Thoughts on: Wives and Daughters 1999

I am currently the proud owner of hamster cheeks. That is, I am trying to survive the extraction of those wisdom teeth. (It's okay, it really is. It's just cumbersome. And I don't exactly feel glamorous. :-P) But you know, why not do something minorly productive and write a blog post? Today I've watched 2 episodes of Mr Selfridge (it is so similar to The Paradise, like, I'm surprised one series didn't blame the other for plagarism), about 20 episodes of Emma Approved (#Knighthouse), I've slept and swallowed down ice-cream, and I'm currently listening to jazz (Marilyn Monroe is currently singing "I wanna be loved by you" and it's cute) and you know what, I'm going to write down a blog post.

Also, not to be Frank Churchill, but this heat is MADDENING. Belgium, you're supposed to have the reputation for bad weather. Prove it. THIS IS TOO HOT.

Anyways. Thoughts on Wives and Daughters. (That's another way of saying: "A review, but not a good enough one, so not worthy to be called a review." :-P) (Or "discombobulated ramblings on a dear movie.") (See, I am not that bad at blog post titles. Book titles, however, are an entirely different matter.)

Let us start by pointing out the negatives, shall we? (I know, I know, ever the optimist.)

MRS GIBSON. Aka. Claire or Hyacinth or the previous Mrs Kirkpatrick or, as I call her, the-spoilt-brat-who-ughhhh-no-leave-the-room. I cannot stand this woman. (Yes, those are grapes in her hair. But believe me, that is only a tiny fraction of her annoyingness.) Mrs Gibson is the kind of character you want to grab by the hair and scratch like a kitten (not to be blunt). The way she craves money and fame and attention is just ugh. I feel so bad for Molly for having to live with the woman, and I cannot give Mr Gibson much respect because he picked her out as a wife.

Speaking of Mr Gibson... I know loads of people like him as character, but personally he annoys me almost as much as Hyacinth! (Okay, not quite as much. Hyacinth is, granted, hard to beat on that score.) But really, I find him quite creepy - the way he calls his daughter goosey with that close stare and sends her off and controls Molly and then honestly thinks marrying Hyacinth is a SENSIBLE thing to do. And when he's angry at Molly when there's all the gossip about Mr Preston... like noo, just be calm, sir, have faith in your daughter.

The first episode, personally, I find rather slow. I only get 'into' the movie by episode 2. (Don't kill me, but Cynthia has to arrive to give the mini series the dazzle and the colour.) However, I do LOVE the scene in episode one where Roger comforts Molly when he finds her crying in the garden after she's found out about The Unwanted Engagement. Roger is like the BEST older brother and IT'S SO CUTE (because that's the thing: HE'S NOT THE OLDER BROTHER.) (Spoiler alert. :-P)

More negative things? Pheobe Brown was annoying. Kind of humorous, I guess, but definitely eye-roll-worthy-material. Sally's not much better. It always tickles me how she has a barouche in Wives and Daughters just like she famously has in Cranford. (Not Sally. The actress. She's called Mrs Jamieson-the-one-with-the-dog in Cranford.)

The Hamely-family scenes sometimes went on too much. (I only love them when Roger is in them. I could watch many Hamely scenes if Roger were in them all.)  Mr Hamely annoys me, although Michael Gambon is a good actor. (No sister-reading-this, don't say he isn't.) (My siblings somehow dislike Michael Gambon with a certain passion.) Mrs Hamely's death was sad, but I never got very attached to her as a character. She certainly is very sweet though, and man, I feel bad for Osborne for having to have his mum die being disappointed in him.

Osborne is a poor thing. The poor guy has one miserable happening after the other. He's not exactly what you'd call a lucky chap.

As we are still in the negative part of the review (or whatever), Harriet's hair in the last episode (the wig-pixie-cut-thing. yeah. that.) was a ghastly mess. Of course, a lot of the hair was ridiculous (remember the grapes in Mrs Gibson's hair-do), as were some of the puffed sleeves. Let's just say the wardrobes in here are an Anne Shirley gown heaven.

I DO like Lady Harriet Cumnor though; better then I did last time. She is a frank, open-hearted, confidant, witty lady. I like her face and her quick attitude. I like how she makes sure no-one thinks badly of Molly. I LOVE how she ships Molly with - spoiler alert but not really - Roger.

Can I also give a shout-out to Lady Catherine the Bourgh Lady Cumnor? She's hilarious. And her pwonouncishon is pwetty hilawious.

