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Thread: Downton Abbey baby!

  1. #1

    Downton Abbey baby!

    C'mon! Who's excited for series 3? Oh yeahhhhh!!

    Though it must be said, many parts of the show are just plain stupid. Series one was great. Series two was kind of crappy (in a good way, though). Now there's some good television right thur.







    J

  2. #2
    Right there with you.

    Season One was a great, great surprise, so happy I checked it out. Season Two, for me, was just fine until one particular dude showed his face... Then the series clambered back up and finally reached it's good old rewarding self by the very end. Definitely looking forward to Season 3.

    Incidentally, since it'll take so long, I was thinking of trying out one of these classic British TV series:

    1) Upstairs, Downstairs
    or
    2) Brideshead Revisited

    So I'm going to take this opportunity to make an appeal for advice: Without giving anything away, could anyone weigh in on whether either of these would be interesting to a Downton Abbey fan? I understand the picture quality would be inferior, and the sets and costumes perhaps not at the same level, but I don't know... Either one serve up the same sort of snooty/servanty soap opera?

    Upstairs/Downstairs looks entirely too long, but maybe there's a classic season?

    Brideshead: is it at ALL similar to DA, or am I way off target even considering it? Or should I read the book?

  3. #3
    Yes, great question william!


    Ok, while someone answers that, here are some things JoH thought was stupid about Downtown Abbey. Spoilers. Do not read.


    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







    1. The pregnancy/bye bye pregnancy single episode arch (well it seemed like a single episode).

    2. In season 2, Matthew is constantly on leave. Can't miss you if you're not gone, muchaco.

    3. Thomas' comeback.

    4. Matthew walks again. Doctor says he didn't tell him because he didn't want to get his hopes up- yet he never even mentioned the possibility that his diagnosis could be wrong? Whoops, sorry!

    5. Matthew's fiancée's death. We needed her out of the way obviously, but come on. Her last words were the equivalent of "Go for it, bro!"










    !!!!!!END SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

    Though despite the fact that, at its worst, it is little better than a soap opera, this reader will keep watching!







    J
    Last edited by Jack of Hearts; 05-10-2012 at 04:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    I agree that it got quite obvious. Also the Christmas Special. It was quite obvious SPOILER!!! they had to get rid of his fiancée somehow SPOILER OVER!!!

    For the rest I find it pretty well written, from a historic point of view, but it could use some proper basis, some idea, as there seemed to be in the first one... Although it was quite soapy in terms of only what happens and nothing more, it lived for the moment that WWI was going to break out. Now, we are just drifting. The tomboy has left the building because she's in Ireland (she would have been a good twenties lesbian à la Cissy from You Rang, M'Lord?), lady Edith (?) has found an occuption which is highly inappropriate, but her character doesn't have enough charisma to carry that off.

    @Bill for Upstairs Downstairs and Brideshead Revisited.

    Upstairs Downstairs is similar to Downton Abbey, but it's slightly better, I think. You do have to prepare for a long show as it ran for about 10/20 years (10 seasons I believe) and for the fact that it is studio as it is seventies. Apart from that, it is pretty wonderful. It runs from before WWI, around the turn of the century, through WWI, to the Wall Street Crash of 1929/30. I think it is a wonderful look at how the lives of people changed. And the upstairs-downstairs feel is there more, I believe, than in Downton. I think characterisation is much better and the storylines are more realistic and appropriate as to the context the characters are supposed to be living in. You've got financial problems during WWI, downstairs who are trying to do their bit for the war and trying to balance that with serving their masters, social problems after the War. The series is followed through the eyes of Rose Buck, head parlour maid.
    Really a wonderful series.
    It was satirised in You Rang, M'Lord.

