Friday, July 20, 2012

For British Eyes Only (#1.20)

First, Emmy nominations reactions...
Overall, I am pretty happy with the Drama nominations.  The only exception would have been some love for Fringe, but I don't know that I ever let myself get my hopes up for that.

I am fairly upset about the Comedy nominations.  Not including Parks and Recreation, or Nick Offerman, is the biggest mistake the Academy voters made.  The second biggest was no love for Community (save for one writing nomination) or any of its fabulous actors.  And after that, of course, I am not happy with the lack of nominations for Raising Hope or Happy Endings, but again, my hopes were never that high for those shows anyway.  Of the shows that did get nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, only Girls (and probably 30 Rock) deserved to be there.

However, I am not an academy voter, so I will have to settle for what has been chosen.  Not that I'm not qualified.  I have, in fact, seen all episodes for the twelve series nominated in the Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Comedy Series categories (Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Veep).  But I don't mean to brag (yes, I do).

And on that note, I will switch gears and talk about my newest television obsession - Downton Abbey.
Wow.  I forgot what it was like to fall in love with a new series and be completely consumed by the world it has opened up.  It can be quite a rush when that new show is all you can think about and all you want to do is watch more and then scour the internet for anything remotely related.  It's a bloody brilliant feeling and this new obsession with Downton Abbey has got me using British-isms like Michael Bluth (you know, like how they say go-up-box instead of elevator).  But more importantly, this is a very, very well-made television series and if you haven't seen it, GO NOW.  I'll wait.

Quite simply, Downton Abbey - not DownTOWN Abbey - is the story of the aristocratic Crawley family, their estate, and their many servants.  It takes place in Yorkshire, England starting in 1912 and continues up through World War I (as of the end of the second season).  When I say all that to most people, they think it sounds boring.  I can assure you that this is absolutely NOT a boring show.
For me, the basis of any great series is great characters.  If I love the characters, I'll stick with them no matter what they do.  And having lovable characters does not always mean that they will be likable - we all know there are some terrific villains out there.  But with Downton Abbey, there is no end to the list of wonderful characters.  And the performances behind these characters are phenomenal, as well.  Six different actors from the series were nominated for Emmys yesterday - Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, and Maggie Smith - all of them deserving of the honor (particularly the women, in my opinion).

The music is fantastic, as well.  I am always fascinated by the relationship between television and music and the way that one can have a profound impact on the other.  John Lunn does a great job with the music for Downton Abbey.  It perfectly evokes the time period, as well as the drama, of the series.  Check out the title sequence - I could listen to it all day:
All in all, it's a brilliant show and I very much look forward to the next season.  For those of you who have already seen the show, I leave you this treat (apologies for the poor quality, but I could not find a better one)...
P.S. Of course, I will, between now and September 23rd, be posting my picks for all the major Emmy categories.  I have a bit of research and soul-searching to do before then.  At least in drama, there was a lot of great TV on this past year.  There was also a lot of great comedy, but my opinion is that it will go largely unrecognized by the Emmys, so those decisions will be much easier to make.

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