Let's speak of Cynthia. She is an interesting character with many different sides to her. Annoying, lovable, frustrating, ungenuine yet genuine. Do not unfollow me (well, I guess you can if you want to), but, but, but *whisper* I have a soft spot for Cynthia Kirkpatrick. Not that I approve of her actions - she is a flirt and she should not accept all those proposals and such and UGH the way she does not care a jot about Roger and her carelessness of his letters makes me so angry... but, but. I can't hate her. I cannot call her a villain.

And I feel bad for her with the Mr Preston plot. I also sort of feel bad for Preston. Look, it's a VERY good, unfortunate plot line. Preston loves Cynthia, Cynthia hates him despite the fact that she consented to marry him when she was 15. Preston has a very odd way of showing his love to Cynthia, which Molly (the DARLING) resolves. Whether or not you dislike Cynthia, I think we all agree her Preston-situation is very unfortunate. Yes, she shouldn't have promised him her hand but she was fifteen BUT DUDE, Preston has charm, and she changed her mind and that should be allowed.

I HATE that she doesn't break it off with Roger (or starts it in the first place) sooner. But I love how she admits her faults and how charming she is. I hate how flirty she is, but I love how she sees it. She is, you've got to admit, very honest. That is a good quality. (BUT SHE SHOULD TRY TO REMEDY HER FAULTS. Actually try.)

(Ignore Mrs Gibson in the above picture. Focus on Molly.)

Molly. Ah Molly. The girl who deserves so much more than she gets - the girl who has her heart broken and only mended till the very end - the girl who has to endure gossip because she's friendly - the girl who's left with everyone's problems - She is a DARLING.

I have no more to say. A DARLING. One of my favourite heroines out there, for sure. I love Molly Gibson.

I LOVE ROGER. Yes, I am sad he had the Cynthia phase, but I think they had him realise his mistake very well, what with him being so far away and just clinging to the thought of Cynthia because he knew nothing better. I love him best with Molly, of course. I wish for more Molly-Roger scenes and less Cynthia-Roger scenes. I always get excited when Roger is back in England. The guy is in Africa too often.

Seriously though. This guy has a place in my heart. Handsome, cute, a gentleman, so KIND and so good and also super clever. I mean... seriously. He's somethin'. (Underrated, too.) (And the nicest brother to Osborne.)

CAN WE JUST APPRECIATE HOW PERFECT THEY ARE TOGETHER?! I was literally sobbing during his proposal and ohh, I need more Molly-Roger scenes. They are so adorable and beautiful together and why it didn't happen sooner is a crying shame. The last episode is so glorious and tension-y filled it's almost annoying to watch. I love it though. Molly and Roger for ever and ever amen.

(Also I kind of wish there was a kiss. :-P) (Yes, there isn't.) (Not even a hug.) (They could at least have done a hug.) (The rainy proposal was so epic it made up for it though.) (And the Africa honeymoon.) (AND JUST THEM.) (Still wish there was a kiss.) (Or a hug.) (Or both.)

I'll stop with the brackets.

What do you think of this gorgeous miniseries? Have you seen it? Tell me thy thoughts.

PS I PERSONALLY LOVE THE COSTUMES IN HERE. Especially Cynthia's wickedly gorgeous dark blue ballgown she wears in London (:-O) and Molly's red one at the engagement party. The costumes are amazing in this miniseries, albeit sometimes rather much. Brownie points for whoever was in charge of the costumes, though.


  1. UGH YES. ROGER *dies* he's just so sweet and cute and Molly and him are perfect together XD this movie is prob one of my favs! I should watch it again soon XD

  2. this. post. is. yes. I LOVE THIS SHOW

  3. That... is a very good question. I saw this miniseries a couple years ago (or more, possibly... I can't remember now) and I thought it was a little disappointing in ways... it was very slow, and I was hoping it would pick up the pace a little. And yeah, some of the characters really annoyed me, and the hair-dos (what Harriet did with her hair was enough to make me walk out) and I also saw North & South at the same time, so I was comparing it to that, and I liked N & S better.
    I LOVED the rainy proposal and I loved Molly Gibson and Cynthia did amuse me very much and the storyline WAS quite sweet and the ending was darling and some of the dresses were beautiful and WOW I LOVE CYNTHIA'S BLUE BALLGOWN AND MOLLY'S WHITE DRESS THEY'RE DIVIIINE!!!! <3 <3 <3

    Yeah, I like this miniseries, but it's definitely not my favourite. I would like to re-watch it again sometime. Maybe when I have my wisdom teeth out... :D

    ~Miss Meg

    1. You have exactly the same opinion on the movie as my mum. :-)


  4. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh but that last photo is gorgeous. Yes, it is. And Molly in her white dress is simply DARLING.

