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message 1: by Alicia (new)

Alicia I know I'm not the only one in this group watching this series! What do you think? I'm downloading it from iTunes. I've watched all the episodes that I have gotten so far twice, and I can't wait to find out what happens.

message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan I am doing the same thing - watching on PBS, downloading from iTunes to rewatch. I do love Maggie Smith in this - she is so awesome as the Dowager Countess. And the costumes!!!!

And to think there will be more - a second season and Christmas episode!

message 3: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 226 comments I haven't started to watch this yet but I heard it's GOOD!!

message 4: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments I've only seen the first episode so far but am very eager to watch the others. I love it!!! I am enjoying the complexities in the characters and situations, especially among/between classes and genders!

message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 112 comments I'm watching this too and I love it. I would consider getting the DVD of this mini-series. It's really good. There's so much going on. It is a multi-layered plot. You don't just care about one or two characters. There are a lot of social issues to think about too. The acting, costumes, sets and scenery are all wonderful as well.

message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Ramirez (bvramirez) yeah I seeing it but I didnt get to see the beginning tat sucks. But it's getting tres good meaning very good only wish I knew when it started.

message 7: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Brenda wrote: "I didnt get to see the beginning."

You can still watch Episode 1 on pbs.org.

message 8: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 226 comments I'll gawk at costumes! I re-watched Emma solely to pay attention to the costumes, scenery and sets :)

Thanks Alicia for the link. When my power's restored at home, I'll check it out!

message 9: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Ramirez (bvramirez) oh thanks I'll check it out. And if u guys happen to see that a good series pass tell me kay. I usually have my head in other place so i dont check programs.

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 106 comments Alicia wrote: "I know I'm not the only one in this group watching this series! What do you think? I'm downloading it from iTunes. I've watched all the episodes that I have gotten so far twice, and I can't wait ..."

Oh Yes! I am totally engrossed and can't wait for Sunday to see what happens.

Those costumes are just stunning, especially Sybil's controversial outfit!

message 11: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley I've seen 3 of the 4 episodes so far and can't believe there are only 4. There is so much about this story that will need more and more information. How are they going to resolve all the story lines they opened?
I heard that the episodes for US showing were cut in several places because the US would not understand entalement. Another example of dumbing down and no consideration for the average intelligence. Oh well.
Costumes are glorious, especially Sybil's new item. The concept of the split skirt, however does rage during that time period. If this was a 10 or 12 episode series much more could have been done with it.

message 12: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristenelise) | 10 comments I am absolutely loving it! Lord Grantham and Mr. Crawley are my favorites, but there are so many remarkable characters! And as much as I love seeing film adaptations of the classics, I find it refreshing to see original material that can hold its own! Will definitely be buying the DVD.

message 13: by Alicia (new)

Alicia The acting is amazing. I love the scenes where a person is alone, not saying a thing, and you can read his or her thoughts through facial expressions and movements. One example is the scene showing Mrs. Hughes in her room after the village fair smiling at her memories. And so often the camera shows us one character watching another character, and we can see the first person's response. After Sybil puts on her stunning new outfit, you can see Anna's pleasure and amusement as she watches Sybil. And then you see Branson watching through the window as she makes her grand entrance.

message 14: by Alicia (last edited Jan 31, 2011 12:36PM) (new)

Alicia BBC has really outdone itself with this series.


Since I watched Gosford Park, I should have known better than to expect a happy ending. I can't help feeling sorry for Lady Edith and Lady Mary, even though they sort of deserved what they got by being so spiteful and disloyal to each other. Oh well, at least Gwen got a job as a secretary, Mrs. Patmore's vision improved, and Anna found out the truth about Mr. Bates. And Daisy is freed from her crush on Thomas and has become friends with William. Hmm...maybe it's more of a happy ending than I had thought.

I wasn't sure--did O'Brien purposely put the soap in Lady Grantham's path, or was she trying to get it out of the way, and the slip was an accident?

