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Pardon me, madam, but is your PBS tote bag vibrating?Blame “Poldark,” a sweepingly romantic seven-part series from “Masterpiece” that seems scientifically engineered to press the right period-drama buttons, starting with its origins: Based on the novels of Winston Graham, a TV adaptation in 1975 was one of “Masterpiece’s” first hits.It’s easy to root for a positive outcome, even though Sharon’s egomaniac friends and argumentative family exhibit plenty of odd behaviors that should scare Rob away for good — yet he’s somehow unfazed and still smitten.(Rob’s family is no joy, either; Carrie Fisher plays his Debbie Downer mother, trying to thwart romance in a series of transatlantic phone calls.) Delaney and Horgan, who created and wrote “Catastrophe,” are a good match — both as performers and as characters.Leary stars as Johnny Rock, the former lead singer of a band called the Heathens, which imploded on the eve of their major-label debut in 1990. Then the 21-year-old daughter Johnny never knew, Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies), shows up ready to spend her trust fund (provided by her successful mother) on becoming a rock star and offers to pay her father to write her some songs.After several failed attempts to revive his career, Johnny is reduced, 25 years later, to considering gigs in bands that cover the songs of his more successful peers: Not Bryan Adams. Johnny and his manager, Ira (Josh Pais), persuade his former Heathens bandmates (John Corbett, John Ales and Robert Kelly) to reunite, and it turns out the daughter can really sing.Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner), who returns to coastal Cornwall in 1781 from the American Revolution’s battlefields, scarred but smarter (as they say).
With several added layers of lushness and a more modern sense of momentum, “Poldark” tells the story of exceedingly handsome British army Capt.From Karel Capek’s 1920 play “Rossum’s Universal Robots” and on up through a gallery that includes “Metropolis,” the work of Isaac Asimov, Philip K.Dick, C-3PO and the shared interest of Spielberg/Kubrick in making the 2001 movie “A. Artificial Intelligence,” there’s very little left to be said about robots — even as Google’s engineers come closer and closer to taking the steering wheel away from human drivers.Along the way, Ross hires a wretchedly poor kitchen maid, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), the daughter of an abusive miner.Once she’s rid herself of lice and prettied up (and spied on Ross as he skinny-dips), sparks begin to fly between servant and master.