Television: Parade's End (Episode 3/5)

There's no one to like in this program, and I think that's what really bothers me. (That was the very reason I couldn't be bothered to finish Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, either; I just wanted everyone to die.) What's worse, I think I'm supposed to maybe feel sympathetic toward or sorry for Christopher and Val, as if they have some kind of true love connection that's being denied them by convention and the fact they are both, at heart, very good people, but . . . No.

If anything, I feel bad for Sylvia, which sounds insane except that I absolutely understand her. She is childish in her attempts to manipulate some kind of action from her husband, but I can at least understand her motivation. She's looking for some show of affection from Christopher, she wants to prompt him into feeling. Anything would be better than his seeming indifference to her. That makes sense, even if Sylvia's methods leave much to be desired. She's tried to make him jealous, she's tried to be "good" by being chaste, but there seems to be no pleasing him. She cannot please him, he does not want her, so her frustration is valid.

But God, the whole Christopher and Val thing is insipid. I cannot like the way the story gives them carte blanche to take up with one another—Sylvia practically gives Christopher permission, and then Christopher's brother Mark even strives to arrange for it—even if it doesn't come to pass. It's not because they've stopped themselves, only because they've been prevented, so there's no saving grace in the lack of consummation. It's something of a hypocritical story in turning Sylvia into a beast for her indiscretions but making it okay for Christopher. Is it because he's supposedly really, truly in love? That makes it worse, not better. A woman might be able to forgive a man who strayed once or twice, so long as his heart is at home. Emotional affairs, however, are not to be countenanced.

Anyway, at this point I'd rather Christopher get a bullet in the head at the front lines or something. Put us all out of his misery.

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