    Brideshead Revisited is not a costume drama like Downton and Upstairs Downstairs, it is an adaptation of the novel and legendary in its kind. It was one of the first costume dramas that went on location and was not made in a studio. Characterisation is so good that it is mind-boggling. There are very few things which are not right.
    I would say, watch it, but not for the soapy stuff. You won't be satisfied. You will be satisfied in terms of its look on the novel.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  5. #5
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    I can't wait for season 3!! I did hear though that the grandma wants to quit and if that is true I will miss her.

    I enjoyed what I have seen of BR, good actors. I really enjoyed it.
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

    If I seem insensitive to what you are going through, understand it's the way I am- Mr. Spock

    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  6. #6
    They have Downton Abbey on the ice?

    That almost sounds like they've set the show to figure skating... Which is pure garbage but this reader woild still watch because he's eating it up like Pac Man.





    J

  7. #7
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    yes we have it on the ice and it is very popular.

    We have 4 tv channels here, ha lucky us... I only have one though (the only 'free' one) but they often have good UK programs and documentaries.
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

    If I seem insensitive to what you are going through, understand it's the way I am- Mr. Spock

    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  8. #8
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billl View Post
    Right there with you.

    Season One was a great, great surprise, so happy I checked it out. Season Two, for me, was just fine until one particular dude showed his face... Then the series clambered back up and finally reached it's good old rewarding self by the very end. Definitely looking forward to Season 3.

    Incidentally, since it'll take so long, I was thinking of trying out one of these classic British TV series:

    1) Upstairs, Downstairs
    or
    2) Brideshead Revisited

    So I'm going to take this opportunity to make an appeal for advice: Without giving anything away, could anyone weigh in on whether either of these would be interesting to a Downton Abbey fan? I understand the picture quality would be inferior, and the sets and costumes perhaps not at the same level, but I don't know... Either one serve up the same sort of snooty/servanty soap opera?

    Upstairs/Downstairs looks entirely too long, but maybe there's a classic season?

    Brideshead: is it at ALL similar to DA, or am I way off target even considering it? Or should I read the book?
    I remember Brideshead Revisited was extremely popular when it came out. I can't say I liked it that much, but I seemed to be in a small minority. It's only real similarities to DA is that it is about posh people and set in a stately home.

    Upstairs Downstairs seemed to be almost a soap when it was broadcast in the 70s. The social class themes are all fairly similar to DA, but I am not sure the family were quite as rich. Also very popular. My mother liked it. I think the BBC are re-making it as a response to DA, even though the original series was on ITV.

  9. #9
    Wild is the Wind Silas Thorne's Avatar
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    Yes, Downton Abbey was great. I especially like the part where Thomas was made into a vampire and fed on the wounded troops in the trenches.

    No, seriously, I love every scene with Maggie Smith or Brendan Coyle in it. Wonderful acting and characterization!
    '...the rain
    is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
    Upon the glass and listen for reply'

    Edna St. Vincent Millay, 'What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why'

  10. #10
    Silas, you devil! The Downton bug has bitten you too.

    So that's JoH, williaml, kiki, Helga and Silas on the wagon. It's a classy show that brings classy people together.



    Cheers,




    J

  11. #11
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the above. The first season was amazing, the second alright. I found that they began to repeat too many plot lines and it got tedious. But I loved the rise of the "lower class" and found it interesting how you started sympathizing with Grantham and bemoaning the fact that more people are gaining liberties and his world is crumbling. Why? Why can't the aristocracy thrive?

    All around great characters, and Maggie Smith is just......wonderful.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  12. #12
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    I remember Brideshead Revisited was extremely popular when it came out. I can't say I liked it that much, but I seemed to be in a small minority. It's only real similarities to DA is that it is about posh people and set in a stately home.
    I see what you mean. I think it is wonderful for what it is: an adaptation of its novel. It really reflects the characters and the feel of a naïve society that is now no more. It's quite gloomy in its view in that respect, but it is a look at 'how it was before' from someone roaming around on the estate in the middle of WWI (?). So, how can it be otherwise?

