Amazing Internet Things: The Boyfriend’s Guide to Downton Abbey

Apparently, the internet will never stop creating amazing Downton Abbey-related things for my our enjoyment. Not quite sure how I’ve missed out on seeing this one so far, but better late than never I suppose!

Ladies, in case you need to explain Downton to your significant other so that they can understand what you’re talking about while you’re dealing with the variety of emotions we all must face while waiting for Series 3 to come to America – well, this is for you. “The Boyfriend’s Guide to Downton Abbey” is a six-minute recap of everything that happens in Series 1,complete with a voiceover of cynical boyfriend-provided commentary about what’s going on. It’s actually pretty hilarious – especially the bits about Edith really being Meg from Family Guy and Mr. Bates being Batman. Click through and have a look for yourself.

Upstairs Downstairs Dish: What You Need to Know About the Series 2 Premiere

The reboot of popular drama Upstairs Downstairs kicked off its second season on Masterpiece Classic with new characters, new relationships and a lot of drama both within Eaton Place and the wider world, as the prospect of war looms for England.

While I may have had some misgivings following my whirlwind trip through Series 1 last week about how this new season might shake out, this first episode actually shows a lot of promise and I’m intrigued to see where things are going to go next week. Yes, there are some plot holes , several irritating character and one twist I just cannot comprehend, but on the whole, the pacing has improved and the episode feels more balanced storyline-wise. Click through and let’s chat about it.

Upstairs Downstairs Series 2 Premieres on Masterpiece Tonight!

We’re heading back to Eaton Place as the second season of the BBC’s continuation of beloved series Upstairs Downstairs arrives in America at last on Masterpiece Classic tonight.

Series 2 comprises six episodes, doubling the size of Series 1 and leaving plenty of room to pack in a lot of romance, political intrigue and social upheaval for residents both the upstairs and down in the year leading up to World War I. Per the official series description, Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam’s family is now complete with the addition of two small children, but Sir Hallam is drawn into dangerous waters by his preoccupation with the threat of Nazi Germany and the return of troubled Lady Persie. Lady Agnes catches the eye of charismatic American multi-millionaire Casper Landry, and Sir Hallam’s aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead. Meanwhile, life downstairs adjusts to the absence of Rose and the addition of the spirited new nursery maid, Beryl. With upstairs and downstairs harboring life-changing secrets, and the menace of war creeping ever closer, the smooth running of Eaton Place threatens to come to a halt. Dun dun dunnnnn. Click through for a preview of Series 2 of Upstairs Downstairs - are you looking forward to another season of this show?

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Cuckoo”

Our whirlwind trip through the first series of Upstairs Downstairs concludes with the finale, The Cuckoo. (I’m really not sure to make of the episodes’ bird titles – especially this one, where no one is actually the victim of infidelity, though I suppose Hallam is the victim of a devastating lie of a different sort? Seem exceptionally odd, particularly considering that it’s not a pattern I think they continue in Series 2.) Anyway, having sped through these three episodes, it seems best to say that this first series is a mixed bag. On the plus side, there are strong performances and some charming storylines, but the series does sufffer from disjointed pacing and an uneven tone. Series 2 – which begins October 7 on Masterpiece Classic – is six episodes and I wonder if a bit more length might have helped smooth over some of the bumps in the road for this series. As it is, the show seems so determined to pack as much as possible into each episode that the story doesn’t get a tremendous amount of room to breathe. It will certainly be interesting to compare the two, and see how Series 2 turns out with the benefit of more room to run, as it were.

Anyway, onward! Click through for a rewatch of the Series 1 finale, The Cuckoo and join me for a chat in the comments, as well as some speculation about where Series 2 might be headed.

Get a Longer Look at Series 5 of Merlin with a Dramatic New Trailer

Fantasy drama Merlin returns to BBC One today for its fifth season and for those of us who have to wait a few months for the new episodes here in America, well at least we can get a longer look at what the new series has in store for us with this new extended trailer.

There’s some footage here that we saw in the series’ first teaser earlier this Fall, but there’s a ton of new scenes featured, with every main character and quite a few secondary ones popping up all over the place. There’s also lots of sword fighting, prophecy, knights, chases, magic and more - it’s a very exciting couple of minutes. It’s certainly more than enough to get you excited for the series’ return. Click through and take a look for yourself!