    I know what you mean about Mr. Gibson. He's the reason I stopped reading the book and never tried the movie--I was like NOPE NOPE NOPITY NOPE YOU ARE TOO CONTROLLING AND I DO NOT LIKE YOU. He has issues. We can agree on this. *nods emphatically*

    I love it when you do period drama posts. And I hope your teeth feel better very soon :-)

    1. HE DOES HAVE ISSUES. Like seriously, some people like the whole 'aww the dad is being so nice towards his daughter thing' but there are certain boundaries. He was gettin' creepy. His daughter is grown-up, for Pete's sake.

      Thanks, honey. <3

  5. This show is so sweet <3 <3!!! LOVE IT!!

    Oh my goodness Lady Cumner is hilarious! She cracks me up every time XD XD

    Roger and Molly are so so sweet!!! I totally agree that I would have liked there to have been a kiss or a hug at least. But yes the proposal scene kills. Me. Every. Time!!!!

    Lovely Naomi! I'm so glad to see a period drama post again!

    1. Lady Cumner is the best. I love the way she talks. :-)


      It feels so good to write about period drama again. :-)

  6. Lot of good thoughts in this post. I CANNOT STAND HYACINTH!!!!! Mr. Gibson is mostly lowered in my opinion because he thought it would be a good idea to marry her! I mean seriously! You're a smart man... I THOUGHT!!!! Besides that, while I don't always agree with him and he can be a little annoying sometimes I do like him.
    I can see having a soft spot for Cynthia... She drives me crazy too and sometimes I hate her and sometimes I feel sorry for her. She is honest though... you can't deny that.
    I adore Molly and Roger so much... they're one of my favorite couples and individually they're amazing as well.
    And yes! All of the costumes are gorgeous in this film!!!!! I WANT THEM ALL!!!!!
    Anyways... lovely post... sorry for all of the capitalization but as you can probably tell I'm pretty passionate about this film. ;)

  7. Lovely review Naomi!!
    I love Wives and Daughters, such a lovely miniserie.

    Molly and Roger, lovely couple.
    Poor Osborne, I really felt sorry for him, the way he was treated.

    I did like Cynthia, she is an interesting character, like you said.
    I don't like Mrs Kirkpatrick, she is so...don't know the words to say it, I can not stand her. Her ways of doing and herself.

    Love the costumes!!!!! Love everything about this miniserie.

  8. I LOVE THIS POST. *insert all the hearts*

    We have nearly identical feelings on this "dear movie." :D

    OKAY BUT I MUST TELL YOU SOMETHING. *drops voice to a whisper* I like Hyacinth.

    I know.

    I know.

    But she's FUNNY, Naomi! And my mother and I have come to the conclusion that though she's shallow and ridiculous and selfish, she is, as Jane Bennet would say, "not vicious." She's self-absorbed and she has her Really Bad moments, but I don't think she really wants harm to come to anybody. It's like Francesca Annis herself said in an interview. :-P So, anyway, yeah -- my mom and I both really like Hyacinth. (And she's so quotable.) I'M SORRY.

    BUT I'M SO WITH YOU ON MR. GIBSON. I. Do Not. Like. Mr. Gibson. Blech. No. Sowwy, fam. (And his behavior when the townspeople suspect her with Mr. Preston? NOOOOO. GO AWAY. EXCUSE YOU.)

    Episode 1 IS rather slow, you're right. *nods head* And sometimes the Hamley scenes do go on too much (though I do like Squire Hamley, notwithstanding the fact that if you think about it, he's kind of terrible for a while there -- I don't know that I'd like him so well, except that Michael Gambon is rather lovable). YOU CAPTURED MY THOUGHTS ON ALL THE LITTLE DETAILS SO EXQUISITELY, MY DEAR. :) <3

    Yes to Lady Hawwiet (she's a Boss)! And yes to Cynthia! I have a bit of a soft spot for her, too. And yes to Preston, as well! I feel quite bad for him.

