The Buccaneers: Episodes 1-3: American Poison, Women and Wives, The Perfect Duchess
November 8, 2023 2:27 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The first three episodes of this show all went up at once, ergo I feel obligated to put them into one post. It's about American ladies going to England and marrying English blokes, pretty much a combination of "Reign" and "Bridgerton." Summary of the first three episodes, mixed together, within.

Five NYC rich girls all hang out together. Conchita, a wealthy woman of color*, is marrying an English lord (while pregnant), and her four besties are invited to visit her in England and be debutantes. Conchita and her husband Dick love each other, but her in-laws don't like her and the Americans basically running around like wild children/Manic Pixie Dream Girls does not help. Conchita reasonably suspects her in-laws don't like a woman of color and tries to make herself quiet to be acceptable, but you know how that goes. At one point Conchita seems to throw the 1800's version of a kegger, y'all, a mere month after giving birth. Also a mere month after giving birth, she can spread her legs in public, cartwheels, boinks in a boat, and otherwise seems to have no physical issues. I've never given birth but I am pretty sure that's not how it works.

* presumably some kind of Bridgerton-esque thing happened to make that socially acceptable in English high society, but in three episodes the show doesn't explain it. I note that the character of Guy and his father are also African-British(?) and it looks like Guy's dad married a white lady, now deceased.

The four friends are two sets of sisters, but the show doesn't focus much on one set (heck, I think one of them leaves after the first two episodes and the remaining one is getting into a love affair with Dick's sister, I'm not even sure if I remember their names) and instead focuses on the St. George sisters. Jinny (the "pretty and quiet" one) is quickly wooed and won by Dick's brother, Lord Seadown, but his sister says that he's "a monster." So far Jinny is unaware of this, but we do see him demanding that another girl take off her dress and lie around naked for hours while he wanders off. Weird.

Nan is the wilder one but says she's never been interested in being a main character. Naturally she gets into a love triangle between two best friends, and accepts the proposal of one after meeting him TWICE. The artist one she accepts is a closet artist who hates being a duke, but likes that Nan accepts him for him. The other guy, Guy, is also very nice and charming. Nan, however, finds out from her blabby-ass sister that she's a bastard of her father's and the woman she thought was her mother was forced to adopt her, and she blabs this to guy #2. Will he keep her secret? He says so, but who knows.

By the end of the third episode, it sounds like all of the characters are going to journey back to NYC to try that out for while.

This is very much in the style of Reign (every episode has another party/event going on, and people don't even try to speak in any kind of period manner) and Bridgerton (people of color in the ton, marriage mart-ing, pop songs being played, though lyrics and all rather than instrumental). Oh yeah, and there's a lot of swimming. Basically, a fake period soap opera that only barely tries to be period-ish. Will this be to your taste or do you only watch it to make fun of it? You be the judge.
posted by jenfullmoon (8 comments total)
* presumably some kind of Bridgerton-esque thing happened to make that socially acceptable in English high society, but in three episodes the show doesn't explain it.

The character she's based on was Cuban-American (obviously not half-Somali like the current actress). A large fortune could float more than you might think. Consider the poor Miss Swartz in Vanity Fair:
People in Vanity Fair fasten on to rich folks quite naturally. If the simplest people are disposed to look not a little kindly on great Prosperity (for I defy any member of the British public to say that the notion of Wealth has not something awful and pleasing to him; and you, if you are told that the man next you at dinner has got half a million, not to look at him with a certain interest)—if the simple look benevolently on money, how much more do your old worldlings regard it! Their affections rush out to meet and welcome money. Their kind sentiments awaken spontaneously towards the interesting possessors of it. I know some respectable people who don't consider themselves at liberty to indulge in friendship for any individual who has not a certain competency, or place in society. They give a loose to their feelings on proper occasions. And the proof is, that the major part of the Osborne family, who had not, in fifteen years, been able to get up a hearty regard for Amelia Sedley, became as fond of Miss Swartz in the course of a single evening as the most romantic advocate of friendship at first sight could desire.

What a match for George she'd be (the sisters and Miss Wirt agreed), and how much better than that insignificant little Amelia!
She ends up married to a "young sprig of Scottish nobility," who I hope treated her better than everyone else in the novel did.
posted by praemunire at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

This sounds dreadful and I am offended on behalf of Edith Wharton. No reason to taint the memory of the excellent 1995 series.

* presumably some kind of Bridgerton-esque thing happened to make that socially acceptable in English high society, but in three episodes the show doesn't explain it.

In the book, Conchita is implied to be a woman of color. The family is from Brazil and her mother is repeatedly characterized as "dusky." Conchita was supposedly inspired by Consuelo Yznaga, who had a Cuban father and American mother and became the Duchess of Manchester.
posted by Preserver at 3:29 PM on November 9, 2023

Yes, I should've said "the person (the actual duchess) the character (Conchita) is based on."
posted by praemunire at 4:14 PM on November 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm enjoying it so far. Never read the Wharton. I do think it is confronting racism more than Bridgerton, and I appreciate the context on that that y'all are offering. I'm also appreciating the budding feminism that the Americans are bring from Saratoga Springs, where the first NY women's suffrage convention would have just happened in 1869. And I'm pretty sure that Seadown is going to turn out to be a total sex offender. Overall, it feels a little more thoughtful and less just an escapist fantasy tale like Bridgerton.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:17 PM on November 11, 2023

I think this show has the wrong IMDB link? It's showing a 1995 Buccaneers miniseries, but I guess this thread is for the 2023 Apple+ show?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:09 AM on November 12, 2023

I apologize. I literally had NO way when setting this up to figure out which version of The Buccaneers to select. It wouldn't show which one to select at all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 AM on November 12, 2023

No worries, you can flag your post and ask a mod to make the correction. I went to the imdb link to see which streaming service this was on in case it was one I had, but, no luck if it's Apple.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:04 AM on November 12, 2023

It's an Apple show, yes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:09 AM on November 12, 2023

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