Tag Archives: PBS

In the dark

Are you a fan of Poldark?

poldark

I only discovered the Masterpiece series — which recently began its third season on PBS — a couple of weeks ago.

Now I’m hooked.

Flash flooding yesterday in Chicago gave me the perfect excuse to binge watch seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime Video. (PBS members can also watch past episodes on their local affiliate website.)

The saga of the Captain Ross Poldark and his family set in post-Revolutionary War Cornwall is wonderful costume drama. And Aidan Turner as Poldark? Well, let’s just say I finally have a reason to watch the Hobbit movies, too.

But tonight?  I will be glued to the tube watching season 3 of Poldark.

 

 

Sincerity

I was re-watching episodes of Season 5 of Downton Abbey on PBS, and noticed the opening sequence with Laura Linney had been changed.

image

Not only are there new sponsors listed in addition to our beloved Donald and Darlene Shirley,  but Laura has also re-recorded the voiceover for ‘thank you’ which had always sounded so stiff and,  well,  ungrateful.

Turns out that bit doesn’t require acting,  just sincerity.

Maybe a little?

Last night’s season finale of Downton Abbey scored a record 8.5 million viewers.

Holy PBS, Batman!

I’ll mention no spoilers here — for those of you who need copious amounts of time to watch ‘must-see’ television — but let’s just say there were no traffic fatalities this year.

And weren’t ya kinda disappointed?

downton abbey carla

A  friend commented on Facebook that more took place at her place this weekend than in the past eight months at Downton…and she kinda has a point.

Don’t get me wrong — I bought the DVD of Season 4, watched the entire season early, and then re-watched each episode on Sunday night. So clearly I have a high tolerance for tedium.

But after last season’s high drama and multiple deaths, didn’t you think this season ended a bit too neat?

These guys

I’m spending Super Bowl Sunday with a different team…

benedict pbs

Thanks PBS!

I know too much

It arrived in the mail today —

Downton Abbey Season 4Downton Abbey Season 4, which is currently airing on Masterpiece PBS.

I wasn’t able to give it the attention it deserved until after 3:30pm.  But by 8pm — with a reasonable break to walk the dog and feed us both — I had watched all the remaining episodes.

I now know the secrets of Season 4. 

I still need to watch all the episodes one or two more times to get them committed to memory…but there’s no more waiting for each Sunday evening to roll around.

Oh, who am I kidding — I’ll still watch them then, too.

Royalty in residence

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?”

Sadly, no.

But there is a prince living here.

prince germanyAlois 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?

The special relationship

Is Downton Abbey the one public TV program that will convert viewers into contributors?

PBS sure thinks so.

DA cartoonAnd 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?

NO.

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:

DA cartoon2

Hee.

Privacy with a capital “PBS”

Much has already been written — for and against — Jodie Foster’s speech on last night’s Golden Globes telecast.

jodie fosterIn 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…

Privacy.”

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.

Let’s make a deal

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.

&#@%*#$

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…

…and PBS-approved.