Why I love a good fairytale

May 4, 2023

fairytaleHow sad was I that the PBS television show, Sanditon, ended with its third season? Very sad. So sad I almost cried.

From an unfinished novel by Jane Austen, the story was a sweet, happy. touching. fairytale. The actors inhabited their roles so fully they transported me into their world instantly in each episode.  I couldn’t wait to watch!

But, as Season 3 ended with a beautiful montage-like final scene. I was stricken. Did this mean the end of the series?

Alas, it did.

I do love a good fairytale and in these difficult days, I appreciate them more than ever before. An engrossing romance novel or series can be a sweet escape from news that is so wholly grim and unbelievable that it requires escape.

Yes, of course, the stories are like huge doses of sugar. People can scoff. They are very sweet. But I NEED that sugar now.

Are Austen’s novels fine literature? Well, for her era–the regency era– and for romance novels of that age and style, I would argue yes.

Women’s roles are conforming in Austen’s world–until they are not. She’s always given her female characters a good amount of leeway to step outside the usual role of women in that era. And yet, they are very much of their time. It’s a neat trick. I have no problem with that restricted role in her novels, especially since in the end, the women are usually so much wiser than the men. Usually.

That was then, this is now.

Fact is, I’m more than a bit tired of people judging the values of other eras by the ones we hold today. They simply do not apply. And we can’t make up for it, either.

But mostly, Sanditon was a lovely escape into a world of romantic intrigue, righting some social wrongs along the way, and of course, ending happily. Joyfully.

We simply do not have enough happy endings in our world today, wouldn’t you agree?

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13 comments on “Why I love a good fairytale
  1. Yes, I find myself reading lighter books, those I don’t have to give too much deep thought to, that I can just escape into for a little while. Sweet, simple, entertaining, it’s the respite I need for all that’s going on IRL.

  2. Lauren says:

    1. I need to watch this. 2. I could not agree more. How can we judge yesterday with today’s lens? It’s not fair. And it’s ruining TV and movies. I get so sad when I see a great old movie and think “this could never be made today.” We have become so woke, there is no more belly laughs. It breaks my heart.

    • I don’t like the word “woke” as it’s loaded with faux Republican disdain. I don’t see anything wrong with caring about others including disenfranchised people. It’s when we try to redraw the past that I have real problems.

      • Diane Tolley says:

        I will definitely be looking for this series! I don’t like today’s reality. Of course there are those times when you have to deal, but I hide from it whenever I can…

  3. Rita says:

    I don’t like the word “woke” either. There’s nothing wrong with treating people with respect and being nice.

  4. Laurie Stone says:

    Never saw ‘Sanditon’ but it’s on my list. I’m sure the world is less brutal today than back then, especially in the treatment of women and people of color. Or is it? It’s really hard to decide sometimes.

    • I hear you. For sure it is more comfortable for many but less brutal? I wonder, too. But the fairy tale exists as an escape and we can write or read that any way we like.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I love shows like this and will have to look for it. My feel-good go-to has been Ted Lasso on Apple TV and it also just ended with its third season. But it was a planned three-season arc so the original story was told but there is so much more that can be told and us fans are hoping for a new version/spin-off of the show.

  6. I miss Sandition as well and am addicted to historical dramas. I didn’t think I would get over Poldark but am now awaiting the 6th and 7th seasons of Outlander. I don’t have Starz which is holding me up as the first 5 were on Netflix. The networks like to torture us by switching Streaming channels once you are hooked.

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