Monday, January 30, 2012
Downton Abbey and more
Well, another wonderful hour of Downton Abbey last night!
After reading some of the interviews with Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame on the PBS website a week or so ago, I decided to watch Gosford Park (written by Fellowes) as well as The Buccaneers (an old Masterpiece series). The Buccaneers, based on the book by Edith Wharton, is about the time period after the Civil War when young American heiresses went to England in search of titles, and impoverished English title-holders sought monied brides to allow them to hold on to their estates. This was Fellowes' inspiration for the character of Cora, who, we learned in the first season, brought her American money to her marriage to Lord Grantham, which was then irrevocably tied into the estate.
Gosford Park was wonderful. I had to repeat the first 30 minutes to get the characters straight - whose valet is whose? Which ones are the sisters, and which men are their husbands? It wasn't obvious from their behavior - quite the contrary.
The Buccaneers, made in 1995, was awful - and as I watched, I remembered just how bad it was when it was first broadcast. The dialog and acting was dismal. And then to contrast it with Downton Abbey made it even worse. So after about an hour and a quarter (why did I even watch that much?), I gave up.
In one of the interviews with Fellowes about creating Downton Abbey, he talks about pulling characters from people or situations he knew of in his own life, including the story of the dead diplomat being carried across the house in the middle of the night. Start at 5:30 to hear that part - really fascinating.
Oh, drat. I've embedded this twice, changed the dimensions, and still it shows too large to view. So never mind the embed: here's the link.
Posted by Ginnie