Monday, November 5, 2012

Upstairs, Downstairs

Are you addicted to the new Upstairs,Downstairs as much as you were to Downton Abbey? Me neither. I wonder why, as the story is just as much soap opera. Maybe it's just that the house is smaller, and the people are correspondingly smaller. Nobody to compare with the nobility of Robert, Earl of Grantham, or Lady Mary Crawley. Or maybe it's just that I remember the original series so fondly. That seemed to have real drama and pathos without being sleazy or reverting to shock value. I remember the episode when Lady Marjorie falls in love with a young officer, but it's just left as a romance that can never be. She doesn't leap into bed with him. And the heart-stretching triangle at the battle front in WWI when James is wounded and his cousin Georgina is his nurse, desperately in love with him, and his wife Hazel goes out to France to bring him home. Those were dramas that really moved me. The dramas in this series seem sensational or small and petty.

Am I just older and wiser now or is this series part of the new school of writing that has to go for blockbuster all the time? Or maybe it's the time frame that's different. Life in the 1930s had definitely changed for the aristocracy. Servants were no longer so subservient to their masters. Uncomfortable movements like the Black Shirts were permeating all levels of society.

Ah well. Only two months to the next Downton season. I know it's already out in England but I'm being good and not emailing relatives to ask what is happening.

And another snippet: my own new Lady Gerogie novel, THE TWELVE CLUES OF CHRISTMAS, which features quite a bit of upstairs/downstairs action in a lovely old manor house, will be in stores and on Amazon and Barnes and tomorrow. Much more fun that the election, I promise you!


  1. just waiting for holiday season to end and for Downton to begin

  2. I haven't seen "Downton Abbey" yet, but I did discover that the original "Upstairs, Downstairs" on Netflix Instant Streaming. I vaguely remember it running on my local PBS station when I was about 10 but I never watched it. I started watching it this week and was surprised by how quickly it hooked me!

    As for the romance between Lady Marjorie and the young officer, your memory is a little faulty. I just watched that episode last night. Lady Marjorie is shown talking to the officer in bed in his rented rooms. I do agree with you, however, that the writers treated this brief affair in a much less sleazy manner than a modern drama would. It is also interesting to see a show where the servants want to do a good job for their bosses.

    Every once in a while I enjoy something sensational like the American dramas "Scandal" or "The Good Wife", but I have found that as I get older I prefer something gentler. I watch Korean dramas and Bollywood movies with my teenage daughters because they don't have characters jumping in and out of each other's beds all the time.