Top positive review
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ANOTHER GRAND BRITISH EPIC STORY IN FILM.
on June 1, 2008
This is 15 hours (18 episodes) of delightful English storytelling that takes place just after WWI. You will be glad you have the complete series with no need to wait a week between each episode. Each segment builds upon the next drawing you into the story as though you are part of the family of The Grand hotel.
It ranks along side series giants like The Pallisers, The Barchester Chronicles, and Monarch of the Glen. Part of the reason might be that Susan Hampshire (3-Emmy winner) stars in all of those. She is outstanding in The Grand, playing Miss Harkness, a resident of the Grand, a prostitute, and proud of it. It takes a bit of acceptance, at first, seeing her as a lady of the evening,, instead of someone like Lady Glencora Palliser. Hampshire scores a perfect 10 for this performance.
Mrs. Harvey, played by Christine Mackie, is the Grand's head housekeeper. She acts and sounds quite like Gemma Jones in The Duchess of Duke Street. In my opinion, Mackie performs equally as fine with her character as Harness, as Jones did as the Duchess. She keeps the downstairs servants in tow and in their working class place--or tries to (similar to Upstairs, Downstairs). She and her counterpart, Mr. Jacob Collins, the hall porter (Tim Healy) are a huge part of the success of the stories linked together by the interconnected lives of the people who own, live and work at the Grand.
Marcus Bannerman (Mark McGann) is a ruthless owner you'll soon learn to love to hate.
It would take 18 reviews for the 18 episodes to tell the story. Since that is impossible, let me say there is something for everyone: romance, rape, costumes, sex, blackmail, lavish sets, arson, child selling, comedy, prostitution, murder, elegance, greed, gays, a hanging, class struggle, embezzlement, gossip, lust, child selling, and fun 20's music. If it's a sin or a pleasure, you'll encounter it through The Grand series. There are stories within a story. Overall it's about the Bannerman family (3 generations) and their attempt to save the Grand from failure. For some the cost it to high. For others, success will come at any cost necessary.
If you worry about the cost, divide the cost by the 18 episodes. Each one is a movie in itself and every segment is top notch. This is another of a long line of outstanding productions of British drama. The box calls it ADDICTIVE. That is TRUE.
That's the Pros. Now the Cons: The Grand ends with episode 18. You will want more.