|Review: ‘Downton Abbey’ a dramatic romance|
|Written by Julia Evelsizer, Staff Writer|
|Monday, 04 February 2013 12:22|
Winning two Golden Globes as well as multiple other awards, the TV series “Downton Abbey” has captured hearts of all ages with its brilliant acting and storytelling. Julian Fellowes has succeeded in writing a story full of drama, passion, politics and humor based around the life of a rich family and their servants.
“Downton Abbey” originally aired in Great Britain in 2010 and became so popular, it was then shown in America as well. Currently in the middle of its third season, the show airs Sunday nights through Masterpiece Classics on PBS.
The show is set in England, beginning in 1912. Downton Abbey is a large estate owned by Lord Robert Crawley, played by Hugh Bonneville; his wife Cora, played by Elizabeth McGovern; and their family. The series focuses on the dramatic life of the Crawleys. Robert spends his time making financial decisions for Downton, while Cora cares for their three daughters.
Mary, the eldest, attempts to find a suitable husband so her father’s fortune may be passed down through the family. Edith, always at odds with her older sister, works hard to maintain her self-worth. Sybil, the youngest, is a champion of women’s rights and controversial topics of the era. The women plan parties, socialize and discuss which daughter will be married first.
The series covers not only the life of the Crawley’s, but also the fascinating lives of the servants who tend to their every need and live below the floors of Downton. The lives of the servants are just as, if not more, exciting as the rich family they serve.
Jim Carter plays Mr. Carson, the head butler of Downton. Carson’s worst fear is seeing a spoon out of place at the dinner table, or a microscopic stain on a footman’s jacket, but he has a huge heart and cares for everyone under the roof of Downton.
Not every servant wishes that things run smoothly at Downton, including Thomas, a footman, and Ms. O’Brian, a lady’s maid, played by Rob James-Collier and Siobhan Finneran, respectively. The two schemers are constantly plotting anything that will make life harder for anyone who walks through the front doors of Downton.
Starting with the sinking of the Titanic and leading up to World War I, it is extremely interesting to see how a country other than America may have viewed important moments in history. The scenery is beautiful and the costumes and makeup fit the time with historic accuracy.
The acting in “Downton Abbey” is always pleasing, and it is easy to get caught up in the lives of the Crawley’s, as well as their humble servants. It is refreshing to see a show with just as much drama and romance as any other series on television, but based in a completely different time and place.