Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Downton Abbey Withdrawals


If you've been living under a rock, you might not have heard about Downton Abbey, the BBC Masterpiece Theatre Series that just ended its 2nd season run on Sunday nights.  If you're one of the many who've fallen in love with Julian Fellows' masterpiece series, you understand that I'm already in the throws of withdrawals now that Season 2 has come to an end.  Talk about brilliant writing!


Downton Abbey reintroduced millions to the theatrical genius of English television.  The set, filmed mostly at Highclere Castle, Hampshire (owned by The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon) and Ealing Studios in West London, showcases the architectural magnificence of a bygone era.  Scenes from Downton Abbey are filmed in front of the castle and on the 2nd floors.  Scenes for Highclere Castle's kitchens, according to the Behind the Scenes snippet shown Sunday night, which no longer resembles the historical kitchen of the early 1900's, are filmed at Ealy Studios.


The cast is phenomenal!  Headed by Dame Maggie Smith, (Yes! Professor Minerva McGonagall herself) cast as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Downton's moral fiber appears above board.  She says the darndest things.

Click here to see a YouTube video of Downton Abbey: Top 10 Maggie Moments.

What happens when old meets new?  Find out here When A Dowager Countess Texts.

However, things are not as they appear.  Her son, The Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) has wed an American Heiress, The Right Honourable Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (American actress, Elizabeth McGovern) in order to keep Downton Abbey afloat.  Their 3 daughters, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), and Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) face an uncertain future when the Earl's heir dies aboard the Titanic.  With 3 daughters and no sons, The Earl has no one left to inherit his estate, except... last living male relative, cousin Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).  A lawyer by trade, (Say it isn't so!), Matthew and his mother, Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) face ridicule and oftentimes comical attempts by the Dowager Countess to have him wed Lady Mary. 

But alas!  There is the scandal that is Pamuck!


Add in a butler, housekeeper, valet, servants and the cook and you've got mayhem of every order, tested by historical events and the encompassing theme that Downton Abbey must survive whatever befalls before and during WWI and Spanish Influenza.


If the characters and costumes don't win you over (they will!), watch it for the writing. Fellows uses masterful dialogue to engage his audience. When every episode is done, I sit in awe of his talent.

Twitter is alive with Downton Abbey fans. Using the hashtag #DowntonAbbey or #DowntonPBS, you can catch up on what Downton fans had to say Sunday night.

Both Seasons 1 & 2 can be found on amazon. I've already got Season 1 and just ordered Season 2. (Yea-us!!!)  And if you're bored waiting for Season 3, you can play with these Downton Abbey paperdolls.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? Who is your favorite character? And who do you think killed Mrs. Bates?


18 comments:

  1. The rock I am living under is pretty big - I have never heard of it. Sounds interesting. Guess I'll have to check it out but I think it might interfere with "Finding Bigfoot" on Sunday night. LOL

    The costumes look fabulous and who doesn't like a palatial home in England with intrigue? Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Kathy.

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  2. Oh! Finding Bogfoot is on at the same time? Rats! I've been fascinated with the idea of these creatures since childhood.

    Please check out Downton Abbey, Cheryl. It's magnificent!

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  3. Um. Hmm. I too live under a rock. A really ginormous one because I didn't know about Big Foot either. (Note to self....learn how to use the TV? Sigh.)

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    1. Lol! I knew about the show, just didn't realize they were on at the dame time. Downton would win hands down, however. ;)

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  4. Love it! Funny you mention withdrawals. Last year at the end of the season I read in the newspaper that those who were having Downton withdrawals should read:

    The American Heiress: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin

    It is wonderful It is not about these characters, but it certainly has the same flavor. An American heiress (loosely based on Consuela Vanderbilt) marries a Duke. It is wonderful.

    Also, there is a hilarious little website all Downton fans should check out.

    When Dowager Countess Texts. So funny. You'll have to cut and paste. As far as I've been able to figure out, there is no way to link from comments.

    http://whendowagercountesstexts.tumblr.com/page/2

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    1. Oh! It is a real phenomena, isn't it? So I'm in good company. Lol!

      Jean, I added the Dowager Countess texts beneath Maggie Smith's picture. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. ;)

      Oh and I've got to read the book you suggested too. Missed that last year.

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  5. Oh, and I have no idea who killed Mrs. Bates.

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    1. Sir Richard Carlisle warned her not to do anything stupid. And Bates did say she was involved with another man at some point during Season 2. Hmmm... And some ponder if she committed suicide. I doubt it.

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  6. I caught up with Season 1 on Netflix and became utterly hooked (though I still find that the original Upstairs Downstairs series from the mid 1970s is a better story and for anyone with DA withdrawl, I suggest heading to Netflix to rent the UD series -- the original, NOT the watered down update from last year that was set in 1936.

    And for fashionistas with DA withdrawl, Ralph Lauren's Fall 2012 runway collection was inspired by the English Country Manor House DA style, but takes us from post-Edwardian England through the reign of Edward VIII. You can watch the 15 mins 30 second show here. Then tell me which outfits are MUST HAVES. There's a 1920s evening gown w/silver and gold beading and deep V-neck that is SO Lady Mary.
    http://www.ralphlauren.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=12683284&cp=2184048&ab=int_fd_background

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    1. Hi Leslie! So good of you to stop by today!

      Wow! I'm intrigued and must slip UD into my Netflix box. I've heard about it before but haven't taken the time to watch it yet. Will do so soon! I appreciate the suggestion. ;)

      And I'm uber excited about the fashionista extravaganza. Going to check that out immediately. I would so wear styles influenced by the early 1900's.

      What's your take on Mrs. Bates?

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  7. I LOVE Downton Abbey! I don't think Bates killed his wife, at least I hope he didn't. Can't say I have a favorite character because I love them all LOL! What great plot lines. And yes, The Lord Fellowes is a brilliant writer!

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  8. Angelique! Thanks for commenting!

    I love Lady Sybil's spunk, don't you? I love heroines who defy convention. ;)

    I took a test on FB for Downton Abbey's characters. Turns out I'm Anna Smith, the new Mrs. Bates. For this reason I must insist on my husband's innocence. He's a victim of circumstance!

    Matthew's eyes are heavenly, aren't they? But Famuck has certainly wooed us for 2 seasons. Poor chap!

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  9. I've never seen it. But I am missing Hell On Wheels! LOL!

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    1. Oh, Hell on Wheels is a great show, isn't it?

      What do you think about this season's Supernatural, Patricia?

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  10. I have never seen it either but this really makes me want to watch it. Hell on Wheels on the other hand is one of the very few things that I did DVR. A Civil War story twined with Western themes. What's not to love there?

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    1. Hi Stephanie! Oh and don't forget to add thirst for revenge. Hell on Wheels' character Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is fantastic as a man bent on avenging the death of his family.

      Western + Revenge + Handsome = Can't miss it!

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  11. I absolutely LOVE the Dowager Countess, and Downton Abbey. It's a huge surprise to me that Maggie Smith is supposedly a really lovely person, to be able to play such a convincing snob and frosty noble. She's actually on my "People I'd Love to Have Dinner With" list... because I would really love to ask her about her truly amazing career.

    And when I'm in a blue-mood, I know I can get a good laugh from going to YouTube, and watching the out-takes and "top 10" favorite moments of the Dowager Countess. She rocks! :-)

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    1. Oh, Amy! You're a girl after my own heart. Kindred souls, we are. ;)

      I'm quite content now that I have both seasons of Downton at home to view at my leisure. And Maggie Smith is the bomb, isn't she? I just saw a movie on t.v. a few nights ago. She starred in this as a very young woman. What a beauty she was!

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