Downton Abbey--Upstairs/Downstairs, Stiff Upper Lips, and Tea!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Matryeshka, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. victoriajh

    victoriajh Well-Known Member

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    Can any one send me links to this week and last week?
     
  2. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

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    I'm so happy to have expat shield and can watch it, but I've found that if I try to see it at the time it's broadcast in England, it takes forever to load. But, if I go online around 8pm my time, when people in England are sleeping, then I have no trouble and can watch it without any issues. It must be all the traffic on the site at the same time.
     
  3. Marilou

    Marilou New Member

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    If you go to the ITV website, all the available episodes are right there, just click on the one you want.
     
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I was sorry to read that the ratings in the UK were such that it was decided not to do a third series of "Upstairs Downstairs". (The "Dowtown Abbey Effect")
    There are many storylines that will be left unfinished.

    I'll enjoy watching Series 2 on "Masterpiece" while I can.
     
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Honestly...I can live with that. Honestly I was surprised they did a second, especially as they killed off two interesting characters (
    the mother and the monkey
    ), brought back the Nazi ho (the sister; seriously, just leave her in Berlin and let her get bombed or raped by the Red Army in 1945, who cares? She asked for it!), and apparently Rose being away is because Jean Marsh is ill. And I just know this weekend's I'm going to be comparing whoever's playing Joe Kennedy Sr to Tom Wilkinson and finding him wanting (unless by some miracle they GOT Tom Wilkinson, but I doubt it.)

    It's just...not good. I *am* starting to like Lord whats-his-name, but not at the expense of sitting through the rest of these clowns.
     
  6. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It's nowhere near as great as the original UD; but, still better and more interesting than much of what we see on US TV; so I'm sorry that the "story arc" won't be completed,
     
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I just can't get into a series, no matter how well-produced, where all I'm thinking is how horrible 90% of the characters are. When you're rooting for the Luftwaffe in a war-era British show, it's a bad sign.
     
  8. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    The scripts/writing are missing something.
    The preferred actors may have already been busy with "Dowtown Abbey", too.
     
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I think the writers got caught up too much in the concept--what happened to the Bellamy's old house--then were stuck by the original cast either being unavailable because in-story, they couldn't come back (Lady Bellamy died in-universe, their son killed himself, etc) or actor existence failure (a good chunk), changed production values meant they had to come up with a way of overhauling the old set (the old BBC film outside/video inside and cardboard sets wasn't going to fly) but that meant basically rendering the only recognizable "character" unrecognizable. There's the viewer-logic questions (if this is only a few years later, how is it Rose looks like she's aged 40 years?). Once they figured out a new plot, they seem to introduce characters more to teach a lesson of the week (Jews Are People Too), kill them off rather than do anything interesting with them once the point was made, change personalities to suit the situation (especially second season--uh, NOW their marriage is unhappy? Since when was the sister after the husband?), drop points that could have been carried on...

    I think where they probably ran into trouble versus Downton was less getting the cast (all the actors are perfectly competent) than things like inadvertent plot similarities where Downton just came off better--the younger sister/chauffeur plot in particular (likable daughter who wants to do something with her life and somewhat extreme but highly sympathetic Irish revolutionary versus bored, self-absorbed lightskirt who just likes to party and THINK she's intellectual and a blackshirt who is initially sympathetic to Hitler--really, which show is more likely to appeal to viewers?) This series I could actually get to like the Lord of the house, but now he's surrounded by crabby self-absorbed people who fight over contrived issues he's getting roped into a REALLY contrived infidelity plot.

    And the thing next week bringing in Ambassador Kennedy and of COURSE his second son Jack seems less like a clever plot point than a Hail Mary at this stage.
     
  10. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how much input Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh had in the revival.

    The premise was wrong.
    It wasn't "165 Eaton Place" that was interesting.
    It was the people whose home it was - above and below-stairs - that fascinated the audience.
     
