Are you as hooked as I am on Downton Abbey. I'm not sure how good it is or whether I really like it, but I can't stop watching. There is something wonderfully intimate about following the life of one family. I used to love Upstairs Downstairs and this has the same feel--except that Upstairs Downstairs felt absolutely real to me. The characters were rounded and we cared about them. In Downton we have moved from a kinder, gentler era to one in which sensationalism is king. And it shows in the story lines for season two.
It's very close to soap opera in period costume. Mr. Matthew losing his manhood. Lady Mary will obviously stick by him, no matter what, and what is the betting he miraculously learns to walk again... maybe not until season three.
The evil characters are really evil. Someone should have bumped off Mrs. Bates years ago. If Bates had strangled her everyone would have cheered. And O'Brien the evil maid. How awful is she? Remember she caused Lady Grantham's miscarriage in the first season. The writer Julian Fellowes is an upper crust chap himself and frankly I think he's not quite as good at writing 'them below stairs.'
The characters that ring completely true to me are Lady Mary and her grandmother--the glorious Maggie Smith. What wouldn't I give to play a part like that? I'll just have to create one in one of my books some day, then I can walk around adopting that attitude all day.
World War One is of course a story of grand drama however the characters are involved in it. I remember vividly the WWI scenes from Upstairs Downstairs. Remember when Georgina nurses James in the field hospital in France and his wife Hazel goes to bring him home and the two women fight over him (in a most genteel way of course). That was heartbreaking drama. This series intrigues me but doesn't touch my heart in the same way. Maybe because it is played for sensationalism rather than reality.
So what do you think about it and about what will happen next?
Oh, and I had the perfect solution to the family's problem of inheritance. Matthew inherits the property and the money, but being a nice chap he says "I don't need all this. Why don't I give you most of your money back and you can live in the house for as long as you want. It does have 100 bedrooms, after all. No need for series three!