    The images from that estate are absolutely marvellous, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Upstairs Downstairs seemed to be almost a soap when it was broadcast in the 70s. The social class themes are all fairly similar to DA, but I am not sure the family were quite as rich. Also very popular. My mother liked it. I think the BBC are re-making it as a response to DA, even though the original series was on ITV.
    It was a soap, I think, but Downton Abbey-style: a limited number of episodes, not like Eastenders which runs all year round. It only ran for five years, though, not 10 (where did I get that from?).

    Don't get fooled by the look of it though. The Bellamy family we see in the series living in their London townhouse in Eton Place, Belgravia, do still have an estate which they move into at the end of the series. I believe because of the Wall Street crash and WWI (I remember they shut up certain rooms for that period). Bellamy was also a member of parliament, probably the house of Lords I would suspect, so they had to be in London. Although they are confined in a small space, probably also for filming purposes, I don't think they should be considered different to the Granthams, although there are gradations in weatlh amongst those classes too, of course.

    Don't watch the BBC revival as it was without purpose. I found they already solved the most important storylines in their pilot and it only got worse after that. I think the set, colour scheme, cast and sparkly nature of it was great, it could have made something between You Rang, M'Lord and Upstairs Downstairs, but sadly nothing more emerged. Then give me the somewhat drab 1970s look of Upstairs Downstairs any time as it caught you as a viewer at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    I agree with most of the above. The first season was amazing, the second alright. I found that they began to repeat too many plot lines and it got tedious. But I loved the rise of the "lower class" and found it interesting how you started sympathizing with Grantham and bemoaning the fact that more people are gaining liberties and his world is crumbling. Why? Why can't the aristocracy thrive?

    All around great characters, and Maggie Smith is just......wonderful.
    Yes, curious, isn't it, how you're starting to pity him...

    Yes, Maggie Smith... How wonderful! I find it somewhat sad that they abandoned the delicious rivalry between her and Mrs Crawley from the beginning a little. Shame that Mrs Crawley had something to do now that proved more important than old Lady Grantham. It was so great to watch. I do hope they rekindle it.

    I think they set her up fantastically, though, in that first episode where she complained about 'the glare' of the electric lightling, putting her fan in front of her eyes.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  13. #13
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of Hearts View Post
    Silas, you devil! The Downton bug has bitten you too.

    So that's JoH, williaml, kiki, Helga and Silas on the wagon. It's a classy show that brings classy people together.



    Cheers,




    J
    Yes, it's only a select few

    @Helga:

    I can't believe they hae it in Iceland! My hubby was quite amazed too, actually.

    Tell me, do they subtitle or dub?
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  14. #14
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    Subtitles!!!! we hate dub! This is actually something we make fun of in american movies 'no movie I have to read' was said in one show. Everything has subtitles here and there are many classic shows from the UK here, and some not as classy like 'the inbetweeners', can't say I like that one.

    UK tv has always been very very popular here and so many tv movies and adaptations of the classics. there are also many shows here from Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Even Finland. the big tv station (national station) is very diverse but often very bad too, you find gems in the midst.
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

    If I seem insensitive to what you are going through, understand it's the way I am- Mr. Spock

    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    I agree with most of the above. The first season was amazing, the second alright. I found that they began to repeat too many plot lines and it got tedious. But I loved the rise of the "lower class" and found it interesting how you started sympathizing with Grantham and bemoaning the fact that more people are gaining liberties and his world is crumbling. Why? Why can't the aristocracy thrive?

    All around great characters, and Maggie Smith is just......wonderful.
    Put Charles on the wagon.

    This reader had similarly amusing thoughts. Why can't the humanly-oppressive, non-progressive, ultimately-detrimental-to-progress aristocracy just thrive so the Earl of Grantham can be happy?

    !!!!!SPOILER!!!!







    When they married at the end of the Christmas special it was just like... finally, jeeze.





    J

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