Just like you, I watched in horror as Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) fellow Crows turned their backs on him last Sunday, with Olly (Brenock O'Connor) plunging the final dagger into his muscled torso. The wounds are still fresh. His watch has barely ended. The Internet continues to explode with theories trying desperately to negate Game of Thrones' motto that all men must die. In the case of Jon Snow, no one is ready to accept that simple truth. Whether or not he returns in another form next season, we'll miss the original Jon Snow. He was the best brooder in the Seven Kingdoms. Despite Ygritte's (Rose Leslie) constant refrain about him knowing nothing, it turned out our boy Snow knew a thing or two when and where it really mattered (I'm talking about oral sex, people). Unfortunately, the night is dark and full of terrors, and they took up most of his time. Wouldn't you rather watch a show about someone who has Jon Snow's hairstyle, smolder, and accent, but not his fatalistic worldview and omnipresent threat of death? Why yes, such a program does exist, and it's premiering this Sunday on PBS, home of another one of your favorite dramas, Downton Abbey. Poldark is a BBC miniseries based on a series of novels by Winston Graham. It already aired in England this past March, where its star, Aidan Turner, basically gave an entire nation the vapors. "In Ross Poldark, we have reached romantic hero nirvana," quoth The Guardian. Turner and his "dark Byronic tumble of curls" star as Ross Poldark, who's presumed dead after he goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War. When he returns home to Cornwall, his entire family is stunned to see that he survived. They also tell Poldark that not only did his father die six months ago, he left their once-great estate in shambles. Also, the woman Poldark spent the war dreaming he'd marry is now engaged to his cousin. To be fair, they all thought he died in the war, so none of this would matter. Everyone seems to have a severe case of Stiff Upper Lip, as the British say.
Poldark does some Jon Snow-style brooding along the absolutely gorgeous coastline (the series reportedly caused a spike in tourism to the Cornish countryside), and then snaps out of it. He remains faithful to Jon Snow's hairstyle (because does it ever work for him), and while he can still smolder with the best of 'em, Poldark does occasionally smile and laugh. Also, he scythes. In fact, Aidan Turner's scything on Poldark has single-handedly (and bare-chestedly) sparked a renewed interest in this form of weeding. As Madonna once said, "It's like an angel scything." Okay fine; that's not actually the lyric. If Madonna had witnessed Poldark scything shirtless under the hot Cornwall sun, though, the song probably would have gone like that. Oh, and if you needed more proof that Ross Poldark is the new dark and brooding hero who's going to fill the Jon Snow-sized hole in your heart, get this: He even has a redheaded love interest from another social class. Acting on his feelings for her means violating all sorts of cultural taboos. Somewhere, Jon Snow and Ygritte are smiling — and hopefully wildling out in a cave in heaven.
Poldark premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. Get those smelling salts ready.