A relevant quote for a newsletter that’s just someone talking into thin air about what they’ve been doing lately. But really, isn’t it equally so for all our online habits?
I’ve been watching the ‘Poirot’ series. Somewhat paradoxically, I started with the later seasons (2001-2013) and looped back to the beginning (1989). I’m up to series 5 now.
For as good as this series is (and that’s mostly up to the performances of David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran, Philip Jackson and the costume department), I absolutely want everyone, except the small circle around the detective, to die in a horrible fire.
I understand that the characters are often played up for our amusement and in order to take them down a peg (lead by Poirot himself with his characteristic vanity) but it’s also all playing out against the backdrop of colonial England of the 1930’s, and looking at the stereotypical haughtiness and arrogance the upperclass are exuding, is exhausting.
There are some episodes where some practice of the time is opposed or criticized. For example, there is one in season 5 where women’s equality is a part of the plot. And Poirot himself is often the one to point out something is not as it should be, though not as strongly as I would’ve liked.
So yeah, it’s very much a series of its time on top of an often glamourizing fiction from an even earlier time. None the less, very entertaining if you can take it for what it is.
As the series moves on, we also get to see more character development for Poirot, who is ultimately a very sad and tormented man. He holds humanity to a (maybe impossibly) high standard, with these big ideals and striving for perfection (combined with possibly OCD), while constantly confronted with stupid people who throw it all away for short term gain. Here and there, his views also become challenged by muddier or seemingly impossible situations, where he is forced to make difficult choices.
One episode I highly recommend, is the classic ‘Murder on the Orient Express’
one. This version is much superior to the recent movie adaptation and really gets into the character’s world view and torment. It’s also the main reason why I absolutely do not like then final episode of the series, which goes completely against the grain of what the rest of the series has set up.
And if you want to solve one of those murders: it’s almost never the butler and almost always about an inheritance.