Sunday, April 10, 2011

Upstairs Downstairs 2010

I had misgivings when I heard they were doing a new Upstairs Downstairs series. In fact, I was fully prepared for disaster. Or at least boredom (I have to confess I was bored with Downton Abbey, which was so lifeless).  But I'm watching the first episode now and I'm glad to say that I had nothing to worry about. The script is subtle and witty, the cast marvelous. And, thank god, no endless expositions about the house's history or about European history in general. The cast is quite good too. The most marvelous Keeley Hawes is the lady of the house. Jean Marsh has returned as Rose. And one of the series creators, Eileen Atkins, is now in front of the screen as the formidable Lady Holland. And to my surprise, Art Malik and Anne Reid are part of the series too! So wonderful.

I found the initial opening very poignant. I even got goosebumps hearing the theme music as the credits rolled. And seeing all the misty memories in Rose's eyes—oh, my. Eileen Atkins broke my heart too, her Lady Holland a kind of Auntie Mame antithesis. My only criticism is that some of the incidental music is just too reminiscent of Midsommer Murders. Anyway, it's wonderful to have something to look forward to on Sunday nights.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could not disagree more with this "review! After the classic masterpiece created By Jean Marsh and Eileen, I was looking forward to the series and hoping they would re capture the essence of the original, but with better sets, locations and a bigger budget than the original obviously lacked.

It was without doubt the great story-lines and superb performances by the irreplaceable cast that made the series what is became.

i confess to being shocked, and disappointed that Jean Marsh has put her name to this over modern typical C4 sensation seeking drivel. Its reminds me more of Eastenders 1990's than Great Britain of the thirty's and forties?
The intensely overplayed Lesbian story line and a bizarre inclusion in the "cast" of an "Indian"? character in the "House shouting orders at everyone, who's role in the house or reason for even being in the county escapes me?

I,m genuinely dismayed at this "production" after only viewing 2 episodes. What is Jean marsh thinking? We admired her for the original but this seems like such a sell out and is crawling with the C4 influence of current "Modern Britain, but what can you expect from a TV company that aired such utter fecies as "skins" and the like. Sorry Jean this is terrible. A great opportunity missed and messed.