DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Beau Brummell: This Charming Man - TV Reviews - TV & Radio - Entertainment

www.smh.com.au

Beau Brummell: This Charming Man

Jodie Pfarr, Reviewer
December 17, 2007

It's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy 18th-century style.

James Purefoy as Beau Brummell

James Purefoy as Beau Brummell

Type
Drama
Channel
ABC
Date
Monday December 17
Time
8:35 PM

It's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy 18th-century style, although let's not put labels on people's sexuality, shall we? James Purefoy plays Beau Brummell, the founder of dandyism who was immortalised in a show tune from Annie ... for some of us anyway. He is better known for transforming men's fashion and inventing trousers.

This Charming Man is literally an engaging costume drama romp. It starts with Brummell's transformation of the prince regent (a magnificent simpering Hugh Bonneville), who the dandy cheekily suggests has "too much taste". In a scene reminiscent of Trinny and Susannah, off with his curly white wig! Off with his white face powder! Off with his pantaloons! Man-about-town Brummell, for whom the term "all mouth and trousers was surely coined", set the trend for simple, yet elegant attire: the said black trousers, jacket, white shirt and neckerchief. Dubbed the first ever celebrity (bless the writers: he even comes out with that breed's catchcry, "Do you know who I am?"), people flocked to watch him dress, including the prince.

This BBC drama is a fascinating account of the relationship between Brummell and the prince, and how Brummell uses his royal connections to keep up appearances in more ways than one. Equally intriguing is his friendship with the charismatic Lord Byron (Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters), which sparks trouble with the prince. There are shenanigans (menage a trios anybody?) but do they measure up to the eroticism of Mr Darcy in that wet white shirt in everyone's favourite period drama?

Speaking of prejudice, keep an eye out for the fops in make-up abusing the dandies for their au naturale look. How times change! The moral of the story is all can be fine and dandy until you tell someone they're fat.

When news happens: send photos, videos & tip-offs to 0424 SMS SMH (+61 424 767 764), or us.

Don't miss your free reusable energy saving reminder stickers, only with The Sun-Herald this Sunday.