April 4, 2012

D is for...Downton

Not Downtown. DOWNTON. As in Downton Abbey. As in, if you haven't started watching this TV series what the heck are you waiting for? I kind of pride myself on being an early fan (I know, I'm lame) as I started watching it when it first aired on PBS back in January 2011. I've been hooked ever since, and have managed to rope others in to this obsession as well. All I have to say for myself is: You're welcome.

I've been amazed at the number of people raving about it on Twitter and thrilled that so many others have jumped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon with me. For those of you who have no idea what the fuss is all about, or what the series is all about, go HERE:

Julian Fellowes, the mastermind behind this masterpiece, is also responsible for Vanity Fair (2004), Gosford Park (2001), The Young Victoria (2009), and From Time to Time (2009→a film based on The Chimneys of Green Knowe book by Lucy M. Boston). So what exactly is so appealing about it?

  1. Acting→ Any cast that includes both Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville is almost certainly guaranteed to make me a fan. The acting in this series is superb across the board. The actors convey their characters' struggles and dreams in such a way that I genuinely care about all of them. Even villains like O'Brien and Thomas, which is saying a lot (they're just dreadful).
  2. Cinematography→ Not sure that this is the right word, but the quality of filming is first rate. You feel as though you're watching a big budget movie and not some low-grade TV special. I love this series so much that I purchased Series 1 and 2 on blu-ray, and let me just say they are gorgeous. Especially the shots of Downton surrounded by green grass and blue skies.
  3. Costumes→ From the beading and frou frou detail of the upstairs finery to the starchiness of the downstairs livery, I feel like I'm seeing honest to goodness early 20th century apparel. It almost makes me want to start wearing big hats and elbow-length gloves. Like, all the time.
  4. Script→ Well written and compelling, the script makes me care about nobility and household staff alike. What's especially great is that the writers have chosen to show a noble family who actually treats their staff well, and at times even like their own family. The major events of this era have a way of pulling people together from all walks of life. I love the way the writers chose to handle this. Like I said, they made me genuinely care about each and every character.
  5. History→ Such an interesting point in history, with so much going on. Series 1 opens with the sinking of the Titanic, delves into Women's Rights and the suffragette movement, closing with the beginning of World War 1. Series 2 further deals with the Great War, and how all were forced to cope, whether noble or servant. Up next for Series 3? The Roaring Twenties. Yay!
If I haven't convinced you yet, check out this *ahem* steamy photoshoot with Mary and Matthew*:




I really wish this series would go on forever, but sadly Series 3 is reportedly the last of the bunch. 
So tell me: Have you jumped on the Downton bandwagon yet? And if not, why not?

*Michelle Dockery (Mary) and Dan Stevens (Matthew)

38 comments:

  1. OOh those pictures are cool. I have DOWNTON on my Netflix list - it's available for instant watching - hooray! I do tend to watch quite a bit of television (it's my theme for the A to Z challenge) so I'm clearing out my current list of shows. It's easier in the summer when fewer new episodes are on. Plus, I also like to maintain a life outside of television because that's rather depressing if it's all I did.

    You've further convinced me, and I'll probably start on this series soon.

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    1. Awesome that it's on Netflix! I managed to watch it a couple times on PBS, and now that I have the blu-rays (they were surprisingly inexpensive) I'll probably watch them a million times more.

      I agree with you--it sucks to be tied to your TV without a life outside it. I like to watch some of these things during the summer too when everything else has calmed down. Frankly, lately I'd much rather sit down with a good book than tune into most TV shows.

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  2. When I first saw your title, Petula Clarke starting singing in my head (if you don't get the reference, well, that's what YouTube is for... :) ), then I realized it's DOWNTON, not DOWNTOWN!

    My wife is a fan of the show, but she started watching it without me so I never got hooked. However, I'm thinking I should probably check it out. The historical aspect you highlight sounds interesting. Yes, you may have snared another helpless victim with your hook...! :)

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    1. Ack! Not a fan of that song. Such an earworm O_o I was worried that people would read it as 'downtown' or think that I just couldn't spell to save my life lol.

      It's just such an all-around excellent series, it's so hard not to get hooked. Here's hoping I've gotten you hooked too! :)

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  3. I've never seen the show (don't shoot!), but I'm intrigued now! Thanks, I'll check it out. And Colin and I are very alike; I, too, started humming Petula Clarke!

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    1. Stinking Petula Clarke :) It's a really great show, especially if you're into period pieces. Well done in every respect :) And just think, you have two whole seasons to watch while the rest of us wait impatiently for Season 3!

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  4. Yes I am on that wagon, and sadly I can't find anymore episodes to watch for free. I was viewing them on PBS, but now it says I have to pay to watch them. :( I left off in the middle of season 2, so you can feel my pain.

    I love how many characters there are in this show and yet you never feel confused by the amount.

