When I shared yesterday’s post on Chateauform Schloss Löwenstein — my castle-hotel near Frankfurt that evokes Downton Abbey — my sister asked, “Have you seen a Matthew look-a-like?”
But there is a prince living here.
Alois Konstantin is the ninth Prince of Löwenstein. He and his wife Anastasia, Princess of Prussia, occupy one wing of the castle.
The Prince works in the financial services industry in Frankfurt and manages the family’s assets.
And while I have not seen him during my stay, I must say –
Doesn’t he look a bit like Mr. Carson?
Posted in Entertainment, History, Humor, Life, Television, Travel, TV
Tagged Alois Konstantin, Castle, Chateauform Schloss Lowenstein, Downton Abbey, family assets, financial services, Frankfurt, Germany, history, hotel, Humor, life, Matthew Crawley, Mr. Carson, PBS, prince, Prince of Lowenstein, Princess of Prussia, royal family, royalty, Television, Travel, TV
Is Downton Abbey the one public TV program that will convert viewers into contributors?
PBS sure thinks so.
And a lot of folks agree.
But PBS viewers in the U.S. have to wait a full four months after their counterparts in the U.K…which means spoilers, and lots of them.
I assumed the time lag was laid down by the producers. The Brits would appreciate a slower pace, right?
Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame wants American audiences in on the first viewing! In an interview in Vulture, he was quoted as saying, “If I were PBS and I had the biggest drama I’d ever had in my entire 40-year history, I would be sorting my schedules out to make sure I was airing it more quickly.”
So what gives, PBS?
Are you scared to put Downton Abbey head-to-head with other new programming that comes out in the fall? I would think its strong showing against The Walking Dead this spring would ease your mind on that score. I know marketing DA might be a bit more challenging — since the actors will be committed on both continents — but a divide-and-conquer approach could be adopted.
Or perhaps the U.S. viewers will continue to vote with their checkbooks…and then the cartoon will look something like this:
Posted in Comics, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Television, TV
Tagged British, comics, commentary, Downton Abbey, entertainment, fall television premiere, Gareth Neame, Humor, PBS, pledge drive, public television, Television, the special relationship, The Walking Dead, TV, U.K. spoilers, Vulture
Much has already been written — for and against — Jodie Foster’s speech on last night’s Golden Globes telecast.
In accepting her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, Foster touched on many topics she had previously refused to discuss publicly — her sexuality being one of them.
Which made the underlying theme of her speech even more pointed:
“If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you, too, might value privacy above all else…
I hear you, Jodie. And I respect you. In fact, when you were speaking last night, LIVE, in front of millions of people across the globe –
I had turned the channel to watch Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classics.
Your secrets are safe with me.
Posted in Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies, Television
Tagged acceptance speech, Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrities, commentary, Downton Abbey, entertainment, Golden Globes, Humor, Jodie Foster, life, Masterpiece Classics, Movies, PBS, privacy, public figure, sexuality, Television
I finished reading a great book today on the plane — a non-fiction, history book even.
I know, right?
“To Marry an English Lord” is the book that inspired Julian Fellowes to create the award-winning series Downton Abbey on PBS.
It tells the true story of the more than 100 American heiresses who traded money for marriage – and a nifty title in Britain — around the turn of the century.
Sound just like Lady Grantham, doesn’t it?
The real life stories, as told by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace, are no less entertaining and compelling. Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t feel one bit like a high school history class.
I was even inspired to order The Glitter and the Gold, a first-hand account of American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, who married the ninth Duke of Marlborough in 1895. It’s considered to be one of the best accounts of the ‘aristocratic life.’
Sign me up.
Posted in Books, Commentary, Entertainment, History, Humor, Life, Television, TV
Tagged American heiresses, books, Britain, Carol Wallace, commentary, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Downton Abbey, Duke of Marlborough, entertainment, Gail MacColl, history, Humor, Julian Fellowes, Lady Grantham, life, marry for money, noble title, non-fiction, PBS, Television, The Glitter and the Gold, To Marry an English Lord, turn-of-the-century, TV
I’m trying out a new curse word…
Matthew Crawley used it on the season finale of Downton Abbey Sunday night. When Lord Grantham recommended he dance with O’Brien at the Servants’ Ball, it slipped out while he clutched his whiskey.
Can’t blame the guy.
I’ve heard the word before and immediately wondered if it was true to the time period. (Downton Abbey has been dinged for using too-modern slang.)
