Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Not looking for a 'new ' England

My thoughts on last night's Colonial House:

  • The colony was a low-end success but a high-end failure. The economics and society were on the money, the politics and culture were not.

  • The bad relations between colony and natives would have continued despite the good intentions of the colonists.

  • Governor Heinz's vision for the growth of the colony was too grand. Whereas Wyers failed on faith, housing, and trade relations, Heinz failed because he idealized how the colony would develop (and because he acted like a mayor in a court city rather than the mayor of a commercial city).

  • Wyers looks better with a beard.

  • Awareness of gender history is weak with respect to men.

  • The epilogue suggests that the experience forced the participants to re-evaluate their concepts of spirituality (everyone but the Vorhees).

  • Despite his anachronistic coming out, my favorite participant was Jonathan Allen. He gave the show an "Upstairs-Downstairs" feel. He could be very witty: he never strayed too far from character when he joked about the social hierarchy. His little scenario was funny.

  • Best moment: when the auditors revealed that the colonists had trouble with provisions of beer.


At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just finished watching the series (we had to tape the last episode due to guests) and I totally agree - Jonathan Hunt was definitely my favorite.

I think that the show has become a little unclear in what they expect from the participants. Are they just supposed to survive a 1628 life? Because if that's the case, they could set up any kind of government they wanted. Are they supposed to behave like 17th century colonists? I think that is impossible, especially in the realm of punishment and heirarchy.

Something I wish they had adressed more in the epilogue was how their expectations of what 1628 were before and after the show. I guess I felt that a lot of them had idealized and/or incorrect visions of what life was like then. Many seemed to imagine it more like the Revolutionary era (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, blah, blah, blah).

And - they should have been brewing their own beer!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Nathanael said...

[In Homer voice, drooling]: Homemade beer!

[In stuffy academic voice]: Were the participants being a little too Frederick Jackson Turner (too much about big empty spaces and freedom)?

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were the participants being a little too Frederick Jackson Turner (too much about big empty spaces and freedom)?



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