‘Gentleman Jack’ 1×02 Review: “I Just Went There to Study Anatomy”

This week’s Gentleman Jack was a smooth transition from last week’s episode. We got to know more about Anne and what drives her. It’s clear that she is not your average woman that is content to sit by the fire. And that’s not just true of Anne Lister, but the other Ann as well.

Miss Walker

Ann Walker is clearly enraptured with Anne Lister, if not in love with her. Miss Walker is different from Anne, but also not like every other women.  It’s refreshing to see that different roles are being explored. This is something that’s not usually seen in period dramas.  Ann doesn’t want kids, and seems open to exploring her sexuality, if her reaction to Anne says anything.

Miss Walker also doesn’t seem to hesitate in sharing her thoughts about being watched, and the expectations that come from her own family and society.  Anne obviously weaves a magic around others, and uses it to her advantage.  It makes me wonder how far she go in seducing Miss Walker? Will she feel guilty about it at all? Will she see Miss Walker as a means to an end or come to have feelings for her? Anne is very good at what she is doing and is very subtle about it, to a point.  She is clearly determined to make Miss Walker her wife.

Miss Lister

Anne has taken to mining coal, which is obviously seen as a threat.  It’s amusing to me, the uproar this all causes, as well as the one caused by her simply collecting the rent.  This is clearly a mans world, but Anne says fuck you I’m going to do this anyway, and I’ll do it my way. This is a woman’s world, boys, move over. Let’s also talk about how Anne walks for a minute.  She walks different to how a lady should, and this is another part of her character. She has a very commanding presence.  It makes you respect and fear her. She is unconventional and I love it.

Shipton Hall is Anne’s new project, particularly how it can be improved. Marian, her sister, loves to question Anne and why she does what she does.  Anne is not about that life. The rest of her family seems to accept her as she is, but to me her sister seems to be reluctant.  She is clearly not open to Anne, and how she behaves and acts. Which is sad because Anne is such a fascinating person and should be loved for who she is.  She is a business woman, a sister, daughter, lover, and many more adjectives. She’s not just her sexuality, and she should be loved for who she is.

Sexuality

Gentleman Jack is not afraid of exploring Anne’s sexuality. We have the main character, Anne Lister, someone who knows who and what she is, a proud lesbian. She goes after what she wants, and she has set her eyes on Miss Walker.  Miss Walker is clearly confused as to her own sexuality, but is receptive to Anne’s advances.

We also have to see the heartbreak from Anne, when she receives a wedding invitation from her true love Vere Hobart. That has to be hard to cope with for both of them.  Watching someone you love denying a part of themselves and conforming to society’s expectations.  And there’s also having to live with yourself knowing you have hurt someone you love by agreeing to marry a man when you want nothing more to be with a woman. I hope that these themes are going to be explored more in the series.  They obviously play a big part of who our characters are.

We are just getting off the ground and this series is so different than what we expected.  It’s refreshing and exciting to be able to experience a show like this, and one that is based on a true story.  Anne Lister should be an inspiration to a lot of people, and I wish more people new about her. We should all take advantage of this time to learn about her and the life she lived.

Gentleman Jack airs Monday’s  at 10/9c on HBO.

 

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