I'm happy that they're making a second series, but sorry I'll have to wait a year to find out more.

message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Oh, I think the soap was a definite on-purpose spiteful bit of O'Brian malice! She had a moment where she tried to stop Lady Grantham leaving the tub, but it was too late. Horrid though she is, I almost felt sorry for her when she realized that it was the Dowager Countess who was looking for a new maid and not Lady Grantham. My husband says she'll be contemplating suicide in the next episodes. Hmmmm.

And we both agree that Thomas will forever be type-cast as a villain, because he is one of the most chilling and memorable nasty bits of humanity to ever be seen on the screen! I can't imagine him as a hero or even just as a normal, run of the mill type man. Brrrrr! What a talented actor!

message 16: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Thomas and the Duke of Crowborough were quite a nasty pair in the first episode. As are Thomas and O'Brien throughout the series. Have you ever seen such a pair of troublemakers?

message 17: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley OMG, the bit at the end says additional episodes are being produced. Can't wait. I think they took us to the edge--the edge of an era. After WW1, nothing was the same, so if they take these characters through WW1 it will be a very interesting experiences for all of them. Hopefully Edith and Mary will learn something of the true world, Sybil already seems aware. And Thomas? Well, sorry for the wounded soldiers under his care, but it could be really a life changing experience for him too.

message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Thomas changing? Thinking... Thinking... Nope, can't see it! Well, maybe, Pat, if he gets really down and out and has to think about someone else for about a minute and a half...
I can't wait, either. Can we bombard the producers and tell them to hurry it up?!?
Speaking of Edith and Mary, don't you find it amazing that they are portrayed both as likeable and detestable? Their actions toward each other are despicable, and yet they still manage to sympathetically engage us. That's not something that TV or movies generally do well.

message 19: by Roslyn (new)

Roslyn (rozky) | 8 comments I was so excited when I saw that they're filming more episodes! Apparently they are going to be filmed shortly, and I'm guessing they'll air in UK before hitting us poor PBS fans. I can't wait!!

message 20: by Alicia (last edited Feb 01, 2011 12:28AM) (new)

Alicia Speaking of Edith and Mary, don't you find it amazing that they are portrayed both as likeable and detestable?

Yes, amazing. Even O'Brien, evil as she is, has some moments of humanness. I empathized with her several times. The writing and acting in this series are just about as good as they can be.

I love Mr. Bates. What an unlikely romantic hero--middle aged, lame, alcoholic convict. The romance between him and Anna is very sweet.

The relationship between Mary and Matthew is very complex. It's far from the typical romance. I wonder if they will ever end up together. I have serious doubts about their chances for happiness if they do.

message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan | 106 comments Alicia wrote: "Speaking of Edith and Mary, don't you find it amazing that they are portrayed both as likeable and detestable?

Yes, amazing. Even O'Brien, evil as she is, has some moments of humanness. I empa..."

I loved the final episode. Even though we have seen Thomas as a pretty evil villain, I have a feeling the war will change him. I can't remember the actor's name off the bat, but the actor that plays Mr. Bates is wonderful in whatever role he plays, from Larkrise to Candleford to North and South. I love his character and the romance between him and Anna. I think what I appreciate most about this series is the humanness of the characters and how they connect. Whether it is between the classes, or between unlikely characters, these interactions really make the series for me. While none of them have much control over their circumstance (except for maybe Gwen), they seem to rise above the occasion in multiple instances. Also, Sybil is just fantastic!

message 22: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley The relationship between Mary and Matthew would be doomed as it stands, but if you've studied much about WW1, you'll understand how severely and savagely it is going to change the world, not just England. If he survives and she does volunteer work, they will make it. Remember, WW1 wiped out an entire generation of men in Europe. The next episodes will truly be good, if the writers study a bit.
Oh, I understand O'Brian's bitterness, and it is clear how it is affecting her, but I was glad she was able to see her error.

message 23: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum It seemed, too, that O'Brian's bitterness rose from her expectation of being cast aside. Even before the Dowager Countess mix-up, she cast several aspersions on Lady Grantham. I think O'Brian was afraid to really care for Lady Grantham, perhaps because she was afraid to trust anyone of the upper class? Of course, Thomas' influence didn't help!
Mary has a lot to learn about being human, and weird though it sounds, the war is probably going to teach her plenty about it. If Matthew survives (and he'd better!), perhaps the friendship that they started will resume and they'll end in a better place.
And, Bates and Anna? I think that no matter what happens to them physically through the war, they will remain the upright people of... goodness that they are now!

message 24: by P. (new)

P. Patricia wrote: "I've seen 3 of the 4 episodes so far and can't believe there are only 4. There is so much about this story that will need more and more information. How are they going to resolve all the story line..."

