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  1. #1

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

    Anyone else watching this? It's got everything a great PBS British Masterpiece Theatre production needs--great clothes, horsies, big houses, Maggie Smith, tea, and..errr...hooyay.

    It starts out with the sinking of the Titanic, and the sinking of the heirs to Downton Abbey, which basically means the oldedst daughter must marry the new heir or someone equally rich, else the family could be turned out. It's a great picture of the changing nature (and what hasn't changed) of British society pre-WWI. It covers everything from the working to the upper classes, those having a career v. the landed gentry "gentlemen", to women's rights, to sex (same and hetero). For a PBS period drama, it's got some turns in it to, like

    Spoiler



    Anyway, the pacing's excellent, and they give great recaps at the beginning for anyone wanting to catch up. It's on tonight 9/8c.

    I'm LOVING this series so far, and even better, they're making a sequel to it later this year!
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    this show is awesome, i have nothing constructive to add but to pbs
    Last edited by my little pony; 01-23-2011 at 07:44 PM.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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    I'm a Downtoniac. LOVE those upstairs/downstairs soapy dramas. (Loved every cheesy minute of Titanic, too, for the record). I will be very interested to see if they reveal a bit more about the disabled main footman (is that his current job? I'm a bit confused) and the nasty piece of work housekeeper. Is she related to the gay footman or just in league with him?

    I don't want the 'poor relation' inheritor to end up with the snippy eldest sister but it looks like he has a thing for her.

    I don't do well with names as you can see.

    As an RN I was interested to note Edwardian-era cardiac surgery techniques. Will have to chat with the cardiologists at work about those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post

    I don't want the 'poor relation' inheritor to end up with the snippy eldest sister but it looks like he has a thing for her.
    well, the homely and snippy middle sister also seems to have the hots for him
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  5. #5
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    I'm dying to watch this, but only have Part 2 recorded. Can anyone give me the schedule? I tried to set up a series recording but I guess I didn't do it right.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I will be very interested to see if they reveal a bit more about the disabled main footman (is that his current job? I'm a bit confused) and the nasty piece of work housekeeper. Is she related to the gay footman or just in league with him?
    Bates - who is the Earl's valet, has to fill in occasionally as footman.

    I don't think that O'Brien - Lady Grantham's ladies maid, and Thomas, the footman are related. But I'm not certain. They certainly are troublemakers though.

    One of my favorite lines so far was Maggie Smith's - What is a week end? I think she may have uttered a similar line about that vulgarism in Gosford Park!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I will be very interested to see if they reveal a bit more about the disabled main footman (is that his current job? I'm a bit confused) and the nasty piece of work housekeeper. Is she related to the gay footman or just in league with him?
    I missed the first episode, so I can't answer all of your questions, but the "nasty piece of work" is not the housekeeper (who is rather nice), but is lady's maid to the countess (Elizabeth McGovern) and Bates, the man servant with a limp, is Lord Grantham's valet, a promotion that Thomas, the scheming footman, wanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I'm dying to watch this, but only have Part 2 recorded. Can anyone give me the schedule? I tried to set up a series recording but I guess I didn't do it right.
    I don't think you can do a series recording with it in most areas. We tried to do it too--I think it's because how PBS does its scheduling--every station has a potentially different schedule, so there's no way for your DVR to download a schedule from a central hub. I've had issues DVRing other PBS shows.

    It should be online somewhere though--it ran on BBC last year so you can catch up.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    If you're in the US, you ought to be able to see the episodes aired so far here until February 22.

    I saw the first one and loved it, recorded the second, but haven't been able to watch it yet, and have a conflict tonight between recording it or the Canadian Championships. The Buffalo PBS station repeats Downton Abbey late on Saturday nights, though, so I'll have another opportunity, all being well.

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    Sorry, but a dissenting opinion here; I have watched the first two episodes, but I am not sure why, since it is ghastly, to say the least. The costumes and some of the performances are the only good things about this. The storyline is ludicrous and over-the-top - a complete misfire as far as I'm concerned. I am not recommending this to anyone. Most people I know who viewed the first episode turned it off after 20 minutes and didn't even bother with the second. I give this a D-, I'm afraid.

