Entertainment Magazine

Downton Abbey

Posted on the 26 January 2012 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
Season 1Downton AbbeyThe Earl of Grantham, the head of the prestigious English manor home of Downton Abbey, has just received the tragic news that his heir to the estate and his son have perished on the recently sunken Titanic. Now, having three daughters and no sons, the benevolent Earl and his American wife must find a suitor for their eldest and stubborn daughter Mary before their title and fortune passes on to someone else. Meanwhile the passing over of a malevolent footman for a coveted valet's job which was given to the Earl's lame Boer War soldiering mate is the impetus for drama, nastiness, and romance in the servant's quarters. As war approaches and their safe world is continually changing, the members of Downton Abbey struggle to hold on to their way of life, while some pursue their long thought impossible dreams. "Downton Abbey" is a magnificent series originally produced for the BBC and impeccably crafted by creator Julian Fellowes, who won an Oscar for writing Robert Altman's "Gosford Park". Fellowes draws you in with his beautiful photography and sumptuous score by John Lunn, and creates multi-dimensional, sympathetic characters whom you never can seem to quite peg down (except maybe for the sinister footman Thomas). The performers are all wonderful, and this is the type of series where different characters would appeal to all kinds of people. For me, I really admired Hugh Bonneville as the Earl, trying to be decent while simultaneously maintaining tradition and order. Or Joanne Froggatt as an angelic maid or Siobhan Finneran as the opposite yet not entirely unsympathetic. And of course Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess who plays the role that, well, only Maggie Smith could play. Sometimes you can see where the story's headed and sometimes the writing is a little too convenient ("well I know a butler in Leads who knew a valet who worked for a count who saw so and so, etc. etc."), but regardless, I don't remember ever being so involved and moved by a series before.

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