The Buccaneers (1995)

Friday, September 11, 2015

I first saw this BBC miniseries years ago. In fact, I can still remember being unable to find a copy (that was back when there wasn't a ready DVD set available in the U.S., and before I had the capability to watch region two DVD sets), and being up at my uncle's home searching Ebay for a set. Well, we did indeed find one and though my parent's likely paid way more for it than we ought to, we left there having ordered it.

Since then, my mom and I have watched this twice (or so) and now, I've recently re-watched it. Where my mom didn't care for it, I have now really come to quite like the soapy period drama. It begins happily, takes darker turns somewhere along the way and finally (quite literally) finds its happy again by giving us a riding-off-into-the-sunset kind of ending.

The Buccaneers – Four American Girls Taking in a London Season 

The first time I saw this, I’d been given an idea of what this miniseries was like and it may have affected my original opinion. Since then, I’ve seen it a time or two more, and only just now re-watched it for the first time in a handful of years. With each viewing, the story charms me as much as its four protagonists were by their European season, which is what the story essentially boils down to – four American women embarking on a London season. However, the film first opens on American shores in the 1800s.

The beautiful and unconventional Conchita (Mira Sorvino) is the first of their foursome to marry, and she does so in style. She marries into one of England’s most prominent families to a man named Richard. In America, however, families believe it is the husband’s duty to provide for his wife and much to Richard’s parents dismay, Conchita’s stepfather settles no dowry on her. This isn’t the case for the St. George family. Among the new wealth, the St. George sisters have no proper society welcoming them, but their father has made a bundle and is ranked as Wall Street’s third richest. Eldest Virginia (Alison Elliott) – or Ginny as she is called, is beautiful, but cold and noticeably proper. Youngest Annabelle, who is called Nan (Carla Gugino) is still quite the child and in need of guidance, which her mother remedies by hiring an English governess, Miss Testvalley (Cheri Lunghi). Finally, there is Lizzy Elmsworth (Rya Kihlstedt). Quiet and stylish, Lizzie has no grand ambitions for her London adventure beyond reuniting with her friends. Continue Reading →

(Content: The majority of this series would be TVPG, but there are two-three scenes that warrant the actual TV14 rating. One is a scene of marital rape [we see quite a bit of side nudity, waist down] and one character is seen lying in bed with his male lover [both are sleeping]. Extra marital affairs are hinted at both on and off screen; there is some suggestive conversation.)


  1. I watched this miniseries when I was about 12 years old. I rented it from the video store and it was a box set with two videos. I haven't watched the film since. I remember I enjoyed the show but I felt a bit sad for the girls because they weren't exactly happy in their marriages particularly Nan. In the end, they were mostly better off or had resolved some of their issues.

    1. Your comment puts into words my thought exactly, Carlyn. The ultimate choices made that lead to the lives these women lead IS sad. It was ironic to me that the one girl who went against proper social acceptance wound up being the happiest. It's her story I also liked the best.

      I agree. The ending does paint a brighter future, at least for all but one character and I liked that. Leaves us with a smile instead of feeling sad. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting!


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