  11. #11
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    I stumbled upon it yesterday and got sucked into the episode that was airing (visit from the Turkish diplomat ). I immediately signed up for the rest of the season.

    I love all of the conniving characters, and Maggie Smith does not disappoint.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    I'm watching and loving every minute. On my PBS station, I get Lark Rise followed by Downton Abbey, so I'm in heaven on Sunday nights.

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    Anyone who's on Twitter, there's a Downton party every week, using the hashtag #DowntonPBS. It's been a lot of fun so far!

    I can't say it's my favorite BBC miniseries of all time -- far from it -- but the story's entertaining enough, in a soapy way, and Maggie Smith is sublime. Nice to see Elizabeth McGovern again, too. I don't think I've seen her in anything since that absolutely hideous Scarlet Pimpernel series a few years ago.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    I missed the first episode, so I can't answer all of your questions, but the "nasty piece of work" is not the housekeeper (who is rather nice), but is lady's maid to the countess (Elizabeth McGovern) and Bates, the man servant with a limp, is Lord Grantham's valet, a promotion that Thomas, the scheming footman, wanted.
    Bates was His Lordship’s batman (an officer’s personal servant) during the Boer Wars. I believe the injury is combat related which is why Grantham installed him as his valet, a position that Thomas, the scheming footman wanted. And Thomas has his own secret.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

  15. #15

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    Bates is a sweetie. I've noticed a lot of #TeamBates being used at the Twitter events.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    well, the homely and snippy middle sister also seems to have the hots for him
    Either that, or she has the hots for being married to any male with money and/or a title. I got the idea that being homely (and snide), she would make do with anyone who would ask her.

    I adore this series - I love Maggie Smith in anything, I love Hugh Bonneville, and it's nice to see Elizabeth McGovern in such a great role, she is as lovely as ever.

    I find this period in English history fascinating (very well depicted in Gosford Park as well) - the English country manor house with its abundance of live-in servants and the strict division between classes is fading and nearly dies out completely during and after WWI. It's interesting to see a couple of the younger women like Gwen and Lady Sybil aspire to something different than what society has locked them into in years past. The dynamic between Violet and Cora is almost hilarious - Violet looks down on Cora the American, yet it was Cora's money that saved Downton Abbey for which Violet is somewhat grateful, and it's Cora that Violet decides to align herself with in the quest to protect Lady Mary.

    Sounds like the series is very popular in the UK as I think I read that more episodes have been ordered.

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    Terribly convenient that the Earl fell in love with his wife after pursuing her for her money, isn't it? It would be really cool to see a prequel about their courtship.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  18. #18
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    Well, I've ordered this on Netflix so I don't have to wait for a whole week to find out what happens next.

  19. #19
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    Oh, I'm so glad there are other fans! I fell into this the first night it was on and now it's appointment TV. Personally, I'm rooting for a Bates-Anna romance, she's a bit young for him but they're the good guys. Along with the earl himself who is giving Brit aristocrats a good name.

    Never let a hot Middle-Eastern guy into your room.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    Sorry, but a dissenting opinion here; I have watched the first two episodes, but I am not sure why, since it is ghastly, to say the least. The costumes and some of the performances are the only good things about this. The storyline is ludicrous and over-the-top - a complete misfire as far as I'm concerned. I am not recommending this to anyone. Most people I know who viewed the first episode turned it off after 20 minutes and didn't even bother with the second. I give this a D-, I'm afraid.
    I'm sorry to hear this. Downton was THE TV hit of 2010 here in the UK and by the end of the series was drawing in excess of 11 million viewers per episode - HUGE figures for us. It is worth persevering with if only for Maggie Smith's eternally wonderful put downs. This series cost £7 million to produce and thankfully the viewing figures have guaranteed a second series. I hope it runs and runs. This is the kind of thing that Britain does so well and frankly is a welcome respite from the endlessly mind numbing hours of reality TV that TV execs seem to think we want!!

    Are you guys also getting, or going to get the new series of Upstairs Downstairs? They made a 3 part special for the BBC at christmas set in 1936 - different family but Jean Marsh as Rose returns. Loved it. Rumours are that this is to be commisioned for further development this year also.

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