The English: The English
November 25, 2022 9:56 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Trailer. The Guardian says: The elevator pitch is: (Emily) Blunt’s Cornelia Locke, an English lady newly landed in America and looking for revenge, teams up with Chaske Spencer’s Eli Whipp, a just-retired cavalry scout and member of the Pawnee Nation who just wants to ride up north and claim a few acres of homestead. Obviously, it’s not going to be as easy as that, and, obviously, they’re going to fall in love along the way. But The English is so, so much better than any quick explanation of it is ever going to be.
posted by ShooBoo (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ciarán Hinds and Toby Jones dispatched in the first episode!? I'll take it! I binged and really liked it. It went to a whole lot of places I didn't expect (in a good way), but I felt some plot points were withheld unduly long and served to complicate rather than build connection with the character. That said, in stories that are war adjacent, it's always interesting to me to see the schemes and scenarios and circumstances that pop up in war's wake--to see how those besides the rebels, colonists, empires, soldiers copes with what's happening "on the main stage." It was fascinating to learn about the Pawnee Scouts. So many stories pasted over in the corrupt and corrupting formation of America.

Thank the stars, it wasn't a romance-romance. The sweetness that sprang up between Eli and Cornelia, and others they crossed paths with, was believable and moving. Blunt and Spencer's roles seemed perfect for them and perfect for each other. Voice-overs usually make me groan and while the content of these was a bit too precious, Emily Blunt's voice just carried it for me.

Everyone's very good, but Rafe Spall is very good. I couldn't believe he was the same actor from The Big Short.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:07 PM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Seconding the delayed reveals; by episode four i was starting to feel like i must have skipped vital pieces of backstory or dialogue. Strange pacing choice to have a declared journey of a week's travel to make but then have the majority of the action take place within a day's ride of the starting point. By series end everything made sense and the coda was bittersweet but earned.
posted by Molesome at 1:24 AM on November 27, 2022

After two episodes, this is falling in between Deadwood (which I loved) and The English Patient (which I mostly hated). I'll see if episode 3 tips it for me one way or another.

But I did really appreciate hearing this as the closing song in the first episode. I was trying to think what 90s-ish singer-songwriter it could have been (Beth Orton? Nah) and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I tracked it down.
posted by maudlin at 11:36 AM on November 27, 2022

I enjoyed this series a lot overall, but one thing in the opening episode really bugged me. Eli throws Toby Jones' character his pistol so he can shoot himself and then rides straight off without bothering to take the gun back. I didn't believe he'd do that for a second - guns were expensive and Eli of all people knew the wisdom of holding on to anything that might later save your life.

On a more positive note, I loved this bit of dialogue:
"Can you shoot?"
"If I have to."
"Oh, you'll have to."
posted by Paul Slade at 2:21 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Still digesting this show. Reeeally loved the organic relationship between Eli and Cornelia.

I felt like all the grimdark stuff was appropriate for the period, but my reaction to it is still uneasy; I feel like it's a celebration wrapped in a critique. Or vice-versa.

Thank the stars, it wasn't a romance-romance.
A bit conflicted about this one. On the one hand, I loved it on it's own terms. An requited love story that feels classical, like a myth.
On the other hand, because Eli is native-american and Cornelia is caucasian, I worry that it will be received poorly or misunderstood. (why can't they have an actual romance! Is it because he's not white?) If Eli were a white character that question would not have entered my head, but then a Last of the Mohicans style story would be undercut because of appropriation. I suppose it's the times we live in.

Again, I love their relationship as it is, and I hope it's received on it's own terms.
posted by ishmael at 11:14 AM on November 28, 2022

It's a really beautiful show. The slow-burn poetic moments and Blunt's amazing narration really worked on me.
posted by ishmael at 11:17 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm not trying to be fighty and I'm happy for those of you who enjoyed it, but this was not a complete success for me.

I binged the rest of the episodes tonight, but despite the talent and charisma of just about everyone onscreen, and the glorious cinematography, it just didn't resonate for me on an emotional level. I probably enjoyed the side plots more than many people, but I didn't really feel invested in the characters as written (oh, for a better script for everyone -- they would have knocked it out of the park.) And I think I actually said, "Oh, come ON" at a crucial plot moment late in the series that was supported by some on the nose* visuals.

* Sorry. Too soon?
posted by maudlin at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2022

I suppose the reason why I'm going with what they gave me is precisely Eli and Cornelia's relationship- that felt real, and so I'm allowing my disbelief to be stretched quite a bit.

There are moments that really resonated with me.

The idea of Cornelia nurturing her stricken, sweet child is devastating.
posted by ishmael at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm about three-quarters of the way through, and enjoying it. One thing I like is the way that the titles and theme music expressly point out that it's a Spaghetti Western (filmed in Spain - if it's in the same places that Leone used, I wouldn't be surprised, but I can't say for sure), which were always my favourite kind of western.
posted by Grangousier at 2:54 AM on December 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I liked the pilot. Bought into Eli Whipp learning to respect Cornelia Locke, which is the most important step to a mutual relationship.

Blunt as Locke sells it for me, too - she's very very quickly learning about killing. She isn't a psycho about it, either, just the brutal and banal mechanisms of killing people.

The story arc about Whipp hoping to get a homesteader grant is ... ludicrous, though. But story (contra a woman in that era getting physical revenge) reasons.
posted by porpoise at 9:43 PM on December 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Urk. Second ep. Is this satire?
posted by porpoise at 11:19 PM on December 23, 2022

Ok, I recalibrated and like this rather lots. Ended up being a reasonably complex (and visually gorgeous) story.

Quirky. Dramatized to near the point of fantasy.

I need Blunt's duster in the next-to-final sequence. In fact, the entire gamut of all the characters' wardrobe is wonderful.

That epilogue. And then that afterward.
posted by porpoise at 6:34 PM on December 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

one of the best series I've come across in this so-called Golden Age of Television. I never knew where it was going. It always went somewhere worth going. I'm confident (and glad) that there won't be a Season Two. The best stories have endings determined by their authors ... as opposed to whoever's funding things.

I'm not generally a fan of "slow burn" stuff (too often just another way of saying boring), but had zero problem with it here. Two compelling leads. A story that managed to be both refreshingly historic and coolly modern.
posted by philip-random at 5:20 PM on December 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am loving this, just going to watch the last episode. I still haven't figured out who the father of Cornelia's child is. I loved the pretty room, so much. What a grand color, set of colors. The wife of the Cheyenne warchief was an amazing scene. Lots of beauty in this.
posted by Oyéah at 5:47 PM on April 4, 2023

« Older Podcast: The Besties: Seeing P...   |  Movie: The Guardians of the Ga... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments