TV Worth Watching: Downton Abbey

Upstairs, Downstairs

British dramas. Could there be anything better? Well, actually, now that I think about it, there is one thing better than an hour-long British drama. A period drama, hour-long, British. Speaking as someone who has a rather dominate addiction to them, I can assure you, I am in the right. Think about it. Think of the breakneck paced dialogue – ridiculously smart and eloquent – spoken in varying styles of the Queen’s English. Grand historic locations. Inordinate castles built on hundreds of acres of vibrant green grass and towering elder trees. How about the infamous streets of ol’ London Town? Splendid and posh. Lavish balls and ostentatious dinner parties. Lords and ladies dressed in elegant vintage costumes adorned with hand-fastened crystal, buttons, and beads. Quite frankly, I challenge you to find a more romantic, sublimely beautiful, compelling work of fiction than a complex televised character play set in the early 1900’s. It’s the Brit’s forte!

And yet, Downton Abbey is so much more than that. For those who aren’t closely acquainted with this specific type of drama, it’ll be somewhat hard to understand. Downton isn’t your typical formulated performance. Though sharing several esteemed characteristics with its well-known predecessors, Downton‘s strength is its distinctive characters and unwavering ability to remain progressive without fear – skillfully stunning or shocking the audience into many fits of incredibility. I’ve watched many Masterpiece Classics in my day, and I can truly say, this one is different; a show definitely worth watching.

To the ever stoic Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville); to the misunderstood and reserved Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her intended, the dashing Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens); to Downton’s leader and commander, the butler, Carson (Jim Carter). Each of Downton‘s unique personalities are intertwined by different relationships, those upstairs and those downstairs. There are characters you love to hate, couples who you’d wish would just get a clue and kiss already, and of course, there is the always magnificent Maggie Smith – who has the aptitude to steal every scene, make us laugh, and regale us with brilliant quotes in the process. “I am a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

Although life at Downton is dedicated to social standing and propriety, the residents frequently challenge their everyday standards. Yes, I’m talking to you, Lady Sybil. Torrid affairs. Heartbreak. Backstabbing and more. Yet, despite their differences they’re still a family; not employer and staff, but people who take care of each other. There is never a dull moment between morning breakfast and the chime of the dressing gong. Together they make Downton what it is. Together they fashion a series so impossibly irresistible you’ll just have to watch it.

Season 4 of Downton Abbey begins January 2014 on PBS

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TV Worth Watching: Being Human | Lost Girl

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Addicted to it? If not, will you watch? Which character is your favorite? Are you a Mary, an Edith, or a Sybil? Have a favorite episode? A favorite quote? What other shows do you think are worth watching? Tell me in the comments!

For more Kim the FanGirl follow the blog on Twitter @kimthefangirl and on Facebook

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Peggy Isaacs says:

    Oh, the things that come out of Cousin Violet’s mouth. One the my favorites.

  2. setinmotion says:

    I tried to get into this show when it first came out and I turned it off after half an episode. Sorry. For some reason I just couldn’t get into it at all; I found it stuffy and boring, and the house kinda gave me the creeps.

    1. Oh, my dear, sweet Hannah. I should have known. We haven’t really agreed about this topic, have we? Lol. You’re right, they are stuffy. But that’s how they’re supposed to be. They’re English lords and ladies. Compared to other dramas, personally, I think it’s more fast paced. I’m surprised, though, that you didn’t like it. It reminds me of a classic English novel – Jane Austen like, etc. Of course, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t try to convince you to try it again. That said, I have to tell you, Downton has the most intense (mostly infuriating) plot twists and cliffhangers. I know how much you love your throwing chair. 😀

      1. setinmotion says:

        Hahaha. Oh well, even those with excellent taste have to agree to disagree at times! Unfortunately, I’m not a big Jane Austen fan either (don’t get me wrong, I think personally she is fantastic, but just not a fan of her books) so perhaps I should steer clear! Saying that, I haven’t gotten worked up over a TV show in a LONG time so I should get back into something. Any other suggestions?

        1. I’m so glad I’m not alone! I couldn’t get through Pride & Prejudice. So boring.

          Game of Thrones. I really think you’ll love it. Violence. Nudity. Sword fighting. Blood. Incest and romance. Nudity. It’s got everything. Also, Being Human the US edition. The first two seasons are kind of slow, but the third is spectacular.

        2. setinmotion says:

          Haha Pride & Prejudice I don’t mind but the others I’m not a big fan of. I think it’s the idea of falling madly in love with someone when you don’t actually know them. Not my kinda thing!

          What’s Being Human about? Do tell.

        3. Well, I really liked the film. So, I’ll give it that. You don’t believe in love at first sight? Yes, in fiction it gets annoying when it escalates too quickly without any real source cause. But, I love and believe in the idea of fate and soul mates. I’m a hopeless romantic, I guess.

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