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    1. Ah, that sucks! Well, I hope they show up again for free for you. The middle of Season 2 is such a terrible place to be left hanging too. You're so right about the cast of characters not getting confusing. And all of their storylines are interesting too, which is saying a lot :)

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  5. Wow, it sounds AMAZING! I have been seeing it trending on Twitter but never checked it out...I am going to see if it plays on some of Sky package we have and in the meantime, I´ll just listen to you cool kids talking about the show :D

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    1. I am totally a cool kid:D How'd you know? LOL Are you into period pieces? If you are, you'll really enjoy the show. Like I said to Daisy: once you do get around to seeing it, you'll have two whole seasons to enjoy while the rest of us wait impatiently for Season 3. That's a pretty sweet deal :)

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  6. I've heard so many good things about this series! I haven't watched it myself. I've been very careful about my "TV diet" and I don't want to blow it on something that's going to get me hooked. ^_~

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    1. Forgot to mentioned: Love the new blog layout! Very spiff.

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    2. That's probably wise :) I'm finding that TV has been boring me lately, so I don't mind getting hooked on one really good thing. I think I'll be trimming back on many of the shows that I've been loyal to for way too long (ie. Bones--bleh, you're boring).

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    3. Oh, and thanks for the blog compliment :) I felt like I needed a change that was a little less busy. The black and white helps make it a little less so, I think.

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  7. Wow, those photos are incredible. Love the purple in the first one...so eye-catching!

    Happy Hump Day!
    My D

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    1. Yeah, they look really cool, especially the rich colours they chose to go with :)

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  8. I haven't watched Downton yet because I haven't had time to start watching a new series but it's on my Netflix list.

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    1. Maybe once all of the regular season shows are done you'll be itching for something new to watch :)

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  9. I watched only the first episode and I'm sad to say it didn't pull me in, so I didn't watch any other episode. I could try watching more and see if it pulls me in ... with those photos, I wish I liked the series lol

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    1. The first episode didn't necessarily jump out and grab me either, mainly because it was just introductory. I'd definitely suggest watching another episode or two to see if appeals to you a little more. Then again, though, it's not for everybody, right? :)

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  10. Gaaaah!!! I LOVE that show, and those pictures are GORGEOUS!!! I can't wait for the third season!

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    1. I know! I'm waiting rather impatiently for Series 3 to air. Not sure when that will be, but I'm guess late Fall? Who knows. Too long, though. :D

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  11. I'm on hold for the first season from the library, but it looks like it'll be forever before I get it...due to all the other bandwagon jumpers:)

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    1. Silly bandwagon jumpers :) Maybe PBS will air it again over the summer and you won't have to wait. Hope the line moves quickly so you can get your hands on a copy! :)

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  12. Ha! I thought it was DOWNTOWN for the longest time. :) I've still yet to watch, but I've heard such amazing things about this show. Must find time to catch up!

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    1. I probably thought it was 'downtown' at some point too. Funny thing: I saw a news headline that said "Downtown Detroit" and I initially read it as "Downton Detroit". Can you imagine?! Now there's some compelling drama lol :D If you like period pieces, then you'll probably really like Downton Abbey.

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  13. I love, love, love Downton Abbey. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for the next season.

    The music was beautiful, too, and just perfect for this series!

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    1. The music was beautiful. Did you know that the opening music actually has words to it? This is a link to it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0AbTiBYrbg&feature=relmfu

      Very beautiful :)

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    2. Actually, I just went to iTunes and purchased the soundtrack. There's a lot of amazing orchestral music on it. I can picture myself writing while listening to it :)

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  14. I love, love, love Downton Abbey. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for the next season.

    The music was beautiful, too, and just perfect for this series!

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  15. Oh wow...OH WOW!!! Those photos DID get me! Wow, wow, WOW!!!

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    1. They're pretty great, right? So is the show :D

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  16. I just bought season one when I was out with my mom and she was like Ooo that sounds like something I'll like, tell you what I'll buy season 2. I was like score! I've heard such amazing things about it and especially after this post and those pics can't wait to find the time to sit down and finally start watching!!

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    1. Bonus! Now you can watch them all back to back like I just did with my mom :D

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  17. I keep hearing wonderful things about this series. I'll have to check it out when I have more time. :)

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    1. Probably wise to do it when you have more time like you said. It's one of those shows that makes you want to keep watching more and more :)

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  18. I'll have to grab this on DVD once it wraps up--I'm a binge TV watcher. I just watched Game of Thrones season 1 on Blu-Ray, and this whole one episode a week thing with season 2 is killing me.

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  19. Have you seen the Saturday Night Live parody?
    http://perezhilton.com/2012-02-06-saturday-night-live-parodies-itv-award-winning-series-downton-abbey

    What's great is how spot-on it really is. Of course, there's also Downton Tabby:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clJK3KBqdlE

    So, I mean, yeah, I love it too :)

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