Friday, May 25, 2012

Sh*t I love—Edition two: Downton Abbey

I started Downton Abbey after falling victim to Netflix’s constant suggestion. (I often do.) It’s times like these I’m glad I have Netflix to force viewing suggestions into my world. I love Downton Abbey! If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and go watch it.
It’s no secret I’m fond of 1900’s fashion and fascinated by the way of life. Downton Abbey has storylines for the rich and the servants. I’m more taken by the servant storylines than the rich, but who doesn’t like to see wealthy people have problems they pretty much cause themselves? Also, the fashion alone is worth watching. The costume designers deserve all the love in the world.
The same writer is responsible for Gosford Park—a film Netflix said I’d hate but I actually loved. Both have a similar feel but there’s no murder mystery in the TV series. The multiple storylines in Downtown Abbey are connected, and each one together makes up the overall plot and dynamic of the estate. It’s remarkable how a drama with so many characters can lack confusion while keeping up with everyone’s life.
I finished season one on Netflix and then purchased season two and season one on Blu-ray. I finished season two over the course of just a few days. Season two was just as amazing as the first—despite having to say good bye to my favorite character. The price was reasonable for Blu-ray and even cheaper for DVD so please support it by buying it. If you’re in America, each sold copy informs PBS to continue to bring BBC shows to us.
 So why should you watch something that sounds like a soap opera with British accents? Because it’s so much more than watching other people live through drama. (Yes, there is drama, but it’s so beautifully executed you won’t care. And it’s realistic drama.) The acting is fantastic. (Except the doctor sometimes seems a little stale in comparison.) The characters are loveable while infuriating. I think I’ve mentioned my love for well-rounded characters before. A character with good and bad traits seems so much more real than a boring saint or being the “bad guy” just to be the protagonist in a story.
Speaking of “bad guy” for the sake of needing a villain, there’s this butler named Thomas. Oh, Thomas. I hated him in season one. He’s the butler pictured above and I wanted to love him. He’s strong-willed, cunning, easy on the eyes, and he sticks his tongue in men’s mouths. But I couldn’t even make myself like him. I was upset at the writers for pulling the same “evil doer is the only gay one” routine that Hollywood seems to fall back on, but then season 2 happened. While we see a chunk of Thomas’s character in season 1, we really dive into him in season 2 and his cruel acts suddenly make a whole lot of sense and his thick skin is shown to be cracked. My sympathy level went up with my understanding of him and I felt a little stupid for not assuming the reasons behind his personality through my viewing of season 1—there are a few hints scattered throughout. 
You're cute when you cry, Thomas.
Have I said how the costumes are brilliant? (I have) The costumes are fantastic. The setting is equally beautiful. There’s much to see and enough plot to catch that watching two or three times doesn’t seem like a chore. And there's eye candy too. 
In short, this show ranks up there with BBC’s Sherlock. A hearty thank you to the BBC.

Is anyone else enjoying Downton Abbey? Am I the only one hoping Edith gets married? Let's rant and rave together. :D

6 comments:

  1. I agree about everything. Downton Abbey is so good and I can't wait for the new season!

    I love Thomas now after hating him in season 1 (and yes, I felt the same about not noticing the hints), and I love the way they his character is faceted.

    Everything about Downtown Abbey is good. Even the bad. :)

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  2. In season one I felt like Thomas (and William for sure) was one of those ignored characters. He's there but more like a space filler so there's no need to give too many details on him. But I now like to think that was their intentions all along. Drip out character development for Thomas and to a lesser extent William before...well. But even William's character is still growing through his father and Daisy.

    And yes! Even the bad in Downtown Abbey is good. Like what they did to that poor blonde fiance in season 2.

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  3. *hangs head in shame* I admit I haven't watched this show despite really wanting to. I have trouble with TV dramas because it means forcing myself to sit down to do something that's not writing. lol But I know the moment I do, I'll get completely, obsessively enthralled. (It happened with the Sopranos, and with Boardwalk Empire. I LOVE Boardwalk Empire)

    Thanks so much for this! I'm signing up for Netflix soon, and this will be the first thing on there!

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    1. I don't have TV service (not even an antenna) so I rely on TV dramas on DVD or other streaming services. It does slow my writing but it's like my other hobby that keeps me sane after writing LOL.

      Ah! I have Boardwalk Empire on my list to watch but HBO shows are impossible to get legally streamed anywhere without paying my first born child just to get access. I might have to switch my Netflix to DVD and get it that way. I'm about out of streaming content there anyway lol.

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    2. You're right about HBO. They don't make it easy for people, do they? I just signed up to Netflix. So excited! I've got Downtown Abbey on my queue and can't wait to get it started. XD

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    3. I'm so excited for you to start Downtown! :D I hope you like it.
      Once I find and start Boardwalk, I'll let you know as well. I'm sure it's on a DVD somewhere.

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