Tuesday, November 9, 2010
GUILTY PLEASURE: DOWNTON ABBEY
I utterly adore those period British dramas, I can't get enough of them.
Growing up in Canada, we were often shown a myriad of British TV dramas, I gobbled up "The Onedin Line" "Poldark", "Upstairs Downstairs" and "I, Claudius", just to name a few,
and more recently, the British Mini-series like Pride and Prejudice", Vanity Fair, Bleak House, Little Dorritt, North and South, The Way We Live Now, Jane Eyre, just to name a very few.
I don't read the classics, I'd rather watch the British do it on the small screen. And they do it so well.
Downton Abbey just finished airing in Britain on ITV, Don't ask how I got to see it, *cough*, however it will be on in North America in January 2011 on PBS' Masterpiece Theater. Consisting of 7 episodes, I have never seen such lush production values. No wonder, it cost over a million pounds an episode, but hey, it is filmed at a real castle! (seen in background)
Not based on any classic novel of centuries past, think Upstairs, Downstairs and the movie Gosford Park thrown into a blender.
My husband is watching it with me, while he likes it, he is not as enamored as I am, 'bit of a soap opera' he said after we watched episode 3 last night.
Well, yes, it is.
It starts in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic and how that affects the Earl of Grantham and his family and servants.
In this way, it is very much "Upstairs, Downstairs" as we are shown the lives of those above and below stairs.
Of course, you assume I would not be watching this if there were not some fine acting, and some fine looking men. *cough*
Dan Stevens, left, was also in a recent BBC rendering of Sense and Sensibility, he is playing the reluctant heir to the Earl in this TV show. Hard to tell from this black and white picture, but his eyes are stunning.
Rob James-Collier (right) plays the ambitious first footman. Former model and he also did a 2 years stint on Coronation Street (British soap) a few years back when I still used to watch it. Yummy. I love those dark looks.
Bit of a nasty piece in this, but deliciously so. It makes it all the better when a bad boy is handsome to boot.
But the most unlikely of heartthrobs from this program is Brendan Coyle as the valet, Mr. Bates.
The middle aged, lame valet has sent hearts a twitter in Britain.
According to an article in the London Standard:
Played by Brendan Coyle, 47 (a veteran of TV dramas such as True Dare Kiss, North and South and Lark Rise to Candleford), Mr Bates has become an Unlikely Crush Object. That soft Irish burr. That limp.
I would agree. Can't wait to watch more.
It rec'd big ratings in the U.K. and has been renewed for a second season.
If you get a chance to check this out by whatever means *cough* you will enjoy it. It unfolds like a historical romance.