British Television & Films: Part II

Happy Friday!

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted about our television watching better known as Netflixing in our home. That, however, does not mean we haven’t been going crazy with Netflix. Deep down inside we really are 80 years old and love any excuse to stay home on the weekends.

As an aside, can I just state for the record that Downton Abbey is off to a superb start? Goodness, I have never in my life been so excited about my Sunday evenings which I used to dread so much. I know, I know. This is old hat since technically, it has already aired in the UK. But…please don’t spoil my excitement.

Downton Abbey:  Two years have passed since the last episode and Season 2 picks up right around the middle of World War I. A lot of changes are taking place both in the Abbey and in several of the main characters lives. So far, it is too early to tell how things will unravel but I’m sitting on the edge of my seat couch with excitement for each new episode to come.

Lark Rise to Candleford: We have been absolutely sucked in by this show. Fact: we fight have a footrace to the mailbox when we get home from work to grab the DVD. He always wins.

With so many characters, each sub-story is perfectly juxtaposed into the main story line. I love how each episode is a chronological continuation of the previous (example: Harvest time is followed by a wintertime Christmas episode) and flows nicely. The story is told in the voice of Laura Timmins, who is a humble hamlet girl that left Lark Rise to work as a postal worker in Candleford. She narrates about life, from the small things to big events.

We have been watching the show now for a few months and honestly, I’m kind of sad that we finished all the episodes and further, it is no longer airing. As the eternal optimist and hopeless romantic that I am, I hope BBC will bring back a new season. Side note: I don’t have Facebook but apparently there are several petitions to bring back the show. Who knew!

I can’t even begin to describe all the emotions present in this series: Joy, vengance, love, heartache, death, passion, perseverance, defeat, humiliation, pride, and I could go on but you probably get my point. Any show which combines all these human emotions  and more so flawlessly has my praise. If you haven’t already, you must run not walk to see Lark Rise to Candleford. One more note for fellow bookworms. Flora Thompson wrote a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels by the same name, which the TV show was based on.

Cranford / Return to Cranford:  A more recent discovery, this miniseries is not quite as lengthy as Lark Rise to Candleford. Novelist Elizabeth Gaskell writes about the lives of several women in the town of Cranford who are battling the inevitable change that accompanies modernity. The novels this show is based off are Cranford, My Lady Ludlow, and Mr. Harrison’s Confessions. There are some top rated actors & actresses in this show, like Michael Gambon, Claudia Blakly, Julia Sawalha and Imelda Staunton. I enjoyed how the story line unraveled and kept me guessing, up until the very end.

Wives & Daughters: Another novel by Elizabeth Gaskell (Wives & Daughers: An Everyday Story), this period drama touches on life after loss, scandal and unexpected romance. The story revolves around Molly Gibson, the only daughter of the widowed town doctor. You might find yourself cheering her on, from falling in love to standing up to her obstinate stepmother.

Little Dorrit: Another timeless classic by Charles Dickens, this miniseries depicts the lives of a family living in debtor’s prison. Matthew Macfadyen delivers an outstanding performance and you will find yourself cheering him on, despite the odds he is up against. This heartwarming story unravels dark secrets, financial ruin, and long awaited love that will keep you wanting to come back for more.

Gosford Park:  Another creation by Julian Fellowes {from Downton Abbey}, this movie reminded us of the board game Clue.  The dialogue especially between the servants moves very quickly, so you may need to have the rewind button ready and volume turned up. My husband wasn’t 100% enthusiastic about the movie {“where’s the conclusion?!”} but I really enjoyed how the movie kept me guessing at every turn and listening between the lines.  I would definitely watch this movie again!
So there you have it. In a nutshell, some of the British television we have been enjoying in the past 8 months or so. What about you all? What shows or movies have you been enjoying recently? Anyone else living vicariously through British television?

11 thoughts on “British Television & Films: Part II

  1. UrbanWife says:

    How exciting! I think you will really enjoy Lark Rise. My only complaint was that at times, it seemed to move rather slowly. Then again, that can be a nice reprieve from typical shows which tend to move so quickly.

    Dickens is probably one of our favorite authors so it's no surprise that North & South is also one of our top favorites. We're going to catch 'The Old Curiosity Shop' tonight since we've not seen it before.

    Where was he able to find the ITV versions? Amazon? I can't wait to hear what else is different from those than the PBS version. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    We are just about to start Lark Rise to Candleford! The first disc we received wouldn't play and the new one came in the mail on Friday. We'll get on that this afternoon!

    All the rest that you've listed are ones that I have enjoyed. I went back and looked at your first post on this subject and yes, all of them as well 🙂 North and South is one of my favorites. The setting and the music just draw me in. I think I could have that playing in the background all the time.

    As a Valentine's Day gift to us both, my husband got us both seasons of Downton Abbey. Each of them are the original, unedited ITV versions and I have to tell you that I found one line that I believe was left out of the PBS broadcast for…uh…decency. Can't wait to see what else we find in there!

  3. Ms Life says:

    My husband would fit right into your home. He just loves staying at home and relaxing. I, on the other hand, would rather I go outside walking, hiking, whatever rather than being indoors throughout. Happy watching!

  4. Pamela says:

    Yes love Netflixing British tv- Have even sucked my poor husband in, who actually looks forward to them now! We are currently watching Doc Martin- Its a very easy cheap way to travel through time and space!

  5. UrbanWife says:

    We love the accents, too. It's funny because sometimes I forget how other people we watch British shows with have a harder time understanding the dialogue. Guess we're just used to it now! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Chantelle says:

    Ahhh… I LOVE Downton. Let me tell you – you will not be disappointed by this series, it is brilliant!! I have to admit I liked the first series much more, but there are a lot of plus points for the latest episodes as well 🙂

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