The Pursuit of Love (TV series)

The Pursuit of Love is a British romance drama television miniseries written and directed by Emily Mortimer based on the 1945 novel of the same name by Nancy Mitford. It premiered on 9 May 2021.[1]

The Pursuit of Love
GenreRomance drama
Based onThe Pursuit of Love
by Nancy Mitford
Written byEmily Mortimer
Directed byEmily Mortimer
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production
CinematographyZac Nicholson
Production companies
Release
Original networkBBC One
Original release9 May 2021 (2021-05-09)

PremiseEdit

Two cousins navigate their lives and friendship, as they seek different things in life.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.K. viewers
(millions)
1"Episode 1"[2]Emily MortimerEmily Mortimer9 May 2021 (2021-05-09)N/A
Linda and her cousin Fanny grow up in the English countryside. Linda has a very intense personality, and is described by her family as desperately romantic. Fanny is raised by her aunt, as her mother "The Bolter" has run off. She has gone to school, but Linda has not, as her father loathes educated women. They wait for their lives to begin. They meet a neighbour, Lord Merlin, described as an artist and eccentric. At a ball, Linda meets Tony Kroesig, the son of a rich Tory banker, whom she falls in love with. Fanny and Merlin don't think Tony is right for her and that she will be unhappy, and her father disapproves as he comes from a German family, but they marry.
2"Episode 2"[3]Emily MortimerEmily Mortimer16 May 2021 (2021-05-16)N/A
Linda marries Tony Kroesig and bears his child, Moira. Fanny marries Alfred, an Oxford scholar, and is expecting as well. Linda has a difficult delivery and post-partum, and does not bond with her child. She spends years with the "Chatters" partying at night, a group of gentlemen including Lord Merlin. Her relationship with Fanny becomes more spotty, although she repeats that she would be lost without her. At a lunch at her in-laws, Linda meets Christian Talbot, a communist, and divorces her husband who marries his mistress, Pixie. Linda moves to a flat in Chelsea, offered by Lord Merlin, who despairs of her love for Christian or any bolt appearing in her life. She works for a communist bookstore. Her younger brother enlists for the Spanish war, and she and Christian leave to do humanitarian work with Spanish refugees. Fanny is upset at her leaving because she feels abandoned, and because her married life has her confined to motherhood duties while her husband engages in conversation and intellectual work. In Spain, Christian cheats with Lavender. Linda finds out and desperate, goes back to London. She is unable to leave Paris, and meets Fabrice de Sauveterre at the train station, so offers her a room for the night.
3"Episode 3"[4]Emily MortimerEmily Mortimer23 May 2021 (2021-05-23)N/A
Linda decides to stay in Paris with Fabrice de Sauveterre, who makes her his mistress and showers her with gifts. She says she is happy, but when Lord Merlin, Fanny and her uncle Davey come to Paris, Merlin remarks she has a haunted sadness. She returns to London as the war begins. Fabrice briefly joins her and she is pregnant. After her London home is bombed, she leaves for the family house, where she gives birth but dies in childbirth. Fanny believes she died happy. The closing scene is a tea party in the garden between Fanny, her mother and her aunt, in which they discuss their hope that in the future, women will not be limited to be a fixer or a bolter.

ProductionEdit

It was announced in December 2019 that the BBC had commissioned the series, an adaptation of the 1945 Nancy Mitford novel. Emily Mortimer was announced as writer and director of the series, with Lily James starring.[5]

Filming on the series had initially begun in the spring of 2020, but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It would resume in July in Bristol and Bath, Somerset, with the cast additions of Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox, and Amazon Studios joining the project as a co-producer.[6][7]

ReceptionEdit

The series received positive reviews from critics in the UK press. In the Radio Times, Eleanor Bley Griffiths wrote "[...]I do know that each episode was a joy and a pleasure to watch – and when it comes to Sunday night TV, you can’t ask for more than that."[8] For The Telegraph Anita Singh praised the show overall but criticised the casting of James: "It is enjoyable, and the first episode is quite the best. But its leading lady is all wrong, despite looking the part"[9] while Ed Cumming in The Independent was more complimentary about her: "Free to pout and strut and grumble like a teenager, James relaxes more into her role than she did on her last outing, as a lovestruck archaeologist in The Dig."[10] Lucy Mangan in The Guardian gave the first episode the maximum five stars, stating "The insistent intertwining of the pain with the laughter, instead of flattening the tale into a Wodehouse-with-women yarn, makes this adaptation feel like a classic in its own right. It is a treat for all. Mitfordians – please, do give it a chance."[11] The Financial Times also gave a generally positive review to the show.[12]

SoundtrackEdit

The series' soundtrack contains many British and US acts and French singers.[13] The first episode prominently includes T. Rex's song "Dandy in the Underworld" in the ballroom sequence which introduces the character of Lord Merlin, played by Andrew Scott.[14]

  1. Bryan Ferry - "The In Crowd"
  2. Le Tigre - "Deceptacon"
  3. New Order - "Ceremony"
  4. T. Rex - "Dandy in the Underworld"
  5. Cat Power - "Sea of Love"
  6. Sleater-Kinney - "Modern Girl"
  7. Marianne Faithfull - "Give My Love to London"
  8. Joan Armatrading - "Woncha Come On Home"
  9. Karen Dalton - "Are you Leaving for the Country"
  10. The Meters - "Cissy Strut"
  11. Nina Simone - "Be My Husband"
  12. John Cale - "Paris 1919"
  13. Maria Arnal - "A La Vida"
  14. Blossom Dearie - "Plus Je t'embrasse"
  15. Juliette Greco - "Déshabillez-moi"
  16. Yves Montand - "Rue St Vincent"
  17. Marino Marini - "Guaglione"
  18. The Who - "Blue, Red and Grey"

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Amin, Meghna (23 April 2021). "The Pursuit Of Love now has a trailer and release date". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  2. ^ "The Pursuit of Love – Episode 1". BBC One. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  3. ^ "The Pursuit of Love – Episode 2". BBC One. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  4. ^ "The Pursuit of Love – Episode 3". BBC One. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  5. ^ White, Peter; Grater, Tom (9 December 2019). "'Mamma Mia!'s Lily James To Star In Emily Mortimer's Adaptation Of Nancy Mitford's 'The Pursuit Of Love' For BBC One".
  6. ^ Kanter, Jake (25 June 2020). "Lily James' BBC Series 'The Pursuit Of Love' Set To Be Among First High-End UK Dramas To Resume Shooting".
  7. ^ Kanter, Jake (27 July 2020). "Amazon Boards BBC Romantic Comedy 'The Pursuit Of Love'; Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells Join Cast".
  8. ^ "The Pursuit of Love review: BBC show puts the spotlight on complex female friendships – and it's funny, too". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  9. ^ Singh, Anita (9 May 2021). "The Pursuit of Love, review: a jolly fun adaptation – just a shame no one told its leading lady". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Lily James excels in post-Bridgerton period bonkbuster The Pursuit of Love – review". The Independent. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  11. ^ "The Pursuit of Love review – absolutely glorious". the Guardian. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  12. ^ Feay, Suzi (7 May 2021). "Lily James brings Nancy Mitford's heroine to life in The Pursuit of Love". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  13. ^ "The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining". Heart.co.uk. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  14. ^ Wolf, Matt (10 May 2021). "The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining". theartsdesk.com. Retrieved 10 May 2021.

External linksEdit