  11. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I think Claire Foy shot herself in the foot with that role. She was just coming off Little Dorrit, if I remember correctly, and I think she did that thing so many actors do, where they think they have to play a really evil person after they've played a really good person. But the UD character was so over-the-top evil that it went too far in the other direction. For most people, she wasn't a love-to-hate character, more like an I-really-HATE-this-woman-get-her-off-my-screen-this-instant character.
     
  12. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    The character of Lady Persie is inspired by two real-life sisters, Unity Mitford and Diana Mitford, Lady Mosley. Unity Mitford, the more direct inspiration, went to live in Germany at about the same time as the Lady Persie character, apparently attempted suicide just after World War II started, and died of complications from the incident in 1948. Diana married her second husband, Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, at Joseph Goebbels' home. She died in 2003, and she was quite outspoken, writing, editing, publishing, and giving interviews, until right up to her death. Most British viewers of Upstairs Downstairs would, at a minimum, know about Diana and have some recollection of her public statements and would recognize her story, if not Unity's, as a source for the Lady Persie character.

    And, no, given the real-life exploits of Unity, Diana, and their four other sisters, the character is not at all over the top. :hat1:
     
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Vagabond, I was waiting for someone to mention the Mitford sisters.
    Further, as incredible as it might seem to us in hindsight, they were by no means alone in their "sympathies"/beliefs.
     
  14. Lorac

    Lorac Well-Known Member

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    When compared to the Mitford sisters Lady Persie's character is not over the top - but that doesn't mean anyone has to actually like the character - many people did not like the Mitford sisters or their exploits regarding them as traitors to their country. In that respect the dislike of the Lady Persie character was perfectly acceptable IMHO and did nothing to make anyone want to care about her story!!

    The biggest issue Upstairs/Downstairs had was being a re-creation of a much loved original show that just did not come up to snuff. That and being up against Downton was always going to mean it was facing an up-hill battle to win viewers!!
     
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Yep, I know all about the Mitford sisters--doesn't mean I like Persie any better, or like THEM, either (Unity got what she deserved. The only people I have less sympathy for than Nazi sympathizers is Soviet sympathizers.)

    However I read some spoilers and while I still won't care a bit about her, I'll get SOME satisfaction.
     
  16. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm familiar with them too. I wonder if they inspired as much as sheer annoyance as Persie does. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  17. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the new Upstairs, Downstairs. :shuffle:

    It seemed a little more creative (soapy?) in the plotlines than Downton "He's paralyzed! No he's not! They're poor! No they're not!" Abbey. Actions have consequences and there is no deus ex machina to save the day. Never watched the original UD, though.
     
  18. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, that's the issue I have with Downton Abbey at the moment. Things always work out too well. I know that's what people like, but I think it's a bit beneath the person who gave us the first season, and wrote the amazing Gosford Park.
     
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I've been reading about the episode that just aired. I don't think you're going to have that issue anymore. :shuffle:
     
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure it'll work itself out by the end of the season.
     
  21. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Um . . . no.
     
  22. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I can't wait to see it then, but I'm skeptical that things won't have a way of working out considering how things worked out for many of the beloved characters. I'm not saying it'll be perfect, but it will be nice somehow.
     
  23. victoriajh

    victoriajh Well-Known Member

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    only in uk.... i trtied a link someone sent me but i am not wanting download a tonne of pieces to watch!
     
  24. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I spoiled myself. OMG.
     
  25. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    ...Spoiler? Someone? Please?
     
  26. D&Sfan4ever

    D&Sfan4ever Living in a Snark

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    Oh no.
    You should really wait untill you can see it, trust me.
     
  27. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Where do you find the spoilers?
     
  28. Jimena

    Jimena Well-Known Member

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    I just watched it.
    I knew someone was going to die this season but I didn't expect it to be Sybil!. Sniff.
     
  29. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

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    I guessed, but wasn't sure they'd go there.
     
  30. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Just do a Google News Search of the show's title.