Downton Abbey has money for sets, costumes and actors.
r9, you are so right. I wish her character had died from the Spanish Flu.
oh shit. that was a spoiler, SORRY!!
I watched the marathon last weekend. It's an okay program, but it's nothing special and there is a LOT of bland filler. I can not believe it is some gigantic big hit in England
Downton Abbey has a decidedly right wing agenda portraying the aristocrats as benevolant and caring of the serving class.
Upstairs Downstairs attempted to show more of the underbelly of the serving class existence.
Downton Abbey is NOWHERE near as good and engaging as Upstairs, Downstairs. There isn't a moment of surprise to be found in it anywhere.
You expected Pamouk to die in the middle of a fuck?
Wow, you've seen it all
What is the best online streaming site for DA on my iPad? Not interested in downloading it ....
Agree with R19 that the surprise factor is mostly undone the longer you watch it. Things happen to characters you think will have lasting impact only to have them resolve themselves soap opera style.
And it is a soap.
But it is fun to watch.
Joanne Froggatte's first episode from Season 2 was amazing. Real heartbreak.
And Maggie Smith is always great on screen.
Doesn't Maggie Smith basically play the same character on DA that she did in Gosford Park?
Fuck off Judi
Downton Abbey is homophobic which Upstairs wasn't.
I like Dear Abby the best. At least she knew about lashings with wet noodles.
Please, R25. The straight people on the show are far from perfect, and are not worse than Thomas.
You just want the gay guy to be a saint. Having spent some time around here, you should know that compared to DLers, he's actually not that bad, and may be going through a transformation.
Can we clarify are?
Are we talking about "Downton Abbey" compared to the original "Upstairs, Downstairs" or "Downton Abbey" compared to the "Upstairs, Downstairs" reboot?
A lot of the original 1970s Upstairs is copied on a more grander, more soapy, more lavish and more rural scale in Downton Abbey. It's essentially the same show, they should be paying royalties.
I couldn't make it through the new Upstairs. It just seemed like a bad reboot, so I can't speak authoritatively about it, although I believe it takes place in the 1930s?
Downton Abbey shoots in a real house. Upstairs Downstairs -- both versions -- shoots on cheap looking sets.
The original Upstairs, Downstairs is really involving, some of the most quality television the UK ever produced. The last few seasons of it do a falter a bit but the early seasons - you just can't fault them.
The reboot is pretty different by managed to extend some of the finer qualities of the original. Be interesting to see what they do in a second season.
Downton Abbey is just rubbish. Even fans of soap opera will find Season 2 more than a bit ridiculous. It has all the ingredients for a great show except for the writing which is just terrible. High paid actors walking around drawing rooms with nothing to play. Hugh Bonneville is particularly left out to sea. Oh and it has LADY MARY. Lady Mary who gives the same fuckin' line reading and performance in every scene as if she's stuffed up to eyeballs with mothballs or cotton wall. LA-DY MA-RY. Worst fuckin' actress ever. Saw one of her earlier appearances on tv and she was the exact same - always looking like she's suffering quietly from a terrible migraine. Fucking awful.
Downton Abbey is focused on the nature of aristocracy. Lord Bellamy and the new head of 165 Eaton Place were men of affairs who are incidentally aristocrats.
DA is shot in an impossibly large house of which we see only a fraction. UD is filmed in an impossibly small house of which we see more than could possibly fit in the space it occupies.
I think 165 Eaton Place must have been the inspiration for 12 Grimmauld Place in defying the laws of space and time.
Except in your first sentence there, R31, you mean Upstairs, Downstairs not Downton Abbey.
Please R27...there is one and only one homo on Downton Abbey and that lone homo is the vilest person on the show. There are MANY str8 characters who are NOT evil to offset the few who are. Get it? Or is your quite obvious self-loathing getting in the way?
Hugh Bonneville's principal problem is that all Lord Grantham does is wander around opining about Noblesse Oblige and performing acts of benevolent paternalism.
You only have to contrast the shows treatment of their respective "bad servants" to see that Upstairs, Downstairs was something much more than a pleasantly sudsy lovely letter to the Ancien Regime. Sarah's reckless ambition caused havoc upstairs and downstairs, but you mostly sympathized with her as a passionate and vulnerable woman with a desperate want for a life that was better than the one the world intended for her.
Thomas is just a pantomime villain.
No, R32. The first sentence refers to DA. The second to UD. Perhaps I should have included an "in contrast" between them.
DA, created by a Tory MP, is a glorification of the role of the hereditary estate. At it core, the series is as much about the estate as it is about the people who live there. The house was built by and occupied by a single family who are benefactors to the tenants and townspeople.
UD, on the other hand, would work almost as well if the heads of the household were not titled. The house was built by a real estate developer as part of a block of identical housesit is and occupied by whoever wished to lease it. The focus is on world affairs, not on a hereditary estate.
O'Brien is worse than Thomas
Lady Grantham's baby
How was the original Upstairs not homophobic? The plot where the servant shacked up with a German baron and then came back having killed him was pro-gay?
And by the way the bossy blind cook who is channeling Angela Baddeley doesn't hold a candle to Angela Baddeley.
Can any of our British posters tell us about the "special" DA Christmas episode?
Is it a stand-alone or part of the second season? Was it as awful as I've read in some reviews? Will we get it in the US, even though we'll be seeing season 2 way after Xmas?
Ex-pat Brit in LA
R39, it's been online since it aired. It's not a stand alone. It continues some storylines and ties up others in major ways.
There's pudding in the mix.
"the bossy blind cook who is channeling Angela Baddeley doesn't hold a candle to Angela Baddeley."
she's the Christmas panto version of Mrs Bridges. Horrid.
