Tag Archives: class

Downton Abbey: Episode 3

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: Mary Crawley says to her sister, Sybil, in the middle of episode 3 of “Downton Abbey” something along the lines of “Fairy tales don’t happen in real life.” This episode, however, felt very fantastical and romantic to me. Lovers, requited and otherwise, unite and reunite to swells of music in almost operatic settings. Even the subtle use of mirrors and reflections in various shots both upstairs and downstairs added to the otherworldly quality of the episode. Not quite as jam-packed with intrigue and scandal as the last episode, this one succeeded beautifully in composing a landscape of stories that could potentially have happy endings, and could potentially not.

HOWARD MEGDAL: So much to like in this episode, easily the strongest of the three so far this season. Continue reading

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The Hour Reviewed

ZOË RICE: BBC America’s The Hour packs a lot into its hour and fifteen minutes: The birth of a news program, developing relationships between characters, themes of news gatekeeping, democracy in the Cold War, the final throes of the British Empire, tensions between socioeconomic classes, and on top of all that a conspiracy involving spies, murder, a creepy villain in a fedora, and crossword puzzles. It’s all very tantalizing. Continue reading

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Downton Abbey Review

HOWARD MEGDAL: There was plenty to enjoy in the series premiere of Downton Abbey last week on PBS, though the program itself is less great art and more high-level soap opera, with the feel of “Big Love”, though with the accents, and occasionally the wit, of the far superior “The King’s Speech”.

ZOË RICE: What would the BBC and PBS do without British period dramas? I admit I have probably seen every single one. And here I see more in Downton Abbey than the plot intrigue of a noble family and its estate thrown into turmoil by the loss of its male heirs. The miniseries is Sense and Sensibility meets Upstairs Downstairs, and because it’s set in the 20th century, it’s also a peek into a different kind of turmoil for the landed classes: modernization. Continue reading

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