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4.7 out of 5 stars
Downton Abbey - Series 1 [DVD]
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(2 star)show all reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
Our household resisted this series for a long while. However, such has been the success of the show that we eventually succumbed and purchased the DVD to see what all the fuss was about. Well, we've watched Series One and we still can't see what all the fuss was about! The series doesn't start off too badly; lush design, quite good photography and reasonable acting. The opening story lines are hardly original but they're reasonably plausible. However, from around Episode Three the whole thing goes completely downhill. I'm sorry if this comes across as a spoiler, but the incident involving the eldest daughter and her Turkish lover was so utterly preposterous that I thought we'd wandered into a Brian Rix farce, and from there on it's impossible to engage with the series at any serious level. One doesn't necessarily expect historical dramas to be scrupulously accurate, but they must at least have a semblance of authenticity - and that is something totally lacking in Downton. Other critics have rightly highlighted the implausible degrees of intimacy between "Upstairs" and "Downstairs", but alongside this we have caricatures instead of characters, lumpy dialogue that wouldn't even pass muster on a third-rate soap opera, and cliche piled on cliche in ever more ridiculous plot lines. Apropos the latter, I was strangely reminded of "Dallas", but at least that was fun; "Downton" is just turgid, lifeless porridge. Yes, it all looks very sumptuous but never did the phrase "all that glisters is not gold" seem more appropriate. Beneath that superficial gloss there's nothing but dross.
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on 6 November 2014
Totally false relationship with servants. Both sides would have been embarrassed.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2012
I usually adore period dramas and was really excited about Downton Abbey when I heard everyone raving about it but it is agonisingly slow. The cast may be fantastic, but the actors barely have the opportunity to show off their talents with this monotonous drama. I found the characters really flat across the board, it wasn't something that seeemd to be restricted to a certain class in the series.
I never really thought I would be complaining about a period drama being slow, but so little happens in each episode and each episode is so long. I will definitely not be buying another series.
My favourite episode was the one with the visiting diplomat (I don't like to give spoilers) but that episode was the only one I felt was particularly entertaining, yet still takes years to get anywhere.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2011
The costumes are gorgeous, the setting is devine but...and there is a big but...I get the feeling I've seen this all before (and sadly done better).

When the series was first advertised I thought it seemed very similiar to the 70s show Upstairs, Downstairs - just on a much larger scale. Sadly there were storylines, such as the gay footman, and the footman in love with the scullery maid that were the same.

I might have been able to forgive these similarities if I cared about the characters. Don't get me wrong - I think Anna and Bates are great characters, as well as most of the downstairs cast - but it took me 3 episodes to work out which sister was which - except for Mary who was limelighted.

If the timeline didn't jump ahead so much and storylines finished instead of being left to fade like a bad soap I would have been watching in anticipation every week. Sadly there is not enough "story" to "get into" this series.

It's worth watching, but I won't be watching series 2.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2011
I watch period dramas thanks to my wife, but have now developed a taste for them. Downton Abbey is a poor attempt to create an engaging and authentic portrayal of a slice of Edwardian life. While the first episode was good, the series deteriorated badly thereafter, with poor soap-opera acting ruining the feel of a house supposed to be set in glorious North Yorkshire. Others have commented on the anachronistic nature of the staff, but for me the biggest blunders surround the character of Thomas. Thomas is found to be persistantly plotting against Bates and recruits a housemaid to lie for him, but no action is taken in spite of the evidence made known to Carson. Thomas fights with William in his master's kitchen after making offensive remarks about Lady Grantham miscarriage and William's dead mother, but no action is taken against him. Thomas knows of the horrors of the Great War before fighting even starts. He also knows that he will be compelled to fight, yet no precedent for that existed before 1916. Thomas is also at liberty to tout for work under his master's nose with his master's doctor, utterley ridiculous. I appreciate that a devisive figure adds tension to the drama, and James-Collier plays Thomas OK even accepting the inappropriate Mancunian accent. However, the above liberties taken with history and custom invalidate Downton Abbey as an authentic experience.
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13 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2010
Nothing happens in it! Its very pretty but too little actually happens and too many stories start and lead nowhere or seem pointless. Things promised to hot up with the gay footman and the turkish envoy with Lady Mary but these plot lines were more or less abandoned leaving us with the judging of the flower show (thrilling)and weeks of 'cliffhangers' about whether the maid gets a job as a secretary! I was on the edge of my seat for that.... More excitement next series please, though it looks like they're getting rid of Thomas.
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3 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2010
Our enjoyment of the brilliant acting and enjoyable story was spoiled by the poor quality of the dvd. Indoor scenes were viewed through cloudy horizontal lines moving from top to bottom of the screen, and were slightly out of focus. The outdoor scenes were mostly ok. It reminded us of a tv item some time ago warning of illegal dvds - i.e.,that these are mostly visually poor!!!! Downton Abbey - Series 1 [DVD]
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2011
I missed this series on TV so was looking forward to seeing it on DVD. Unfortunately I couldn't watch it on the TV as it was the wrong format for our DVD player for some reason - although it did work on the computer. Strange.
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