Per the website: The second series will be composed of eight episodes. Filming begins in March 2011. The second series will air from Autumn 2011, and will be followed by a Christmas special later in the year.

I have been especially intrigued by the character arcs, many of them quite well done. Not that fond of some of the more egregious soap opera aspects, but not complaining. I guess we all hope that Thomas, who seems to think he's pulled a fast one, gets what's coming to him.


message 25: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Ramirez (bvramirez) I really like this series. Hey did the first espisode past last friday? I also like wat they wear its really nice.

message 26: by Alicia (last edited Feb 02, 2011 11:21AM) (new)

Alicia Here where I live it aired the the last four Sunday evenings. You can watch all 4 episodes on pbs.org until Feb. 22. I downloaded it from iTunes for $14.99, because it is the UK version, which includes some scenes edited out for the U.S. The DVD is also available for $24.99.

message 27: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Ramirez (bvramirez) oh nice. I havent bought any movies tat come out in pbs but I seen them. I should start right!

message 28: by Karlyne (last edited Feb 02, 2011 03:10PM) (new)

Karlyne Landrum Brenda, be sure to watch them quick; they're lots of fun. Does anybody know what PBS (or the BBC) is planning to air next?

message 29: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley The Unseen Alistair Cook-Feb 6.
Any Human Heart-Feb 13, 20, 27. It stars Matthew Mcfadyen. I just finished watching Netflix of The Pillars of the Earth with him. It was rather good.

message 30: by Megan (new)

Megan I hope you enjoy Gosford Park. We discussed it last summer (it was our August 20 movie) - check out the archive when you have seen it and add your thoughts!

message 31: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (last edited Feb 10, 2011 08:37AM) (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
How did I miss this discussion?!?

I ADORED EVERY SECOND OF DOWNTON ABBEY!!! I am so glad there is going to be a second season (and Christmas ep!).

I SO wanted at least one of the three couples--Matthew/Mary, Bates/Anna, or Sybil/Branson-- TOGETHER at the end of the season but I guess we'll just have to wait. GAHH! I think you all are right--the war will probably be the catalyst for Mary and Matthew, changing them both, especially Mary (because she needs it a little for the better). The entire cast is so fantastic, but I have to single out Hugh Bonneville. I just was astounded at the scene after Cora lost her baby. Plus, seeing Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton duke it out is FUN!

I want to see the second season NOW! :D

message 32: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I liked it too Rachel, and agree with your praise of Hugh Bonneville. It seems a good role for him.

I wonder when the 2nd series will show? is there any way of knowing?

message 33: by Megan (new)

Megan I think the PBS site intimated January 2012 for the second season.

I just adore Maggie Smith in this one. She is so awesome.

message 34: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine (saanichlori) | 48 comments Maggie Smith is so funny - remember the scene with the electric lights where she put her hand over her face to shield herself from them? Yes, I love seeing her and Penelope Wilton try to one-up each other. The flower show was a good example. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

message 35: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Well, Megan, you know neither one of us can wait THAT long for installments to things we like! I guess we must though.

Maggie is very good in this. I think the character has enough dimension for her to "wear" it, so to speak. She is such a powerful lady that she needs something to really dive into like this.

message 36: by Emma (new)

Emma | 7 comments Every scene featuring Maggie Smith was genius. 'An English gentleman would never die in a stranger's house'.
And when she asked 'What is a weekend?', lol.

