Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Macfadyen/Firth Mr. Darcy debate is Matthew Rhys erasure, and it shall not stand

Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, and MATTHEW RHYS, come on now
Screenshot: YouTube

Earlier this week, a Twitter user added fire to a debate that’s been simmering since, oh, say, 2005, when Joe Wright’s Keira Knightley-starring Pride And Prejudice adaptation was released. It began with this simple request for data:


Most diverting! If one chooses to appreciate a gentleman in all his finery, one has the right to choose the gentleman, provided he be of good fortune, of at least four thousand a year. Why one does not simply choose to admire both gentlemen escapes me. Yet the most amiable people of the internet took up arms (or GIFs, at least) and valiantly defended the Darcy of their choosing, most vociferously. A delightful entertainment, on the surface.

Yet there is an injustice which must be rectified, one which calls into question the good sense of all concerned and does great dishonor to one Darcy in particular. In short, let us say this:

How dare you assholes ignore Matthew Rhys?

We will not allow it. While it is true that Death Comes To Pemberley, which aired in the U.S. on PBS’s Masterpiece, is not quite as well-known as either of the actual Pride And Prejudices above—an exaggeration, they are behemoths and this is a fan fiction-y murder mystery, though a very good one—this is Matthew Rhys we’re talking about. Matthew Rhys of The Americans. Matthew Rhys of The Wine Show. Matthew Rhys, one of the great internet boyfriends. How dare you do him dirty like this? Sure, he’s not coming off a Succession high right now, and okay, they tour the shirt Colin Firth wore when he jumped in the pool through museums and stuff, but he is Matthew Rhys, and his Darcy is a stone-cold fox. It. Shall. Not. Stand!

The thread below that first tweet is a treasure-trove of Darcy content, with Macfadyen defenders often noting the finger-flex:


And Firth lovers, when not citing the pond scene and subsequent Wet Shirt, often point out that the man gets double-points for also being the Bridget Jones Darcy:


We will also always support this answer:


Though she has an opinion, too:


But come on, just look at this.

Gif: YouTube

Oh yes, Matthew Goode is also in Death Comes To Pemberley, you’re welcome. Short version: The correct answer is “I will pick all three of them, and by three I mean Firth, Macfadyen, and Matthew Goddamn Rhys, and also D’Arcy Carden.”

But Laurence Olivier can go fuck himself.


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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.