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Friday, June 19, 2015

'The Village' S2: Great Slice of 1920s British Life Paralleling Post-911

The Village Series Two DVD
The July 2014 Unreal TV review of the BFS Entertainment DVD release of the 2013 first series (my people call them seasons) of the BBC one drama "The Village" noting that that program being a current one would require waiting roughly a year for BFS to release the second series was prophetic in that that one came out in May 2015. The good news is that that wait was well worth it.

The brilliantly executed brilliant concept of  "Village," which can be considered a variation on "Downton Abbey," is that modern-day 100 year-old Bert Middleton sets the stage for the events of his life. S1 focuses on Bert being a teen boy during the Great War (a.k.a. World War I) in the titular rural community. S2 has an early 20s Bert still living at home and working at the struggling dairy farm of his father.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, provides a good sense of the beauty and the aptly understated tone of this show while keeping spoilers to a minimum.


The literally violent class war and other intense turmoil that develops during S2 evokes memories of the aftermath of 911. Many New Yorkers expressed a desire that people stop being nice and get back to normal. The increasingly divisive politics, the occupy movement, horribly strained race relations, and other elements of our current dystopia that are also present in "Village" show that they have received their wish.

The end of WWI sets the stage for the village residents to no longer keep calm and carry on. A heated political race between a Labour candidate and a conservative contender is only one element of this.

The efforts of the wealthy Allingham family to prevent the locals from using their land for purposes that include getting from Point A to Point B and for "courting" is the center of other intense conflict that escalates into a confrontation with dramatic ripple effects. Like the political race in "Village," a class war is at the center of all this.

Romantic relationships are another source of S2 drama. A limited exception to that tome of those stories is that an element of the interest of Bert in a local bird both introduces a classic sitcom moment and leads to an adorable scene in the season finale that serves as a cliffhanger.

On a more dramatic note, the mother of Bert and the aforementioned Labour candidate develop mutually strong feelings that have their own ripple effects. Unhappy marriages, a socially intolerable relationship, and a strongly resisted request for a divorce largely round out this aspect of the lives of the villagers.

The manner in which the S2 action escalates near the end extends well beyond Bert trying to make a love connection. Long simmering resentments across all classes boils over, one character pays a pre-emptive homage to Virginia Woolf, and another nod to classic literature are only some of the developments. The most dramatic threat that modern life asserts against the burg threatens the very existence of the community in a manner that suggest that the person with the gold does make the rules.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Village" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.