Edmund Burke, a great conservative writer, said of Marie Antoinette: I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like the morning star full of life and splendour and joy... little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.
This to me seems to be the conservative mind set - the true human emotions of caring and respect are given free rein - but within a tightly limited social sphere. Those outside the sphere somehow do not exist as subjects of compassion. I thought this drama, and the book which inspired it, may have had the same unbalance - a celebration of a small group who asset-stripped the country, and enjoyed the spoils.
Instead it is about a thoroughly likeable and vulnerable person, moving among sharks who are themselves allowed to be likeable within their own sphere. His sexual conquests aren't as ruthless, aren't as much 'conquests' as I had imagined they would be. Are more like the way I lived in the eighties, a time which I enjoyed a great deal, despite everything.
Without such a likeable POV character the shenanigans of the talentless would be fairly tedious stuff, but Dan Stevens as Nick Guest is someone you are very happy to spend an hour with.