Created by adept period film screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, Vanity Fair and The Young Victoria), this series portrays an aristocratic household in the years between the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the outbreak of WWI in 1914. Set in a scenic English country estate and populated with recognizable characters (saved from stereotype by a very capable ensemble of actors), the story unfolds at an unhurried pace, full of the sort of clever dialogue we have come to expect from the genre: eloquent dinner party repartee across floral centrepieces, declarative proposals of marriage, and snooty put-downs delivered by ladies in large hats. Of course there is lots of intrigue and romance both above and below stairs, as well as some interesting period detail from a time on the brink of a modern world of electricity, automobiles and telephones. But don't expect any harsh social realism; despite the token suffragette and socialist characters (the earl's youngest daughter and the Irish chauffeur) this is a very rose-tinted look at Edwardian class relations. Downton Abbey is at heart an enchanted castle with a romanticised and largely unquestioned social hierarchy from the high king on down to the lowly scullery maid - a fairy tale disguised as nostalgia for a bygone age. Pure, indulgent escapism. Wonderful.
If you liked "Gosford Park", "Upstairs, Downstairs" or any other British period piece, then you will love this. A stellar cast and excellent writing have produced "Downton Abbey", an Edwardian period piece which stars Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville.
This ITV series tells the story of the wealthy Crawley family. Robert and Clara Crawley have three daughters and, as was the law of the time, the family fortune is entailed away from the female line which means that their eldest daughter, Lady Mary, must marry well.
Beginning at the time of the sinking of the Titanic and continuing through to the opening days of World War I, the series follows the trials and tribulations of the family upstairs and the downstairs servants who have a whole host of dirty little secrets between them and a few nasty personalities as well. I think it would be fair to say that those 'below stairs' are more snobbish and class conscious than their betters and that they have a lot more drama in their everyday lives as well.
This superb series with its breathtaking filming locations, stunning set decoration and marvellous costumes is one not to be missed so I suggest you take a look at your earliest opportunity.
I just love this show. Amazing actors and compelling stoylines. Season two has been a delight to watch. What I love the most is the fact that it doesn't dwell too much on one storyline at the time. I keeps changing from the servents to the Crawley-family. If you like good actors combined with a bit og history and compelling stories this is the show to watch.
This show is not my usual cup of tea, I actually don't know many people who would say that they regularly watch British historical dramas set in the 1900s. After seeing the reception this show received, the huge number of awards it was nominated for, the substantial portion of those awards this show received, I compelled myself to give it a chance.
Very glad I watched it, the amount of character development is amazing, this show is a work of art.
Another fantastic show to watch with your girlfriend (even your parents will also love it). I love how the girls say "papaa". To be completely honest although it is not my style it is an incredible show, with very good actors (the grandma is fantastic) and a lot of drama and twists, although after watching the first episode of this new season it seems the drama is disapearing and i have no clue what direction the show is going.
I was reading every comment written for this show and I am quite fascinated that you can see how they really love it because of how they sound like dialogues from the show. It's quite funny, and yes this show makes you want to live a life at downton abbey.
A very touching drama, its so real when you watch it, I always felt that I'm part of it, and like what RenAlexisCati said " this show makes you want to live a life at Downton Abbey", I sincerely wish they proceeds to many seasons.
I wasn't certain what to expect when I started watching the opening season of Downton Abbey, but somewhere around the second or third episode, I got hooked. After that first day, I "marathoned" all three seasons in order to catch up.
To me, this is basically a prime-time Soap Opera with continuing storylines, featuring high drama, some comedic lightness, and terrific acting. It's definitely not satirical or tongue-in-cheek (like Desperate Housewives) or overly campy and unbelievable (like Dynasty), but more of a Knots Landing (the best nighttime soap ever!) set in the world of Upstairs, Downstairs, meaning enjoyable stories, a talented ensemble cast, believable characters you care about, and a fascinating historical setting. The locations and sets and costumes are outstanding as well, and the whole series is produced with a top-notch level of quality that only British TV can muster. Although Maggie Smith is a standout among the cast, stealing every scene in which she appears (due, mostly, to her laugh-out-loud one-liners), she's completely surrounded by actors who can easily handle the chore of delivering the own goods each and every episode.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be on the edge of your seat for many of the storylines. Overall, an excellent show thus far! Bully to the Brits for creating such a great series! I can't wait for Season Four!
I love this show because it shows that "I'm better than you" attitude that we just don't see in England anymore; unless you're in the royal family. A great series and great acting for the most part! Some of the characters are highly believable especially Maggie Smith. I just think she's perfect for the part.
This show is absolutely flawless. It's exceeds all others because period dramas have been done countless times but Downton keeps it fresh and that it is why it exceeds Hannibal, Homeland, breaking bad and Mad Men. The cast is also supreme - Maggie smith.
The show is a phenomenal drama show with the addition of Paul Giamatti.
Downton Abbey Season 4 is a show that takes place in 1912 during the sinking of the Titanic. Set on an Edwardian country house in Downton Abbey Season 4, life is idyllic and busting for a family called the Crawley's. The inhabitants of Downton Abbey, Robert, Earl of Grantham, his American heiress wife Cora and their three daughters, along with Robert's mother Violet, haven't lived a particularly tough life living in luxury with the help of a cadre of servants.
I've watched Series 4 live as I've been in the area and despite what some have said I think it keeps up the high standards of series past. I did feel there was one aspect in the series that seemed slightly too contrived but I don't want to give away anything. Suffice it to say I think it resolves well as the series goes along and takes us into an interesting realm.
As for those folks who'll be waiting for Paul Giamatti's appearance, it seems he'll only be in the Christmas Special. So don't hold your breath... I just hope I make it back for the special, I couldn't stand to wait until it's released in the Americas.
Over all I liked this series/season and where it went and I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well: They rounded out a few long time characters and gave us some more romantic entanglements as well as new characters to get to know. My favorite being Charles Blake, who's portrayed by Julian Ovenden and is probably best known to American audiences as Andrew Foyle from the ITV program Foye's War.
In the glorious tradition of shows like Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey does not disappoint. Lady Mary Crawley played by Michelle Dockery is by far my favorite character. She is smart and witty and brilliantly written.
I find myself intrigued by her ability to capture the audience with a single stare. Michelle is fantastic. Who would have believed her success. Isn't this show one of the very greats. I look forward to each episode with enthusiasm. Keep up the great work.
Absolutely great drama by ITV and Masterpiece! I own all four series on DVD and have watched all episodes. This is a drama that is outstanding in acting, location, costumes, music and everything English. We in America are truly in love with Downton Abbey; I love the character of Lady Mary the best but, everyone on the program is great. lt is a shame that American actors have become only celebrities and not true dramatists; I mostly watch English programs when they are available. Again, great job Julian Fellowes and all.
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