You scan the TV on a Friday night and see Parade’s End pop up. Immediately, your eyes will roll, and you will tut “Oh god, not another ‘prestige’ costume drama” and switch onto Cowboy Builders. And I am one of you. I generally despise period drama, especially Downton Abbey, one of the dullest, twee and unoriginal dramas to grace Quality British Televison (Well, ITV…) in a long while. And that doesn’t mean the Beeb is innocent- in fact, they are worse. How many friggin’ Dickens adaptations are we going to get, or Victorian novels ‘sexed up’? Poor show, Auntie Beeb.
When I first head of ‘Parade’s End’, I balked. Nothing different, nothing special. But the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch, a convincing feature in an issue of Empire and the appeal of a Tom Stoppard script persuaded me to give the first episode a shot.
It intrigued me enough to get into episode two, and I became hooked. It’s a brilliant miniseries, and definitely worth everyone’s time, especially if you hate period drama. Because Parade’s End is far from a period drama, rather a drama that happens to be period. Here’s why you, my fellow haters, and anyone I can tempt away from Downton, should catch the first few episodes on iPlayer in time for Episode 4 this Friday.
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