...because I've posted about it before. But I see from today's paper that it's in the running for big prizes in the USA.
I simply do not understand the popularity of this series. The clunking prose, the predictable plot lines....what is the attraction? It it's period drama we want, the lets turn to Andrew Davies, who does it faultlessly.
Examples (plot): vengeful maid places bar of soap by the bath just before her ( pregnant) ladyship steps out. M'lady slips, loses baby,and guess what? That's right. It was a boy; the much wanted son and heir after a clutch of witless daughters. The theres our hero, who suddenly leaps to his feet after weeks in a wheelchair. Anyone who has ever been in that position knows it takes some time to regain the use of their legs. I've been there.
And for prose? My favourite has to be the immortal exchange between the Lovers, who are having a little dance around the drawing room ( as one does). She: Can you dance without your stick? He: you are my stick. And my lord, ever original, to the maid who he's been chatting up for at least a week: I love you with every fibre of my being! (original, or what?)
Why do we watch it? Good question. We watch it to see if it can get any worse. And it never disappoints.
I shall now prepare to be shot down in flames.
Friday, 20 July 2012
Downton Abbey revisited
Posted by Frances Garrood at 14:17
Labels: Downton Abbey
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I just take it all with a pinch of salt whilst enjoying the nostalgia, the setting, the costumes and the wonderful Hugh Bonneville. He stars in Twenty Twelve on BBC2, which is a send-up of the preparations for the Olympics. Brilliant.ReplyDelete
Ok. I'll let you have the lovely Hugh. And Maggie, of course. But one - or even two - swallows etc etc....?Delete
He he Frances, just like my sister you write "Downtown Abbey" :-)ReplyDelete
Only a few weeks ago, I spent a very rainy Sunday almost entirely on my settee, watching the Downton Abbey DVDs a friend of mine had lent me. After the pilot, I thought "hmmm..." and wasn't really that interested in finding out more about the characters, but I liked their Yorkshire accents (and even looked up the actors on Wikipedia to see who of them really is from up North - quite a few, actually); the story is set near Ripon anyway, even though not one second of the series was filmed there.
As I said, it was a rainy Sunday, I was on my own, didn't feel like doing anything else, and so I kept watching... and watching... and watching. And at some stage I wanted to know what was going to happen next (in spite of a lot of it, as you say, being rather foreseeable), and I must admit there were some unexpected things happening.
Plus I really like Maggie Smith, and the extremely beautiful girl who plays the youngest daughter of the Earl. As for the men - I'm afraid none of the actors really "does" it for me, but at least everyone is well dressed for most of the time :-D
Typo now corrected! I'll have to ask you to be my official editor, what with that and the novel!Delete
But as for Downton....if you want really authentic period English drama of this kind, I think ( the original) Upstairs Downstairs takes a lot of beating. Have you seen it? Well written, believable characters, historically accurate...even the music is first class.
Upstairs Downstairs was on German telly when I was a kid; my sister loved it especially, while I rarely watched it - I was always far too busy reading, or climbing trees, or roller skating, or riding my bike to all the places my Mum had told me not to go to.Delete
Maybe I should try and find a set of DVDs of it, I am sure I'd appreciate it much more now than back then.
I like proofreading and wouldn't mind doing it as a job (actually, I do that every now and then for other people's websites or documents).
We're watching Upstairs Downstairs again at the moment. I can't recommend it too highly. Do give it a try, Meike.Delete
Oh dear, I've never seen it - what am I missing?ReplyDelete
I enjoy it in a superficial way for the clothes and setting - and for Maggie Smith's lines!ReplyDelete
Clothes and setting....fine. But I want a bit more!Delete
I have a friend (a lawyer by training) whose two current interests (apart from campaigning against the stoning of women and suchlike causes) are quantum mechanics and Downton Abbey. I have read Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment in two different translations and Tolstoy's War and Peace in three different translations. I feel no lesser a person because I really enjoy Downton Abbey. Although I'd watch it just for Maggie Smith's lines even if I didn't enjoy the rest of the mostly predictable and non-challenging dialogue. Top that for a bumptious, pompous and pretentious comment.ReplyDelete
In response to the challenge, I can't compete! And I agree about Maggie Smith. But then she could read out a shopping list and make it riveting. I think they were very lucky to get her!ReplyDelete
Ah, but therein lies the secret of writing success! Witness the popularity of a certain recent 'racy' novel. Criticised for terrible prose, ridiculous plot and stereotyped characters, yet selling in millions.ReplyDelete
And in times of economic austerity, one of the attractions of DA is the lifestyle (including the costumes). Look at the success of the Busby Berkeley musicals during the last great depression.
Perhaps Fifty Shades of Costume Porn is the answer, Myra? Actually, apparently it's already being done. New spicy versions of the Brontes and Jane Austen are being written. Nothing's sacred...Delete