Bly Manor As A Queer Love Story Is Not Meant For Celebration
The show’s central concept is revealed during an exchange between two women in the final episode of “The Haunting of Bly Manor.”
A stylish serialized riff on Henry James’ horror novel “The Turn of the Screw.” The bride from the opening scene tells her enigmatic silver-haired guest. The benevolent narrator (Carla Gugino), who regaled the wedding party with the Bly Manor story, “you said it was a ghost story.” “It’s not. It’s a tale of love. “To which the narrator refers, her eyes loaded with meaning:” Really the same thing.
The statement suggests that “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is a tale of love that records the various characters’ grief-stricken backstories. It’s a poignant view of ghost story; the notion of the haunting ghoul is turned into a residual spirit that watches over loved ones. But if ghost stories are stories of love, the opposite is true as well. Heartache will make you a shell of your former self. It is haunted by the shadow of love that has been lost. To cling to a person’s memory, whether dead or simply no longer there. It is a kind of insanity that can only lead to suffering. That seems to be, at least, what happens to the poor people of Bly Manor.
The show takes liberties, sometimes to imaginative and exciting heights, with James’ original plot. It contemporizes it by making the core ingenuous queer. Unfortunately, merely portraying a queer love tale isn’t enough anymore. This is a horror stuff for the two lovebirds don’t work out exactly. “Bly Manor” trades in the same weary and dangerous . “Kill your gays” trope that has destroyed Hollywood for years with its tragic romantic ending. Ever since Shirley MacLaine was last seen hanging by a rope in “The Children’s Hour.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor starts with the arrival of Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), a plucky young American, to a grand, probably haunted-looking manor house in the British countryside. The two orphans, Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) have accepted a role as governess. The only other people on the ground are help. Their parents died in a horrible accident and their drunk uncle is nowhere to be found. There’s Mrs. Grose , the absent-minded housekeeper, kindly cook Owen, and Jamie. The earthy gardener, a rough-and – tumble sort aimed at holding her rose bushes before she meets Dani, that is.
The Turn of the Screw “follows the first three episodes quite religiously, adding the interrupted children as not-so-harmless charges.” Miles is a wealthy, spoiled kid with creepy old-fashioned tendencies, and Flora speaks to dolls. Dani has her own personal demon, in addition to the ghosts of Bly Manor, a bright-eyed, spectacular man she sees in the mirror behind her. He is later revealed to be the ghost of her fiancée. The one killed just seconds after her engagement broke off. (Presumably because she knew she was gay, but that’s just suggested with a very brazen seamstress ‘s lightest touches.)
Kate Seigel Take On The Series
In a recent interview with IndieWire, “Bly Manor” actress Kate Siegel said
“There are no rules, this is all make believe….these people could be anything, Black, white, they could be furries! There’s nobody who passed a law on art. It’s make believe and you can cast anybody.” This is wildly reminiscent of Scarlett Johansson’s now infamous comment defending her controversial attempt to play a trans man in “Rub and Tug,” when she said an actress should be allowed to play “any person, or any tree, or any animal.”
There’s no such thing as a happy ending, this being a horror series, at least not one without complications. A changing twist is the final discovery in which Dani unknowingly sells her soul to the Lady in the Lake in order to save Flora. The final picture of the show settles on the aged Jamie anticipating the ghost of Dani as a hand rests on her back.
This is consider to be romantic?