Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Upstairs/Downstairs 2010 Review

Upstairs/Downstairs, I thought I was going to have to settle for a tepid like, when you started doing awesome things with history and politics ( LOL at Oswald Mosley's Hitleresque parades) and the characters suddenly became REAL. You made me scream, cry, laugh all in the dizzying space of five minutes. And that mention of MI5? Gold. Of course there were some operatic moments that had me rolling my eyes, but I admit that I was weeping like a baby towards the end. I hate you BBC, just when I'd climbed safely out of the quicksand of my Downton Abbey addiction, gasping but breathing, you plunged me back in.
USDS is far more racier than Downton Abbey (tsk, tsk), but apart from some uncomfortable similarities, they both have their own merits and demerits. All I say is, all the MOAR for me!

What with Downton ending just as war is declared and USDS ending at pretty much the same period ( Edward's abdication), I'm rubbing my hands in anticipation for the imminent fireworks. I'm very much interested in seeing how each series deals with WWII, and with different writers at the helm, I'm expecting great things.

To be honest, I was ready to swear undying allegiance to Downton, when Episode 2 of USDS burst in on me, and I began to awaken from my lethargy. The first episode was practically a snorefest, but when they got down to the political and historical aspects, things began to get addicting- er- I meant interesting. While Downton had its theme and tone all figured out from the get-go, I felt that USDS didn't: it had a little trouble segueing from the cozy circle of domesticity to the savagery of the outside world. The episodes gradually improved however, as if the show was finally finding its legs. I don't know if I love the Holland family with the same devotion as the Granthams, but they are growing on me. I adore Hallam, even though I feel he's a little weak, worry constantly over excitable Lady Persie, and am ready to hire Pritchard as my own butler if only he were real and I had oodles of greenbacks.

That doesn't mean that both USDS and Downton Abbey are perfect because they're not. They're riddled with improbable happenings, sometimes meandering plots, and rumours of historical inaccuracies have dogged both shows ( no one's going to forget the damning televsion aerials in Downton in a hurry).

But they are still period dramas, and high quality period dramas, I might add. In an age where reality garbage is sadly reigning supreme, it's nice to know that there is something I can still watch, some shows that have real stories and real characters with real comedy.

And what the HECK, BBC, three episodes? Three episodes? Stop being such a stick-in-the-mud and give us MOAR!!

Ahem. I shall be calm; I shall be composed.

VIVA period dramas!!!!!!


  1. Downton Series One ended at the beginning of WWI, not WWII. :)

  2. I recently watched the first episode of Downton and unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky as you, and wasn't warned about the kissing scene. I was completely blindsided. I read the comments on that post, and I'm so sorry for the hate that seems to come from those who disagree with your decision to fast forward. Funny how many people think tolerance is a one way street - you should tolerate them and their behaviors, but they in turn spew hate at you for not condoning their decisions.

    Anyway, I'm writing because I'm squeamish about watching any more of the series. I was really put off by the brazen gay kissing scene and I don't want to keep watching if the series is going to try to push me in that direction. All I could think of after seeing that (and quickly pausing and panicking) was the poem by Alexander Pope, "“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” I don't want to get so comfortable with those behaviors and beliefs that I begin to embrace them.

    I've been searching online and yours is the very first commentary on Downton Abbey that even hints at dislike towards the hidden gay agenda, and I'm wondering if you've seen the rest of the series. Does this stuff come up again? Is it recurring? How often do I have to deal with it? Because I'm not going to watch any more if it keep rearing it's face. Please let me know by commenting back on this. Thanks!!!

  3. Consider Daniel 10:21/12:9 - 'sealed' Book of Truth
    Seal of the Living God: message - 2/20/12
    Benedict: message - 2/19/13


I delight in comments! However, I do not delight in profanity or vindictive remarks. Let us encourage each other and enjoy each varying opinion.