Monday, January 20, 2014

Downton Abbey--My Comment

For a long time, friends and family have been asking if we are following the Public Broadcasting series "Downton Abbey." 

We actually enjoy most British television programs (old and new), so I suppose it was time for us to see what Americans were so interested in. Today at noon we sat down to read our magazines/ books, and I decided to watch a cooking show on TV. The show looked rather boring, so I flipped back one channel. "Downton Abbey" was on, so we watched. 

Except for the over extravagant lifestyle, the show is not much different from the really old series "Upstairs, Downstairs." The same class problems, the same love/ hate relationships, the same kitchen/butler issues. 

But I noticed something that just does not ring true about the whole series. When and where in England can women wear sleeveless, underwearless, flimsy dresses? With the exception of one warm August visit to London back 25 years ago, every time I have been to Great Britain and visited old manors or buildings I have needed a jacket or at least a heavy sweater. 

The wealthy women of all ages in the DA series wear diaphanous dresses all day every day even with the huge fireplaces roaring with fire. The servant staff and all men in the show look more appropriately clothed for those chilly temps I remember. In reality, they would have been dressed in woolen clothing. 

Would the rich gals have been shivering while the others in the household were either comfortable or perspiring? 

Now when does this series come on again so I can pick it apart? I really should stick with British comedies. Far more fun!


Mrs. Micawber said...

That's a very good point ... I've been enjoying the costuming so much I never considered the climate issue. Mary, especially, tends to look chilly as they put her in a lot of sleeveless stuff. (Your photo comes from early in the series - those are pre-WWI costumes.)

I suppose in real life they'd have been draped in shawls for warmth. But other than that, the costuming is absolutely spot-on, which is really why I like the show. I love fashion history. :)

And yes, there's not much difference between DA and U/D when it comes to plots and storylines. Ah well.

Mrs. Micawber said...

P.S. We have been watching "Miranda" on hulu dot com ... now that is one funny show!