Monday, February 07, 2011

From Lark Rise to Candleford

Those of you who know me know that I'm not a big fan of movies, television, and the like. I find most to be a complete waste of my time or a detriment to my spirit. However, over the past few years in Wilmore, Keith and I have enjoyed three BBC television series via Netflix, Youtube, DVD's...First, was the "Vicar of Dibley" starring Dawn French. Absolutely hilarious and I suggest you look into it! Next, we tried the BBC "Robin Hood" show but were sorely disappointed when Maid Marian died at the end of season one, was resurrected by Robin (ridiculous), only to die again for good at the end of season two. So we gave up for awhile until we came across "Merlin". An interesting show about the young Merlin to young prince Arthur of Camelot. A lot of fantasy, magic, dragons, etc, but with likeable character and creative story lines. However, Keith and I have fully caught up Merlin which will not be aired again for another months went by with nothing worth watching again other than the occasional Antiques Road Show. However, I eventually came across Dawn French starring in another BBC show called "Lark Rise to Candleford".
After watching 3 or 4 episodes I was hooked to the characters and the development of their rural English lives. Here is a good description from Wikipedia:

"The series is set in the small Oxfordshire hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town of Candleford towards the end of the 19th century. In Season Two, episode 17, the date carved on the new clock tower in Candleford is 1895. The series chronicles the daily lives of farm workers, craftsmen, and gentry, observing the characters in loving, boisterous, and competing communities of families, rivals, friends, and neighbours.

The narrative is seen through the eyes of a teenage girl, Laura Timmins (Olivia Hallinan), as she leaves Lark Rise to start a new life under the wing of her cousin, the independent and effervescent Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha), who is Post Mistress at the local Post Office in Candleford. Through these two characters, viewers experience the force of friendship as Laura and Dorcas see each other through the best and worst of times."

Sadly, the producers have decided to "quit while they are ahead" and end the show mid-season even though it is one of the most popular in the UK right now. There is just one week left and I'm disappointed. I think the expression of small town life, wisdom gained in the ordinariness of life, and the depiction of REAL community that I found in the show have really helped me deal with some of my journey in Wilmore. I was highly impressed with the show's expression of issues, tensions, and human formation through the everyday experiences of marriage, work, and friendships. I recommend watching it and holding onto some of the quotes, especially those that aim at gender interactions, roles, and relationships.

Right now, in particular, I am struggling with contentment in my everyday life that doesn't seem to be of much value which I'm largely measuring on my ability to positively influence others. The idol of influence! Here is a quote from Marva Dawn's "The Sense of the Call" that I find connecting to some of the spirit of Lark Rise:
"Even ordinary tasks are edged with splendor when we remember that they are part of the overall work of the Kingdom..." (p.11).
I'm also waiting to fill in the title for my own life which is adding to the discouragement..."From Wilmore to ______". I hope the BBC soon offers another show to give me perspective in the mundane tasks.