TV review: ‘Victoria’ season 2 fails to live up to the first season

Gareth Gatrell, ITV Plc for MASTERPIECE

Jenna Coleman stars as Victoria and Tom Hughes as Albert in the Masterpiece series “Victoria.” Season two starts Sunday, Jan. 14, on PBS.

VICTORIA,” season two — PBS, Sundays, 8 p.m.

There was more natural drama in season one of “Victoria,” the British drama series written by novelist Daisy Goodwin that airs its second season on PBS Jan. 14.

In season one, Queen Victoria ascended to the throne and fought for her right to rule as an 18-year-old young woman; met, fell in love with and married Prince Albert and gave birth to her first child. It’s the same content encapsulated in the 2009 movie “Young Victoria,” starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend.

And that’s likely the difference between season one and two. The story of a princess, practically locked away in a castle, ascending to become queen and finding herself a prince instead of the other way around is more gripping onscreen than the next stage of Victoria’s life.

Billy & Hells

Jenna Coleman stars as Victoria and Tom Hughes as Albert in the Masterpiece series “Victoria.” Season two starts Sunday, Jan. 14, on PBS.

Thus, it seems Goodwin defaulted to inventing a good portion of the drama for season two. She emphasizes the birth of the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII, and perhaps over-emphasizes the queen’s postpartum depression, that, while relevant in modern society, is only conjectural at best when it comes to historical facts.

Goodwin also, apparently for the sake of modern audiences, adds in a homosexual relationship between two of the queen’s attendants. Considering how it ends, this relationship appears to be completely invented, although it did give more ongoing tension to the season than other plot details. Another invented side story, one regarding Prince Albert’s parentage, feels over-the-top and kind of tacky.

This second season continues the servant-drama subplots, possibly trying to take a page from “Downton Abbey’s“…

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