Thursday, January 19, 2012

Downton Abbey and Pacing

Is anyone else watching this show? It’s a Masterpiece theater show that follows the life of an Earl and his family at their family estate, Downton Abbey.

If you are at all a fan of historical romance I highly recommend this show. It’s more soap opera in feel but it’s so spot on the with the details of the period that you get completely lost in it. The clothes are spectacular. The second season is set two years into WWI. And I really hope editors are watching this show (I know my agent loves it) because it’s about time we focus on other periods besides Regency with a dab of Victorian.

This period is so ripe with drama. You’ve got the class structure still in place but there are cracks as socialism is starting to take hold. You’ve got women gaining power and fighting for the right to vote. You’ve got the war and the impact it’s having on the people in England. All of it fabulous!

But forgetting all the juicy story lines that are happening in this show, I took a moment when I was watching it the other night to marvel at the pacing. Ever since I hooked up with DWT I’ve been more focused on craft. I’ve learned that movies, TV and books aren’t just entertainment anymore. They are learning tools. Especially the good ones.

What makes DA so completely enthralling (I think) is the way they move from story line to story line and with each jump something “big” happens. There is always a secret revealed, love is expressed, hate is exposed, a new intrigue is developing. There is not one minute of downtime, or a scene for a scene’s sake, or a scene that explains or recaps another scene. It just goes, constantly, in one direction at full speed.

By the end of an hour your head is spinning and you love it. I’m near the end of my WIP that’s due February 1st. And as I edit I really really want to keep Downton Abbey in mind.


Molly O'Keefe said...

I was just thinking I needed to watch that, but I haven't. Instead I've been losing my marbles with the Crimson Petal and The White - it's a BBC, HBO Canada thing - are you guys getting it in the States?

Totally atmospheric, incredible acting, awesome!

Stephanie Doyle said...

I haven't heard of either but I'll check.

But definitely give Downton a try - like I said it does have that crazy soap opera feel - but for me just seeing that envirnonment and really getting a sense of how an earl lived back then... very cool.

Eileen said...

I haven't seen Crimson Petal here, but there are a lot of people very excited about Downton Abbey. I haven't watched it, although I'm tempted now because of all the buzz. Plus I have a friend (the marvelous witty Catriona MacPherson) who writes a set of mystery novels set in that era as well and I love them.

Maureen McGowan said...

Loved the Crimson Petal and the White. So dark and heartbreaking.

I bought the first season of Downton Abbey and need to watch it! Bummed that I didn't get it done before the new season started. :(

Simone St. James said...

Stories set in the 1920's over here! *raises hand

I love all the publicity Downton is getting. Suddenly everyone loves this period!

It's a great time - especially if your characters are women. You had the old guard, and the younger generation of women who had been through war, were getting the vote, and were starting to work. They put all of that in the Downton daughters too. It's really a great show!

Anonymous said...

Downtown abbey is definitely on my list. The Crimson petal was amazing, as was Luther, and now this, BBC tv is really doing something right

Anonymous said...

my wife drank 1500ml bottle of wine and watched entire season 1 on bluray that our friends from Preston UK sent and 1st 3 episodes of season 2 so she was all up to date for last Sunday's airing of episode 4. me? im just a little past the Titanic sinking and the butler man kissin that Dukie Dude

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