Not My Cup of Tea
****Major Spoilers**** not only for this drama but for the trilogy of books.***** I have enjoyed other mini-series based on Catharine Cookson’s melodramas, but I guess Tilly Trotter just was not my cuppa. I liked the Tilly character: she was strong and good. But the men in her life were head swiveling-ly weak and unreliable. Her first love, the farmer, is dumber than dirt to begin with but a very good kind person. Then, when he is finally free of his unhappy marriage out of the blue, we learn in the last episode, we see him nailing the county nymphomaniac. In the barn. Instead of finding Tilly. Now, I understand, reading about the trilogy of novels, that he ends up being her enemy and a really bad guy.
Luckily, the 2 sequels were not made into movies, because, indeed, some pretty upsetting things happen there. She ends up marrying one of the children she was governess to? Hello, Mary LeTourneau? No. Just no. No wonder they stopped at the first novel. I’m not even going to start on the detour to Texas.
The man she ends up with in this drama gets set up as the bad guy by yelling at his boisterous children and having an affair. We hardly can blame him when we learn more about his evil wife. Tilly saves his life in the mine, and he becomes a good guy once he is permanently crippled and amputated. His wife leaves him, and he basically lets her take the children with her without fighting for them. Given the rights of mothers and women back then, he had a good chance of winning custody. Then he mopes about it throughout the rest of the movie. He is a great father when they visit him, but he never gets the kids back and his wife never gets her comeuppance. Their mother and their grandmother were just left to warp those poor kids, practically with the blessing of our hero and heroine.
Then we have the ending. After her childhood crush disappoints her she immediately decides to become her employer’s mistress. She gets in his bed, and the whole series ends. Just like that. Although Tilly Trotter ends on a positive note, there is little hope for a long-term happy future. By taking her as his mistress, (and in the books, getting her pregnant,) he will ruin her reputation and doom her to bad times ahead. I don’t mind tragedy, melodrama, or death in my historical dramas. Really, I don’t. But I like my heroes to be either redeemed or strong and good all the way through. They can be flawed, but their other positive character traits or good actions must vastly outweigh the bad. And I like my heroines to end up with happy secure futures. I like my villains to get justice. I like closure. Call me crazy. **5 out 10 stars**
July 16, 2017