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HiWire

Downton Abbey

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Partway through the first episode and I'm already thinking, "Serve yourselves, you useless fucks."

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The pile that is used as the set is Highclere Castle. Apart from Downton Abbey, it is most famous for being where Earl Canarfon lived - the guy who bankrolled Howard Carter during excavations that found Tutankhamen's tomb.

It is around 20 minutes drive from where I live (Highclere Castle, not Egypt that is!)

In fact it is still owned by the Canarfon family, and they open the grounds and house tours (when not closed as a result of Covid-19) for UKP24 each. https://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/ .

A real tourist magnet. When there were tourists, that is.

Here you go - the two Canarfons who own the pile https://www.ladycarnarvon.com/ .

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Her latest post was quite heavy: https://www.ladycarnarvon.com/algorithms/

The building and grounds look lovely – must cost a fortune to maintain. I'll stop by if I'm ever in the area.

After watching a little of the second episode, I do feel that the show is subversively satirical, which makes it kind of fun to watch.

Edited by HiWire

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I expect they made a very great amount of money from the producers of Downton Abbey, plus the hordes of tourists coughing up £24 each. But yes - the upkeep of something so huge, and the grounds, is massively expensive. Most big palace sized buildings were given to the state for that reason, with most now maintained and run by the National Trust or English Heritage.

Interesting post - she sounds like a pretty smart woman. There is also a recipe sections where she cooks to camera.

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I liked her baked eggs recipe. I'll go back and watch the rest of them, too. She's very charming and she presents well on the video.

The first episode of Downton was very serious and melodramatic, but the second episode showed more comedic potential. I joked to a friend that I am looking forward to six seasons (and a film) of British people being mean to each other in the nicest settings. A brief meme search on Google also gave me the term "posh frock porn."

Edited by HiWire
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I’m not sure the series deserves an entire thread, but considering the scathing nature of the commentary I’ll allow it.

unrelated:

it goes quickly downhill after the first death, I think, couldn’t be arsed to finish it, though, far too boring

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I'm halfway into the third episode and suddenly it's Weekend at Bernie's – I suspect we are being trolled. The cast must have had fun shooting it (no smiles allowed). Gives fresh insight into the term "corpsing."

I've somehow managed to dodge ten years' worth of spoilers by living in the matrix.

Edited by HiWire
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OK, I'm pretty sure Downton Abbey is crack for hardcore Anglophiles. But I keep thinking that it would be even better with a guest appearance from Wallace and Gromit  🧀

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Nope, I tend to prefer everything if it's less American and more English/British but hate Downton Abbey.  There has to be at least one more level of qualification that I'm missing.  White slavery?

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I think it's the reverent gloss on the show. The show means to satirize the upstairs/downstairs genre but actually revels in its conventions. I think it was very popular everywhere at the time it was on air (I completely missed the boat as a TV contrarian), but I took a quick look at some of the Downton parodies on YouTube and none of them are as clever as the show itself (i.e., it is self-parody). It's easy to make fun of the show because it wallows in minutiae and melodrama, but I admire the commitment of the actors.

Most of the show is ridiculous, which is why everybody plays it with an absolutely straight face.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/style/better-check-the-beds-edwardians.html

"Mary has such a punchable face"

 

 

Edited by HiWire

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We saw Hugh Bonneville, post Downton, in a play in the Chichester Festival Theatre. In Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. He was excellent.

 

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Powerful.

Wikipedia: "'An Enemy of the People', produced by Berlin's Schaubühne theater, was performed in Beijing from September 6 to September 8, 2018, but the subsequent touring of the show was cancelled due to its themes. The audience in Beijing reportedly showed overwhelming support for the character Dr. Stockmann, and shouted criticism of the Chinese regime during interaction parts. Even in subsequent censored performances, audiences yelled "for personal freedom!" The regime's censorship officers would not agree on any more subsequent touring unless it was doctored in favor of the regime's thought on what a play should be."

but also:

"Ibsen took a somewhat skeptical view of his protagonist, suggesting that he may have gone too far in his zeal to tell the truth. Ibsen wrote to his publisher: 'I am still uncertain as to whether I should call [An Enemy of the People] a comedy or a straight drama. It may [have] many traits of comedy, but it also is based on a serious idea.'"

 

On a lighter note, this is my favorite British drama (looks like there won't be a revival, though):

http://britishperioddramas.com/news/blackadder-writer-confirms-if-that-rumoured-new-season-will-happen/

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