Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Let's talk about: Downton Abbey

I have recently started re-watching Downton Abbey with my mom after telling her for a very long time that she would love it. 
I thought it might be fun to post my thoughts as I re-watch. 

If you haven't watched it and want to- don't read any further as I may post spoilers. 
And if you have watched the entire series (as I have) please do not post spoilers past the episode I talk about in case some reading along haven't yet watched later episodes. 
Thank you!

Starting with episode 1 of season 1...

As I watched I tried to remember how I felt the very first time I watched it. 

I was hooked from the start. 
There was the code being tapped out, the train, and then THAT music started. 
I have watched and loved a lot of shows through the years but I love the intro music to Downton the very most. 

As the song starts you see Downton Abbey (Highclere castle in real life) and it is exquisite. 

As we begin the Downton Abbey journey, the characters have just learned of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April 1912 and the fact that the cousin and heir of the family had been aboard and had died. We immediately see the compassion of Lord Grantham as he worries not only about the first class passengers but about those "below decks".
Mary, the eldest daughter, was supposed to marry him and now the family is realizing that they need to find a new heir for the family home and their fortune as well as a husband for Mary. 
Downstairs, a new valet arrives. John Bates. He had served in the Boer War with the Earl of Grantham and so has been invited to be his valet. 
He was injured and now uses a cane and that immediately puts him at odds with some of the others. 
Thomas in particular. 

My first impression of Thomas was that he was quite handsome. And then he opened his mouth. 
I knew right away from this episode that he and O'Brien would not be my favorite people. 

I also knew right away that I was going to love Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Anna, Sybil, and Lord Grantham. 

What surprised me though is that as I re-watched I remembered that in the first episode I was not a fan of Lady Grantham. I didn't think I would like her as she came off a bit snobbish and rude. 
But fast forward a few episodes and I will have forgotten that and love her. 

Other standouts from the first episode:

1) When we got our first glance of that library. SWOON.

Be still my heart. 

 2) When Anna, whom I already had great feelings about woke up and said, "For once in my life I would like to sleep until I wake up natural."

Ever since having kids I can relate. 
I also loved when she found Thomas and O'Brien in the hallway and they tried to play it off as if they weren't doing anything. But she said as she walked away, "You two can stay here plotting."

3) We are introduced to the dynamic of the sisters. 

Like I said, I knew right away that I liked Sybil. Mary seemed heartless and yet you did see little glimpses of humanity in her. I wasn't sure I would ever like her. 
And Edith. Poor Edith. I had no idea what to think of her. 
I wondered why they acted the way they did to each other. 

4) We immediately know what Carson will be like by the fact that in the midst of learning about the Titanic he is so worried about a maid serving at the dining room table and when Lord Grantham says "there are worst things" he replies that there isn't. 

I still loved him though. 

5) Did anyone else want to punch O' Brien when she did this:


6) I laughed when the Dowager Countess came in and blocked the light with her fan. 

We definitely get a feel for her right away. 
I hope you enjoyed the recap. More to come!
*Have you watched Downton?
*Have you re-watched Downton?
*Thoughts on this episode?


Donna said...

I hated it when they tripped Bates, it was so cruel. I think Violet, Cora, and Anna are my favorite characters. I love this show and it's really neat that you're watching it from the beginning with your mom!

cheryl said...

It has been so much fun to re watch it. I notice all sorts of things I didn't notice the first time through.

The Kings said...

Thanks for spending time with me watching Downton! I am really enjoying it! But it sounds like you are too?!

Seth and Julie said...

I have never seen this show and even though I generally don't like TV, people keep saying "even you would like this show Julie." I plan to get to it eventually.