In December 2020, Netflix viewers met the first season of Bridgerton with open arms and countless pent-up desires. Several waves of COVID-19 variants later, Season 2 just released Join a choir of other shows and movies that focus on the blissful freedom of doing it — and the dangers of suppressing urges. While the characters in BridgertonTi West’s recent horror movies Xand HBO’s gay pirate comedy Max Our flag means death differing in age, all of which suggest that there is danger in thinking that sexual desire has reached its expiration date.
[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton, X, and Our Flag Means Death.]
Take Bridgerton Part 2: As formerly wealthy Duchess Portia Featherington becomes penniless after her husband’s death, she waits to see which young man will assume the title of “Lord Featherington” and take control of the numbers. part of her family. It turns out to be Lord Jack Featherington, a distant relative she’s never met, who (after a bit of intrigue by both) ends up being a hustler. Two Featheringtons total scam ton to make money, but as their game nears being discovered, Portia falls into a round of seduction. Lord Jack is ashamed of her widowhood, promising to marry her when they flee to the United States.
Although she was ultimately unable to grasp his, Portia considered his offer; After all, in a season with all the deep pain that sexual urges can instill, Lady Featherington is no exception. The woman wanted comfort and nearly ran away to America with a known scammer (and her betrothed daughter) to do it. The ability to deceive all doesn’t really matter, at least for a second. Like the young people in residence BridgertonIn so many balls, Lady Featherington was eager to love and be loved, and since the loss of her husband, she has not found a way to be acknowledged for it. Lord Jack may be the wrong way, but at least he still One path.
Lady Featherington shares that longing with XPearl’s Villain, although the two channels lead to frustration in different ways. Pearl is much larger than Portia (probably late 70s, to mid 50s Portia) and lives on a 1970s farmhouse that has just been rented by a group hoping to shoot a “cinematic” erotic film. But as Pearl watched her beautiful young guests wander around and make love, something burned inside her. She tries her best to bond with her husband the way she did when they were young, but gets shot down. (He has a heart condition, and he worries sex will aggravate it.) So she relieves her frustration by killing one of the porn production crews one by one.
X certainly contribute to the idea that aging, more than anything else, is horrifying and twist. But Pearl’s gender identity allows the film to morph into something more nuanced. It’s not that she wants youth as much as she wants to feel wanted and fulfilled, the way porn actors describe themselves.
And though that porn group may include “young or old” in their stated list of people that free love is for, X seems intended to draw audiences back to their discomfort with the idea that someone Pearl’s age might still need sexual gratification. As West repeatedly draws parallels between the bad, physical seduction of eroticism and horror – as in his seduction scene, interspersed with Pearl being drawn in by last girl – The love scene between Tran and her husband seems to be intertwined. In a film full of blood and violent death, the sex scene between two 70-year-old characters elicited the loudest groans of anxiety from my theater audience. Not yet X requires us to face our own discomfort about septuagenarian sexuality: Most won’t go as far as being rooted in Pearl (despite the power over you, if you have), but the film is adamant that her pent-up energy must go some where. And if X’s bloody climax proves anything, it’s that the effects of sexual frustration certainly shouldn’t be lessened.
When that longing is fulfilled, it can be liberated. In Our flag means Dead, the unlikely meeting between novice gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet and Edward “Captain Blackbeard” Teach sparks something between them that neither of them fully understands. At first (in an unusual case of queer representation), the two simply think they want what the other has. Stede wants to command respect and rule the seas like a pirate, just like Blackbeard. Teach, who asks Stede to call him Ed, wants a lighter, more comfortable life.
In the end, the two realize that they are in love. But when they struggle to understand their feelings and how to best express them, they feel vulnerable, even trapped by convention. Both have struggled throughout the season to understand (to themselves and others) the drastic changes they’ve longed for – why would a romantic relationship be any different? inside the last moments of the season, Stede has rearranged his emotions, going to the open sea to take advantage of his feelings. But Ed, feeling rejected and vulnerable after expressing his longing, reverts back to his violent and old way of life.
Although Stede, Ed, Portia, and Pearl’s stories deal with varying degrees of sensuality and are set in different time periods (1717, 1814, and 1979, respectively), they disappoint the characters. at a stage in their life where their gender life feels out of step with what is expected of them. That feeling is innately harmful, making them all feel vulnerable and attacked in their own ways: intense, in the case of Ed and Pearl; or by deciding they can accept half a human life, in Stede and Portia’s. And although old screen sex certainly isn’t New (any recent topic covered in the 2018 classics book Book Club talk to something that has revolved around the zeitgeist), when people call see more sex stories on screenIt is important to remember that desire Not just for young people.
After all, while you may disagree with how they handled it – believe me, Pearl’s actions were extreme and ill-advised, but there lots of fan art sad about the apocalypse about Ed’s choices here – these characters remind us that we refuse to be sexy as we get older at our own risk. After all, we’ll all get there.