Tuesday, February 1, 2011

# 5: Masterpiece classic: Downton Abbey

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219 222 people found the following review helpful: 4.0 out of 5 stars funny, if a tad flawed, series Edwardian, November 13, 2010 this review is from: masterpiece classic: Downton Abbey (DVD) Julian Fellowes has undermined his screenplay for Gosford Park and took some cues from the beloved series of the 1970s Upstairs, Downstairs-Edition Megaset collector (The Complete Series plus Thomas and Sarah), to create the Downton Abbey, a stunning and colorful drama around the aristocratic family of Crawley and staff serving them. Between 1912 and 1914, Downton Abbey Chronicles of class conflict, sex and politics and served with a dollop of sizzle and refreshing of scandal. Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dame Maggie Smith (as Robert, Earl of Grantham, Cora, Countess of Grantham and viola, Dowager Countess of Grantham, respectively) are knock out, but the rest of the cast are not slouches with the gorgeous Michelle Dockery avant-garde as Lady Mary Crowley, who's the selfish, proud, and vengeful daughter I can't help but like. Actors and stunning interiors of Highclere Castle, home to the Earl of Carnarvon, give Downton Abbey Shine gloss, sophisticated, even when the script twists and turns can be a bit of a let-down. However, the drama is addictive and tonic and a worthy addition to any set period drama aficionado--and those who love good drama, period! help other customers find the most useful reviews This review was helpful?

138 of 145 people found the following review helpful: 4.0 out of 5 stars series interesting!, November 16, 2010 this review is from: masterpiece classic: Downton Abbey (DVD) ALERT: possible spoiler! But I'll try not to give much ...

I discovered this series after watching the latest episode of Sherlock on PBS. I'm a big fan of period dramas and after seeing the trailer for Downton Abbey, I knew I had to try.

Downton Abbey opened in 1912, after the sinking of the Titanic on which the heir of Robert Crowley, estate of the Earl of Grantham, dies. This leaves the family in a tizzy trying to figure out who would then inherit the estate, since the Crawleys have three daughters who are not enabled for the connection. Enter Matthew Crawley (the wonderful Dan Stevens a.k.a "Edward ferrars" sense and sensibility-2008-whistle, whistle) Next in line and, of course, not everyone is excited about the idea.

In the meantime, we have the privledge to bear witness to the bitter, but incredibly fascinating sibling rivalry of Dean two daughters of Earl, Edith and Maria. Mary was committed to the original Downton Abbey's heir, but was Edith that really loved him. Moreover, the oldest, Mary, apparently is the favorite of girls mother, which is almost sole occupation is to marry her (especially now that the link went to a "foreigner" and his father didn't fight). Edith, on the other hand, is consistently neglected and according to her mother, Cora, most likely will be to take care of her and the count in their old age. Daughter of count, Sybil, however, is the personification of quiet strength. Super sweet but definitely not a push over, she is a strong supporter of women's rights and have no qualms voicing his opinion, even if it means getting into trouble with his father.

Downstairs, we have the arrival of the mysterious Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle, Robert Timmens of Lark Rise to Candleford--whistle, whistle again!) that develops feelings for Anna head home, and vice versa, but their station (and its secrets) make their romance a little difficult. Put off by the arrival of Bates and the idea of the "lower train station" footman is the uber-villianous Thomas (I assure you, I hate this guy!). Aided by O'Brien Miss equally ugly, they plot to get rid of Mr. Bates at almost any cost.

Of course, there are tons of subplots: Matthew determination not to be edited by the inhabitants of the forest, past "shameful of Butler," discontent a waitress working in service and hopes for better jobs, secret (and some not so secret) crushes and much more.

Scattered throughout the series is a series of memorable characters. More specifically, the fabulous, Maggie Smith, which lends itself very sass (and some hilarious jokes) this series as Violet Crawley, Countess Dowager of Grantham (count). We also Jim Carter (Captain Brown from Cranford) as Carson, the faithful Butler family Crawley and Penelope Wilton (Mrs. Hamley's from wives and daughters) as Isobel Crawley, the mother of new heir Matthew thrifty partners and applicants of violetta.

This season's series ends at Garden Party of Crawleys, to which the count informs the guests that are at war with Germany. Up until that point, a scandalous secret on Lady Mary is leaked that ruins virtually her reputation and her plots revenge on his show. A new "development" arises that can alter the likelihood of Matteo gaining estate of count. Matthew, who himself is a thrifty partners in Mary, inevitably falls in love with her. She says that her feelings are reciprocal, but he is unsure if she wants him per se or because of his perspective is heir to a House of his father.

I found this to be a series of funny thoroughly. Can't wait for season 2.

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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful: 4.0 out of 5 stars nobody does it better the British, November 11, 2010 this review is from: masterpiece classic: Downton Abbey (DVD) I became aware of this wonderful series ITV when reading a Larkrise to Candleford dashboard (another great series, highly recommended). As soon as I saw it on youtube thanks to you guys British! After that I saw, it occurred to me that was a little like "Upstairs Downstairs" that saw the operation "above the stairs" and was as inactive. The difference is located in a magnificent Palace (seat, or whatever, I am not British).

It is set in the early 1900s. The costumes and settings are superb.

I did feel the count was a little worried about egalitarian downstairs staff, too "nice". By 1901, on pbs series, servants/staff had to be out of view as possible.

Highly recommended.

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