In other words, you didn’t need us to tell you The Crown was coming back. You’ve watched it all by now … thrice.
Related Post: All Hail the Female Relationships on The Crown
And if you’re like us, you are also well aware that it’s almost 2018, your 20th high school reunion is imminent and looming, if not a couple of Facebook photo albums old already, and every single internet listicle that starts with “You’ll Feel Old When You See ….. ” makes you feel cranky enough to take a midday nap.
Like any good Anglophile who came of age in the era of Leo and Gwyneth, I remember Diana, the Divorced Years and when Wills was the hot one. I have a working knowledge of the machinery of the British peerage, and sometime in middle school, I started collecting Jane Austen adaptations like I was getting a phD in retrenchment.
Which is why nothing lately has made me feel older than watching The Crown and seeing my beloved Jane Austen Heroes of the 90s as … septuagenarians.
Hot 90s Austen Men are Now Playing Grandpas
That’s right. All the hot British actors that you fell in love with in your formative years, when you had to rent 5 separate VHS video cassettes from Blockbuster to get your cravat fix, are now old enough to have grandchildren the same age you were back then. Here they are, in order of breaks to my heart.
It started with Jeremy Northam. In my first recap from season 1 (yes, I only did 4 recaps for The Crown; it’s super hard to recap a show that you binge watch in one weeked with Blurtlander), I lamented how … old he was.
Jeremy Northam is NOT a stodgy, gall-bladder ailing, pill popping, war mongering fogey. He’s KNIGHTLY.
But not anymore. At least, not in The Crown. Sure, he’s still distinguished and a fantastic actor, but where’s my man who rode through the rain???
What are we supposed to do with that Grandpa Joe At The Chocolate Factory Looking Mother Effer?
Then there was Willoughby
Oh, Greg Wise. Was there ever a more rakish, dashing literary hero than your sexy as hell Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility?
I recognized Greg Wise immediately because despite Persuasion being my favorite Austen novel, Emma Thompson’s S&S is my favorite adaptation. It.Is.Perfection in cast, score, script and set. I’ve seen it at least 200 times. (Again, I came of age in the late 90s).
And knowing that these two are married IRL upped the swoon stakes on good ol’ Greg here by a million. Anyone that’s good enough for Emma …
But then there is good ol’ Mountbatten, who most definitely does not carry pocket sonnets with him always, and does not have the upper body strength to carry Kate Winslet in soggy muslin across at least a mile of English hillside.
Guys, we are all so old.
Oh, fine, take Wickham too
George Wickham is not a hero. He’s a cad. It’s only in Death Comes to Pemberley, in which Matthew Goode of upcoming Discovery of Witches fame gave us a very scoudrel-y Wickham, that the character approaches seriously hot status. Swoon status. Matthew Goodie is ALSO in The Crown, but since he’s still playing a hottie, he doesn’t make this list,[Sidenote: WATCH Death Comes to Pemberley immediately. You think the Darcy conversation is about Firth vs MacFadyen? Oh, my dears, you have not even begun to know Darcy until you see Matthew Rhys don his disdain!]
When I think of Wickham, I don’t think of Rupert Friend or Matthew Goode. My mind is more agreeably turned to the man who introduced me to the character, Adrian Lukis.
But when I saw this paunch-bellied, knee-sock wearing sailor, I GASPED.
And you, Pip Torrens.
Who? The perpetually correct Tommy Lascelles is also an Austen man. He’s the financially troubled Edward Austen Knight in Jane Austen Regrets. Not swoonworthy, and therefore perfectly fits the priggish Lascelles character he plays in The Crown.
Bor-ing. I’m not at all averse to him playing an old-fashioned dick in The Crown. You engender no Austen swoon.
However, he’s also the greatest of the Netherfield butlers.
Who is your favorite Austen hero? Did seeing these guys in The Crown make you long for your first generation iPod and undergraduate literature survey courses? Have you finished season 2 of The Crown yet?