The Pallisers, Part IV: After the Ball

Previously on The Pallisers: Glencora freaked out so thoroughly about meeting Burgo again she purposely got sick to avoid him. Alice, meanwhile, threw herself back into George’s arms.

Vavasor Hall. Grandpa tells Alice’s dad that he’s warming to the idea of Alice and George marrying, because it would keep her money (inherited from her dead mother) in the family. Dad’s clearly the smartest person in the family and realizes George’ll just squander the cash, along with everything else he inherits. Grandpa plans to settle the estate on their eldest son, so all George could access would be the income from the estate. What if they don’t have a son? What then? Does Matthew Crawley inherit? Dad still thinks George is a worthless scoundrel, and he says as much, just as Alice comes downstairs. She waits until her dad’s done railing against her future husband before coming into the dining room for a meeting with grandpa. Grandpa asks her if she’s fixed a date for the wedding, and of course she hasn’t, because this is Alice we’re talking about. These early episodes were apparently based on a Trollope novel that was all about Alice’s dithering and was so tiresome even his contemporaries made fun of it. Dad helpfully asks her why she broke her engagement to George before. She delicately responds that he “behaved unworthily.” I’ll say. Dad thinks George will behave just as poorly now, but Alice foolishly thinks he’s changed, and anyway, she’s older now and “much more understanding.” Excuse me? Is she saying she’d be cool with George screwing around on her?

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The Pallisers Part III: Cold Cure

Previously on The Pallisers: Plantagenet and Glencora got married, reluctantly, and went on a very unromantic honeymoon. For some reason, Alice started falling for her crappy cousin, George, again.

Glencora’s driving Alice back from the station, I suppose, so they can start Alice’s visit to Matching. Over the course of their conversation, we learn that Plantagenet doesn’t approve of his wife riding, but he’s fine with her driving, so she does that a lot just to keep from going insane. Jesus, Plantagenet, ease up a little!

They drive through the gates of the park and Alice remarks on some ruins and Glencora acts out a supposed meeting between an early Palliser and King Richard the Lionhearted that established the Palliser wealth.

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The Pallisers, Part II: The Honeymooners

Previously on The Pallisers: Meddling family members decided that Plantagenet and Glencora would be perfect for each other, even though their personalities are total opposites and they’re both in love with other people. At the end of the day, nagging and money win out, and the reluctant pair agrees to wed.

The wedding’s on at Westminster Abbey, and it looks to be a suitably grand occasion. Glencora’s escorted down the aisle by some man we’ve never seen before, looking like the proverbial lamb going to the slaughter. She’s followed by a troupe of bridesmaids in white, none of whom we’ve ever seen either. She joins Plantagenet and the service starts. Glencora’s all wild-eyed and looking like she wants nothing more than to turn and flee. I’m guessing it’s only the fact that she’s wearing about 50 pounds worth of dress that’s keeping her in place. The aunts look on proudly, pleased with their matchmaking.

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The Pallisers, Part I: The Marriage Game

It’s a beautiful summer day, and on the grounds of a magnificent estate (actually, I’m pretty sure this was filmed at the lake at Stourhead, which is, indeed, a magnificent estate) members of Britain’s upper crust are frolicking, flirting, and playing croquet, as they do. A pair of old biddies in black glare a young coupe off a bench and take a seat to watch events unfold. Meanwhile, a tall man in an even taller hat strides purposefully through the party while a young blonde woman plays tag with a young man.

Off in a totally separate area near a decorative temple, presumably far from the fuss and noise of the party, sits the host, the Duke. He’s snoozing with a glass of champagne in his hand, and he’s gently wakened when his nephew, Plantagenet Palliser, arrives. Plantagenet Palliser has to be the most upper crusty upper crust name in literature. Plantagenet is the tall guy from earlier, and he’s a member of the House of Commons, as the Duke helpfully tells us. He sits for his uncle’s borough, so I’m sure there was no nepotism there, but he’s one of those rare rich boy MPs who actually takes the job seriously, instead of just treating it as a way to pass the time until he inherits his title. The Duke couldn’t care less about politics, he just thinks they should adhere to family tradition by having a Palliser in the Whig party, and to thank his nephew for doing so, he’s increasing his allowance considerably. The Duke just happens to mention that, when Plantagenet gets married to “the right kind of girl,” that allowance will go through the roof. Plantagenet bids his uncle farewell and moves off.

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