North and South Episode 1

I promised I would be posting regular reviews of the episodes of North and South, and here I am. Though I first started watching the miniseries solely for Richard Armitage, I am now drawn into the story and the crackling conflict between the two leading characters, so reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice.

Margaret Hale moves from the prosperous south to the industrial north of England, and finds it difficult to adjust to her new surroundings. She comes in instant conflict with a prosperous cotton mill owner, John Thornton, when she sees him beating up his worker. She also meets Nicholas Higgins, a mill worker whose daughter moved to work in Thornton's mill after she fell ill at her earlier job.

What I found different is the industrial setting of the story: it is not somethiing I have seen much off. Usually, period dramas involve the daily going-ons of the middle and upper class, so to see the industrial populations' issues being depicted was refreshing. I also liked the use of lighting and colour- bright gay colours to depict Margaret's affluent southern life, contrasting with sombre greys and blacks of her new working class surroundings. Margaret has shades of Elizabeth in her- she speaks her mind and is quick to form opinions. She dislikes the grime and noise of her new home, and disapproves of the people, comparing them (especially Thornton) unfavorably to the southerners. She ends the episode saying:
I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white.

Well, I'm off to watch the second episode, and if you haven't seen it, do try to see it. If you do, tell me what you thought.

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