Saturday, September 3, 2011

And in my lady's chamber

Yesterday I started watching BBC's 1971 drama "Upstairs, Downstairs". Yes, I am very ashamed of myself. I haven't watched a television show since a very time-consuming obsession with "24" about five years ago. But because class divisons and the decline of the aristocracy are vastly more interesting that gun fights and bomb dismantlings, and because I have such a lot of work to avoid doing, I started watching this one.

I've only had time for two episodes so far; definitely not addicted yet. There's no over-arching plot to speak of - just vignettes detailing the struggles that go on inside a wealthy London household circa turn of the last century-  but watching the servant's life 'below stairs' is absolutely fascinating. From my non-expert point of view it seems super realistic. Some of the acting is really good. A few scenes are really well-written.

Here's one in which a bunch of the servants become drunk and pretend to be the lords and ladies of the house.

Rose, tipsy maid 1#: Annnnnd will we have the pleasure of seeing you at the races this weekend?"
Sarah, tipsy maid 2#: I'm afrraiiiid not. I am going up to Scotland to shoot peasents."
The footman: "They shoot goarse. Not peasents."
Maid : "Well, I'm going to shoot peasents. It's the latest thing, don't you kneeeew..."

On a completely unrelated note, look at this:

If you were also one of the many people who didn't make it to Briony's London birthday, that was her party cake.

Spoiled to the bone, I say.


  1. I think thats supposed to be wedding cake. O_o

  2. "Petite three tier cake." Oxymoronic, that, but it sure does look good. Though Anonymous is right - why a wedding cake? And why would anybody want 80-100 people around them at any time?
    Also, did the maid mean peasants or pheasants?

  3. Haha! Briony, the populace demands an explanation.

    And I think the maid *meant* pheasants, but she *said* peasants which is hilarious. To me. I don't think you'd like the show very much, though, Maria. They jam alot of political subtext in, and I have no idea where it's leading yet. Because this is popular television, I'm expecting the worst.

  4. I dunnoooo! I just liked it! :) And Beastie Driver, it didn't "seem" oxymoronic at the time. I thought maybe it was wee small three tier, and that it would serve 80-100 of the sort of people who don't eat anything. But then I got it and I had to send great portions home with everyone, and I still have half of it up in my fridge.

    Steffyy! I absolutely adore that show! When you're done with it, you should watch "Downton Abbey" or "The Duchess of Jermyn Street". So good. I want to come watch them with you... :D

  5. *When* I'm done with it. I think there are like sixty episodes. Might take me a year or two. xD