Sanditon Character Review: Arthur Parker

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

We cannot grow if we sit, both figuratively and literally on our behinds. The only way to make change happen is to take a chance and see what happens. When we first meet Arthur Parker (Turlough Convery), he is a hypochondriac whose favorite activities include eating and drinking. Trying something new or even getting exercise is a rare event in his life. Tied at the hip to his older sister Diana (Alexandra Roach), she encourages his sedentary lifestyle.

The youngest of the Parker siblings, he is not married and has not even considered the subject. When his oldest brother Sidney (Theo James) passes away unexpectedly, Arthur becomes very close to Sidney’s ward, Georgiana Lambe (Crytal Clarke). Both are outsiders and understand what the other is going through. Despite his outward appearance, Arthur is sensible, observant, and emotionally open-hearted.

After Diana’s departure, Arthur starts to become more adventurous. When artist Alexander Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos) comes to town, he instantly becomes friends with Lockhart. Though it is not stated directly, it is implied that he is attracted to Lockhart. When we see him last, Arthur is comforting Georgiana in light of the unsettling revelations of who the artist really is.

To sum it up: Appearances can be deceiving. Though Arthur appears to be the typical plus-sized character who is nothing more than a comedic caricature, he is much more than that. In revealing the whole person, the audience is challenged to see beyond the physique and question if first impressions are accurate.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Regency Review Roundup: Sanditon and Bridgerton Season 2 Reviews

*There will be spoilers for Sanditon.

The Regency era is an interesting time in human history. Looking back, it is easy to see that, as a species. we are on the road to the modernity that is life today. But we are also still clinging to the rules and social structure of previous generations.

Bridgerton

After a year and a half wait, season two of Bridgerton premiered last weekend on Netflix. It’s been nine months since the narrative of season one ended. Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Bassett (Phoebe Dyvenor and Rege-Jean Page, who decided to move onto other projects) are happily married and have a baby boy. The oldest Bridgerton son Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) has decided it is his time to settle down. Among the eligible women of the ton, he chooses Edwina Sharma (Charitha Chandran). But before they can walk down the aisle, he has to get through her overprotective older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). She is tough, smart, and unwilling to compromise on whom she sees as her future brother-in-law. The problem is that there is something between Anthony and Kate that cannot be ignored.

If last season one was hot, this season has the fire of several volcanoes exploding at the same time. The chemistry between Ashley and Bailey is intense. The enemies to lovers/slow-burn narrative is so perfect that I would recommend that anyone who wants to write a good romance novel watch this series. It’s that good.

Sanditon

Its been nine months since the audience has spent time with the denizens of Sanditon. After the death of her first love, Sydney Parker (Theo James), Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) has returned to the seaside town and the Parkers. Bringing her younger sister, Alison (Rosie Graham) with her, Charlotte reunites with old friends while making new male acquaintances. Among them are Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos) and Colonel Francis Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones).

With her usual tenacity and intelligence, Charlotte is trying to move on with her life. But she is still grieving (as I suspect the viewers are as well) for what might have been, had things gone in another direction. As much as we all miss Sydney, I feel like this is opening the door for new opportunities for her in both the romantic and career arenas (as much as a woman could have back then). Akin to Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) dying in a car crash at the end of the third season of Downton Abbey, it was a heartbreaking loss. But I feel like if we look at it from a modern perspective, this unexpected change is normal. Not everyone spends their life with the first person they fell in love with. It sometimes takes a few years and a few relationships to find your other half.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Bridgerton is available for streaming on Netflix. Sanditon airs on PBS on Sunday night at 9PM.

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