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Old February 11 2013, 06:09 AM   #1
Frontier
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Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

OK, so... I freely admit I've seen 25 minutes worth of one episode. So, I very well could be missing a great deal. But that's my reason for asking so. So please don't eye-roll and flame me if I am, alright? Thanks!

But... from that cursory exposure... I find what little I observed, I didn't like. It seems to me a show about one of the wrongs of our past: the class system. A wrong that still exists today, but that we've made great ambitious strides towards pushing as far out of our culture as we can,

Am I wrong? Is it really a show about how all the servants save the day and educate the rich upper crust of the evils of a class system? Or something otherwise redeeming?

What's the attraction of this show?
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Old February 11 2013, 06:20 AM   #2
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

It's a well-made soap opera.
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Old February 11 2013, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I have only seen the first season, but I loved it. I don't think there's some deep lesson about the rights or wrongs of the class system; it just happens to be the setting. It provides for some interesting drama that you don't get to see too often. The characters are engaging, the storylines are fun, and Maggie Smith is just downright hysterical.
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Old February 11 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
It's a well-made soap opera.
That's pretty much it. Escapist period fluff that's occasionally intentionally and unintentionally funny. And camp.
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Old February 11 2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

It struck me as a variation on Buddenbrooks. Maggie Smith makes the show watchable, otherwise, it's as exciting as watching paint dry. The tribulations of a bunch of posh tossers really doesn't engage my interest here any more than it did in Buddenbrooks.
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Old February 11 2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

Frontier wrote: View Post
OK, so... I freely admit I've seen 25 minutes worth of one episode. So, I very well could be missing a great deal. But that's my reason for asking so. So please don't eye-roll and flame me if I am, alright? Thanks!

But... from that cursory exposure... I find what little I observed, I didn't like. It seems to me a show about one of the wrongs of our past: the class system. A wrong that still exists today, but that we've made great ambitious strides towards pushing as far out of our culture as we can,

Am I wrong? Is it really a show about how all the servants save the day and educate the rich upper crust of the evils of a class system? Or something otherwise redeeming?

What's the attraction of this show?
It's well-made, has lots of good period detail and an ensemble of fine performers playing nicely developed characters. It has a lot of dialogue that bears attending to, there's not much action and what conflict there is is often understated. It's not for everyone.

The servants are not always good examples; they can be as judgmental and hierarchical as the aristocrats, or more so.

IMO the show has gone down a notch each season; the third season has been outright silly at times, although there was one major dramatic development that made up for some of it. I still enjoy the show, mostly for the character dynamics and performances.
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Old February 11 2013, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

It's a period piece soap. It's got a beautiful setting and great costumes and lots of British accents (which I love!). It's not for everyone. Hell, I was convinced that I would be bored to tears watching it, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit!
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Old February 11 2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I know what you mean, I watched the first episode and had this overwhelming reaction, whooooo caaaaaaarrreeesss...

And I'm female, the target market for this show. I can only imagine how straight males would react, probably give them hives.

This is just another example that all TV is not for everyone. If fancy clothes and houses don't interest you, there's plenty else out there.

lurok wrote: View Post
The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
It's a well-made soap opera.
That's pretty much it. Escapist period fluff that's occasionally intentionally and unintentionally funny. And camp.
The confusion probably arises because of increased expectations due to it being on PBS and getting Emmy attention. Neither are generally associated with "fluff."
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Old February 11 2013, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
And I'm female, the target market for this show. I can only imagine how straight males would react, probably give them hives.
I'm a straight male, and I love it. It's soppy and stupid and hits the romantic buttons pretty hard.

Also, I love an underdog, so I'm Team Edith.
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Old February 11 2013, 06:45 PM   #10
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I've only just sttarted watching it this season but I've ordered the first and second. It's set in a time of great social change and you see that change catching up to the old guard, both above- and below-stairs.

It all comes down to what you like. I'm all for character drama and it works really well for me there.

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Old February 11 2013, 08:27 PM   #11
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I assumed this show was made for

-lonely women with cats who hold "Talk English for a day" parties.

-Wives who are infatuated with the poshness(Oh look at the British and how classy they are compared to us Americans!")

Then I got sucked into it. I know more about the show then my family members.

Stuff like the Charles Ponzi reference I got.
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Old February 11 2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

Samurai8472 wrote: View Post
Stuff like the Charles Ponzi reference I got.
That line was great! My immediate thought was, "No wonder you lost the entire family fortune on lousy railroad investments."
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Old February 11 2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Frontier wrote: View Post
OK, so... I freely admit I've seen 25 minutes worth of one episode. So, I very well could be missing a great deal. But that's my reason for asking so. So please don't eye-roll and flame me if I am, alright? Thanks!

But... from that cursory exposure... I find what little I observed, I didn't like. It seems to me a show about one of the wrongs of our past: the class system. A wrong that still exists today, but that we've made great ambitious strides towards pushing as far out of our culture as we can,

Am I wrong? Is it really a show about how all the servants save the day and educate the rich upper crust of the evils of a class system? Or something otherwise redeeming?

What's the attraction of this show?
It's well-made, has lots of good period detail and an ensemble of fine performers playing nicely developed characters.
Costumes maybe but the social-political stuff is either so simplified to be insulting or simply wrong or sanitised paternalist bilge.

It's a great soap but it has nothing deeper to say.
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Old February 11 2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I didn't care much for it at first, but later, really enjoyed how the storylines mirror a little of what was going on historically and frankly, what REALLY hooked me was the cast of characters. I love all the subtle intrigue both among the servants and the family, the tiny details in what is said and what isn't said.

And, please, Maggie Smith doing what she does best--steal scenes left and right. I love her.

I am COMPLETELY Team Edith. I know what it's like to be the "ugly sister" so I completely sympathize with her.
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Old February 12 2013, 12:53 AM   #15
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

I can't explain why I love it, I think the show suffers from really bad writing but I just love it.
Also I'm team Edith.
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