New Obsession: Downton Abbey

Today, I was supposed to be posting a recap and review of last night’s Switched at Birth. But instead, I have spent all day (and all last night) watching the first season of something else…

Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship’s domineering, conservative ma the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile the butler presides over a staff which serves the family but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants quarters, intriguing amongst themselves.

For months, I’ve had everyone tell me I need to watch this show. I have heard amazing things about it, and everyone I know seems to love it. But I have to be really in the mood for a periodical TV show in order to watch it. I’ve been known to have full periodical themed weekends where I watch, basically every movie inspired by a Jane Austen novel along with the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (you know, the one that is three hours long). But I have to be in one of those moods.

Last night, while scrolling through my HuluPlus account, I saw that the first season was available streaming. I clicked, thinking that I’d only get through the first episode then I’d head to bed. I didn’t plan on it sucking me in. Three hours later, I had to force myself to turn off the television and go to bed.

Though the show has merit to watch it on its own, the prime reason I decided I would watch it was for this woman.
Dame Maggie Smith (aka, Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter films) was the reason I even knew this show existed. I’m one of those people who will watch shows just because an actor is in it. She is one of those actors. And I’m glad that I picked this show up for her.

Though the pilot (like all pilots) is a bit slow, after the second episode is when it started to get really good. With the introduction of Matthew and his mother Isobel (played by the great Penelope Wilton, who also played “Harriet Jones, Prime Minister” in Doctor Who), things really start to get interesting within the families.

One of the ways that this show differs from most period pieces is that it shows the lives of the staff. Most shows and movies have the staff as background characters that occasionally speak. The staff of Downton Abbey all have their own lives, and more importantly, their own stories.

This show does an excellent job at balancing the stories between members of the staff and members of the house, keeping both storylines equally interesting and easily remembered. With a cast this big, it’s easy for a character to become forgotten. The writers of this show remind us of what each character is going through every they’re brought on the screen.

If you’ve considered picking this show up, but are a bit weary, I highly suggest you give it just a few episodes. Don’t stop at just the first one. It’s worth the time you put into it.

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“I’m Gonna Risk It”…. on The Finder.

When Hart Hanson announced last year that he wanted to do a Bones spin-off I was a bit upset. Mostly because, for me that meant that he was seeing the end of my beloved Bones and was wanting to get under his next project before it capsized. Not having Bones on my television would break my heart, even though I know it has to end eventually. I’m not ready for it to end yet.

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New Obsession: Haven

This was one of those shows that when my friend Allison told me I needed to watch, I was a bit skeptical. I’m a VERY big fan of SciFi shows, particularly the ones ON SyFy, but I’m not that interested in Stephen King’s work.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s an amazing author and definitely a genius. I loved the TV interpretation of The Dead Zone, but it wasn’t one of those shows that I got pulled into. It was good, but I only ended up watching it when I happened across it. For the most part, it was a show of convenience, not one I was addicted to.

Since there wasn’t much on during the summer (save for Eureka, Warehouse 13, Suits, and Torchwood) I figured, what the heck, if I didn’t like it, then whatever, it wasn’t like I NEEDED a new show to watch.

It took me only 3 days to watch the entire first season of Haven – just in time for season 2 to start. Though I still have no plans to read the book that this is based on (I tried listening to it and it just isn’t my cup of tea, plus I’ve heard that it’s sort of a spin off of another one of his series), this series drew me in fast. Here are a couple of reasons why you should check out this amazing series.

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New Obsession: Switched at Birth

With this entry, I’m introducing a new line of posts that will come as I discover new shows, called New Obsessions. Meaning shows that have been recommended and shows that I’ve discovered that I am now completely addicted to.

Considering how much I’ve been talking about my love of various Sci-Fi(SyFy) shows, I’m going to change it up a little.

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About two weeks ago, I discovered a new show on ABC Family called “Switched at Birth”. My initial desire to watch this show, stemmed from the fact that one of main actresses (Vanessa Marano) played Luke’s daughter on Gilmore Girls, I adored her in that show, and I was happy to see that she was in something new. Upon further research, I discovered that the rest of the cast was pretty awesome as well, Lea Thompson, Lucas Grabeel, and D.W. Moffet all star in the show. .

As great as all these actors are, I wasn’t sure if all of this was enough to get me to watch the show. ABC Family has kind of been a hit and miss channel for me when it comes to awesome TV shows. Greek was amazing, though I could personally do without Secret Life of an American Teenager. When I finally found the plot synopsis for Switched at Birth, I knew that this show had to be in my life… LIKE NOW!

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