Ernst had another wonderful expression, Melbourne did not even notice and Albert finally spoke for the common man and looked rightfully annoyed.

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So... Since I've seen The Young Victoria a few times but never read a proper Vic biography: is this show correct that Victoria and Albert got engaged during his first visit to England? I had always assumed that the engagement had taken more time. I buy that she was attracted to him physically right off the bat, but could also believe that more of a connection had to develop (as portrayed via the letters and sheet music in TYV) before she would commit, largely because they were so different in their interests and temperament at that age. If she didn't actually propose as quickly as portrayed here, this show should have dragged the relationship out longer, IMO. But ultimately, I'm all for accuracy! Please enlighten me, experts. :-)

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The dinner scene took place after Albert and Ernest's day out and the encounter with the little match girl.  I thought that Albert may have thought of her as he watched Dash being fed, and then, the waste of having meals half eaten taken away because the queen had finished eating.

I wonder if we will see Albert making social and educational reforms.

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I was delighted to see David Oakes playing a nice character for a change, and together with Rufus Sewell it felt like a Pillars of the Earth reunion

I know!  I'm so used to Oakes playing bad guys I was waiting for Ernest to sabotage the budding romance and make a play for the queen himself. 

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So far I'm disappointed with this show.  It's a great story, and they've got a good cast.  I just wish it wasn't so soapy.  And heavy handed.   And I do not care about any of the downstairs stuff.  Mr. Hudson would kick that scruffy butler to the curb so fast the dude wouldn't know what hit him.  

But - I shall probably stick with it, as I know Victoria was an interesting person who led a very interesting life, so I'll keep watching and try to convince myself I like it better than I do.

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9 hours ago, rubyred said:

Boy, do opinions differ. This might be the episode that loses me. I saw zero chemistry with Albert (and it doesn't help Tom Hughes that his Albert's romantic "rival" is played by Rufus Sewell.) He is dour, humorless, disapproving, and borderline socially inept. I know that historically Albert was pragmatic and/or phlegmatic, but damn, son. You know perfectly well why you're there, and no you don't have to like it but it's still the reality of your world. The show made it seem like Victoria had to pursue Albert, when she was actually the more desirable mate. The constant negging, ugh. And there's poor Jenna Coleman, working her ass off to convince us of her fascination, as Hughes mumbles through a fake mustache that was almost as bad as George Lucas' beard in Legends of Tomorrow. The scene with the flower and the knife on the dance floor - I had to turn away in secondhand embarrassment.

Spot on. I thought he was terrible and they were terrible together. If my flatmate didn't love it this would be my last episode.

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I love period pieces and I love British history, so I was excited to see this. But every week it's a chore to watch and this week was the worst. It's like Victoria regressed to that of a teenager, with the one upmanship with Albert. And good lord, I've never seen Tom Hughes in anything before, but there wasn't anything interesting about his Albert. One note, no affect, same monotone to the point where I had no idea how he really felt. Well except for his whining and sulking. Then he finally smiles at the end. Big Whoop.

The only bright thing was seeing David Oakes' Ernest as a good guy! 

And like others, I don't give any shits about the servants' story. And I really find it difficult to believe that a butler for the Monarch, could get away with looking as if he's been on a bender and just rolled out of bed. 

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On 1/29/2017 at 11:21 PM, blackwing said:

I had the opposite opinion.  I was utterly bored by this episode.  I didn't see any great love.  I just saw two people who really seemed to dislike each other.  Then it was like a light switch got turned on, they were running through the woods and he helps her injured dog and then bam their fate is sealed.

Seemed like there was less downstairs stuff than before (if the Italian cook was on I completely blocked him out because I didn't see him) but what there was still grated.  I knew that the dresser wouldn't keep the collar for herself but I rolled my eyes when she visited her former prostitute co-worker.  I know I am supposed to cry at the plight of the prostitute co-worker, but I just don't care.

I am sadly losing interest.  Instead of watching with rapt attention, I am now watching while washing dishes.  And I realised that I always save shows that I am lukewarm on for dishwashing.  Sad.  I want to like it so much, but Melbourne is the best part of this series and he seems to be fading in the background.

Agree. With Lord M gone I only have A Place Called Home to watch on Sunday.

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I love period pieces and I love British history, so I was excited to see this. But every week it's a chore to watch and this week was the worst.

ITA.  I really want to watch because it's not a period in British history that I know much about, but I'm ready to take it off the DVR list.

Slightly OT - If anyone else is watching Secrets of the Six Wives right after Victoria, we now have a forum for it. 

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Please, please did anyone here NOT notice Ernest for Coburg's sake? I found him hilarious - his expressions especially. He stole the show for me. I am looking forward to his escapades. Albert is one brooding specimen.

Oh. My. Gosh.  He is sooooo cute and an adorable contrast to Albert, but what can I say?  I'm Team Albert all the way, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating any scene Ernest is in.  LOL

He's been working in a household with a LOT of German speakers for a long time. No doubt, he was waiting for the moment when he could break it out. Interesting that the Baroness did not know he could speak/understand German.

I wasn't surprised that Lehzen was in the dark about Penge's linguistic abilities.  She clearly thinks herself above everyone else in service to the Queen. I guess it's because she has a title, but still that type of arrogance bugs the crap out of me.  I'm predisposed to not like anyone who behaves like her.

I'm having trouble reconciling this Albert with the one in Young Victoria.

Both interpretations show Albert to be forward thinking, artistic and passionate.  The series is giving more attention to Albert's personality and concerns than the movie did.  YV's Albert didn't challenge Victoria as directly as the series' Albert does.

Regarding Albert, I can see why some people have a negative impression of him, but in his defense, he's of royal blood, a relative and a contemporary.  He's also being trotted out like a prized stallion for Victoria's approval.  I can understand why he might be a bit prickly. And regardless of her station, Victoria needs someone to challenge her and make her think for herself.  Albert doesn't disrespect Victoria, he wants her to be the best that she can be.  Melbourne's deference, flirting and easy approach in handling Victoria doesn't help her be the monarch for a country on the brink of industrialization.  As Albert rightly pointed out, Melbourne can't be bothered with the welfare of the people living in slums and poverty, these are conditions the Queen should not ignore.  The difference between Albert and Melbourne was clear in the question the Prince posed to Victoria...what did she prefer flattery or truth? 

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