When the first Upstairs Downstairs screened, the BBC still believed in its Lord Reith charter (google bitches), and so there was lots of television made for the educated classes. Now UK is overrun with programs for loud chavs (e.g.EastEnders)and so a show like Downtown Abbey with well-spoken pretty people doing gracious things is like water in a desert. You only had to watch Jonathan Ross interrogating the ladies of the show as to whether they were 'posh' to appreciate the context.
Berkeley Square has them both beat.
Neither of them hold my interest like a Kardashian reality show!
Wow, R33, with that shrill bile oozing through your post, Thomas doesn't look so vile.
And he's hardly the most vile person on the show. As Lady Grantham's Baby above told you, O'Brien was his counterpart, and both where vile. And if you actually WATCHED Season 2, both by the end had been humbled and showed signs of change.
And I guess you failed to notice the horrible sister Edith and the manipulative Violent, who, because she's played by Maggie Smith, is considered funny. In Season 2, Sir Richard Carlisle, and "Mrs. Bates" hardly make Thomas the most vile in the show. And Lord Grantham's behavior at the end of Season 2 makes him clearly not so honorable.
Thomas, despite the way he left the army, was shown to be NO DIFFERENT from other people who feared the horrors of war, and his breakdown over a dead soldier under his care at Downton was one of THE most moving parts of Season 2.
And for all the misreading of Lady Mary as a heroine, it's clear to me she's the archetype of what's wrong with the class most of all. She covers up a man's death, manipulates men to preserve her rank and inheritance, and has earned the "heartache" she brought on for herself.
Maybe if you did something to vomit up all that nastiness in you, you might see the characters more objectively.
Berkeley Square was wonderful, R44.
I never watched Upstairs, Downstairs...I guess that's the difference.
A few factual errors on this thread (though I know this rarely troubles posters' opinions). The BBC did not produce the original Upstairs (it was ITV), though it is making the revived version. The writer of DA is not a Tory MP; though he is a Tory supporter, he is a professional actor and scriptwriter (he wrote Gosford Park). He is an aristo by descent and clearly does have a patriarchal view of the world.
Neither of them had nothing nasty in the wood shed.
I think it's possible to love this show and ALSO have problems with the representation of the lone gay man as a soulless loner sociopath. I also see no chemistry at all between Matthew and Lady Mary, so the whole spine of that story is one I have to just take on faith, and still can't get past the terrible wooden line readings of Elizabeth McGovern, but none of these things need to dent your enjoyment of the whole thing.
In case you still haven't seen Downton Abbey, all four episodes will be airing in the NYC area on New Year's Day starting at 3:00 pm on PBS
"I also see no chemistry at all between Matthew and Lady Mary, so the whole spine of that story is one I have to just take on faith, and still can't get past the terrible wooden line readings of Elizabeth McGovern"
That's about the only thing Season 2 managed to do, rev up the Matthew/Lady Mary connection.
O'Brien also has a good scene where she pitches in without question to help during some crisis.
But Elizabeth McGovern is truly terrible thru' out.
I love Downton Abbey. It is actually quite a funny show to me. Maggie Smith has the best one-liners and Lorg Grandtham (Hugh Bonneville) is hysterically funny in his prim and properness. Yes, it's just a soap opera, but the setting - and the house - is a wonderful backdrop.
R51 that's a more understandable response, but in my view, is outdated.
We've all known many gay men who have been miserable in the lives they had to live in repressive cultures behaving badly, probably deep down somewhere that the way society treats them and life is unfair justifies that. Hell, most of the gay Republicans and "straight acting" gays I know fit that bill.
To impose on every show a need for there to be a positive gay character isn't particularly fair, nor does it make me have a problem with this character on its own.
Would I like to see more shows with positive gay characters in the same setting? Yes, and I had hoped Thomas would get that perspective as well, considering how badly he was treated by his lover in Season 1.
But if you see Season 2, if you haven't already, there is a possibility he is experiencing character growth, which is a good thing.
Plus, the German Baron who was later killed by the gay footman was also gay, or bi, and a spy in London to steal military secrets, and was referred to as a pervert.
Then, there is the emotional blackmail between two of the maids when one repeatedly reminds the other of
"the time we spent snuggled together in our little attic room"
Besides, the vilest character on Downton Abbey is surely the Lady's Maid, not her pal the footman.
All I know is, I've got my Halloween costume figured out for next year: it's Mr. Bates......WITH the medieval limp-correcting leg brace.
I am still waiting for a maid to get the life banged out of her by a visiting male relative a la Gosford Park (lol)
[quote]The last few seasons of it do a falter a bit but the early seasons - you just can't fault them.
I have to disagree with you. The original UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS faltered from episode to episode through its first season and became uniformly excellent in its second. The third season when Hazel joins the household and the fourth which takes us through World War One are outstanding. It is only the fifth and final season where it begins to feel forced, like something good that has gone on a little too long.
[quote] The original UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS faltered from episode to episode through its first season and became uniformly excellent in its second.
In fact, when it originally aired in the U.S., didn't it start with season two, and season one was basically ignored?
I know that this is a flawed soap, but I can't wait for season 2 to start tonight.
How many episodes were in the first season?
There are six or seven episodes (length times vary) on series one DVD which is three discs. They might have combined them for PBS broadcast.
Is there one male lead on Downton Abbey with a decent jaw line?
For anyone interested, Upstairs Downstairs will have the fantastic Alex Kingston of ER fame in a lesbian romance that is supposed to be a big plotline next season...
I believe they are very similar. Same theme a contrast and comparison view of the life of the lords and ladies and the help. They know their place downstairs but still have a sense of family and loyalty. The plot lines even seem very similar just emblished and amplified because it is a larger household. I love both series and am looking forward to season 4 of DA.