Skip to comments.Yes to Downton Abbey
Posted on 01/17/2012 7:37:19 PM PST by Steelfish
JANUARY 17, 2012 1 Yes to Downton Abbey Americans dont secretly long for aristocracy; they appreciate a good story. By Mona Charen
Simon Schama holds a place of honor in our home. Preparing for a trip to London in 2005, we watched his video series A History of Britain, over the course of several weeks. Our boys loved it so much that they would chant Britain! Britain! after dinner. His history of the French Revolution, Citizens, was masterful.
So its with the greatest respect that I disagree with him about Downton Abbey, the first television series to keep my interest since, well, The Sopranos.
Schama thinks he detects the clammy delirium of nostalgia in the Tea Partys ache for a tricorny country, radio ranters selling Americans on a false paradise of preSocial Security and Medicare America, and now viewers racing to their TV sets on Sunday nights to catch Downton Abbey, a steaming, silvered tureen of snobbery.
Americans, Schama scolds, desperate for something, anything, to take [their] mind off the perplexities of the present are gobbling up this newest Edwardian-era story because of our secret longing to be members of a defunct aristocracy.
Who is being the snob here? Schama, an Englishman, proposes to elevate our taste. The series irritates him because he still recalls the sting of being put in his place by the toffs in the 1950s and 1960s. We credulous Americans are too easily swept off our feet, he protests, by these country-house tales.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Looks like you have the book as well.
Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) commenting on Mary’s diminished prospects for marriage after stories circulate about Mary and the Turkish guy...
(not verbatim, going from memory here)...
“At times like this, one can usually find an Italian. They’re not too picky.”
Lady Violet, regarding whether Mary should keep the rendezvous secret from a potential husband (again, not verbatim)...
“Well, everyone goes down the aisle with part of the story hidden.”
Love it, and love the multiple layers of stories going on among the servants, the upper crust, and in the interactions between those levels. Superb!
You can watch all the released episodes Seasons 1 & 2 on the PBS site, and it also has shots and previews:
Lady Violet to Mary-”Don’t show lack of self confindence, it’s so middle class”
I come from Lincolnshire Quakers. I love this story, even if my family was probably cleaning the chamber pots of the servants!
Another good one:
Lady Violet: You are quite wonderful, the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.
Cousin Isobel: I take that as a compliment.
Lady Violet: I must have said it wrong.
The second season of “Sherlock” is done. Now we just have to wait to take our turn watching it.
You might like “Doc Martin.” The first few seasons are on Hulu, and the last on YouTube. “Wisdom” is also good, staring Steven Fry.
Thx! Wasn’t familiar with either. Just checked ITV’s website for the Doc Martin series. Back after a 2 year hiatus?! Jeez louise, just what I was talking about. Leave me hanging that long, and I’ll find something else to occupy my time. Heaven forbid that these entertainment types actually get a good product out to their customers in a timely fashion. Feh.
From The Guardian (UK) 01/18/2012
Coming soon? Downton Abbey the movieShow’s creator Julian Fellowes said to have been bombarded with requests for film rights following Golden Globes success
Downton Abbey is tipped for the big screen. You’ve watched two series and a Christmas special. Now, is there going to be Downton Abbey the movie? Perhaps. The Sun tells how creator Julian Fellowes was mobbed at the aftershow parties following the ITV1 show’s Golden Globe win. “Lots of people have already asked him about film rights,” an insider tells the paper. Fellowes is no stranger to big screen success, having won an Oscar for his script for Gosford Park. Even better, the big screen version would have none of those annoying ad breaks. Just a great big one before it starts.
They weren’t sure there was even going to be a second season until they saw how well the first season was reciebed. The second season has many more eposobes to go. the dirst episode was 2 hrs long, the 2nd episode as well as the 3rd 4th and 5thb episoes are an hout long, and then, the fibal two episodes are each 2 hrs long. So you see, there are 7 episodes to the second season, 3 of which are 2 hrs long.
FYI: a little heads up...coming in spring, there is going to be a new series premiering: a series based around a young Inspector Morse, when he was an up and coming constable!
Looking forward to it, myself.
CORRECTION: the Inspector Morse Prequel, is not svheduled to debut until this summer, not in the spring. :o\
Don't get me wrong; I think it's great quality TV. But long gaps between short “seasons”, not to mention a lack of commitment to further shows, exponentially increase the likelihood I'll blow it off next time around. I've gotten sucked in and then burned too often by network programmers.
I get what you are daying, but it has been my impression, that Brit-TV shows, usually start their first seasons with a short trial season of about 6 episodes, If they don’t grab ratings enough, in those few shows, it gets cancelled.
rach of the first season shows of SA were 1 1/3 hrs liong,...so they totaled 6 hrs...
I will not give the plot away, but if you were a fan of John Thaw’s Morse, you will like Endeavour.
I am a big fan of Lewis as well and look forward to the next series.
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