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#AmWatching Victoria on Masterpiece

"I'm too sexy for this mustache." My husband and I uttered these words at the same after I told him I had watched the first three episodes of Victoria on Masterpiece, and he had asked me what the Prince Albert character looked like.

Yes, exactly! It's one of those miniseries with a great and glorious attention paid to accurate historical details, except that everyone is super hot (inspiring several maybe-fabricated dramatic conundrums along the lines of "this person is devastatingly gorgeous, but is he/she right for me?" Hotness drives the plot a little heavily). Not that the young Victoria and Albert weren't attractive people in real life, but, you know, Americans like all their actors to be ridiculously good-looking. Me, I prefer foreign films populated by weird-looking or homely people who manage to elicit strong emotions--including physical attraction--by more interesting means than looking Insta-ready, but nevertheless, I don't mind sexy Albert (or Lord Melbourne, good gravy) in the least.

Also, there's an intensely erotic moment in this miniseries composed of nothing but two sets of hands playing a Schubert duet on a piano. Well played!

Mustaches and cravats for the win, I guess. I'm entertained by the idea of the Victorian era starting out with a whole lot of lusting over studs in tight pants, whether or not it is true. It's a fine thing to watch while folding the laundry.

before Instagram filters, there were flattering oil portraits

This miniseries is fun, soapy entertainment (of the highest caliber, of course!), but it also has me thinking about my ambivalent feelings about extreme human beauty. I've never known an ultra-physically-attractive person in real life who did not suffer some kind of major social anxiety.

Have you?

In the latest episode of Victoria, the Prince Albert character asks, "Would you rather have flattery or truth?" It's a horrible question, because it implies that positivity is dishonest, and that the truth is always disappointing. It's simply the opposite of the Hollywood cliche that pretty = good and ugly = bad.

Me, I think the truth can be profoundly beautiful, even with--especially with--fat rolls and scars and jankety teeth and improvised dialogue.

But 200-year-old hipster mustaches aren't all bad either.

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