So I looked it up.
Turns out the first written usage of ‘crikey’ dates back to 1838, and the first spoken use predates even that. It’s meant to replace ‘Christ’ or ‘For Christ’s sake!’ Today Australia has taken the word as its own; you’ll find it all over Aussie TV and souvenirs.
But I prefer to think of it as a Downton Abbey reference. So expect a few crikeys here and there on upcoming Eggs. It’s fun to say, a conversation starter…
Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Television, TV, Writing
Tagged Australia, Christ, commentary, conversation starter, crikey, curse words, Downton Abbey, entertainment, For Christ's sake, Humor, life, Lord Grantham, Matthew Crawley, merchandise, O'Brien, PBS, season finale, Servants' Ball, slang, Television, TV, words, writing
If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey — and really, who isn’t — you’ve no doubt seen this a few times:
“Funding for Masterpiece is provided by the Masterpiece Trust, created to ensure the series future, with support from Donald and Darlene Shiley and the following…”
“The following” change episode to episode, but the Shileys remain at the top of the list. You’ll even see their names as supporters of Masterpiece Mystery.
Which got me thinking — who are Donald and Darlene Shiley? Should I know their names already? And can I personally thank them for ‘ensuring the future’ and very existence of Downton Abbey?
Sadly, Donald died in August of last year, but not before he made tremendous contributions as a doctor and philanthropist. Shiley collaborated with Swedish cardiologist Dr. Viking Bjork to develop the Bjork-Shiley heart valve, which is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
He also contributed millions to research centers in San Diego which bear his name. The Shiley Eye Center at UC San Diego. The Shiley Center for Science and Technology at the University of San Diego. The Donald P. Shiley Cardiovascular Research Center at San Diego State University.
He and his wife Darlene have given millions to Alzheimers research, the Scripps Clinic, The Old Globe Theater and KPBS. (She worked as a TV public service director and promotions manager before their marriage.)
So now, each time I sit down to enjoy another addictive episode of Downton Abbey, I’ll smile knowing an even greater love story made the whole darn thing possible.
Posted in Entertainment, History, Humor, Life, Love, Technology, Television, TV
Tagged Alzheimers, Bjork-Shiley heart valve, cardiologist, Darlene and Donald Shiley, doctor, Downton Abbey, Dr. Viking Bjork, entertainment, Health, history, Humor, life, Masterpiece Classic, Masterpiece Mystery, Masterpiece Trust, medicine, PBS, philanthrophy, public television, Television, television episode, television series, The Donald P. Shiley Cardiovascular Research Center at San Diego State University, the Old Globe Theater, the Scripps Clinic, The Shiley Center for Science and Technology at the University of San Diego, The Shiley Eye Center at UC San Diego, TV
My weekend has not gone as planned.
The plan? Movies, movies, and then perhaps, if time…another movie.
There are so many I haven’t seen — “Young Victoria” and “Nine” are on my short list. And I have only seen nine of Entertainment Weekly’s ’25 Movies to See before the Oscars.’
The long weekend stretched in front of me in opportunity. The only other things on my to-do list were taking down the Christmas decorations and doing laundry, which I did simultaneously Saturday morning.
The rest of my free time was going to be spent in a darkened theater, eating trash food, being transported.
And then my DVR and my local PBS station ruined everything.
I mentioned yesterday that my DVR recorded the rebroadcast of Masterpiece Theatre’s wonderful ‘Little Dorrit’ — which I watched in its entirety on New Year’s Day. I noticed this morning that it had recorded ‘David Copperfield’ as well — the version starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe in his first starring role.
So, once again, I found myself mesmerized for two hours this morning, watching another excellent Masterpiece Theatre production. How fun to see Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith together long before they played student and instructor at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series of movies.
Many advertising campaigns in 2009 emphasized staying home and rediscovering the entertainment found there. Apparently it took the new year to remind me of the wonderful programming available on PBS.
Next up — “Oliver Twist” and “Cranford.”
As soon as I get back from the movies.
Posted in Books & Mags, Humor, Movies, Television
Tagged Academy Awards, Cranford, Daniel Radcliffe, David Copperfield, DVR, Entertainment Weekly, ew.com, Harry Potter, Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Little Dorrit, Maggie Smith, Masterpiece Theatre, Movies, Nine movie, Oliver Twist, PBS, pbs.org, public television, Television, Young Victoria movie