Friday, January 04, 2013

Downton Abbey: does it live up to the hype?

For almost a year, many of my writing friends raved about Downton Abbey, but it never quite worked out for me to find time to sit down and watch it. In the last month, I've found pockets of time to watch season one and the beginning of season two. Just enough to become hooked.

There are several reasons I think the show works:

1) The scenes cut back and forth between both the upstairs and downstairs world.

2) The upstairs folk seem to actually care about the downstairs folk.

3) There are villains, though my one complaint is that the villains have absolutely nothing likeable about them by the beginning of season two. They are simply there for us to hate.



4) The time period is absolutely fascinating. So much was happening from a societal stand point. Throw in World War One, and it's absolutely captivating.

5) The clothes. Need I say more? :-)

So I'm wondering, have you watched any of it? What did you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?  If you liked it, what captivated you?

11 comments:

Anne Mateer said...

Jeff and I are completely captivated! We can't wait for the new season to start. Yes, to all the reasons you mentioned as well as the great dialogue, especially from the Dowager Lady Grantham! Also, I find the period between the two world wars quite fascinating for all its social and technological changes. So much so fast.

Laura McClellan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura McClellan said...

I. Love. This. Show.

I found the first season accidentally on Netflix (the on demand service) a couple of years ago and started watching an episode each day on my computer while I was on the elliptical. I got hooked, and took to watching "extra" episodes through my son's XBox in the living room on the weekends. My husband, wandering through the room en route to another one of his projects, sat down and started watching with me, and pretty soon it became a thing we did on the weekends. All this time I thought it was an old show, and I was upset when the first season's shows ended and Netflix didn't have any more. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they didn't have any more episodes because none had aired yet. So we had to wait impatiently for the new (then 2nd) season to begin and were annoyed because we couldn't sit and watch 2 or 3 episodes at a time!

Anyway . . . I love it because I enjoy the acting and the story lines and . . . oh, Maggie!!! And I'm a bit of a voyeur, I guess--I just adore getting a peek inside the lives both above and below stairs during a different era and in a different culture.

Season 3 premieres on Sunday!! Mike and I will be parked on the couch, and the DVR's still set to record!

Veronica and Daniel said...

Love it for all the reasons you mentioned. I actually thought season 2 was better than season 1 and I have been counting down the days until season 3 :)

Loree Huebner said...

We became fans during last season. Hubs and I went back and caught up with season 1. You make great points why it works. I love historical settings during war time.

Kristy L. Cambron said...

I agree with your reasons for adoring this show, Cara! I also have to mention that I stay captivated because of the lavish settings... Highclere Castle is so stunning that it's almost a character in and of itself. Then of course, there is the fashion! I occasionally get caught up in the artistry of the moment and forget to listen to the absolutely brilliant dialogue. (Thank goodness for DVR - I can rewind!) Bring on Season 3, though I've already watched all of the episodes online because I just couldn't wait. ; )

Cara Putman said...

You are so right, Kristy. The castle is to die for. I love the rich details. I feel absolutely transported when I watch it. We're trying to get season two finished and the characterization is priceless.

And if y'all like that in between time, you should try the Maisie Dobbs books about a female private investigator in England between the wars. WONDERFUL series, though there are a few strong New Age overtones.

CharityHawkins said...

I love the lavish setting and historical details as well.So many things that work well! Pacing, dialogue, dramatic twists (although sometimes a bit soap opera-y), the moral character we cheer for (Bates), the secrets that might or might not be revealed. I'm always saying to my husband as we watch, "This dialogue is brilliant!" (American "brilliant" as well as the British "Brilliant.") Can't wait for tomorrow! Some of the crude language bothers me and I was extremely mad at Lord Grantham when he cheated on his wife (and yes, a kiss counts), but I'm pretty picky when it comes to that kind of stuff. I just felt like he was one of the few characters that actually did the honorable thing and then he had to go do that!!

Dana McNeely said...

I love it, too. I think it works because each character wants something desperately...and can't have it! I also love the rooms of the castle, especially the library, of course. I wanted to add red to every room of my house, in homage to Downton. But then, I would have to shop!

Can't wait for Season 3 to begin tomorrow night!

Laura McClellan said...

I agree, Dana. I totally want to live in that house. :-)

Laura

Bridget Eggold said...

I love it as well! Love the character story flow. I feel like I can't look away for a minute! The Dowager cracks me up. Loved a quote by her last night, "Vulgarity is no substitute for wit".

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