Downton Abbey

downton abbeyI was late to the Downton Abbey party.  I finally did show up, and then I stayed until I had my fill.  Which was six seasons in one week.  Talk about binge watching.  I was suffering from a horrid sciatica issue, and Downton was the only thing that kept me sane through all the sleepless nights of pain and suffering.

Being Irish and English, I was first attracted to the accent, the proper Queen’s English way of speaking, the beautiful castles, and the rolling countryside.  Then I was quick to notice the perfection.  The casting was perfection.  The dialogue was perfection.  The sets were perfection.  Even the yellow lab was perfection.

So many of the characters made an impression on me.  Most notably, Maggie Smith was more than brilliant as the Dowager Countess.  I think she had the best dialogue of the show.  At least she delivered her lines that way.  She was always very outspoken, and the more trouble she caused, the happier she was.  So it seemed.

Lady Mary was haughty, acerbic, blunt, and irreverent, who verbally slashes at her sister Edith at every chance.  She reminded me both of myself, and my sister.  We also have similar hair cuts, lol.

mary

I loved Matthew.  He was a doppelganger to my army pilot boyfriend I was madly in love with.  I cried so hard when Matthew died.  Seemed so unfair.

matthew

I would probably be most like Edith.  The overlooked middle child who fought to be noticed but instead fought with her sister and was patronized by her father, and therefore became career driven.  I do love the irony of how things worked out in the end.  Lady Mary married a “mechanic”, as her father called him initially, and Lady Edith married a Marquess.

I became just as emotionally involved with the below the stairs characters as the above stairs.  I think that’s what made Downton Abbey so great.  We saw the flip sides of lives .  The lords and ladies, and the servants that kept things running perfectly.  Seems hard to believe that people actually could not even comb their own hair or put on a nightgown by themselves.  But most interesting was the line of authority even downstairs.  Everyone had to bow and scrap to the Butler, and people took their positions seriously, always trying to work their way up.  The servants hall below stairs was its own micro chasm of all of society.

One word description of some of the other most notable characters:

Lord Grantham:  Old Fashioned

Lady Grantham:  Sweetness

Carson:  Bully

Mrs. Hughes:  Diplomat

Mr & Mrs Bates:  Perfect

Daisy:  Mouthy

Barrow:  Changeling (male version of Lady Mary!)

Mrs. Patmore:  Screechy

I do wish there were another season or two.  Although I will say they did a tidy job of wrapping things up the last season.  But I would have liked to see more of Lady Mary and Robert’s marriage.  Barrow as the new head Butler.  Lady Edith being Marchioness of the manor.  The little lab pup growing up.  And most of all, the goings on below stairs.

 

Advertisements

The British Invasion

brit

Superman, Spiderman, Vampires, Zombies and Harry Potter for crikey sake!  All British actors.  Gerard, Clive, Colin, Craig, Sean, Henry…..the list goes on for miles.  They do great American accents, for the most part.  They are everywhere!  And unless you happen to see them on a talk show or doing an interview, you would have no idea they are British.  And let’s not forget all the Aussies we have taken to our hearts…Mel, Russel, Nicole, the brothers Helmsworth to name just a few.  But it’s the Brits for discussion today.

Which leads me to the next logical questions…..why choose British actors over American actors for American films?  Are they better?  Are American actors getting British film roles?

Not so much.  It seems that Hollywood has been outsourcing their actors since the early days of film.  Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights, North by Northwest, From Here to Eternity, A Star is Born, Frankenstein are just a few of the many classics produced in Hollywood containing prominent roles for British actors.  We have not been as generous on the other side of the coin.  Not many American actors fare well across the pond.

For producers doing the hiring, they’re simply looking for the strongest talent
and expect the American accent to follow.  They feel the American actors just don’t seem as well-trained or as deep and complex.

Sounds like the American actors need to step their game up a bit to compete with the dearth of actors overseas that are more than happy to snap up any and all roles!

Blimey.