How to Watch: Jamestown is available though PBS Passport, whatever that is. You can also get a PBS Masterpiece subscription through Amazon prime. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream and Season 3 will premiere this year.
Women Who Always Have Each Other’s Backs
Meet Jocelyn, Verity, and Alice. One of them killed a man. One of them is a compulsive thief. And one will be raped within a day of landing in the New World. Fueled by hope, daring, or desperation, they’ve come to Virginia to start over and build a new world. They’re all flawed (some more than others, but that just makes them more interesting, yeah?), but they always, always take care of each other. Feminism isn’t just about taking on the patriarchy, it’s about looking out for your fellow woman. There’s no “beautiful mean girls” nonsense, which, by the way, is a trope that needs to crawl away and die. They protect each other, fight for each other, risk their lives for each other. It’s refreshing, and one of the things Jamestown gets 100% right. And these actresses are SO GOOD.
These Ladies Don’t Accept Shit From Arseholes
The wives of Jamestown aren’t just content to stand up for each other; they’re basically burning down the patriarchy every episode. Jocelyn uses her wits and wiles to advance her position/do whatever she wants. She’s a well dressed, conniving political genius and I love her. Verity is a loudmouthed, Irish firecracker who insults men like she’s being paid to do it, but is fiercely maternal and nurturing to her friends. And Alice seems timid and sweet on the outside, but she has no qualms about attempting to kill a man who has wronged her. And speaking of arseholes…
There’s A Bunch of Bastards You’ll Love To Hate
I don’t know specifically where PBS took historical liberties when making this show, but Jamestown appears to have been colonized by a bunch of dicks. Unfortunately, that is probably accurate. 90% of the men in this show are literally the worst. They’re slimy, greedy misogynists, with some rapists and violent thugs thrown in for fun. Honestly, even the “good” guys are all pretty meh, with one notable exception (see below). You will love to hate them, almost as much as you’ll love seeing their nefarious deeds thwarted by our lady heroes time and time again. Okay enough with the scum, let’s get to the main, admittedly shallow, reason why I binge watched this show…
The Hot, Lonely, Dirty Blacksmith With A Heart Of Gold
There has never been a more tragic, romantic soul than James Read, fantastically portrayed by Matt Stokoe. He starts off the show with some well intentioned, but still objectionable, boundary issues, but eventually mellows into Jamestown’s perfect-but-unlucky-in-love man. He’s gorgeous and kind and acknowledges women as equals. He broods and forges swords and takes off his shirt. And every so often he uses his growling, Northern England Sean Bean voice to deliver lines like this:
I had to look on that woman’s loveliness and accept that I would never feel her breath on my breath. I’d never know her fingers on me, never taste her sweat with my tongue. I would ask you to leave me be tonight, for my spirit is dangerously broken.
But then when she was only a few days away, I better knew what that longing was: to look deep into a woman’s eyes, when she knows every crack in my soul. And these thoughts became precious to me.
Panties = melted. It’s criminal that this sooty dreamboat gets relegated to booty call or stuck in the friend zone. CRIMINAL I SAY. Season 3 had better see James Read with a love interest or I will be trolling the daylights out of PBS’ twitter account. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED, PBS.
I’ll leave you with another picture, just for fun. Honestly, I could stare at this grimy Adonis all day.
Have you watched Jamestown on PBS? Did you, like me, immediately go and watch everything else the hot blacksmith has been in? Because that’s normal.
All photos courtesy of PBS Masterpiece