So, the Hitchcock Blonde marathon rewatch of Brideshead Revisited concluded last night. There have been casualties.
It is is exactly what television should be: complex, meandering, unpatronising and painful, feeling like real life but looking twice as good. It is rich and strange and searingly honest about weakness and desire and the basic grubbiness of humanity. It both embodies and moves so far beyond that famous image of the two bright, beautiful young boys and their bear - posturing, longing and lost. Nonetheless, in the end, there is only one thing to say:
Fuck cold, cowardly Charles, the elegant, threadbare voyeur who chronicles the desperate passions of others like a pale, self-hating spider. Fuck Julia, with her lips, and her dresses, and her brave womanly posturing and her sacred bleeding heart. Fuck the furious, controlling martyr Lady Marchmain and her bright-eyed, fearful husband. Fuck Oxford, London, Catholicism, the politics, the war, the house.
All you long for is one more shot of Sebastian. Glorious, pathetic, emotionally stunted, spiritually scarred and sexually debauched. Hopeless, hapless, rotting his liver, his dick and his soul. Facing the world with that extreme brightness that only comes from an internal intimation of your own inevitable decline. The kind of self-knowledge that gives particular sweetness to the taste of plovers eggs and champagne in the morning.