Saturday, September 6, 2008

shiver me timbers

I have a definite 'thing' for the mystique and romance of the high seas. Nevermind that I turn green and empty the contents of my stomach whenever I myself dare to step aboard a boat. In my imagination, I'm deftly making my way across the deck, nimbly climbing the rigging or navigating the open ocean with my mad math skillz (snort). The drama and the sense of adventure that accompany seafaring tales always interest me. Be it a hot romance novel set onboard a ship, Johnny Depp in a pirate movie (rawr!) or British period mini-series about the Napoleanic Wars...I'm there. So when my netflix delivery this week turned out to be an episode of Horatio Hornblower, even though I had forgotten putting it on my queue sometime long ago, I was excited to curl up on a rainy day (today) and watch it.

The miniseries is an adaptation of the naval adventure series written by C.S. Forester. During my peace corps days, I listened to several audio versions of the books and found them to be both exciting yarns of derring do but also a fascinating character study of a man who is both shy and cerebral but also fierce and courageous. During the course of the series, he makes his way up the naval career ladder by using his quick wits and intelligence as well as a bloody good lot of luck. In this particular episode, Horatio goes from being an unemployed captain (war being temporarily over makes for an oversupply of naval officers) to being put in charge of a ship and sent on a secret mission to France. As always, he ends up entangled in the thick of some action and we're treated to raids on forts, cannons being blown up, hand to hand combat and lotsa ships shooting at each other. What could be better than lots of men waiving their big swords around? Waiving their big guns? lol. *ahem*

What do these films have to offer the romance fan? Well, for one thing there is plenty of chisel jawed Ioan (prounced yo-ahn) Gruffud to gaze upon. Then there are those lovely sailing ships and period costumed sailors and officers. Best of all, the hearty male camaraderie and brotherhood amongst the characters is touching and dare I say, has a hint of something deeper? Ok, I'm sure it was never meant to be seen as such, but my mind goes where it will. heh. So sue me.

Go swash a buckle and check this series out.

15 comments:

Carolyn Jean said...

I love this description of yours:

"A fascinating character study of a man who is both shy and cerebral but also fierce and courageous."

Sounds like that is worth the price of admission alone!

Katiebabs said...

Major ahoys her my matey. Ioan looks pretty fine in scruff. :D
This is one series I have been longing to see.

sula said...

ahoy! CJ, he's really quite a complicated guy. Awkward and gangly and very much in his own head but then when he's faced with a tough decision, he springs into action and comes out of his shell. Ioan does a great job of translating the character to screen and not making him too ultra-smooth hero-ish.

kb, you need to watch these. highly entertaining. and of course...IOAN! netflix rocks. heh.

Katiebabs said...

Have you seen Ioan in the PBS Masterpiece mini series Forsyte saga? Wonderful series also! :D

Kristie (J) said...

I swashed my buckle when the Horatio Hornblower series first appeared on A&E. And despite the fact that there was nary a romance to be seen - I loved the whole thing. And while Horatio was/is indeed a Very Fine reason to watch, it was Archie Kennedy who made my Cougar like heart go pitty pat.

sula said...

kb, I watched the whole Forsyte saga in one fell swoop over Xmas/NY break. (and blogged about it too). Ioan was mighty fine. But twas sad. *sniff*

kristie, I too appreciated the contributions of mr. kennedy. rawr! Btw, look at all the things that one can find on teh internets. A "which archie kennedy are you" quiz. lol.

Stacy~ said...

I lurved Ioan in "King Arthur". And yet another series to add to my Netflix list. And guess what? I added "Last of the Mohicans" as well - you inspired me.

sula said...

stacy, he was yummy in Arthur. I almost didn't recognize him under that beard, but those EYES! Hope you enjoy LOTM. You'll have to tell us all about it. :)

lisabea said...

I heart that pretty Horatio. I'd blow his horn. But isn't he one of the fantastic four now? Sob?

Tracy said...

Ioan is a hottie. Let me just get that out of the way so I can stop drooling. :) I haven't seen this series but I think I might just have to rent it soonly. Thanks chickie.

little alys said...

Never seen him, but now...I will soon. Hehehehe.

I've gotten into this...er...type. Heh. Should I read the book first or just watch the miniseries first?

Kristie (J) said...

ROTFL!!!! A which Archie Kennedy are you quizz?? That is too bizarre

(I'm Kind Archie 'cause you just knew I couldn't resist)

And to Stacy: Oooooohhhhh you're a LOTM virgin. You simply MUST let us know what you think of it. Nathaniel (DDL) be still my heart. And once you've watched it and let us know what you thought of it - then I INSIST you read Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare - with the soundtrack playing in the background. Are you in for a treat - on both counts!!

sula said...

lb, you naughty wench. blow his horn. lol. and yes, he's now been taken over to the dark side. awful sci-fi movies. ick! however, he has indicated that if they ever do more of the hornblower series, he'd be up for it.

tracy, depending on what kind of films your family enjoys, they might like it too. action, adventure and all that good stuff.

alys, I liked the books but the movies have the Ioan quotient. mmm.

kristie, I know, isn't it hilarious what you can find on the internet? i was comical archie. ;) And I hope that stacy will come back and report to us all the details of her first LOTM watching experience. such a classic. *sigh*

Tumperkin said...

Horatio is pretty but high seas romances make me seasick. I'm trying to read My Reckless Heart by Jo Goodman at the moment but is not really working for me.

ciaralira said...

I heart pirates BIG TIME. *sigh* I loved this actor in Amazing Grace. I'll have to check out HH! I added you to THE WINDFLOWER list. Looking forward to see if you like this pirate romance too.