I admit it, I have a little crush on George Gordon, Lord Byron, which is a little weird being that he's dead and all. But if you've seen portraits of him, the guy is definitely crush-worthy and he wrote poetry. In fact, one could say that Byron was the Rock and Roll poet of The Regency, all brooding, and sensitive, apart from the whole bisexuality thing. Oh, and the incest thing, but that just adds to his charm and his legend. He's the quintessential bad boy that you can't stay away from, although your friends keep warning you about him.
So imagine how excited I was to learn that the BBC had done a 3 hour miniseries starring Jonny Lee Miller of Trainspotting and Angelina Jolie fame (he was husband no. 1, she had his name written in blood on her shirt when they got married. Don't ask). I ordered it from Netflix and sat down last night with some sushi to watch.
Sigh! Umm, his hair was nice.
Seriously folks that's the best I can say about this miniseries. Johnny Lee Miller may be cute but he's no Lord Byron. He's too much of a lightweight for the role, both acting wise and vocally, but he sure is pretty. That's about it. I do give the writers kudos for going with the Bryon and his sister were lovers theory, although I could probably have done without the extended sex scenes. I mean, dude, he's doing his sister, we don't really need to see it.
And I did feel sorry for Annabella Milbanke who makes that classic mistake most women make of thinking that they can change a man or that they can heal him through their love. Boy did she ever learn. I loved Vanessa Redgrave who played Lady Melbourne, one of Byron's patrons and the mother-in-law to Lady Caroline Lamb, one of Byron's mistresses (see my other blog Scandalous Women if you want the poop on that relationship), but I didn't like the actress who played Caroline Lamb. She was crazy but I don't think she was quite that outwardly crazy.
So one great big disappointment on the Byron front. I'm trying to think of another actor who could have played the part better. Gabriel Bryne was pretty good in Gothic, although the movie was a complete and utter disaster. Perhaps Toby Stephens would have been better, he was a good Rochester in the most recent BBC version of Jane Eyre.
Thanks for reading,