SLA updates!

If you have not started watching Downton Abbey on PBS, you need to go get on that. I'll wait. The first episode from last Sunday is right there on the website, have at it.

Done? Good.

First off, this is not technically a S(umptuous) L(iterary) A(daptation) because it's an original screenplay, not one adapted from a book. Only you can't even tell, and I would totally read this book.

The basic set-up is this:

The Crawley family (made up of Lord Crawley, his American (gasp!) wife, and their three daughters) lives in Downton Abbey. Also living there are all the servants. Living down the road is snobby grandmother Maggie Smith, which, awesome. (She gets to says things like, "What's a weekend?")

Not awesome is the part where the Titanic just sank and took with it Lord Crawley's 1st cousin and the man's son. They were next in line for the estate, and now they need to figure out who the next nearest male relative is. The title and estate is entailed, (remember your Sense & Sensibility, friends?) which means that not only can it not go to Lord and Lady Crawley's daughters (sexist) but that the massive American dowry Lady Crawley brought across the pond with her will also be going to some distantly-related stranger. Nice one, England. Anyway, that's the basic premise, plus a ton of above-stairs and below-stairs intrigue, gossip, flirting, manipulations, and awesomeness.

This is a great one to watch if you love to play that classic game, "Shriek the Name of That British Actor and the Names of the Other Films or Plays in Which You Have Seen Them." It'll keep you busy. You can also do what my sister Jenny and I do, which is to only refer to the characters by the names of the other characters you have seen them play. This why the new valet with the bad leg is called Nicholas Higgins (North and South, yay Nicholas!), why the new heir, a middle-class lawyer from Manchester, is Edward Ferrars (Sense & Sensibility, with me yelling for him to stop inadvertently hurting the servants' feelings with his modern ways but instead to go find some wood to chop in the rain already), and why the smarmy money-grubbing suitor from London is called simply Stardust (also, jerk-wad).

It's fun, too, to shout out predictions ("Secretly gay! Secretly gay!") and threats ("Ooooooh, ladies maid! Someone needs to cut you in the FACE!"). Maybe you could create your own drinking game. Or, in my case, brie-eating game.

And you will want to do all these things because this movie sucks you right in. It is so, so good. And there are still three episodes to go!


Bridget said... [reply]

That's it, I'm moving back to the US. I can't watch it online in the UAE because of "rights restrictions." Bah.

Thanks for the tip, though. I depend on you to keep me informed of these things.

LEM said... [reply]

It IS so good! And I called the secretly gay thing, too. And the ladies maid totally has it coming! I hope the limping valet hits her with his cane. (Note: The Limping Valet may or may not be an excellent name for a pub. Or a band.)

Hannah said... [reply]

ooh! I must watch this. I love that they post them on the web.

Scrappycook said... [reply]

I'm adding this to my list as yelling names/other movies is my favorite game. I just watched season one of Lark Rise ot Candleford and need to see seasons two and three before starting a new one. It looks delighful!

Camille said... [reply]

Posts like this just confirm that
a. you are awesome
b. I'm in love with your blog


Jenny said... [reply]

I wish we could watch these together. It would be so much more fun!

springrose said... [reply]

I already checked online to see how much it was to buy, I love it that much! regularly $35.00 ish right now $24ish. SOLD!!!
I just thought the word verification said fanatic!

Saxon said... [reply]

did you know that they have cut over two hours from the total series as the american channel who are showing the series felt most Americans wouldn't understand the plot regarding inheritance? So chopped most of it out

Debbie Barr said... [reply]

I know what I'm doing this "weekend."

Nemesis said... [reply]

Okay, Saxon, that comment freaked me out so much that I had to go research it. And what I found is that someone wrote an article in the Daily Mail SAYING that they cut 2 hours of the program, but according to this they actually didn't. What they cut were the 2 hours of ITV's ads. (PBS doesn't have commercials, so that time never got put back in.) They also did some edits so that it could run in 4 installments of 90 minutes each. (In the UK it ran as 7 installments of varying lengths.)

So we're still good!

Also? They've been given the green light for a second season based on the good response!

Katie E. said... [reply]

Love it! And I so agree about Edward Ferrars needing to stop being so rude (in both the impolite and ignorant senses of the word) and chop some wood already. Hopefully there won't be any hair rings from Lucy Steele, cuz "ew." I'm totally excited about lurve-type prospects for next week (inheritence, technology and the changing modern world are all well and good, but I think we need a little more steaminess that doesn't involve jerkwads). Yea for SLAs! (and for Masterpiece adaptations that feel like SLAs.)

Azúcar said... [reply]

Whole new meaning to "valet." WHOLE NEW MEANING.

So freaking good.

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Did you check out Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery? Now, I know it isn't a SLA, but it was close. They adapted the story of Sherlock Holmes to the present day and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works. And they guy playing Sherlock is the lovable Prime Minister from Amazing Grace--so you can play the whole shrieking "Name all the roles that British actor has played" game too.

Anonymous said... [reply]

To Bridget, it airs on Fridays in the UAE, they're on the fifth one showing this weekend.

Audra said... [reply]

You. Are. Killing. Me! I have SOOOO much work to do! I just got back from a 4 day completely exhausting Rock N' Roll-esque trade show and I am sick... BUT... I have SOOOO much work to do and NO TIME to watch this! But... I will have to make time to watch this because I am like a moth to the little bug zapper, I can't not watch! Maybe I will watch the first episode now while I am trying to get that morning sick feeling out of my bones so I can do real work later.

Nells-Bells said... [reply]

i have heard about this but not watched it yet. i will have to get caught up on it!

Stefley said... [reply]

Thanks so much for tipping us off on this! I have really enjoyed it! Now to share one with you, but perhaps you have seen it. "Daniel Defonda" has 4 episodes. Is a 2002 BBC show. It isn't quite as scandalous as Downton Abbey, but I am on episode 4 so there is still an hours! It's great for the in between times of the really great ones! Plus you can play the "what other BBC series are you on?" game! (downton abbey is one of the answers!)

Loni said... [reply]

Umm...yeah. Just finished Downton Abbey. SO GOOD. How in the world are we supposed to wait until Winter 2012 to find out what happens???

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