Ok, so here's the thing. I never have understood people's love for 19th century fiction (other than the Russian novels, now that I can understand), but that didn't stop me from choosing to study 19th century literature for english extension rather than crime fiction. Why would I be foolish enough to do this? I'm a very practical person. One teacher teaching crime fiction hated my guts and persecuted me to the point that I switched out of his year 11 english class, the other was a class A idiot and I knew I would fail if I got her for crime fiction. On the other hand, sure I hated 19th century fiction, but at least the teachers teaching it were competant.
So I chose 19th century fiction. My teacher was lovely, my class was lovely but TRUTH... that didn't stop class from being pure unadulderated torture.
The worst part was the main module of study... the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. Now don't get me wrong. I love the BBC. But I go in for the weird timey wimey sci fi stuff or the dead bodies stuff or the spy stuff or the political thriller stuff, or you know just anything not 19th century fiction related stuff. So me watching all 6 hours of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice for a term and a half AT THE LEAST complete with continuous fast forwarding, rewinding, forwards, backwards, analysing, discussing, describing in minute detail made me hate the damn thing with a passion.
My main reaction to BBC period adaptations, but Jane Austen in particular is an involuntary shudder these days and a gut feeling of absolute loathing at the memory of watching that damn scene with Miss Bingley about eleventy billion times forwards, backwards, repeated, and analysed till I felt I would scream the school down. I mean there's only so many time I can admire the aristocratic way that Anna Chancellor managed to turn up her nose at Elizabeth Bennet with any modicum of interest.
So when Anna Chancellor appeared in Spooks as Juliet...
my instinctive reaction was to go into some weird time loop of hate and loathing at the memory of this woman...
I studied the scene where Miss Bingley tries to catch Elizabeth out at being uneducated by making her "take a turn about the room" in front of Mr Darcy so many God damned times that the very sight of Anne Chancellor fills me with hate and fear. Let me explain to you how much pain the memory of Miss Bingley/Anna Chancellor puts me through... with a SONG.
What is this feeling?
Fervid as a flame,
Does it have a name?
For your face;
Let's just say - I loathe it all
Ev'ry little trait, however small
Makes my very flesh begin to crawl
With simple utter loathing
There's a strange exhilaration
In such total detestation
It's so pure, so strong!
Though I do admit it came on fast
Still I do believe that it can last
And I will be loathing
My whole life long!
In fact the very sight of Anna Chancellor sends my brain into a weird mix of hate and despair and essay writing so that every time she comes on screen as Juliet in Spooks my brain tells me forcefully and authoritively, "Social status is portrayed in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice in the costuming of the different characters. Miss Bingley wears colourful silks and exotic feathers to indicate her high class and social status, whilst the Bennet sisters wear simple dresses and jewlery to highlight their gentry class status." and then my brain goes into double overload telling me insistently that I should write next about Miss Bingley's insistance that Elizabeth take a turn about the room, and how I should discuss her disproval for Elizabeth in a framework of social acceptance and norms of the time.
In fact, if I ever met Anna Chancellor, I'd have some words with her I would (once I got past the involuntary linked reaction of ahhh I loathe you, followed by "Social status is portrayed in the BBC's..."). I am fairly sure that her portrayal of Miss Bingley has scarred me for life. At least Colin Firth doesn't send my brain into essay overdrive, at least Jennifer Ehle never really did anything ever again after P&P. Damn you Anna Chanceller. Damn you.
Of course, it doesn't help that Anna Chancellor is typecast as the upper class British snob in everything
she is ever in ever...
Agent Cody Banks 2: snob.
What a girl wants: snob.
Four wedding and a funeral. snob.
STOP MAKING ME RELIVE THE HSC DAMN IT!!! Congratulations. You, my dear Anna Chancellor, have perfected the art of long distance torture.
Yep. Gee thanks Miss Bingley, Jane Austen, Anna Chancellor and the idiot HSC board. You have all conspired to give me post traumatic english extension, Jane Austen disorder.
Though perhaps I have taken the first step in fixing my Austen, Miss Bingley fear related, traumatised state... after all I didn't know Anna Chancellor from Adam till I set about writing this entry. She was simply THE WOMAN or even more often AHHHH ITS HER... HER... THAT ONE... AHHHHHHHH or even more often just "it's... it's... Miss... Bing... ley?????"
At least she has a name now :P
ps for Holly: be thankful you got to study Richard Armitage be hot in North and South. I'm sure he
doesn't send your mind into spirals of hate and fear and remembrance of frantic essay writing conditions.