To deliver the next chapter in the life of one of England’s most influential monarchs, PBS
’ “Victoria” is leaning into its soapier side. Although Queen Victoria
led a fascinating life, creator Daisy Goodwin
doesn’t seem content with merely dramatizing historical events. Instead, in Season 2 she adds a layer of “Downton Abbey
”-lite shenanigans downstairs, along with a series of manufactured romances for good measure. What results is too much story and not enough impact.
Beyond this narrative bloat, the series feels too neatly turned out in both story and characterizations, while eschewing subtlety and depth. This makes for curiously bland melodrama, but at least it’s saved by some gorgeous visuals and notable performances.
Anchoring the series, Jenna Coleman
and Tom Hughes
are back as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the royal pair who couldn’t keep their hands off each other after a brief period of trying to deny their feelings.