Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Forty - Kingdom: Series 1, Episode 5, "I knew there was a reason I was ambivalent."

It's been a while since I last watched Kingdom... well over a hundred days, in fact, and I find that the distance I've gained away from the series has left me forgetting why I stopped in the first place.

Then I said "what the hell" and tried it again. Didn't take long to remember why now, did it?

As much as I adore Stephen Fry, quite a lot of what I've seen of his that is available on Netflix just doesn't do it for me. Whether it's the 100 Greatest Gadgets or this subdued country law drama with your stereotypical quirky village characters, it's just not enough to have Stephen pulling them along with his quiet wit.

Several things are going on in this episode, including a divorcing couple whose marital woes are solely due to the husbands recent transvestism, a horse rustling, children gambling, and blatant, unapologetic racism.

I think most everything in the ep would've worked if not for that last glaring addition. That horrific, unabashed racism could exist without being instantly decried by all involved, especially the local constabulary, is utterly unbelievable.

Sure, at least both Fry's Kingdom and his often daft associate Lyle are against the overzealous racehorse owner who wants a group of convenient Romany off the pasture he intends to lease from the village council, I find it so hard to swallow that the man could round of a posse and get away from dehumanizing and threatening bodily harm on the Travelers without some comeuppance. I also find it difficult to see the excruciatingly stereotypical way that the Travelers are presented.

On a lighter note, for the most part, I actually did enjoy the other main plot of the ep, the divorcing couple. The gentleman involved presents such a confident and happy personage in his transvestism (and his wife so vehemently vitriolic) that you can't help but side with him immediately.

Now, yes, that might be a tad too convenient... just like with the Romany, but at least there's a happy end for the couple, whereas the horse breeder gets to harass the Travelers with impunity.

To be honest, I just can't justify this series anymore. Its storylines are trite and its overarching mystery concerning blackmail, suicide, and possible murder just has no oomp to it anymore, even as Peter Kingdom and his disturbed sister argue about it... or when a gun is flashed to scare them.


Yeah, I think I'm done... I just hope that next time I get the urge, someone or something will remind me just why I dropped the series in the first place.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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