Review: Sanditon: S1 E02

In which: Charlotte attempts to apologize to Sidney only to have him rebuff her. Lady Denham’s luncheon turns into an awkward lunch when Lady Denham prods Miss Lambe about her fortune and pointing out Miss Lambe’s mother was a slave to the astonishment at the table. Arthur cuts open Lady Denham’s pineapple to find that it is rotten and filled with maggots. Miss Lambe attempts to flee to London only to not afford the price as she does not make it a habit of carrying cash and makes friends with Charlotte instead. Tom badgers Sidney to work on Sidney’s fashionable friends from London much to Sidney’s distaste. Lady Denham threatens Edward, and in turn Esther, not to cross her.

Lots and lots goes on.

I was thankful that we discover that Edward and Esther’s relationship are as step-brother and sister rather than full blood. I was quite shocked last week to think that Edward’s caress up Esther’s arm while they were playing cards was hinting at incest but no, just a conniving pair looking to be supported by Edward’s future wife. Who knows what goes on in their leaky home but no one seems to be of mind that they are alone together. Where is the chaperone? Was it okay for unrelated siblings such as step-children to live openly together without retribution?

What is with Sidney coming out of the sea naked? Why is it in most Jane Austen adaptations there must be a male lead who is coming out of water to show off his physique? I don’t mind as I appreciate the female gaze as much as the next but it’s just interesting to point out.

I also have reservations about Sidney and Charlotte pairing because you know this is the way but he looks far too old for her even though a: It was typical for older more “experienced” man and a young lady to couple up and b: Yet the actors are ten years apart. Only if Sidney didn’t look 20 years older that it would make character sense but nope.

But we all know, as this is an Austen story, they will get together in the end. Or at least some variance of it since Theo James isn’t coming back for season two.

I’m glad to see the inclusion, albeit so far only in Miss Lambe, of a person of color in Regency era.  People of color did live, breathe, make money, and love in Regency England. I’m hoping that future episodes bring more people of color characters in such in the vein of Bridgerton and it’s color blind casting.

Will Charlotte break Young Stringer’s heart? (Of course she will.)

I’m enjoying the slight sexing up of Edward/Esther (though it is creepy) and Sidney/Charlotte. It’s important to show, even if it seems to be against what we’d expect of Austen, that people were attracted to each other and desired one another during the Regency era. However, it was kept on the down low. Men were allowed to tom cat around, as Lady Denham points out, but a woman had to remain virtuous until marriage and succumb to their husband’s demands in the bedroom.

Overall, good episode and a lot was packed in. Subplots are beginning to emerge and hinting at what’s to come. I’ll give it a 3.5/5.