At my birthday get-together back on Sunday, when I told her we’d recorded it, my 18 year old niece highly recommended it.
I asked: “Who’s playing Victoria?”
“Jenna Coleman,” she informed me.
I think my blank (now increasingly middle-aged) uncle expression must have revealed I didn’t quite know…
“She was on Doctor Who and Emmerdale….” she quickly added.
My niece supplies me, I suppose, necessary insight into what’s “cool” – or au courant perhaps, as we heard noted in the first episode – according to current 18 year old women in our early 21st century.
One thing “bookish” especially got my attention. It probably stemmed from her enthusiastic endorsement of the program. (It’s 8 U.K. episodes and – if it’s not already – I have to believe it will almost certainly be on PBS in the U.S. in the near future.) As I watched it, I thought: I understand….
After all, how many 18 year old women beset in their own lives could see a bit of themselves in the mundane struggles of the real-life 18 year old new queen?
Forget for a moment that Victoria’s queen. She’s been insulated while growing up, and not seen much of the world. She feels insecure in herself as a person (part of which is displayed in her references to her short stature). Then, suddenly, she finds herself thrust into the limelight: she must overnight become an adult.
And she must do so while surrounded by scheming older adults – especially a mother – wanting to keep her a child for as long as possible and control her. Save for her German governess, there are sundry women who challenge (or seem to challenge) her at every turn. There are also domineering older men who wish to cast her aside, or intimidate her, or marry her.
Except, it seems, for one man. She seems to start to fall for him perhaps due to the fact that he has demonstrated unswerving confidence in her abilities, listens to her, seems to want nothing of her, and has engaged in only hono(u)rable behavio(u)r towards her. In short, he respects her and treats her as an adult.
The first episode, one might say, struck me as perhaps a young adult version of Victoria’s life?
We’ll see how the remainder goes…
Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. 🙂