The production company Archewell, run by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, is apparently in talks with Netflix over a scripted show Bad Manners, centered on Miss Havisham pre-Great Expectations, when she was just a difficult lady in a man’s world, but not quite sleeping in her wedding dress and smoking opium all day.
The Dickensian news comes following the recent agreement between the couple and Spotify to part ways after a $20 million content deal that will be remembered for the episode of “Archetypes” where Harry complimented Serena Williams’ hair.
Art can and does bring people together, and perhaps there is no better square of intellectual property in which the experiences of the royals can be folded into the experience of the everyman using her brother-in-law’s Netflix logon than Charles Dickens’ story of a brassy dame stuck in a big, dusty mansion and forced to abide by stuffy patriarchal rules. I relate; also I welcome the royals to the content mines, where I toil alongside so many other English majors each day.
Should Netflix ultimately pass on Bad Manners, I’m willing to give Archewell a number of free ideas (I’ll take residuals):
An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief transposed to Montecito, in which an Englishman arrives with ideas of modernizing the agrarian society of talk show hosts, gardeners and nannies. Hijinks ensue when the Englishman turns out not to understand the ways of the Californians.
A Babel remake, where a wealthy philanthropist couple are handing out black backpacks to unhoused Angelinos when their fate collides with the seamy underbelly of capitalism—numerous stories are woven together such that a vegan juice influencer, a tech bro, and an unemployed screenwriter find themselves eye to eye with the philanthropist/content creators.
A Joshua Ferris-penned office comedy about a prince who takes a job as “chief wellness officer” at a startup, and must contend with email, Slack, and existential entropy.
The Draughtsman’s Contract, Norfolk edition: Dukes, duchesses, marchionesses, and marquesses gather at a country estate for a titillating meal of figs, figs, and more figs.
If H and M’s teams are reading this, we would love to be involved! We have endless ideas here, and can heartily recommend a model of art in which patrons of means support the work of undiscovered authors and creators, Taika Waititi style. Here when you need!