Aristocrats (TV Mini-Series 1999)

TV Mini-Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama, History


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Aristocrats (1999) Poster

18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.

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7.4/10
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14 September 2007 | irish23
5
| Mostly wonderful set-up with no wrap-up
No mini-series has made me want to read the book more. The source material seems absolutely fascinating, and so many allusions and sometimes confusing references were made in the series that one realizes only a book can flesh out the intricacies of the complete story.

This was a compelling series up to the end disc, when previously minor flaws became too great to ignore. The writer can't seem to decide if the story is about 4 sisters and their relationship to each other; their interactions with social norms & how they abided by, flaunted, or bent them; the plight of the aristocracy itself during a time of social turmoil; or how great a stand one should take on great political/moral issues and what consequences that may have.

This is obviously far too much for any 6-part series to take on, even by so venerable an institution as the BBC. Casting, acting, direction, sets, and costumes are outstanding, as always. But the story...the story raises little questions here and there that don't get resolved. One's willing to overlook that because everything else is so compelling. But the final disc (2 episodes), where the timeline has progressed into the sisters' later years, really starts to fall apart. Characters we barely know suddenly take up the bulk of screen time and the 4- pronged story arc starts to fray.

It was such a disappointing end to an otherwise wonderful period piece. I can't wait to read the book.

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