Friday, July 21, 2017

New to Downton

Have made it into Season 2 of a show everyone watched a million years ago (why hello again, Canadian Netflix), and can say the following:

-It's like Upstairs, Downstairs but also not really. At first I thought this was going to be distracting, not least because maid Anna (played by Joanne Froggatt) looks so much like Jean Marsh's Rose, and has very much the same kindly personality. But the show is different. Sillier? Campier? Less subtle (esp. re: the horrors of World War I, which thus far I think Upstairs, Downstairs conveyed more effectively)? But on the whole, good and addictive in the same general way. It took me a bit longer to get into, but now it's like, will this be a Downton night? Will it? 

-The big difference? And the point of Downton? The Dowager Countess. Maggie Smith. Her scenes are everything. She's always in the wrong, but you root for her all the same because she's a friggin' Dowager Countess and her conviction of her own superiority feels about right.

-That's a very big house. And almost certainly not furnished through a mix of IKEA Etobicoke and Toronto Craigslist.

-Thomas isn't half bad! If a sort of terrible person. Not sure I buy bland Matthew, however, as the love interest, although I guess the point is that he's an heir. But really, owning Downton seems like more trouble than it's worth.

-The marriage-plot stuff is the dud in an otherwise compelling net of plots. I don't care at all who Mary, the eldest daughter, marries. Which is maybe the point - Mary herself doesn't seem to be losing much sleep over this, either.

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