I started watching Hulu’s Harlots. I have found it very addictive. We’re only two episodes in and I’m looking forward to next week’s episode already. The basic premise of the series revolves around a feud between two brothels in 18th century London. The series has some strongly crafted compelling female characters, and I like how it’s a story about women, written and produced by women.
However (yes, here it comes) I do find the portrayal of sex puzzling, if not worrying.
In a story about harlots and brothels, of course there will be sex. You’d think you’d encounter sex in all its varietals at least, from tedious and lackluster to utterly depraved and lustful to kinky to intimate and any others besides. Instead what Harlots has presented so far makes sex a joke. Sex is, by and large, presented as being something lewd and comical.