Are you an Anglophile who just can’t get enough period drama, droll humor, gray skies or visions of the British countryside? If this describes you, then check out these dozen new television programs and miniseries from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Acorn that have recently made their way to DVD. Continue reading “Calling All Anglophiles”
We know—you’ve heard. The New York Times is mad about it. The Guardian is obsessed with it. All of your friends on Facebook go on and on about it. Lovers of British period drama (and even quite a few newcomers) agree: the BBC’s Downton Abbey is the greatest thing since crumpets.
But what is it, exactly, that makes this series so compelling? The story—about a family of English aristocrats and their servants just before and during World War I—certainly isn’t heavy on action. The characters spend much of their time drinking tea, sitting at tables, and suffering in silence. But, as in any great novel of manners, their placid faces conceal the plotting, scheming, backstabbing, and longing going on just beneath the surface. And then, of course, there are the beautiful costumes (can I have everything in Lady Mary’s wardrobe, please?) and the gorgeous sets.
“I’m not hung up about Darcy. I do not sit at home with the pause button on Colin Firth in clingy pants, okay? I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and language and the courtesy. It’s become part of who I am and what I want. I’m saying that I have standards.” — Amanda,Lost in Austen
The men of the BBC make me melt. Maybe it’s their propriety or the way women are seen through their eyes that I find myself missing in my everyday life. The exchanging of glances across a crowded room and a light hand reaching out to touch the other’s for an instant can even been seen as too much. In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine a time when any man or woman would hold back.
Elliot Cowan got my attention in Lost in Austen. Amanda, a lover of all things Austen, finds herself swapping her present day life in London with Elizabeth Bennett’s estate of Longbourn. Clumsily walking through Pride and Prejudice society, she must find her way back home without destroying the best love story ever told. With her modern day language and clothing it’s very hard for attention not to be made to her, but the longer she stays the more the characters of Pride and Prejudice become a part of her — and she a part of them. The biggest question she must face: Can she go back to her real life when her heart has already been given away to the leading man? Continue reading “The Men of the BBC”