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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"Poldark" Bingo


My dear niece Ashley suggested I try “Poldark” on Amazon Prime and here I am, well into season three, caught like a wiggling fish in a net. I may turn up my nose at bodice buster novels and soap operas, but PBS magic plus the beautifulness of actors Aiden Turner and Elinor Tomlinson have me in their grip. Sometimes I even find myself saying “t’is” and “t’was,” for heaven’s sake.

There’s no stopping me now; I have to know how all the threads unwind. If this were a book I could jump to the last page, which I often do (don’t judge). I realize I could untangle all the show’s plot webs with a little digging on the Interweb, but then I couldn’t watch those pretty people and pretty horses for another few seasons.

To console myself, I’ve invented a Poldark Stock Shots Bingo. I may feel like less of a hostage while I play along . . . .


“Poldark” Stock Shots Bingo


Ross’s black curls blowing in the wind

Giant waves crashing after a disturbing scene

Sunset/sunrise over a beautiful landscape

A quaint streetscape with the Red Lion sign

A horse galloping on top of a cliff

Close-up of flowers, cattails, weeds, or kelp

Violins swelling at a really dramatic scene

A sneer on a character you love to hate

Ross gazing into the distance as he stands on the top of a cliff

A drone view of a seascape with a cliff and a path on top

Ross frowning

Picturesque old-fashioned brickworks atop a mine

Demelza’s red curls blowing in the wind

Demelza gazing into the distance as she stands on the top of a cliff

Long skirts billowing in the wind

Guns or swords, pitchforks or shovels used in a fight


Teasing his wife, a lover of soaps, my friend Gary invented his own cosmic rules of soap operas for contemporary TV daytime dramas. “Poldark” is a lavishly-produced PBS historical drama that follows the series of books written by Winston Graham, yet I’ve seen some evidence that “Poldark” may follow these exact rules . . .


Gary’s Cosmic Rules of Soap Operas

1. No one can have ordinary names like John and Susan. If you’re a soap opera character, your name is something like “Blaze” or “Eden.”

2. You will always get pregnant from a one-night stand.

3. If you start telling someone a really deep, dark secret, somebody else will always come by just then and take a step back, but hear everything.

4. All soap opera characters are complete slaves to their emotions. If you’re “Blaze” or “Eden,” it doesn’t matter that you have a happy life and marriage. If you’re attracted to someone who walks into a room, you’ll risk throwing it all away for a chance to “be” with that person.


To Gary’s Cosmic Laws, I’ve added my own: Everything is always Very Dramatic.

In spite of my poking fun of the show, it’s onward I shall go, living my very un-dramatic life during the day and watching two episodes of “Poldark” every night before bed, until at last I’m released. I thank God the show didn’t have the staying power of “The Simpsons,” or this would be a long, long siege.


Gail Grenier is the author of Don’t Worry Baby, Dog Woman, Dessert First, Young Voices from Wild Milwaukee, and Calling All Horses, all available on

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