Sunday, February 12, 2012
This was just after breakfast. I went up to my grandson's room where I'm sleeping and watched the entire first episode, and then being the obsessive person I am hit the link for the next episode and got so sucked in and compelled to see the story continue the next thing I know I've watched the entire first season and it's dark out and dinnertime.
But I have to admit, it was worth it. All the technical aspects of the show, from the cinematography and art direction, to the acting and writing and directing and editing, are superb. It's a delight to watch and savor. As you probably know, even if you haven't caught it yet or become addicted to it as I have, it's an upstairs downstairs lord and lady valet and maid sprawling saga set in a British great house at the beginning of the 20th Century.
The first season takes us up to the The First World War. Like GOSFORD PARK or the original UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (the creators of which, I think, brought a suit against DOWNTOWN ABBEY) DOWNTOWN ABBEY is classic Brit class and status conscious sophisticated soap opera fare. But it is so well done, it's like a box of chocolates where every single one is perfectly delicious no matter how familiar or unique each one might be.
I'm too tired to look up all the actors who do such a great job or the creator's name right now, but I know Elizabeth McGovern and Maggie Smith who are two of the best things about it, though everyone in the cast shines. And maybe the fact that my Irish immigrant grandparents started in this country as a scullery maid and a footman in an American version of a great house and so I can sympathize with and imagine them in these roles and what I know of their characters and personalities that adds an extra dollop of pleasure to the whole endeavour.
Whatever the reasons, my friends and the critics were right. DOWNTON ABBEY is an addictive delight.