Sanditon is an Andrew Davies adaptation of Jane Austen’s final unfinished novel about a seaside town of the same name. The protagonist, Charlotte Heyward, befriends Mr Tom Parker and his family, who are attempting to transform Sanditon into the “finest seaside resort” along the southern coast of England. They invite Charlotte to stay with them in Sanditon, and there she meets a cast of interesting people and experiences many new adventures.
Sanditon was a fantastic show - I loved it. It is a modern take on period drama. I didn’t know much about the novel prior to watching this TV adaptation and I remember thinking at times, “this seems very modern for Austen”, but not in a bad way. It is a lot racier than other traditional Austen series/movies, so people who like traditional period dramas may not enjoy Sanditon if they are comparing it to “authentic” Austen. Of course it is different from other Austen adaptations, because in a lot of ways it is not! It takes the characters Austen created and has used creative licence to finish their stories in a very entertaining and fresh way (in my opinion!).
The characters are perfectly cast (fantastic acting by everyone in the cast!), the costumes are amazing, the cinematography and scenery are breath taking, and the soundtrack is perfect. If there are historical inaccuracies in any of the costumes/dialogue/soundtrack/setting, for me it didn’t take away from the charm of the show (some perceived inaccuracies flagged by viewers seem debatable, but I’ll leave it to qualified historians to judge that!)
The love story between Charlotte and Sidney Parker (Tom Parker’s younger brother) develops slowly and is beautiful acted by Rose Williams and Theo James; I was grinning like an idiot any time these two characters interacted! But Sanditon is more than just the main love story, introducing a whole host of interesting and complex characters. Each character has their flaws but by the end of the series we see enough of their stories to understand their actions, even if we don’t always agree with them. There is also a lot of character development of the main characters which is so lovely to watch unfold! One of few criticisms I have is that sometimes the characters’ back stories could have been more fully developed (e.g., I would have loved to learn more about Sidney’s time in Antigua and also more about Georgianas father and her life before coming to England, as well as Clara’s life before moving to Sanditon, etc.). But trying to cram all of that into 8 episodes is hard, and not delved into perhaps partly because the show was produced with the possibility of a second (or more) season.
The ending of the series leaves many stories unfinished and this may also frustrate
People. I take this show on its own merit, and loved it despite the fact it ends as a cliff hanger. But I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more and will keep all my fingers and toes crossed that it will return for a second season (or multiple seasons, that would be fine with me too!!) to tie up all those loose ends.
Unfortunately at this stage a second season of Sanditon isn’t confirmed. I really hope that this wonderful show gets picked up for a second season so we can learn the fate of these amazing characters!
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