Picks and Pans Review: Diana
A&E (Mon., Aug. 19, 9 p.m. ET)
A&E sent us four of Diana's 10 episodes, and halfway through the first, amidst talk of bird-watching, I began wondering why they sent so many. But I kept watching...and watching. And at the end of episode four, I was cursing the network for not sending more. Give her half an hour, and Diana will seduce you too. This BBC mini, adapted from a novel by R.F Delderfield, is a sentimental romance whose sweetness is cut with just the right amount of cynicism. The narrator, Jan, played by Stephen J. Dean in the beginning and then by Kevin (I, Claudius) McNally, is a poor bloke who falls chronically in love with a rich girl, Diana. Patsy Kensit, a lithe Hayley Mills, plays the young Diana until the role is taken over by Jenny Seagrove, the enchanting star of A Woman of Substance and the mermaid in Local Hero. Seagrove is a master—or rather, mistress—at tying leading men and audiences around her delicate little finger. She can be beastly (dumping one guy because he's not rich enough, or playing a brash F. Scott Fitzgerald bitch), but she's just beguiling enough to make you hope she does come to her senses and go for the guy. So you keep coming back to find out whether the ending is a happy one—I'm dying to know.
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