music friday: college rock
film fatales #145: bird box (susanne bier, 2018)

gentleman jack

A couple of years ago, I wrote of the first season of Gentleman Jack, "Gentleman Jack is a based-on-fact historical drama set in England in the 1830s. It's created by Sally Wainwright, who also created the terrific and dark Happy Valley. The lead is played by Suranne Jones, who I am embarrassed to admit I had never heard of, despite her acting for 25 years. Well, I've heard of her now, and I won't be forgetting her soon." The second season was delayed due to COVID, and now that it has finished, HBO has announced it won't return for a third season. I don't think the creators knew this year was the end, and in fact, Sally Wainwright has suggested another season might turn up somewhere else.

In the meantime, the things that made the first season enjoyable were still present in Season Two. Suranne Jones climbs back into the title role of Anne Lister ... it's still the only thing I've seen her in, so it's hard to imagine what she's like in other movies, although she is a fine and funny guest on talk shows. She's not the only standout ... Sophie Rundle is her match as Lister's wife, and the two have an excellent on-screen rapport. Gemmas Whelan and Jones are also regulars. This isn't quite as dark as Sally Wainwright's Happy Valley, but not many shows are. Wainwright also gave us To Walk Invisible, about the Brontës, and it was also quite good. Wainwright is always worth checking out. In a time when there are so few "appointment" TV series due to streaming, we managed to almost keep up with the broadcast schedule for Gentleman Jack, which is something (it's also one of the few series my wife and I both enjoy). If this is indeed the end, the season finale works as a series finale as well.


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