TV Review: Poldark (Series 2)

I mostly enjoy Series 2 of Poldark but feel a little unsure if there’s really 3 more seasons worth of decent drama here

“My idiocy has been spectacular”

The final episode of the first series of Poldark won me over in the end with its huge dramatic sweep, so the second season had a lot to live up to to try and maintain that late-won affection. I’d say that it comes close to achieving it but it is already apparent that there’s elements of fatigue in the storytelling as it hits several beats over and over again. Ross not telling Demelza what he’s doing and her following him anyway, Ross ending up in court, Ross gnashing his teeth about finances, George trying to jeopardise Ross’ business affairs, Agatha doing the tarot…

Perhaps on a weekly basis it didn’t feel so overt but as binged, it proves somewhat tiresome, even verging on dull at times. The series stretches out to 10 episodes too, which I’m not sure is entirely justified by the content here. The big moments hit hard effectively – another death done well, major developments in the Ross/Demelza/Elizabeth triangle too (I recall there being much debate about consent here, but as I’m not sure which version I watched on Netflix, I’m not touching the issue ). I could have lived without where the writing felt it had to push Demelza in order to justify things though.

I was disappointed at how sorely under-used Hugh Skinner’s Lord Unwin Trevaunance was, he’s such an appealing actor but this was just a walk-on part in the end. I was glad for Ruby Bentall’s Verity getting her happy ending with Richard Harrington’s Captain Blamey, even if it pushes them into guest stars rather than bona fide supporting roles. Richard McCabe and John Nettles have fun in their roles as smuggler-in-chief and grumpy paterfamilias respectively, and Phil Davis gets a bit more to do as manservant Jud, always outshone by Beatie Edney as he is. Still watchable overall, but I might leave it a moment before going onto Series 3.

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