Sunday, January 6, 2013

Downton Abbey, season 3

Happy Downton Abbey, Season 3 American Premiere Day!  Are you as happy as I am to see the latest installments?
Yes, I know it has been possible to see the series online as it aired overseas a few months ago -- but, I'm just old-fashioned enough to have wanted to wait.
And I DO APPRECIATE my overseas pals not giving anything away!  I will enjoy watching the new season unfold over many Sunday evenings.
I've been under the weather since Thursday, (F-L-U), thus my brief blog absence; being laid out, though, has given me the chance to watch the entire first two seasons of Downton Abbey on DVD.  I'd seen many of the episodes at least twice already, but, watching the series all at once like that made a few things really stand out.
I noticed the superb job the producers did in marrying the music and the cinematography with the subject matter.  I just can't take my eyes off of the screen.  There is a wonderful mix of that early-electricity era shadow and light, and the scenes are so well-balanced, varying from movement and bustle to serenity and quiet.
And don't even get me started on the furnishings.  And the wardrobe!
There's a lot of speculation/wonder as to why this series is so popular but in my opinion if you plop talented actors into the setting of the English countryside, give them a brutally honest story line with a witty script, being sure to include a doomed love affair or two, then add lavish cinematography and a wonderful musical score you will always have a winner.
(Just ask Jane Austen.)
I think the other big factor in the series' success is the remarkable job that has been done in contrasting each character's reactions to the dramatic events they are experiencing: the war, women's liberation, the waning of the era of class distinctions.  While you expect to see a huge difference in perceptions between upstairs and downstairs -- and they do a fantastic job of dramatizing that in the series -- you are also treated to watching the different members of the upstairs family struggle with the shifts and changes.
I love Mary's acceptance of the status quo and unapologetic attitude of entitlement.  And her honesty.
I feel for Sybil's youth and naivete; she was quick to give up the life of leisure for her ideals and I can't help feeling she was led astray.
I am wistful over, and wary of, poor Edith -- the penultimate middle child.  And a red head at that.
I adore Matthew; he has such a good head on his shoulders.  There is nothing more compelling to me in a man than honesty.  That -- and he's easy on the eyes!
But the real treat for me has been to watch the struggle of Lord Grantham; he is a mythical creation, in my opinion -- a wealthy aristocrat who truly has his heart in the right place in the managing of his estate -- wanting what is best for his parcel of land and everyone on it.  Robert is all honor and legacy and it will be interesting, and poignant, probably, to watch what happens to him as his way of life crumbles away into the 20th century.  And the third season.
Kyle Hilton's Downton Abbey Paper Dolls, via Vulture

Who's your favorite Downton family character?

P.S. - Check out the Downton Abbey treasury I made on Etsy, just for fun!

4 comments :

Janet Ghio said...

There are so many to love--hard to choose just one, but i do think that Maggie Smith makes the best dowager--she always makes me laugh and I can hardly wait to hear what will come out of her mouth next!

Elizabeth Johnson said...

I have been counting the hours waiting for tonight's broadcast of the first show, planning my whole weekend's agenda around having the evening off to sit in front of the tv. I haven't been hooked on a tv show for years. But this one's got me for sure. I'm not sure I can choose a favorite character. I love them all.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I have just recently jumped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon! I am so glad I did! I loved the first two seasons and I am so ready to see tonight's show! I was planning to go back and watch the first two seasons again before tonight but it just didn't happen. I agree this is just one of the best shows. Favorite character? I may have to agree with you that Lord Grantham is very complex character but I do love watching Sybil also. Oh I love them all!

hugs, Linda

pam said...

Sorry you haven't been feeling well. I definitely knew you'd be waiting for this! I'm having to DVR it and wait until tomorrow - KILLING me! I think it is popular because there is nothing like it on right now. PBS does such a wonderful job for those of us who can really appreciate the visual aspect of it all as well. Who doesn't love a good twisted up plot line too, a little romance, and MAGGIE SMITH thrown in there for some great comic relief! I just hope Shirley Mc. character is not just the pushy, ridiculous American. Does everyone overseas really feel that way about us? Have fun and hope you feel better soon!