Listen to Adele’s New Bond Theme for Skyfall

Adele, eight-time Grammy winner and artist that generally everyone appears to be obsessed with at the moment, has released her brand new single, which also happens to be the theme to the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall. (By the way, if you weren’t aware, it’s also Global James Bond Day today, so the timing on this is pretty perfect.)

A snippet of the new theme appeared online last week, but you can listen to the full track now. It sounds very much like some of the classic Bond themes from the sixties, which I suppose is appropriate not only for the sort of singer Adele is but also because it’s the fiftieth anniversary of the Bond franchise. Click through to take a listen for yourself!

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Ladybird”

Our weeklong trip through Series 1 of Upstairs Downstairs continues with Episode 2, “The Ladybird.” This episode is much more interesting than the series’ pilot if you ask me – while there are some clunky moments and some characters that exist more to serve as symbols than be actual people, the general sense is one of vast improvement. The pacing has evened out considerably, we’re allowed to get to know most of the characters a bit better (except, as always, Hallam) and there’s a lot of drama going on. It’s very entertaining and should be fun to discuss.

Click through for a rewatch of “The Ladybird” and come chat about it with me in the comments.

A Tiny, Tiny Tease for Doctor Who’s Christmas Special

Doctor Who just wrapped an emotional – if, in my opinion, uneven – first half of its seventh series with the departures of companions Amy and Rory, played Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Gillan and Darvill now hold the title of longest-running companions in the “New Who” era (i.e. post-2005) and no matter how you may have felt about the particulars of their characters – some people (coughmecough) may have loved Rory and not been wild about Amy, who knows – their exit was handled well and very affecting.

But, this is Doctor Who, which thrives on change and (dare I say it) regeneration – so we won’t have too much time to be sad about the Ponds’ exit before a new companion will arrive on the scene. This time around, it’s Jenna-Louise Coleman stepping into the TARDIS to play a character that is pretty shrouded in mystery (particularly if you take Asylum of the Daleks into consideration. Timey wimey!)

Following the conclusion of The Angels Take Manhattan on Saturday, the tiniest of tiny teaser trailers aired for the upcoming Christmas special, in which Coleman makes her debut, in what appears to be (very, very interesting) Victorian dress. Click through to take a look for yourself and let the speculation as to who this character might be commence!

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Fledgling”

I know, I know I said that the Great Doctor Who Rewatch was next up – and it IS coming, I *promise* – but I would also like to write about Upstairs Downstairs Series 2 once that’s under way next weekend, and to be honest I feel like I’ve forgotten a lot about Series 1. So, you know, best of both worlds, I guess? And maybe having another Edwardian drama to chat about will help us all take our minds off missing Downton Abbey, to boot!

The BBC’s reboot of classic drama Upstairs Downstairs first premiered in 2010 and, despite its famous pedigree, never seemed to quite escape the shadow of another Edwardian costume drama that would go on to worldwide acclaim called Downton Abbey. Whether it was timing, general preference or a combination of the two, Upstairs never seemed to quite catch on the way that the ITV drama did. It was, of course, hampered by the fact that the first series was only comprised of three episodes, and seemed to come to a close just as things finally started getting good. With the six-episode second series set to premiere on Masterpiece Classic starting October 7, now seems as good a time as any to revisit all the drama from Series 1, and give ourselves a little reminder about everything that happened the first time 'round.

Click through for a rewatch of the first episode, “The Fledgling,” and come chat about it with me in the comments. How did you enjoy Upstairs, Downstairs as a series, especially as compared to Downton Abbey? Are you looking forward to Series 2?

Rumor Has It: Julian Fellows Planning a Downton Abbey Prequel?

A particularly exciting rumor surfaced last week – first reported by the Daily Mail, but subsequently picked up by BBC News, so I feel less like this story’s pulling my leg – we may have more Downton Abbey to look forward to! Well, sort of.

Downton writer/creator Julian Fellowes told a BAFTA Screenwriters Lecture that he’s been thinking about writing a prequel to the popular costume drama, which would focus on the courtship and early relationship of the Earl of Grantham and Lady Cora.

"I do actually have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship of Robert and Cora, when all those American heiresses were arriving in London,” Fellowes said. "They had a slightly troubled courtship, because she was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money."

The series would cast a pair of younger actors in the roles made famous by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, and Fellowes insist that any prequel will have to wait until after Downton Abbey itself concludes. But just the possibility of this is intriguing! Click through and let’s chat about it – is the idea of a prequel interesting to you? Who would you cast as the leads?

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