Twenty-eight years after Britain's ITV first aired Brideshead Revisited, an epic small-screen adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel about Catholicism, gay love, and jolly old England, the series is still the standard by which all other adaptations are measured. Though filmmakers have attempted to re-create the definitive show on the big screen, no performance could match the way Jeremy Irons (as Charles Ryder) and Anthony Andrews (as Lord Sebastian Flyte) languorously inhabited Waugh's work. The 11 episodes, now airing on here! TV, provide a priceless education in religion, fashion, class, and sex.
10 Things We Learned From Brideshead Revisited
1. Teddy bears are always an appropriate accessory -- regardless of the season.
2. CliffsNotes were not available in England. With a running time of 648 minutes, Brideshead's British screenwriters devote two minutes of screen time to every page of Evelyn Waugh's novel.
3. Ground-floor rooms at Oxford -- especially those on the Quad -- are good or bad, depending on how you feel about beautiful, drunken aristocrats (good) puking on your windowsill (bad).
4. The closet is a lonely place. Unless the closet you're in is a liquor cabinet.
5. Any rich Brit will get their gay on, provided they've had enough Lillet to drink.
6. Tom Wolfe can keep his white linen suit. Sebastian Flyte looks infinitely classier and altogether more natural in his white flannel ensemble.
7. The Kennedys weren't the first rich Catholics plagued by poorly kept family secrets and maternal suffering.
8. Sleeping with your gay lover's sister never ends well for anybody.
9. Morocco is not the place to go for medical tourism.
10. Expat Germans with syphilis named Kurt do not make good companions if you do decide to seek treatment there.