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Initial post: Jan 10, 2011 8:30:42 AM PST
Pete Nikolai says:
Should movie companies provide descriptions that list objectionable material when that material is a key plot element that adds to the surprise? This can be tricky when incomplete descriptions blindside viewers who may be selecting content for their kids.

This question came to mind when I was watching Downton Abbey with my kids. I am rather conservative so I found the unexpected scenes of coerced sex and homosexuality in this series objectionable. But it provided a good teachable moment for discussing how producers and writers try to foist their views of morality on the masses.

Posted on Jan 10, 2011 11:12:51 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 10, 2011 4:05:27 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 12:46:15 PM PST
JBPreader says:
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Posted on Jan 13, 2011 11:03:00 PM PST
mw415 says:
The "immorality" referred to is called real life and history.

Get over your bigotry and stop whining.

Posted on Jan 14, 2011 1:55:24 PM PST
KBL says:
No one is foisting their views on morality to you, it was a scene with two men kissing, it wasn't explicit it was part of a story line. You may wish to place your head in the sand, but it does happen and has happened throughout history. i am not that way inclined myself but i am not so closed minded not to realise that homosexuality exists, even in edwardian England. It was a good TV program you can either watch it or not, take your choice, you will never be informed of all content likely to upset a mindless bigot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2011 11:45:57 AM PST
rachrn83 says:
I guess I should start by saying I am an American (let's just get that out of the way). I have been poking around Barnes and looking for more highly rated BBC movies/TV shows and came across this one. The reviews

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 3:42:31 PM PST
MaryE says:
Foisting immorality on viewers? A bit melodramatic, don't you think?

The scene between Thomas and the duke was hardly celebratory of their sexuality. And if the disturbing part of the scene to you was their kissing rather than theft, blackmail, lying, manipulation - well, you kind of missed the point. So much for a teachable moment.

If you want a list of the objectionable material, what would you have listed? The kiss between the two men? Or everything else in that scene? Lady Mary's kiss with Pamuk? Or moving his dead body back to his room to conceal the manner of his death?

And as for Masterpiece not having offensive material, it sounds as if anything not in line with your moral compass you deem offensive. You should turn it off. But please do not suggest that shows like Downton Abbey not be shown because you find them offensive. Not everyone agrees.

I'm loving Downton Abbey - I love the battle between the dowager Lady Grantham and Mrs. Cawley (Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton are wonderful), the clash of cultures between Matthew Cawley and his staff, the way some of the staff members are just as snobbish as the family. I can't wait for the last episode and I'm very excited about the next season. We, the audience, know World War I, and drastic change, is on the way. I'm excited to see how this is all portrayed.

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 5:11:09 PM PST
mw415 says:
Bravo MaryE! You hit the nail right on the head & expressed it brilliantly. I am in full agreement with every point you made - thanks for writing your comments. Downton Abbey is a marvelous, well-produced mini-series that exposes the hypocrisy & bigotry of the era. This forum thread has shown in a couple of the earlier postings that some people still have the same traits.

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 6:19:21 PM PST
rachrn83 says:
So I've seen all of Season 1 (all 7 eps) I actually thoroughly enjoyed the show & now own it. The part at the beginning with Thomas was a bit much, but I was able to just fast forward through that part without missing any of the conversation. The season ends with Thomas going off to work in the medical corps branch for the military, so I think it is safe to say that little (and pointless it seems) storyline is hopefully over with. I didn't have an issue with the "love" scene between Mary & the Turkish man, it was tastefully done, we all know what they did but the director didn't feel the need to give us all a "close up" shot. All in all the show is pretty refreshing story & script wise compared to the garbage on TV over here in the states. It's got the drama and the romance going on without one over powering the other so far, as well as a bit of comic relief with Daisy & Mrs. Patmore. So I can say I am a big fan so far. I would actually be fine if they kept the season short so they don't run out of material or at least to keep the quality of each season high. A 10 episode season of quality work is far better than a 25 episode season that starts well but levels off half way through and ends with a bunch of filler crap. Love the chemistry between Maggie Smith & Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley)

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 3:24:06 PM PST
Baby Boomer says:
I like that it was only four weeks.

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 3:24:37 PM PST
Baby Boomer says:
Meant to add also, I didn't want to see the creepy footman kissing anyone, male or female.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2011 9:35:49 PM PST
rachrn83 says:
Yeah me either. That part as so pointless, considering you never saw the Duke again and Thomas is leaving and the letters and all turned into nothing. It did seems like Bates had his suspicions about Thomas in that department though. It just didn't add anything to the season, but writers are forcing feeding that on us in any way possible...4 weeks, Baby Boomer are you in the States? How did they fit 7 episodes into 4 weeks? I was only able to see eps 1-6 on I downloaded the last episode from itunes (b/'c I had to see the ending) and then went out and bought it in the morning.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2011 12:58:37 PM PST
I don't understand -- how do you know Thomas won't be back? Are you secretly Julian Fellowes? Do tell. I surmised from what I saw that WWI's about to start & that Thomas, sleaze & thief, will play some awful part in an awful war.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2011 6:52:30 PM PST
rachrn83 says:
I just don't think he's suppose to be that big of a character. I think whoever takes his place within the Grantham home (considering the show is centered around the people who live in it) is more important than following Thomas around, who no longer lives in the home. Honestly, do you really see him being some War Hero? Unless, Thomas meets someone while in service that could play a major role in the story, then I could see the writing continuing to include him... I guess we will know soon enough who's going to make it over to season 2 & possibly remain a main character all season. Either way I can't wait for it to begin again.

If I told you I was Julian Fellowes, would it still be a secret?