@Rachel: You can't be too harsh on Mary. I think that with every new episode we've come to see her grow.
She's actually not as cold as she initially seems. She's merely complicated, which I love about her.

message 37: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
The actress who plays Mary does have a cold look about her though -- she does it very well. Beautiful, obviously, but cold.

message 38: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Well, but what about where Mary revenges herself on Edith by getting rid of her suitor? She could have just put toads in her bed instead of pretty much ruining her chances of a life of her own away from Mary and Downton Abbey. That was a vicious, vengeful act. Sure, it was in response to a vicious, vengeful act, but my point is that Mary did not rise above her sister's behavior, but just intensified the nastiness. (I have to have at least a tiny bit of sympathy for Edith; remember where Lord Grantham says, "Why is it we never seem to talk about Edith?" She does seem to be always left out and slighted, and that seems to have warped her character.)

message 39: by Emma (new)

Emma | 7 comments That is why Mary is still in her growing phase, she can't be perfect. In that particular situation, expecting her to be the bigger person is practically expecting her to be saint. Her and Edith are two sisters in a nasty fight, it has to be hard to pass on the opportunity to have the upper hand. Especially when their battles usually revolve around who is the more skilled one.
I loved how eventually they both ended up broken hearted.

I do feel for Edith though, the underprivileged child. I was almost fond of her at first, until she turned out to be a spiteful brat.

message 40: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum That's it, Emma! Edith is a spiteful brat and Mary is a spoiled brat! No wonder Sybil is so likeable; her sisters were so busy being horrid that it left her free to become a real person.

message 41: by Emma (new)

Emma | 7 comments LOL. That has to be it.
Although Sybil can get too nice at times to be a real person. But I guess that's simply because she's young and a naive revolutionary.

message 42: by Lori (new)

Lori (lorioz) I loved every second of Downton Abbey. I download all of them at once, and watched them back to back. I couldn't stop myself!!!

I can't wait for the second season to begin!!

message 43: by Megan (new)

Megan Lori - I did the same thing!

message 44: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (last edited Feb 10, 2011 12:30PM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Yes, I think they are trying to show that for these girls affected by the entail of the property, they are expected to make a career marriage (just like the Austen women) and they are in pretty severe competition over it. Sybil, on the other hand, is seeing a more modern path in life. She is looking at the changing world where women will be voting and maids will become secretaries and she's revelling in that rather than the high society marriage market. They all seem pretty savvy women, just with different interests. Although we have seen Mary to be possibly a bit more the naive one with her one-night stand.

I dont really think Sybil is naive, just a nicer personality in all, probably takes after her parents more.

message 45: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 112 comments I can't believe it takes that long for them to tape another season. I think we should start a petition or something. ;o)

message 46: by Megan (new)

Megan From an article on Yahoo today:

"The second season of "Downton Abbey" is scheduled to begin production in March and air on PBS in winter 2012."

message 47: by Kathryn (last edited Feb 10, 2011 03:08PM) (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments That was an interesting article especially the interview with Fellowes:


I loved the series and can hardly wait for Part II!

message 48: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
That is an interesting article, Kathryn. I am getting more interested in what the common mind-sets of English citizens were during the WWI period also -- concerning the war--, so I hope they incorporate that a little into the story too.

message 49: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley SarahC,
These first 4 episodes of Downton are a story of a family pre WW1, basically they are all shallow, affected people--even the nice ones--with attitudes that deserved a good swinging axe for decades. It is giving us good character studies, hinting at what they could be. WW1 is at their door and not a single one of these personalites will survive.
I have sympathy for the girls and the situations they are in, the spite they will actually use against each other, but Edith did a dirty, underhanded thing by sending that letter to the Turkish embassy. How ridiculously naive she was to think the act would not fly back and slap her senseless. But women of the time weren't exactly taught to think things out and the dire ramifications certain acts would garner for them. Those girls were taught that their rank and money put them above being responsible for anything.
The scary part is, will the writers go into any of this.

message 50: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Naw, the scary part is -- how much have we as a society changed? How reasonable (in the sense of having the ability to reason) are not only the young women of today, but the young men? We give lip service to cause and effect, to living with the consequences of our actions, but I have to say that as I look around I'm not seeing many who understand what their lives are and where they are going and what they will leave behind. Responsibility seems to be way down on the list of what we feel is necessary to our well-being. Putting ourselves first so that we can be "happy" is the creed we live by today, too. I don't see much difference in the characters of the Grantham daughters of a hundred years ago than I do in the young adults in my own community and country today. (I have to except my own children, of course, since they're perfect...)

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