"Have either of you watched Poldark?"
"We've tried - but neither of us can get into it!"
"I am so glad you've said that - me neither!"
Over a delicious falafel lunch the other day, sheltering from the rain and squeezing the meal into the gap between a contraception tutorial at the sexual health clinic and an afternoon of lectures on fetal health, my friends and I discussed the latest period drama - Poldark.
Everyone's been talking about it and so many people have recommended it to me that I thought it was worth a watch. I'd been looking for a good new series to get into now that Call the Midwife was over. And a good period drama to fill in the gaps when there's no Downton Abbey on seemed ideal.
Now the one problem with on-demand TV services like BBC iPlayer is that I never feel any great hurry to start watching things. I'm actually pretty rubbish at sitting down by myself to watch TV on catch up and I generally find five or six other things to do first. Never agree to watch a series with me - you'll be waiting forever or quickly find yourself five episodes ahead! So because of this, by the time I eventually found I'd exhausted my list of other things to do (is it weird that I procrastinate for watching TV?!) I already had three episodes of Poldark lined up to watch. Which would be excellent if I loved it and wanted a marathon of Poldark watching, slightly intimidating if I liked it but not enough to make it my priority in life, or just a perfect excuse not to bother with it if I hated it.
I got comfy in bed, arranged the cushions just so and propped up my iPad and started the first episode...
I was about twenty minutes in before I realised I had no idea what was going on. In fact, the only bit I could even remember was a bit that had been shown on Gogglebox. Not exactly a great start. I'm not really sure what it is about Poldark that I don't like. Perhaps it's the dark scenes or the slightly complicated language. Maybe it's just the time period. I love Downton Abbey partly because it's recent enough to just about relate to. 1780s Cornwall? No idea about that.
I persevered up to thirty seven minutes before deciding it just wasn't for me. I can be pretty ruthless with TV programmes - if I don't like the first episode I very rarely ever re-watch it to 'try again' or force myself to watch the next episode in case it gets better. I don't watch things just because I 'should'. But even the friends I'd discussed with said they'd tried rewatching it multiple times and still hadn't liked it.
I just can't get into the story. The only character's name I can remember is Ross Poldark. I have no idea who he is or what it's all about. I really tried to concentrate, but my mind kept drifting. The programme just doesn't grip me. And I don't want to have to put effort into watching TV. If I can't follow it when I try to give it my undivided attention, how on earth will I watch it while making dinner or cleaning the kitchen?! (Constant multitasking has become my way of life.)
Other opinions go something along the lines of "well yes, I guess it's not the most interesting. But it's worth it just for the guy who plays Poldark." Which doesn't seem like the best reason to spend an hour every week watching something I'm not following. I mean, sure he's alright looking but I have far better things to do with my life!
So when my friend asked the other day if I watched it, the three of us were all pretty relieved to find that we all shared the same opinion. It sounds silly to be scared to admit to disliking a programme that everyone else is raving about, but when the rest of your friends seem to love something, it's easy to just go along with it.
From now on, I'll stick to watching the 'highlights' via Gogglebox (my new favourite way to watch TV to be honest) and work on finally getting through Season 3 of Suits... and maybe even getting to the end of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Have you been watching Poldark? Do you think I'm missing out? Or are you secretly not that into it either?!