Hunderby: Well, That Went Downhill Fast

Excruciating---Julia-Davi-009Previously on Hunderby: Hester was throwing up some roadblocks to her annulment from Foggerty, which Dorothy used to convince Helene he didn’t really want to be with her after all. Turns out Dorothy lied about being raped and then giving birth to Hester and Foggerty all those years ago, so they’re not brother and sister after all, which means their marriage is still valid. Bummer. Also, Hester tells Foggerty she’s pregnant. Brother Joseph returns, kind of on the run from the church authorities who aren’t too happy about his method of conversion, which seems to involve digital rape. There’s also a new pastor in town, John, who’s obsessed with Helene and determined to hunt out any local homosexuals.

Hester is moving into Hunderby, which surprises Helene, because Foggerty hasn’t told her what’s going on here. Foggerty rushes Hester upstairs before she can tell Helene too much, and once in her room he tosses Hester on the bed and warns her to keep her mouth shut. Hester threatens to tell Helene that they’re still married. Foggerty begs to be able to tell Helene in his own way and in his own time and she assents, as long as he sleeps with her that night. He tries very hard not to cry.

Continue reading “Hunderby: Well, That Went Downhill Fast”

Hunderby: One Big, Happy Family

dec2015-sky-atlantic-hunderby-tile-c6a2c54This time of year, a lot of people (for better and for worse) wind up spending a lot of time with their families. So what better time to bring back one of the most dysfunctional families on television: the good folks of Hunderby?

When last we saw them, things were…complicated. Edmund, the master of Hunderby and the local vicar, had married Helene, a woman with a mysterious past and the permanent look of a freshly landed fish. Put off by Edmund’s and his creepy housekeeper, Dorothy’s, obsession with Edmund’s dead first wife, Helene fell for the local doctor, Graham Foggerty, a man miserably married to Hester, who was crippled when he ran her over the night before their wedding. His and Helene’s affair resulted in a pregnancy, and when Helene went into labour, we suddenly discovered the following: 1) Edmund’s first wife was not dead but had been kept in the attic for years, Mrs Rochester-style. But then she fell out of the attic and died, so we’re pretty sure she’s for reals dead now. 2) Edmund, a poorly closeted homosexual, was set up by his mother to rape Dorothy years ago, and said rape resulted in the birth of twins who grew up to be…Hester and Fogarty. The shock of all this seems to have given Edmund some sort of stroke, rendering him just this side of comatose. Helene gave birth to a son, and since Foggerty’s marriage to Hester is clearly unlawful now that they’re twins and all, it looks like he and Helene will get to be together after all. And he’ll get to inherit Hunderby someday.

Continue reading “Hunderby: One Big, Happy Family”

Hunderby: To Kill a Fiji Bird

If Danny Boyle’s odd Olympics Opening Ceremony extravaganza taught us anything, it’s that there’s a very particular brand of humour known as “British.” It’s quirky, and more often than not it’s dark. And when it’s done well, it’s great.

Hunderby is an excellent example of British humour. It’s definitely quirky—a gothic period black comedy—and funny, but not in a real laugh-out-loud kind of way. It’s funny in a cringe-inducing, uncomfortable, squirming, but somehow loving it way. It relies heavily on viewers knowing certain literary works (Jane Eyre and Rebecca) very well, or you’re going to miss some of the joke. It doesn’t talk down to us. It’s raunchy, and wrong, and although I’m not 100% sure yet, it may just be kind of awesome.

Let’s check it out.

Continue reading “Hunderby: To Kill a Fiji Bird”