    MOLLY AND ROGER ALL. THE. YES. !!!!!!! Both individually and as a couple. THEY'RE BOTH SUCH SPECIAL CHARRIES. *hugs them* <3

    Like, Roger's silly for "fancying himself in love" with Cynthia, but he's such an adorkable dork and I WUV HIM. And Molly is just goals, honestly. SHE'S SO CUTE I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

    "Yes, I am sad he had the Cynthia phase, but . . . " << THAT. So true and funny. :D (And I always get excited when he comes back from Africa, too!)

    "The last episode is so glorious and tension-y filled it's almost annoying to watch. I love it though." << FOR REALSIES.

    I love the last episode so much -- and the last time we watched the series, the disc wouldn't work for the last episode! I KNOW, RIGHT. We were as outraged as I'm sure you are. :-P

    Like I said, I love this post. It's loverly. THANKS FOR IT, OLD BEAN. <3 (And sympathies again about the wisdom teeth. You'll get through it. <3)

  9. I don't mind Hyacinth Gibson. Yes, she can be annoying and grasping. But I also find her fascinating. And I understood her difficulties in trying to raise Cynthia, while acting as a governess at the same time. It would be difficult today and nearly impossible in the early 19th century.

    However, I have developed something of a dislike toward Dr. Gibson. He is a priggish and judgmental man who expects everyone to revolve around his moral compass.

    I like Cynthia, but I dislike her penchant for using others. Both Molly and especially Mr. Preston were her worst victims.

    I like Molly, but I find her a bit too ideal for my tastes. And like her father, she has a habit of jumping to conclusions about people, yet demanding that others do not jump to conclusions about her.

    I think I dislike Squire Hamley just as much as . . . perhaps even more than Dr. Gibson. Ditto for the elder Miss Browning.

  10. [quote] Whether or not you dislike Cynthia, I think we all agree her Preston-situation is very unfortunate. Yes, she shouldn't have promised him her hand but she was fifteen BUT DUDE, Preston has charm, and she changed her mind and that should be allowed.[/quote]

    Cynthia was old enough to know better. And she is a more worldly personality than Molly. She used Mr. Preston. What else can one say?

    Let's see...
    Yes to Hyacinth, seriously, just yes to everything you said. And yes!!! To Mr. Gibson! He's supposed to be more likeable! And yes especially how he gets angry at her for that! Ugh.

    I LOVE the crying-in-the-garden scene too. SOOO much. Aaaaahhh.

    Yes to the Brownings, yes to the Hamley scenes, I completely agree, SERIOUSLY I do (esp. that Roger is the only thing making them worth watching)...

    I adore Lady Harriet, and she is simply darling to do what she does for Molly and YES to her shipping Molly and Roger.
    I adore Lady Cumnor, too, especially after seeing her as Lady Catherine. Sometimes that ruins a character when you've seen the actor as someone else before (--ahem, like Osborne being Tom Hollander who played Mr. Collins in Fake P&P--), but in Lady Cumnor's case it was still perfect.

    I completely agree about Cynthia!!! She seriously drives me crazy sometimes and I can't help but be a little angry with the trouble she (somewhat unconsciously) causes Molly, but I can't hate her. And I definitely feel for her with the whole Mr. Preston thing. And YES she should have broken it off with Roger sooner, but I'm so glad she did because OBVIOUSLY. Anyway yes, I totally agree about Cynthia. (What a surprise this comment is turning out to be, I agree with everything just like I said at the beginning.)

    YES MOLLY IS A DARLING and that's that.

    I SERIOUSLY LOVE ROGER TOO (shockingly). Yes, yes, yes to everything you said. Aaaaahhh, he's just so perfect (y'know, once he gets over Cynthia). Definitely underrated.


    And about the kiss!!! Or at least a hug!!! I always think that too!!! Kind of disappointing, really. Yes, the rainy proposal was marvellous and the Africa scene, but yes. Something.

    THERE YA GO. I really do completely agree with everything you said in this. It was really like reading my own thoughts. Which is something I love, reading something I agree with so completely, so thank you for having such correct opinions. :D
    Marvellous "thoughts"!!!

  12. I don't really feel for Cynthia in regard to Mr. Preston. The worst I can say about him is that he can be rather cynical and gossipy about other people. And to be perfectly honest, his cynicism does not bother me. But I also have a little contempt for him, because he allowed a 15 year-old girl to use him like a chump. Let's be frank. Cynthia did use him and did not expect to face the consequences of her actions. That's why she really hated him. Because he was a reminder of what she did.


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