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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Small Screen Scenes: Downton Abbey Season One Episode Three Highly Recommended by Whom You Know Available Now From PBS Distribution

Here's what we thought of Episode One:

& Episode Two:

The diversion continues!
The burning question this time is whether or not people are who you think they are...and when you hear that spoken you will know just what we are referring to.

What a beautiful yard you'll think as Season Three begins...and depending on if you're a gardener or part of the family will determine your outlook on whether you're working to keep it that way or admiring it. In this episode we learn about typewriters which to them was like the latest edition of an ipad without knowing what an ipad is.  This episode celebrates dreams whether you dream of being a secretary and not a maid or whether you dream of suitors galore (Lady Mary).  We continue to love Violet ("Are we going to have tea or not?" "No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else's house!!"-and she says AMERICANS speak their mind!) just thinking of her delivery sends us over the edge.

And then there is the hunt.  As for her personal hunt, Lady Edith is totally clueless as she leads Matthew on a tour of churches, but perhaps sometimes it is better to stay on the safe side as you never know what could be lurking in a hallway in the middle of the night about to burst into your room.  Not that would be anyone's fault if that DID happen....Mr. Napier and Mr. Pamook provide an episode that you won't be able to forget.

From Bates to Daisy the struggle of human existence is also a relevant theme.  As he tries to get braces for his legs to correct his war injury, Bates finds out they might be more trouble than they're worth, and p
oor Daisy...she is so on the bottom of the pecking order.  Even when she takes a short break Mrs. Patmore is on her case: "I said you could go for a drink of water not a trip up the Nile!"  And then Mrs. Patmore has her own vision problems...

There are certain consistencies that repeat themselves throughout the episodes: Thomas will continue to make your skin crawl, Anna is a rock of stability for Lady Mary to depend on, and the kindness of Carson will warm your heart.  Even a butler has his favorites...and Thomas's favorite is O'Brien-his secret is safe with her and that is just what we were afraid of.

There is scandal, and then there is SCANDAL.  Every family has scandals but are scandals that are secret different?  Is it really a scandal though if no one finds out?

Whom You Know Highly Recommends Downton Abbey Season One Episode Three.  It will move you, it will grip you and it will leave you absolutely dying for more.







Special Extra Features Include “The Making of Downton Abbey” and “A House In History”

Arlington, VA November 1 -- PBS Distribution is pleased to announce the January DVD release of “Downton Abbey,” MASTERPIECE’s lead program for its 40th anniversary celebration. Written and created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”), “Downton Abbey” is an epic British TV period drama which will air on PBS over four Sunday nights in January and will be released on DVD January 11, 2011. Special bonus features on the DVD include two featurettes:“The Making of Downton Abbey” and “A House In History.” The dealer order date is December 14, 2010.

A smash hit when it aired in the UK, “Downton Abbey” follows in the tradition of the Emmy Award-winning “Upstairs, Downstairs” (a MASTERPIECE THEATRE favorite when it aired in the 1970s), which portrayed the lives of a wealthy aristocratic family and the relationships they had with their servants. “Downton Abbey” features lavish costumes, beautiful cinematography, seamless direction, and impeccably accurate set design. The cast includes Dame Maggie Smith (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone”), Hugh Bonneville (“Notting Hill,” “Iris”) and Elizabeth McGovern (“Clash of the Titans,” “The Wings of the Dove”).
Quotes about “Downton Abbey’s” British Premier on ITV
“An impeccably polished stroll back to the past.”
--London’s Metro

“…a sumptuous, instantly riveting glimpse of a world – and family – on the verge of profound change.” 
--London Telegraph

“The whole thing looks divine, and has the distinct advantage of being an original story and so completely unknown to all the viewers.”
--The Yorker
Plot Details
Set in 1912, “Downton Abbey” encompasses all the drama, romance, and politics of this era and is comparable to any lavish period piece on the big screen. Dame Maggie Smith portrays the matriarch of the Crawley family, desperately trying to navigate and strategize so her son (Hugh Bonneville) can hold onto the multi-million dollar inheritance he married into. Elizabeth McGovern gives an outstanding performance as the mother to their four daughters, each dowry-endowed, to attract an appropriate suitor. The eldest, Mary (Michelle Dockery) is as interested in being married through arrangement as she is in socializing with the servants downstairs.

And as all the drama is happening upstairs, downstairs also has its share. The servants are shaken up with the arrival of a new valet, John Bates (Brendan Coyle). Bates arrives at Downton in the first episode to take the position, but the servants are not supportive when they see he is wounded from the war and is lame. The help is as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above and Thomas (Rob James-Collier), the first footman, wants Bates’ job and will do anything to get it – including theft and deceit. Some of the other servants are loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, but others are moving through, on the look out for new opportunities, love or just adventure.

Much like blockbuster epic films such as “Young Victoria,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Gosford Park,” “Howard’s End,” and “A Room With A View,” “Downton Abbey” is an engaging series that fans of period pieces will love. The series is comprised of three discs which have an approximate running time of six hours. 


“Downton Abbey”
Genre: Drama
Price: $34.99
Running Time: 6 Hours/3 Discs
Street Date: January 11, 2011

Bonus Features

The Making of Downton Abbey (Running Time 13:09)
A House in History (Running Time 9:43)

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