Regency House Party
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Does the rigid and confined world of the early nineteenth century have something to teach the young of today who are looking for love? Following the success of Manor House and Colonial House, Regency House Party gives 10 men and women - all genuinely looking for love - the chance to go back to the England of the early 1800s and live in the age of romance. The ten singles all spend nine weeks living together as they would have 200 years ago.
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It's certainly the best reality TV show I've ever seen. I know that's a dubious honor, but I usually hate reality TV. What's so refreshing about this miniseries is that there are no prizes for which the individuals are competing, and no silly challenges or eliminations. It works as an interesting study into the social dynamics of the past, because although the main participants are all thoroughly modern and not, for the most part, very excited about following the social mores of the Regency period, the conduct of the chaperones (who are meant to, and usually do, uphold the social structure of the period) and the house servants is enough to change the behavior of the main players.
I haven't seen any of the other "House" series, but I'm eager to, and I've watched this series more than once. I even purchased it as a gift for a family member a week or so ago.
While it might not suit everyone, I found it funny, interesting, and beautiful to watch.
The reception of a 6-hr long voyeuristic venture could elicit a diametrical range of responses from plain boredom, drudgery to even sheer delight, depending on what expectations you bring into watching.
I confess that I'm not a fan of reality series and in fact, cast more than a skeptical eye on them, but I'm primarily drawn to the Regency House Party in lieu of my interests and research into the Regency Era.
I thought that the series, far from being an ad hoc assemblage of the lights of blair witch undertakings, was most professionally done to the effect that is akin to watching a 6-hr miniseries movie.
It would have been too easy had it been just a pure documentary of the Regency period, but the documentary bits had been rather judiciously interspersed throughout and at relevant points, juxtaposed with the reality experiences of the house party guests.
My only suspension of belief required was how seriously the guests took to their roles their individual responsibilities and for example, Captain Glover's unflinching grasp of the "fact" that he had been made a baron following the end of the Napoleonic War (despite the fact that it would not transpire into actual circumstances in his 21st century identity).
Other than this aspect, I thought the production was as smooth, seamless and realistic it could be, considering that double standards notwithstanding were bound to occur to accomodate deeply entrenched 21st century personalities into the unfamiliar world of the Regency.
The only disappointment, I thought, was the rather inconsequential ending, which would probably have been compensated by a more explanatory round-up found in the book tie-in, which in my opinion, goes hand-in-hand with the DVD and which is even more excellent in terms of its clarity, comprehensiveness and informative pitch.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a flop. The actors didn't even TRY to act in a chronologically accurate manner.Read more