TV Review: Victoria (Series 2, Episode 3)
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This week, Daisy Goodwin and co. stepped up their game, with a riveting and dramatic portrayal of a difficult time in the monarch's life. The audience were lulled into a false sense of security at the start of this week's episode, with a seemingly light-hearted tone and topics of which everyone could have an opinion on.
Nearing her time of 'confinement' in pregnancy and constantly being urged to take it easy in preparation for the birth of her second child, Victoria continues to bump heads with the forces of her husband and prime minister, as more matters of state arise that spark disagreements. Perhaps demonstrating her teenage naivety, Victoria proposes to hold a medieval ball in order to showcase a small silk business working in Spitalfields, whose livelihood is being threatened by the import of cheaper products. Although her intentions were good, Victoria divides the country and court with her opinion, as it must be questioned whether her lavish spectacle is the most sensitive decision when hundreds of thousands are starving on the streets of London. Unusually for the programme, we gain an insight into the lives of the poor in Victoria's England, as she ventures into the slums to consult and support the business that is suffering under the strength of the British Empire. Although we are offered glimpses in the form of Skerrett and the lives of the servants, this was enough to hit Victoria right where it hurt and offer a different perspective. This topic was an excellent addition to the programme as it reminded the audience of Victoria's youth and limited experience in royalty, with her naive and perhaps insensitive actions indicative of her age. It is here that we remember that this Queen was only 18 years-old when she gained such a monumental responsibility, and is consistently critiqued by older minds who believe that they could do better.
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