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 6:53:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2011 5:27:12 AM PST
janebbooks says:
Hello. Great responses on this issue. I really enjoyed everything about DOWNTON ABBEY except it ended after four episodes in the US. Anybody know when PBS will continue the series? It's not on Masterpiece Theatre's website.

And to moderator of this thread, I believe your children will enjoy THE 39 STEPS although there is a love interest not in the Hannay book nor the Hitchcock film. Very excellent production of a classic spy thriller. It airs in March 2011 again.

As to censorship of PBS shows, I was furious some years ago when watching the adult classic BRIDESHEAD by Evelyn Waugh again on a different PBS station. They deleted (CENSORED) several of the well-done male/female romantic scenes. Waugh's great protagonist SEBASTIAN was gay and in love with his best heterosexual friend who was in love with his sister. It's a fact of the plot that drives the story! Love of a man by a man!

I seem to a senior citizen with grown children and a love of literature....that a discerning parent such as you would know the differences in a FAMILY classic and an ADULT classic!
And don't discerning parents screen their young children's viewing?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 11:18:23 AM PST
No, once you're outed as Julian Fellowes, game's up.

Really, I'm looking forward to seeing what nasty role Thomas might play. WWI was a war of betrayals & errors. So many British soldiers died, a character like Thomas would have no problem fitting in.

There's nothing like a good villain to make a great drama great. That's Thomas' role -- not a hero, not even an anti-hero. We're given three villains --- Thomas, his female compatriot and the jealous sister. I think Thomas is the worst, thus best, of them all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 11:31:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2011 11:39:10 AM PST
B. Pruett, I have to question your claim to have been a faithful viewer of Masterpiece Theatre's "classics" (i.e. the ones which never contained scenes as disturbing as those which cause you such dismay), because clearly you missed "I Claudius". One of the most highly acclaimed and beloved "classics" in the history of Masterpiece Theatre, that series contained scenes with far more capacity to shock than anything "Downton Abbey" has to offer. Put another way, because the British have typically been less sensitive about portrayals of sexuality than they are about truly disturbing things like violence, Masterpiece Theatre has typically pushed the boundaries of how sexuality is depicted in drama on American TV.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 7:58:08 PM PST
rachrn83 says:
Don't you mean jealous sisters?

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 8:02:27 PM PST
rachrn83 says:
ITV has announced that Downton Abbey will return for a season 2 during Autumn 2011 on ITV1 with cast Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith, Brendan Coyle, Rob James-Collier and Dan Stevens. ITV source said that they have specially made eight new episodes of season 2 with the first and last being of 90-minute duration and the other episodes are 60 minutes each.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 8:29:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2011 8:42:04 PM PST
@RT&Patsfan83 No, just the one.

Thanks for the update, I can't wait.

Have you seen 'Foyle's War'? There's an episode where an estate is turned into a hospital.
Maybe that's what will happen to Downton also.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2011 9:00:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2011 9:01:23 AM PST
janebbooks says:
Thanks for this information about Season 2 of DOWNTON ABBEY. Does that mean PBS will broadcast here in US, too.

And what character does Michelle Dockery play?

And is Thomas played by Rob James-Collier?

Jane in Florida

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2011 9:39:32 AM PST
rachrn83 says:
To me both sister's are jealous of eachother. Edith was jealous at the beginning, probably of Mary being the oldest and being her parents center of attention when it came to finding her a husband. Then the part where Edith overhears Mary saying Edith needs all the helop she can get because she has no prospects. Edith then writes to the Turkish ambassador...Mary finds out & then later at the garden party tells Sir Anthony Strallan that garbage about Edith being proposed to by some dried up man...So they are constantly trying to get eachother back. I'm sure that will continue in the next season and something will eventually happen that draws them closer together as sisters. Oh let's not forget the very first episodes where Edith is disgusted a bit by mary saying her dead fiance was merely a place holder until something better came along, the whole tim Edith was in love with Mary's fiance but he couldn't return her affections. So there's a lot of spite between the two of them.

I've never heard of Foyle's War. Is it any good? I've got so many BBC movies/tv mini-series to watch.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2011 9:45:43 AM PST
rachrn83 says:
I'm sure PBS will broadcast it as well, I guess we will see if it will be broadcast at the same time it is being shown in the UK...That is the question. My guess is it got good enough ratings here. Although I watched episodes 1-3 at and then downloaded the finale from iTunes, as PBS didn't have the finale for some reason.

Beacause I know about the show now in time for season 2 I will tune in to PBS on tv if they show it.

I'm also interested in the updated series of Upstairs Downstairs & the show with Matthew McFayden.

Michelle plays Lady Mary Crawley (oldest sister/daughter) & yes that is who Thomas is played by.

Posted on Feb 5, 2011 9:56:52 AM PST
I meant Edith, re jealous sister. Mary's not jealous, just starts out cold & mean.

I love 'Foyle's War' but it's more historical crime drama than 'Upstairs, Downstairs' or 'Downton': British police inspector during WWI.

Posted on Feb 5, 2011 10:12:40 AM PST
rachrn83 says:
Ok, I saw that in Barnes & Noble yesterday. They had some mark downs & 30% off a large selection of BBC movies/tv shows. It sounds interesting. At the moment I have so many BBC movies/tv mini-series to watch I don't have room or time for any new ones!

Yesterday I got Our Mututal Friend, Daniel Deronda & The way We Live Now. I have & still need to watch Bleak House, Vanity Fair, Little Dorrit & BBC's version of Emma, the older one with Kate B.
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Total posts:  49
Initial post:  Jan 10, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 1, 2013

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Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Season 1
Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Season 1 by Downton Abbey (DVD - 2011)
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