Well readers, I have decided to start doing some themed blog posts every week. To start, I want to share with you the wonder that is Downton Abbey. Now I’ll admit that I am a sucker for great British TV, particularly the classics. Even though this was made recently, it sits up there with the top of the top classics! (NB. This is a collaboration between Carnival Films in the UK and WGBH Boston in the U.S.)
This series really stood out to me, after just one episode; with tension, depth, insight into an interesting period in England, and I watched it night after night until it was finished (too soon for my liking as it’s only 2 official seasons with a third, shorter “Christmas Special”). Rumour has it that an actual full Season 3 will be released later this year.
Downton Abbey is set on a large estate going by that name, on which stands the the Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. There are 3 daughters in the family, so the issue of heir comes up early on, as well as women’s rights.
Following the years 1912 through to early 1920, it is an incredibly telling, moving time, with the sinking of the titanic affecting the family, all the way through the ‘Great War’. We see how women began to seek more of a stance in society, particularly through the daughters and certain servants, how limiting societies expectations, dos and don’ts were, how classist people were, but also a clear desire for that to change, with the war being a catalyst for this movement.
Of course there is romance, issues in the family, theft, lies and deceit, all adding to the drama. But none of it comes across as cheesy or unoriginal. It captured my attention and held it firmly to the end, my attachment to the characters growing with it. We see some wonderful traits revealed in even the most stoic of characters, and the acting is un-faulted- even for those with the tiniest roles.
I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll let you get busy purchasing the first season if you haven’t seen it yet- Amazon and to end off, some gorgeous images of the 3 Crawley girls, shot for Vogue: